When Do Puppies Calm Down? And at What Age?

puppy running

We all love puppies, but they can be a handful.  They are natural mischief-makers and can cause owners to go crazy.  So, when will my puppy calm down and at what age do puppies calm down?  These are questions that every new puppy owner has.

Puppies start to become feisty as soon as they can walk.  They have a tendency to chew, not listen, and get under your feet every chance they get. 

In this article, we will discuss ways of coping with a hyper puppy and learn at what age does a puppy mellow out.  Knowing how to understand a puppy’s behaviour will mean the difference between whether or not you are ready for the task of owning a new puppy or not.

What Age Do Puppies Calm Down?

Generally, all puppies will go through the dreaded puppy stage. So, at what age does a puppy mellow out?  You’d be surprised to know that the answer varies.  When puppies aren’t sleeping, they are in constant play mode.  Puppies are the most hyper between 4 to 6 months.  However, certain breeds of puppies settle out of their crazies faster than others. 

High energy, larger breeds such as the Labrador retriever or the Husky have a tendency to retain energy levels, and it could be a few years before you see some calm. This doesn’t mean that all large breed puppies are going to tear through your house like a tornado.   For instance, the Bernese Mountain Dog is rather large, but also known for its calm demeanor.

It is also known that smaller breed puppies such as the Shih Tzu, tend to mature faster; therefore, the puppy stage doesn’t last as long. Although that may be true in some cases, but not all; a small Chihuahua puppy can retain energy for a very long time and require extra time and attention to get it to settle down.

It’s important to realize and expect that you will have to go through some form of puppy hyperness regardless of the breed.  There isn’t a real clear stance on a specific age to the question of “when do puppies settle down”.  The outcome generally relies upon specifically the breed and temperament.

How Do You Calm Down a Hyper Puppy?

A hyper puppy can be a challenge and knowing how to calm a puppy down is essential.  They are little furballs of terror set on a path of destruction.  It’s important to establish guidelines and rules for a puppy from the start.  Just like a child, a puppy needs a routine to follow.  Though puppies have mass amounts of energy, it usually comes in short bursts.  From a very young age, a puppy sleeps more than it plays.  As it ages, activity levels increase.  As mentioned previously, a puppy is most actively hyper between 4 and 6 months.  Let’s discuss some ways that will assist in calming a puppy down. 

Exercise

Exercise is important for a growing puppy.  It needs an outlet for releasing all that puppy energy it has stored.  Having an active routine such as walking your puppy at certain times, or even throwing a ball or something to fetch will assist in tiring it out. 

Puppies require a lot of attention, and if not given the time it needs could prove to be destructive and lead to bad behaviour.

Toys

If you don’t want your puppy chewing up your favourite pair of shoes or your grandmother’s coffee table, you will need puppy-specific toys.  Puppies, like toddlers, go through a teething stage.  They want to chew on everything.  It’s natural and it happens with every breed of dog.  However, teething isn’t the only reason they chew or get crazy.  Boredom is also a known cause.  Puppies need something to keep them occupied, and if they don’t have it, they will create it, and not in a good way.

This is where a puppy toy box or basket comes in handy.  Have a variety of chew sticks and puppy-approved play toys available.  Tugs, balls, and even its very own blanket are good choices.  Having these items for the puppy to sink its teeth into will lessen the chances of it destroying something of yours. 

Playtime

Establish a playtime with your puppy.  Playing with your puppy on a regular basis will stimulate and keep them engaged;  eventually wearing them out.  If you want a puppy to calm down, it first has to eliminate all its energy.  Whether you let them run, or encourage them to play with their toys, these are all beneficial techniques to mellow your puppy out.  Just like exercise, playtime is just as important and needs to be done regularly.

Calm Environment

If a puppy is subjected to excitement in the household, it will react negatively in that environment and its hyperactivity will increase.  Provide a calm atmosphere, and a safe place for your puppy to relax.  Keep the volume of your speech low and with less enthusiasm. 

Play some soft music and/or use some calming aromatherapy.  In addition, supply the puppy with its own space, whether it be a dog bed or a crate.  By creating calm surroundings, the puppy is less likely to stress out and exhibit hyper behaviour. 

Reward

Sometimes ignoring bad behaviour is beneficial.  If a puppy is behaving badly, don’t encourage it.  Make it aware that its behaviour is not going to get it attention.  Of course, that doesn’t mean allowing it to run rampant and destroy things, but the occasional hyperness can be ignored. 

When a puppy is showing signs of calm, like sitting nicely, be sure to reward it.  Give positive attention for positive behavioiur, whether it be a treat or some love, the puppy will begin to associate the rewards with behaving appropriately.

Alone Time

Occasionally alone time is good for your puppy.  When used correctly, it will allow your puppy to calm down and relax.  Just as you would provide a calm environment, allowing a puppy some space without distractions can have the same effect. 

Puppies generally get excited when other people are in the room.  For a puppy, any excitement or activity in its surroundings will cause the puppy to react accordingly.  Plan a time for your puppy to be alone in a safe space for short intervals.  However, keep in mind that too much alone time can have an adverse effect on your puppy and perhaps amplify hyperactivity.

When Leaving

Let’s face it, people have to go to work or leave their houses at some point.  So, you’ll need to realize that you are never going to be with your puppy 100% of the time.  During this difficult separation period, your puppy could become anxious and stressed.  As soon as you walk out the door, your puppy might begin to whine or bark, signaling it does not approve of your departure. 

To ease the puppy’s anxiety of you not being there, provide it with something familiar.  An item with your scent is ideal and can help your puppy feel less lonely and comforted.  Absolutely do not allow the puppy to have the run of the house.  A puppy left alone for long periods of time can do unimaginable damage.  Not only will you find things chewed up or destroyed, but you may also have to clean up puppy urine or poop.  To avoid these issues, have a crate or small room available when you leave.  A confined puppy is less likely to be destructive and will lessen puppy accidents. For more on dealing with dog anxiety check here – how to help a dog with separation anxiety.

It’s important to not make a big deal about leaving.  You don’t want to draw attention to the ordeal as it is hard enough just to leave.  Leave quietly, and soon your puppy won’t even realize you have left.  When coming home, reward your puppy.  That way it knows you will always come back.

Hopefully, this information has helped, and you can begin the task of calming your puppy down with ease.  This is not going to be a simple task but be assured that it will eventually happen.  Starting early is the key.  Recognizing bad behaviour and correcting it immediately will be the difference between a tolerable puppy or a nightmare.

Related Questions

At What Age Do Puppies Get Easier?

There isn’t a specific age for a puppy to get easier to manage.  It all depends on the amount of time and training you are willing to put in.  A puppy’s breed is a main factor when it comes to the length of time it takes to get out of the puppy stage.  However, by following the above mentioned steps, it can make the process easier, and perhaps faster.

What Age Do Puppy Crazies Stop?

Basically, the answer is the same as the previous question.  Spending time with your puppy, playing with your puppy regularly, and rewarding good behaviour while ignoring bad behaviour.  These are all suggestions that can assist in calming your puppy down faster.

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