My Dog Gets Aggressive When Tired

Dogs are like children. One minute they’re happily playing with you and greeting people, and the next thing you know is they’re cranky and growling at people to push them away.

If your dog gets aggressive when tired, it could be because they lack sleep or because they are overexcited. Sometimes, it can be an underlying medical condition.

An overtired dog is not a good dog! We talk about signs that your dog is overly tired and how to stop your dog getting aggressive when tired. 

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dog aggressive when tired

An Overtired Dog is Not a Happy Dog

They say a tired dog is a good and happy dog, but that is not always the case. 

Dogs need daily physical and mental stimulation for them to thrive. If you have a puppy, they need to have an appropriate outlet for their bursts of energy. 

Otherwise, they may end up with destructive behaviors like depression, anxiety, and aggression.

The amount of exercise they need depends on their breed, age, temperament, and individual character. 

The most common issue concerning dogs and exercise is the lack of it. However, too much exercise is also a cause of concern.

Dogs get overtired just as we do. 

When they are excessively exhausted due to too much exercise, they lose their ability to be their best self. They lose patience and self-control just as we do. 

Overly tired dogs often become hyperactive and may develop signs of aggression as they lose self-control. 

Moreover, when they are woken from a deep sleep, they get angry and growl because it’s their body’s way of trying to regain energy and they get interrupted.

Dogs also become aggressive even after being at their nicest, friendliest state with people throughout the day. 

That’s because they can get sick of the noise, activities, and the people around them right away. 

After a tiring day outside, they need to go to their quiet place to rest. Otherwise, they might end up biting you.

Another possible reason why dogs get aggressive when they are overly tired is due to health issues. 

Pain, joint problems, heart issues, and other physical conditions may cause them to get exhausted easily and resort to aggression to protect themselves from further distress. 

When dogs are in pain, their bodies are also incapable of relaxing and can develop weakness and fatigue.  

Signs Your Dog is Overly Tired

Watch out for these signs of excessive exhaustion in dogs. These could lead to aggression if they do not get the rest that they need.


Zooming around either means they are bored and trying to get rid of their excess energy, or they are hyperactive because they are overly tired. 

Ask yourself what has your dog been doing the whole day and you’ll get the reason why they’re having the zoomies!

Slowing Down and Stopping for a Break

Dogs get excited when walking that they sniff everything and pass by anywhere to explore their surroundings. 

But once they slow down, that indicates that they are no longer excited as they were at the start of the walk.

They may also start pausing several times to catch their breath. 

This means they are tired, and at some point, they will start getting irritated by everyone and everything.

Excessive Thirst

Physical exercise can result in excessive thirst, but emotional excitement does too. Have you noticed that your drinks a lot more when there are guests around the house?

This is also a clear sign that your dog has to take a rest. Otherwise, they might show aggression towards your visitors. 


This is a very clear sign that is easy to read. If your dog isn’t the social type, you’ll see them hiding when there are unfamiliar faces in the house.

Leave them there and let them relax until they have the energy to socialize.

Forgetting Commands  

It can be hard to tell if your dog is being naughty or if they are too exhausted to follow your commands. 

If it seems like they do not understand what you’re trying to say, then that’s a sign that they need to take a break.

How to Stop a Dog Getting Aggressive When Tired

The best way to stop your overly tired dog from becoming aggressive is to not get them overly tired in the first place.

This means giving them a stable sleeping schedule and giving them the right amount of exercise.

Getting Your Dog to Sleep

If your dog is too aggressive to relax despite how tired they are, try giving them something to chew, like Nylabone Flavored Chew Toy

Chewing helps dogs de-stress and work off their leftover energy so they can fall asleep faster.

Make sure that your dog is getting enough sleep, about 12 to 14 hours a day.  Older dogs and larger dogs also need more sleep than younger and smaller dogs.

If your dog is always aggressive before bedtime, try crate training them. This will help them stay calm and fall asleep faster. 

Also, even if your dog isn’t tired, startling them from sleeping causes aggression. If you see them sleeping or trying to relax, just leave them alone. 

Provide Adequate Exercise

12 to 14 hours of sleep a day may sound like a lot, but that’s only for them to be prepared for the next day.

Don’t over-exercise your dog. Otherwise, they may be overtired and aggressive. 

The general rule is that dogs should have about 20 minutes to 2 hours of exercise a day. But larger dogs require less, while smaller dogs need more.

Taking your dog for a walk or run or playing a game of fetch can be a great way to exercise your dog

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

If your dog seems tired and aggressive for no reason, there may be an underlying medical condition. They could be experiencing infection, pain, heart disease, or other diseases. 

Examine your dog’s behavior for a whole day. If they are aggressive, tired, and not reacting to things they usually like, it’s probably time to take them to the vet.

Keep Your Dog Tired but Relaxed!

A tired dog is a happy dog, but an overtired dog isn’t. No matter how nice they are throughout the day, they will reach a breaking point. 

Make sure to allow your dog to rest regularly as they need 12-14 hours of sleep a day. To relax them before bedtime, give them chew toys, and crate them if necessary

Give your dog enough exercise as well, not too much and not too little. This will depend on their size and breed!

Start now by giving adequate exercise to your dog through walking, swimming, or playing a game of fetch!