When Will My Puppy Calm Down?
And how to handle that new puppy energy 🔋
Puppies have a ton of energy, which can be a lot of fun — but it can also be exhausting.
So if you have a new puppy who’s bouncing off the walls, you might be wondering when he’ll start to quiet down.
Factors that affect when puppies start to calm down
All puppies don’t settle down at the same time because there are a number of factors that affect how much energy your puppy has, such as his individual personality, age, breed and how much exercise he gets each day.
“Age is definitely a factor, but so are breed/breed-mix,individual temperament and amount of daily enrichment,”Dr. Coppola told The Dodo.
But, typically, you can expect your puppy to start to calm down once he’s around 6 months old.
Dogs lose some of that puppy energy as they get older and mature. Older pups are better able to control their excitement, and once they’ve been trained, they understand how to act around other dogs and people.
Small dogs mature more quickly than larger dogs, and some breeds that were bred for certain functions, such as herding or hunting, have more energy even as they get older.
“Some breeds are typically higher energy, while others are more commonly a bit more low energy,” Dr. Coppola said. “However, there are individual differences within every breed and breed-mix. Some higher-energy breeds tend to be your working breeds, the ones that have a ‘job’ to do!”
Some breeds that tend to have a lot of energy include border collies, huskies, Labs, Australian shepherds and poodles. Keep in mind that every dog is different, though, so just because a dog is a certain breed doesn’t mean you can predict his individual personality.
If you have an older dog, he’ll probably show your puppy how to behave. He may get annoyed when your puppy gets too hyper around him, so he’ll teach him how to settle down.
How to calm a puppy down
While it might take some time for your puppy to fully settle down, there are ways to tire him out.
“The best way to help a puppy calm down is to provide them opportunities for both mental and physical stimulation,” Dr. Coppola said. “This includes physical exercise, puzzle toys, opportunities to engage in dog natural behaviors (sniffing, foraging, socializing, digging, etc.).The old adage is true — a tired dog is a happy dog!”
Play with him
Playing with your puppy each day is a fun way to make sure he’s tired by the end of the day. You can get your pup toys that he can play with on his own for when you’re busy, too. Puzzle toys like this one will keep your puppy occupied and entertained while you’re working, and they teach your puppy problem-solving skills.
Walking your puppy every day is a great way to bond with him, give him exercise to keep him healthy, and introduce him to new environments. Plus, it’ll help take care of some of his pent-up energy.
Set a daily routine for your puppy so he knows when it’s time to play and when it’s time to relax (like when you’re going to bed). A schedule will also help him be calmer since he’ll know what to expect.
Tips for training a hyper puppy
If you’re struggling to train your puppy because he just won’t calm down, here are some tips to help you out.
- Keep your training sessions short — “Puppies have a limited attention span,” Dr. Coppola said. “More frequent and shorter training sessions will be more successful than longer ones.”
- Play with your puppy first — Playing with your puppy will get out all his energy so he can be a little more focused for training. “Give the puppy a good play session before starting,” Dr. Coppola said. “This will help expend excess energy but also give them the opportunity to engage with you before going into a more formal training session.”
- Be consistent and clear — “It's hard enough for an energetic puppy to focus during training but even more difficult if the cues and reinforcement are not consistent,” Dr. Coppola said.
When do puppies stop biting?
One of the frustrating parts of puppies’ extreme energy levels is that they can nip at you a lot.
According to Dr. Coppola, when a puppy will stop biting depends on the reason why he’s biting, but most puppies will stop when they’re around 7 to 8 months old.
“If the biting is due to teething, the behavior should subside once their adult teeth have all come in, [which is] usually [finished] by 1 year for most breeds,” Dr. Coppola said.
If your puppy’s biting because he’s trying to play with you, training him how to appropriately play will eventually stop his nipping.
“If the biting behavior is due to puppy impulsivity and attempts to play, the behavior will start to subside with training and other positively reinforced ‘requests’ for play and attention,” Dr. Coppola said.
Most puppies will also grow out of their biting phase as they get older and more mature and have less energy.
Puppies are so much fun, and sometimes they can have just way too much energy. But if you follow these tips to help calm and train your hyper puppy, he’ll be able to chill out a little (which means you can, too).