Why Is My Puppy So Hyper?
Ah, the puppy—cute and irresistible as can be, but they contain the power of a nuclear explosion. When I first got my Siberian Husky puppy, she was dashing all over the place like a bullet. It was difficult to keep up with her, much less get her to stop her impersonation of Ricochet Rabbit.
Puppies are curious, excited, and full of vim. The world is their oyster and they will chew, bite, and taste everything they can get their mouth on—even you! Puppies do not have opposable thumbs, so they use their mouths to manipulate and examine all the objects around them.
Mouthing is normal puppy behavior. It is up to us to redirect our puppy's hyper energy and teach them what is appropriate and not appropriate to mouth on.
Hyper Puppy Tips
1: Routine and Structure
One of the best ways to curb your puppy's hyper behavior is to set up a strict routine right from the start.
When I got my first puppy, I did not think it was necessary to set up a schedule. Both puppy and I did not have day jobs, so I figured it was unnecessary to constrain our freedoms by setting time limits and deadlines on everything. However, I quickly realized that I was in error.
Set a Fixed Schedule
A fixed schedule will let the puppy know when it is time to eat, time to walk, time to sleep, time to potty, and time to play. When it is time to sleep, I usually put a puppy in a crate where he feels safe and protected, similar to a den.
This will limit the puppy's hyper behavior to certain times in the day, for example during playtime, and to a lesser degree during walks. These times will become good outlets for his hyper energy. Dogs are crepuscular which means that they are most active during dawn and dusk, so try to set up playtimes during those most hyper periods.
In this way, the puppy knows exactly what is expected of him, which will help lessen his stress. In addition, you will get to enjoy some moments of peace that are free from puppy hyperactivity.
A fixed schedule will also help with potty training and puppy obedience.
2: Physical and Mental Exercise
Puppies have a lot of hyper energy and are curious about many things. It is important to provide them with positive outlets for their active bodies and inquisitive minds. If they do not have such outlets, they will figure out their own activities. This will likely result in property damage, puppy damage, shouting, tears, and possibly a visit to the furniture store or the vet.
There are a variety of games you can play with your puppy that will help to positively release his hyper energy.
Read More From Pethelpful
Some fun physical activities include:
- Flirt pole
- Hide and seek
- Dog agility
- Dog sports
Some fun mental activities include:
- Obedience training
- Interactive dog toys (My dogs especially love working on food toys)
Some fun physical and mental activities include:
- Daily neighborhood walks
- Walks in the park
- Supervised play sessions with other friendly and healthy puppies
Make sure your puppy has had all of his shots before going on walks where he may come in contact with dog poop or pee. In puppy play sessions, make sure all puppies have had their shots.
3: Patience and Consistency
It is easy to lose patience with a hyper puppy that has a very short attention span. I lost my temper many times with my first puppy and started shouting at him.
However, I soon realized that this only made him more hyper. Here are some ways to practice patience and consistency:
- Anger, frustration, shouting, banging, and hitting will only inject more energy into an already intense situation. This will cause the puppy to get even more agitated and even more hyper.
- To calm a puppy's hyper energy, we must stay calm. If you feel yourself getting angry, take a break from the puppy and ask someone to stand in for you. If there is no one around, put the puppy temporarily in his crate or on a tie-down and take a short break to collect yourself.
- Always be consistent with the puppy so that he will know what to expect from you. It is important to set up some house rules and stick to them. Do not let your puppy come onto the couch one day and scold him for doing the same thing the next day.
- Follow the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program and make your puppy work for all of his food, toys, and resources.
- If you stay calm and consistent, your puppy will learn from you and also become more calm and consistent.
Find Your Inner Puppy
Last but not least, remember to have fun with your puppy!
It is good and healthy to occasionally give in to our inner puppy. Part of the joy of having a puppy is so that we can participate in his silly games and share in his passion for living life.
A puppy will make you laugh, cry, sing, howl, and do a jig. Enjoy your puppy.
An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.
— Oscar Wilde
Tony Bolognese on October 09, 2019:
We have a shitzu and a bijoun or what they call a teddy bear dog named Lilly. We mated Lilly with another same type dog we knew who has mated with other female dogs and there wear never any problems so when we mated the two we couldn’t wait for puppies to be born. We were positive Lilly was pregnant and almost ready to give birth when something hit her eye and it got infected. We tried so heard to get in with our normal vet and so many others but everyone was booked except one. We brought Lilly in told him she was pregnant and he examined her said he thought she was but you need to X-ray the dog at a certain time and we still needed to wait. He gave us eye drops and pills to give her. One day later
Lilly started running around the house pooping and peeing all over our house and shaking so bad ! We called back the vet and he said to stop the pills and continue the eye drops but it still took 3-4 days to get him to stop everything that was happening but even though she got better when she started having her pups even though it started out ok something was wrong because the pups weren’t eating and I called the vet and they said to try bottle feeding them but soon one died and we brought them in but they didn’t think anything was wrong but told us to continue bottle feeding but they started choking and then another died then another and there were only 2 left. When we brought them in they didn’t know what was wrong but my wife who was a nurse practitioner seen a hole in the back of the only male pup throat and they thought they also had a mental problem and we would have to tube feed them. It was so hard at home alone trying to keep the last two pups alive and finally the last female died! I can’t tell you how upset all of this made me even if I was a 63 year old man it really tour me up! We took the last pup to the Philadelphia veterinary hospital and they told us it was a miracle this puppy survived that he had a cleft throat and some kind of mental defect and that the pills the other veterinarian gave Lilly most likely killed the other puppies,,,! So she told us to continue tube feeding him and we’ll see what happens. They were the greatest veterinarian I’ve ever seen! Lilly continued to survive and grow but very slow and they couldn’t believe he survived!
Lilly finally started eating very small round puppy food and still drinks from a gerbil bottle but because of his mental deficiency he is the most hyper dog you would ever imagine and it’s even hard to hold him. He runs with his head tilted to the side and try’s to pee everywhere. It’s impossible to clean and groom him. The vet gave us pills to give him to calm him down before trying to groom him but it almost impossible to give him them and now he’s getting mats in his fur and his nails are way to long, he’s so cute and we would never give up but what do we do???.
Julez on January 30, 2019:
My parents hve a lab /husky mix and we can not get her to calm down she jumps and bites at the kids we try and let her out and run around try to train her just seems like nothing is working they are getti g discouraged and really dont want to get rid of her but we cant let her around the kids bc of her attacking them plz help
wendy on October 25, 2018:
hi my 10 month old female have destroyed 3 crate liners she is so hyper she runs around the living room like crazy she jumps on over across my couch and she runs outside on the leash like a race dog she can pull me off my feet any suggestions please
Tammy Johnson on June 15, 2018:
My pomeranian got loose the other day when his leash broke and I had to leave and didnt have time to chase him.I cried for 3 hours thinking I would never c him again,when I got home he was on my front porch waiting on me,tail just a wagging!!I was elated!!
Cheyenne on November 06, 2017:
I have a Siberian husky that will be 17 weeks old Wednesday. When she was like 12 weeks old she was let out of he house and kilt a baby chicken now every time I let her and my grandmother's sheltie out she always bites at the neck, and sometimes drags her by the tail.I don't won't her to be aggressive and I don't won't to get rid of her. What can I do to stop this?
robbie marsh on January 29, 2015:
hi my name is Robbie marsh and i live on the southern part of California and i just recently got a new dog to have for myself to see if i can take care of such a huge responsibility but ever sense i got my year old puppy he is a lab mix with pit and greyhound he loves to pick fights with our other house dog we have had for a long time but see what the problem is he fights just over a bone like my other dog is a lot older then this dog i have now what my point is i am trying to make is that little guy he digs up the backyard constantly he digs and digs he got under our fence he would come back under the fence but i would have to grave him by his collar pull him back into our backyard but what i did to keep him in our backyard was put bricks and cement i did on each part at each end of the fence and all long the sides our backyard fence line post this dog got allot of energy i have to run the piss out of him just to calm him down but see what the problem is how do i get my dog from stop having much energy and being so hyper how can i get him not to be filled with energy and hyperactive
Beth on June 05, 2013:
Hi, I have an almost 6 month old male husky pup. He just had his neutering surgery yesterday, and I am having a hard time keeping him from running around crazy, and jumping on and off things today! I am worried he will harm his surgery site, and also, he seems a bit stressed (either from the surgery itself, or perhaps just from not being able to get up to his usual shenanigans). I have been taking him for lots of short walks, and am trying to find ways for him to burn off some energy without getting too crazy! Any advice?
shibashake (author) on February 26, 2013:
I have not owned or trained a wolf-hybrid before, therefore, it is not something I can help with. Here are some links to people who know more about wolf hybrids-
Dangerwolf1 on February 26, 2013:
Hello I have a wolf hybrid 50% timberwolf 50% German shepherd. She is one year old and out of control. She is very skittish and none trusting of strangers it took my dad half a year for her to get use to him and now he got a new girl friend about to get married and Tenshi(the dogs name) has her own room at the end of the hallway next to the bathroom if me or my dad walks down the hall she is fine but if my dads girl friend walks down the hallway or anyone different she flips out barking like she's going to kill you though if you go in her room she'll shout up and coward in a corner she never bites just barks. That's one issue. The next is letting her out of the room and into the house she'll be fine and calm unless our male German shepherd is also loose in the house he is normal layers back 2 year old. Alone both dogs are fine but together no one will listen, they play fight from dusk to dawn roughly nearly knocking over TV or pictures off the wall jumping from one couch to the next they are insane when together please help.
shibashake (author) on December 18, 2012:
I have a strict no-stealing rule with my dogs. During meal-times, I supervise closely and I make sure that each dog has space to work on his own toys. If they get too close, I body block one of them away.
If someone manages to steal something, then I make sure to replace what is is stolen and more for the victim. The thief goes to timeout.
I teach my dogs that I will resolve conflicts over resources, in a fair and consistent manner. In this way, they do not have to do it themselves with their teeth.
Here is more on what I do at home to keep the peace-
Julie on December 17, 2012:
You mention food puzzles with your "dogs" - plural. Have you had any issues with competition? My two (Golden Retrievers) would not fight but they will get in one another's faces - esp. if food is involved. A bit more about your experience with this, and your thoughts, would be appreciated.
shibashake (author) on November 01, 2012:
With my dogs, I do people desensitization exercises.
tony b. on October 29, 2012:
our puppy is barking on anyone outside of immediate family--gets loud with starangers,while he never bites but it scares visitors and is annoying
shibashake (author) on September 10, 2012:
Dogs are crepuscular, i.e., they are most active during dawn and dusk. Lara, my young Sibe often get the zoomies during those times. :D
In terms of puppy training, here are some things that helped me with my Sibes-
chloe on September 09, 2012:
hi my siberian husky is 9 weeks old now and he just goes crazy in the evening, like grabbing slippers and running around and biting, is there a reason why? and how do i stop it? cuz its seriously scary sometimes.
shibashake (author) on July 17, 2012:
How old is Cassanova? How long have you had him? What is his routine like?
New dogs may not know that biting on people is painful. Unlike us, dogs have much thicker skins that can stand greater pressure. Therefore, it is up to us to train them not to bite on people and to control the force of their bites. Here are some of my experiences with puppy biting-
yvette on July 12, 2012:
my dog cassanova when he get in my lap or my bed he get anther me n if i try 2 moved him he grat n try 2 bite me i dont want 2 put him 2 sleep cause no dog shelther want him please help me
shibashake (author) on May 18, 2012:
Congratulations on your new puppy!
With crate training I start slowly and only keep puppy in there for very short periods of time. Initially, I don't even close the crate door.
As puppy learns to associate the crate with positive events, and learns to be more comfortable and relaxed inside it, then I slowly increase their crate time.
amy on May 17, 2012:
We are trying to crate train our 9 week old puppy. But she hates going in her crate and always whines and barks. We want to teach her to love her crate, and get used to it. Do you have any advice?
Thanks so much.
shibashake (author) on May 15, 2012:
Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!
In terms of biting, my Shiba Sephy was especially mouthy when he was young. I think this may be a common Shiba trait given that they are a more primitive breed.
Some things that helped with Sephy-
1. Bite inhibition training.
2. Redirecting the bite, giving an alternative command, and ultimately timeouts.
3. Follow the NILIF program.
Hugs to Daisy!
Emily on May 14, 2012:
We got a shiba inu puppy named Daisy a week ago and right now she is 9 weeks. Sometimes she is very hyper and whenever we try to pet her, she barks and tries to bite. We are concerned about this attitude and would like to know what we can do about it.
Thanks so much and we would love to hear from you!
shibashake (author) on March 13, 2012:
Yeah, Pitbulls can be very energetic especially when they are young. I have two Sibes who also have a lot of energy. Some things that helped with my Sibes-
1. A lot of exercise. I take them out for a 1.5-2 hour walk every day. In addition, there are many play sessions, grooming sessions, and obedience training. Here are a couple of articles on how I leash trained my dogs and controlled pulling.
2. I make them work for all of their food, through training, grooming, or interactive toys.
3. I put them under behavioral control, i.e., I teach them commands so that I can let them know what the rules are in the house, and what are good behaviors.
Initially, dogs do not know any commands and they do not know their names. We must teach them their name as well as some simple commands so that they know what behaviors are good, and what behaviors are not so good according to people.
For energetic dogs we want to help them disperse their energy doing structured, positive activities. Tying them up may make the problem worse because they have nowhere to put their energy and may become frustrated. When they are let go, they have all this pent up and frustrated energy, which may often lead to extreme and dangerous behavior.
I think that getting help from a professional trainer would be the best thing to do at this point.
alejandra cruz on March 12, 2012:
heyy i have a pitbull mix with mastiff and is very agresive and is supper hyper. we try to walk her but she always pulls on the leash, she also attacks my other 3 little dogs, jumps on every one, barks at other dogs, sometimes attacks the small children, we call her name she dosent listen, that's why we have her tied up in her leash in the back yard so she wont bark,fight,and jump on people.but sometimes in the night my dad let's her loose. she is sooo hyper i've tryed almost everything but dosent work please i need help!! :D thank you verry much!
shibashake (author) on February 29, 2012:
In terms of excitement with other dogs, my Shiba was also like that. He is a lot better now. What has helped with him, is to create as many "neutral experiences" as possible. I.e., whenever we see other dogs, we just ignore them, and keep walking at a measured pace. I make sure to create enough space, and that helps him stay calm. Here is more on what I did-
In terms of neutering, my Shiba was neutered early on, so it will not address all dog-to-dog reactivity issues. From what I understand, it can help with certain types of aggression, for example competing with other male dogs over mating rights and sometimes over dominance.
Paul on February 27, 2012:
I have a staff x lab which he was mis-treated before I took him, I have had him for around 3 years now. He usto be scared of everything when I first got him. He is well behaved and I have trained him very well too. He is just abit hyper sometimes. When I take him out if he sees a dog Or cat then he just wants to play. He doesn't like old dogs. He is better with females rather than male dogs. He also doesn't like if you pick someone up, I think this is a protective thing. I was thinking of getting him the snip but I'm really not to sure, any advise would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
shibashake (author) on February 22, 2012:
Dogs often dislike nail trimming because they are in a vulnerable position, and the pressure sensation on their nails may feel strange and scary. They key to nail trimming is to go slowly, and always make it positive and rewarding.
I currently use a nail grinder on my Shiba Inu rather than a nail clipper. With a grinder, I can slowly grind down small portions of the nail at a time, and not have to worry about accidentally hitting the quick of the nail.
Here is a great article on nail trimming technique-
Amber on February 20, 2012:
I have a 1 year old an she doesn't allow me to even cut her nails and she's exercised everyday and everything I even play with her and I can't even cut her nails
shibashake (author) on February 04, 2012:
1. Crate training
In terms of crate training, I try to make the experience very positive and start with very short crate durations. Once puppy is comfortable, I very slowly lengthen the crate time.
Timeouts are a bit different from crate training. In crate training we want to train our dog to like the crate, so that he is comfortable going in on his own, and is relaxed staying in there for a certain period of time.
With timeouts, we *put* a dog in a low stimulus area. In this way, we take away the dog's freedom, as a way to discourage certain bad behaviors.
Yeah, my Sibe puppy Lara is the same way. When she gets excited, she will run around a lot, and she also loves to jump. She is not trying to hurt me, she just has a lot of excited energy to dissipate. :D
When playing, I usually have many play rules and also many play breaks. For example, when I play the flirt pole with Lara, I first get her to do a sit and wait. If she does this, then I start playing the game.
At no point is she allowed to bite me or jump on me. If she does this, I no-mark her (Ack-ack), stop play for a short time, and ignore her.
I also have many play breaks in between, where we stop briefly and do obedience commands. In this way, she gets to calm down, and learns to refocus her attention on me.
Puppies have high energy, short attention spans, and very little self control. Therefore, I try to set Lara up for success, by controlling the excitement level of the game, and making play breaks rewarding with treats and calm affection.
Kim K on February 03, 2012:
Hello! We brought home a 6 month purebred yellow labrador 5 days ago and he is very hyper! He came with a crate and we got him to eventually go in by himself at night and during the day. Now he doesn't want to have anything to do with the crate. We have classes throughout the day so its impossible to watch him 24/7. We'd like him to have a 2 hour crate timeout once in the late morning and once in the evening. How can we get him to like his crate?
Also, he got very hyper with me this morning. He was running around with his Frisbee and was doing victory laps with it in his mouth. Whenever I tried to take it from me he ran away. Eventually the last time I tried to take it he jumped up and gave me a good whack on the forehead with his nose/mouth. Luckily his mouth wasn't open. I scolded him and went inside for 10 minutes. What should I do in that situation if it arises again? Thanks!
shibashake (author) on February 02, 2012:
Grain free, high protein kibble works really well for my dogs. I am currently feeding them Innova EVO.
Other highly recommended brands include Blue Wilderness, Orijen, and Wellness CORE.
linda r on February 01, 2012:
i was told by my vet that it can be the food that makes a dog hyper, my staffy had surgery this morning and the vet couldn't put her collor on or clean her wound cos she was too hyperactive when she woke up, they told me not to get "wagg" or "bakers" food :) i get john wellbeloved kibble now :)
wornout on January 28, 2012:
Thanks so much...I'm going to go review the links you provided now!!
shibashake (author) on January 28, 2012:
What seems to work well with my Sibe puppy is to keep a drag lead on her (only with a flat collar and not a training collar). This allows me to more easily control her and stop her from starting any chasing games.
I also make sure that puppy does not bother my adult dogs when they have had enough and just want to rest. If puppy is being a pest, I no-mark the behavior (Ack-ack), then I body block her away from the other dogs. Then I engage her in doing something else. If she does not listen and keeps on trying to pester them, then she goes to timeout.
Here are some of my experiences with introducing a new puppy to my o