Anyone with a puppy knows that they are full of energy! And as fun as it is to engage them in play, it’s important to define boundaries and avoid overexcitement. Practising good habits early on will help your pup mature into a well-behaved dog.
Normal puppy play
Often your puppy will feel excited and it’s important to recognise when this is at an appropriate level. Here are the signs to look out for that show that your puppy is at a normal level of excited:
- Your puppy may have ‘zoomies’ – where they run round at high speed with their tail out or bum tucked under
- Making sounds that are normal for your puppy (maybe barking)
- Upright body posture – which may be tense because their muscles are ready for action
- Repetitive behaviours – such as leaping up and down, or spinning in circles
It’s important to note that when your puppy is excited, they should still be able to respond to basic cues like paying attention to their name. If they can’t, this might be a sign that your puppy is getting overexcited.
Signs of overexcitement
Puppies who are overexcited might not be thinking as clearly as those who are in a calmer state, and they also may exhibit more unwanted behaviours like digging, biting, destroying and basically transforming into tiny terrors! It’s important to recognise these signs early so that you can help them calm down and reduce the likelihood of these unwanted behaviours.
How do we help them out?
- Consider what it is that’s making your puppy overexcited – can this be removed? For example, stop playing the game or change the game into something more low-key.
- Predict when these mad moments might occur and give them a nice quiet activity to occupy them.
- Give your puppy something to do that you know will relax them (for example, a chew, a Kong, a snuffle mat or playing “find it” if you are out on a walk)
- Make sure they get enough sleep! Puppies need to sleep 18-20 hours a day! If your puppy doesn’t get enough sleep, they will be more prone to overexcitement and manic moments – think tired toddler having a tantrum!