Last Updated on May, 2022
If you’re a puppy parent with a boisterous puppy, your thoughts probably go this way often;
Why does the couch look like a dinosaur tried to eat it?
One thing’s for sure; it can’t be my innocent little soul-melting puppy right in the middle of the mess.
ALRIGHT, WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THIS?
Puppies are most certainly bundles of joy but boy can they be challenging to handle, especially with their high energy levels and penchant for getting into mischief.
But don’t sweat it because I’ve got your back! Read on to find out when do puppies calm down and nine effective ways to help your puppy calm down.
Table of Contents
- Factors that Determine a Puppy’s Energy Levels
- The Developmental Stages of a Puppy’s Energy Levels
- 9 Ways to Instill Calm Behavior in your Puppy
- When Do Puppies Calm Down?
Factors that Determine a Puppy’s Energy Levels
1. Your Puppy’s Breed
A dog’s breed plays a significant role in how energetic they are.
For example, dogs initially bred for work and dogs used for sporting events have high energy levels. (1)
Therefore, dogs like Border Collie, Dachshund, Terrier, Greyhound, Australian Shepherd, etc., are incredibly energetic.
They will retain some of this energy even in adulthood, but it will be way more controlled than when they were puppies.
These working breeds may take up to two years to calm down, and they will still require regular exercise to blow off steam.
Examples of dogs with low energy are Bulldogs, Irish Wolfhounds, Basset Hounds, etc. They usually start to calm down around nine months.
The size of your dog is also a factor that affects their energy levels. Small dogs mature faster than larger breeds. They, therefore, get over their adolescence phase much quicker. (2)
Related: How to Train a Rottweiler Puppy?
2. Their Mental Maturity
Don’t second guess exposing your pup to the wide world and everything it has to offer. Keeping your puppy sheltered for the majority of its adolescence could mean putting a stop to its mental development.
And you’d better believe that they will act like an energy drink come to life when they finally experience everything they’ve been missing out on!
So, it’s advisable to let your puppy periodically experience as many new things as possible to decrease the risk of enormous energetic outbursts.
3. Their Social Structure
If you have multiple dogs, you may observe that your puppies tend to be less rambunctious. Older dogs will take them under their wing and mellow them out. They will correct the misbehavior of the little ones, and the puppies will mature faster. An adult dog doesn’t have the time for high-spirited pups!
4. Their Gender
The consensus is that female dogs mature faster than males. This maturity could be because the reproductive maturity attained earlier by female dogs has a calming effect on them.
However, there has not been any conclusive evidence to support this claim so take it with a grain of salt.
There is also a widespread misconception that spaying or neutering can rid a puppy of its over-excitable behavior. (3)
While this may be the case with some behavior like scent marking, sterilization will not alter core elements of their inherent personality.
Remember that sterilization might make your dog a teensy bit lazy when they mature or even cause their metabolism to slow down faster.
Here’s what energy levels to expect in the different developmental stages of your dog’s life.
The Developmental Stages of a Puppy’s Energy Levels
Newborn to 10 Weeks Old
Newborn puppies are immobile, and their sole activity is feeding to build up strength. They can neither hear nor see at this stage, and their eyes only start functioning around 14 days after birth.
By week 3, your puppies should be able to stand, walk and sit without mishap.
Four weeks means puppies are ready to play, and five weeks old puppies will be transitioning to solid foods.
Between weeks 6 and 7, puppies will finish their weaning process. The puppies will then be ready to begin the process of ‘human socialization.’ Human socialization is when you will notice the trademark puppy energy levels start to kick in.
10 Weeks to 16 Weeks Old
Ah, the angsty teenage phase has now be fallen your puppy.
Now your puppy’s energy levels will start to get them into trouble. They will begin testing their boundaries and experiencing new things (much like human teenagers!)
Begin integrating training into your pup’s life to establish desired behaviors. (4)
Teach them basic commands like sit and stay. BUT keep in mind that puppies have short attention spans at this stage, so remain patient and keep the training sessions short and snappy. (5)
Your puppy will also start teething during this time. Teething is when a puppy’s first set of baby teeth fall out and make their mouths itchy.
Teething puppies start to chew on everything and anything in sight to relieve themselves of this discomfort. And this will undoubtedly drive you a bit nuts.
4 Months to 6 Months of Age
Puppies will debut themselves in polite society as they start their socialization phase. They will direct their still high energy levels towards other dogs and engage in all sorts of scrapes and scuffles.
Don’t be alarmed by playful fighting and barking with other dogs.
HOWEVER, take heed if you notice fearfulness, anxiety, and a quick temper in your pup. If you see these things in your dog, enlist the help of a professional trainer to address these issues to ensure that they don’t persist.
By four months, you should have your puppy fully vaccinated as well. So go ahead and expose your pup to new things!
6 Months to One Year
Your pup will be familiar with his routine by this time, and they may therefore start to calm down.
Depending on the different dog breeds, your puppy might also be fully grown at this point. Despite this, however, you still need to keep up with your dog’s training and exercises to maintain healthy energy levels.
Recommended to read: 12 Amazing Puppy Training Tips That Every Dog Owners Should Know
One Year to Two Years
And hey presto, you’re out of the woods now!
Now, your dog will have reached adulthood (note: larger breeds might take up to two or three years) and will be MUCH calmer.
Most puppies will still have so much energy, but their newfound maturity will temper it. They’ll also be able to handle a lot of exercises (unlike in their younger days), so all their energy will have an outlet.
Now that you know what’s normal for your puppy in terms of energy at any given time, you’re probably wondering;
But HOW do I calm a rambunctious puppy down? Look no further because here are-
9 Ways to Instill Calm Behavior in your Puppy
1. Regular Exercise
Exercise is an excellent outlet for excess energy. You can spend quality time with your pup on walks, games of fetch or frisbee, playtime with toys, etc.
Make sure that you meet your dog’s daily exercise needs. Their needs depend on your puppy’s breed, and you can refer to a vet if you aren’t sure how much exercise is necessary. (6)
The basic rule is that your puppy should get around 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, two times a day. So, for example, a 4-month-old puppy would need 20 minutes of exercise twice a day.
Another idea is to keep your pup entertained is to start them out in dog sports. You can try;
- Scent Work
- Agility and Obstacle Courses
- Dock Jumping
- Disc Dog
2. Mental Stimulation
If you cannot exercise on a particular day, try working on obedience cues or teaching tricks. Also, utilize mental stimulation toys such as slow puzzle feeders, treat-dispensing, and other interactive toys to keep your pup’s mind sharp. Remember, a bored puppy means trouble!
These are sure to rid your hyper puppy of excess energy as well because mental exercise (as I’m sure many of you can attest to) is DRAINING.
3. Solid Routines
You don’t need to look at a clock to know when it’s time for lunch, do you?
That’s because our bodies get used to our daily routine and know when we need to get our nourishment.
Well, the same concept applies to dogs, too, as long as they have an established routine.
But how will this help in keeping your furry friend calm?
It’ll help calm your puppy because he’ll learn what time is for play and what time is for rest!
On the other hand, your pup can feel a lot of uncertainty and find it challenging to remain calm with no solid routine.
Therefore, on the occasions that you take them out for play, they may feel compelled to overdo it because they won’t know when they’ll have another chance to have fun.
4. Control their Feeding Habits
Feeding your dog right before bedtime is a big NO. Puppies experience high energy levels when digestion takes place, which keeps them awake and active for longer.
So, if you want a good night’s sleep, ensure to feed your puppy at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
Worth reading: How to Potty Train a Border Collie Puppy?
5. Obedience Training
Puppy parents can get so caught up in crate training and house training that they forget about getting their puppy to obey basic commands. Yet, this training is imperative for keeping your dog safe and helping them to calm down.
Start training your pup to sit and listen to you with undivided attention. Prioritize attention-based commands, recall commands, and sitting commands.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors. For example, reward calm behavior from your dog with a treat.
6. Crate Training
Crate training is a great way to help your pup differentiate between having fun and resting. Through this training, your puppy learns to associate calmness, safety, and peace with their crate. They will instinctively know that their crate is for naps, breaks, and other calm activities.
Here’s how to implement crate training in your pup’s life.
7. Extend their Social Structure to Other Dog
Ensure that your puppy socializes with you and other dogs. In addition to burning energy and tiring your pup out, mingling with other dogs can teach them essential socialization skills.
Organize playdates, send them to dog daycare, a dog park, or a doggy day camp. The possibilities are endless!
Exposing the young’un to older dogs will also help him become a calmer dog as adult dogs will correct the misbehavior of puppies and end the puppy zoomies.
Check out this video to know about how to properly socialize your puppy with other dogs:
8. Model Calm Behavior
If your dog is in an excitable state, seeing you get into a similar state of mind will only encourage him to keep acting boisterous.
In such a situation, maintain a calm and composed manner and direct a basic command to your pup. Your conduct will rub off on your pup’s energy levels and bring them back down to normal.
9. Ignoring Your Dog
Now, this probably doesn’t sound nice, BUT hear me out.
Your puppy being excitable is usually to get your attention. And if you give your attention to a riotous little puppy, it will continue to RIOT when it wants your attention.
On the other hand, ignoring your hyper puppy will make them learn to move on and calm down.
Keep in mind not to make mundane activities into a big deal. For example, if you make a big ruckus over going to work, you’re going to find yourself plagued by your pup’s high energy levels.
Show your pup that it’s a part of your routine to go to work every day and he will soon get used to it, thus calming down.
When Do Puppies Calm Down?
Most puppies begin to calm down between 6 to 12 months of age as they reach maturity. But remember that other factors (such as breed) influence your puppy’s energy level. So, make sure you provide your dog with an outlet for the healthy release of their energy and note what is typical of their particular breed.
If you are looking to keep your puppies calm, try out some of the approaches listed above, and you’ll find yourself rewarded with decreases in the energy level of your dog. So, happy puppy parenting to you!
(And if you’ve successfully navigated the pitfalls of puppy upbringing, CONGRATULATIONS!)