If you’ve ever had a puppy, you’ll know too well those moments — the moments of total mayhem that seem to come out of nowhere. You might look at your usually cute and calm bundle of fur and think: ‘who are you, and what have you done with my puppy?’.
So why does it happen – and how can you tire out that crazy puppy of yours? It’s simple, and in fact, the answer might surprise you.
Why do puppies seem so crazy?
Puppies do silly things sometimes. They zoom around the house at top speed, without a care of anything they’re knocking over on the way. They nibble, nip, and bark, and in most cases, it’s completely normal.
However, sometimes puppy ‘craziness’ or ‘hyperactivity’ is misunderstood.
You might think they’re bored or need more exercise, more high energy playtime and running around to tire them out —however, it might do more harm than good.
First, let’s talk about some different reasons why this behavior might be happening:
1. Your puppy is overtired
It might seem like puppies have unlimited amounts of energy, but in reality, they need a tremendous amount of sleep per day. On average, puppies should sleep up to 20 hours a day – and during the day they should be awake for 1 hour, then sleep for 2 hours.
Some pups might find it challenging to settle down to sleep. This is where your crate training becomes super useful – but at least creating a quiet, comfortable environment for them to relax is essential. Creating a daily schedule with scheduled naps can also help puppies get into the rhythm of settling down for naps.
2. Your puppy is overexcited
Your puppy might have a ton of fun playing high energy games like wrestling, tug, fetch, chasing, and running around. Still, it’s super easy for puppies to get over-excited and can quickly lead to unwanted behavior like biting, excessive barking, and destructive behavior.
3. Your puppy is overstimulated
Overstimulation is when there are too many new things happening at once around your puppy. Think about how many new things you’re introducing your puppy to at any one time, and keep an eye on signs they may be overstimulated:
- Having a hard time calming down
- Barking frequently at noises
- Compulsive behaviors like licking and tail-chasing
Best games and activities that tire out a puppy
The more physical exercise and stimulation you give your puppy, the fitter they’ll become, and the higher their energy levels will get – see where we’re going here?
When you think of ‘tiring out’ a puppy, consider involving mental stimulation as a larger part of their daily routine. This helps to avoid over-exercising, and it works out their little brains to the max. Plus, they have plenty of fun too!
Brain games for puppies:
Find the treats
This one’s a straightforward nosework game: first, choose a space in your home and scatter treats on the ground. Start simple to let your puppy succeed, then gradually make the game more challenging.
Food stuffed and frozen toys
Stuffing and freezing a Kong (or similar) filled with your dog’s food is a surefire way to keep them focused and stimulated for a more extended period. You can keep things healthy by stuffing the toy with natural yogurt, fruits, and veggies too.
Most pet stores now sell dog puzzle toys, and they’re a hit with most pups. Your puppy has to use their brain to figure out how to release the treat. This can either be by flipping the toy over, moving a part of the toy, or rolling it around.
You can even DIY dog puzzle toys from materials you have around the house, like cardboard boxes, muffin tins, and egg cartons.
Learning new commands and tricks
Dogs are intelligent little creatures, and they love learning new things. The more things you teach your dog, the closer you’ll become, and the happier you’ll both be.
If your puppy is fresh to their new home, Puppy Training is an essential part of their early life. And if they’re a little older, taking on a fun challenge like Agility Foundations could be the perfect outlet for their mental and physical energy.
So, when that puppy craziness starts to arise, ask yourself a few questions:
- Does my puppy need a nap?
- Are they overexcited or overstimulated?
- Have they had enough mental training today, as well as physical?
And we’re sure you’ll find your answer.
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