How to Teach a Puppy to Calm Down

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If there are three words to describe the attitude of puppies, it’s that they’re jolly, excited, and curious. Who could resist these furballs when they run around like there’s no tomorrow, greeting every stranger who passes by and sniffing out new things? Their innocence may be adorable but too much of anything can be a bad thing. 

Puppies’ energetic behavior can get in the way of training and bonding. We can’t let them stay abnormally energetic until they’re adults. Thankfully, we have gathered all the information you need as to why your pooch gets hyperactive and how to teach a puppy to calm down.  

teaching a puppy to calm down

Why Puppies Get Hyper 

Even the smallest stimuli can cause puppies to bark and jump up and down. Sometimes it’s the cold air, or simply the sound of their squishy toy. Here are the most common reasons behind their hyperactivity. 

They Forget the Rules 

Puppies are no different from most teenagers! They let commands and rules enter one ear and exit the other. This is a common occurrence in 10-16-week old dogs. They can’t help but chew on rugs and furniture when they’re teething, and this curious phase convinces them to chase, bite, and paw everyone and everything. 

They Want to Socialize 

Puppies are social animals! They will play-fight with other dogs and bother everyone else to figure out which group they fit in. Besides that, they are capable of a wide range of emotions. These balls of fluff act the way they are when they’re scared, angry, excited, and happy. 

They Need Exercise 

High energy levels demand to be released, and if you’re not giving your puppy enough exercise, they will find their own way to utilize them. At best, they will run around your yard and dig. At worst, they will destroy your stuff and make the most annoying noises.  

Remember that dogs are naturally high-strung and active, so you have to make sure you provide them with the safest and most effective outlet.  

They Have ADHD 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is also seen in canines. If your dog never calms down and never gets tired even after the long runs and games of fetch, it’s best to consult a vet since only they can diagnose your pup. 

Is a Hyper Puppy Good or Bad? 

Most seemingly hyperactive dogs are, in fact, normal. Don’t fret when puppies chew on you and other things, jump up, and have a very short attention span. Many puppies will even pee inside the house, have trouble sleeping, or may even ignore you! 

Many of these behaviors can be corrected with the right training, a regular routine, and your time and patience. 

However, hyperactivity can sometimes be an indication of something more serious. ADHD, although rare, is a possible medical condition that could be the cause. Only your veterinarian can diagnose your puppy, so if they’re frequently showing these symptoms, get a consult as soon as possible: 

  • Spinning in circles and chasing their tail 
  • Inability to focus 
  • Easily distracted and bored 
  • Restlessness and jumpiness 
  • Gets overly-excited and overly-aggressive. 

How to Teach a Puppy to Calm Down 

Uncontrollable behavior among your puppy is often controllable. Start training them to act properly in certain situations as young as possible to prevent further problems in the future. Moreover, start with little adjustments in their routine until they’re fully equipped for long-term education and socialization! 

Here are a few ways you can tame your puppy’s excited and aggressive attitude: 

  • Consider temperament before training 
  • Ignore bad behavior 
  • Give them regular exercise 
  • Teach impulse control 

Remain Calm First 

It is a proven fact that teaching your dogs to sit, stay, and come is easier when you speak in a calm voice. Don’t do or say anything that will push them to be excited and hinder their performance.  

In Duke University researchers’ study 106 dogs were divided into hyperactive and calm, depending on their tail-wags per minute. Hyper dogs, when calmly called twice to receive a treat, performed well and were successful in getting the treat. Meanwhile, the excited voice resulted in them being unable to find out how to retrieve the treat.  

Your dog will pick up on your behavior so it is important to remain calm yourself when you want to calm your puppy. Take a few deep breaths and speak in a neutral voice to help soothe your pup. 

Ignore Bad Behavior 

This is the first step in teaching your dog impulse control. Puppies love to run around, jump on you, and even chew your shoes when they’re asking for attention. They communicate the way they do because first, they can’t speak, and second, they have underdeveloped social skills.  

Noticing bad behavior will only reward your dog with what they want, and that is your precious attention. So, it’s always best to ignore them in such cases and always look for chances to reward their good behavior.  

Give Them Regular Exercise 

As previously mentioned, dogs need an outlet for their high energy levels. Regular walks and fun games will help get rid of that excessive response to stimuli. Most experts even suggest tiring them out and helping them relax afterward. Watch this video to see how Zak George exercises his puppy! 

This not only helps with their behavior but also with establishing a routine. Consistent regular walks and feeding times will help both of you in scheduling daily needs and give your puppy some stability.  

Teach Impulse Control 

Impulse control is basically self-control for dogs and it can be taught in many different situations such as: 

  • Not jumping up when greeting a person 
  • Waiting for the food bowl 

This useful skill is very essential in controlling hyperactive dogs so that they can learn to be calm little by little. Consider some of the exercises below for your dog! 

Teach Your Dog How to Approach People 

  1. Enter the room where your dog is. If they jump up on you, push them down and stop facing them. 
  2. Command them to sit down. 
  3. Walk out the door again and repeat the first two steps until your dog only sits down when you enter. 
  4. Offer a treat for every good behavior. 

Teach Your Dog How to Wait for their Food Bowl 

  1. Command your dog to sit down, then offer them a treat. 
  2. Place food bowl in front of them. If they stand up or approach the food, tell them to sit and put the food bowl down again. 
  3. Cover the bowl with your hands and only uncover it when your dog has sat down. If your dog gets up to approach the bowl again, repeat the step. 
  4. Once your dog stays successfully after repeating the steps, give them a go signal for eating. 

Remember when training your puppy to remain calm, be patient and keep your sessions short but consistent. 5 to 10 minutes at a time are ideal for puppies, but you could work on the same training several times a day, every day until your pup has mastered the behavior. 

For more tips on how to train your puppy, see this great free dog training video series.

Teaching a hyper puppy to calm down takes a lot of time and effort. However, it is not impossible to do so. We hope that these training tips will help you transform your pup into a calm and well-behaved good doggie! 

P.S. Know someone else with a puppy that needs to calm down? Please share or pin this article! Thanks! 🙂

teach a puppy to calm down

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