Many puppy owners across the country experience what is called the puppy witching hour, when your sweet puppy suddenly wakes up with energy to spare.
I’m talking, of course, about puppy zoomies.
Watching as your dog runs and jumps around in the living room and won’t slow down, you may be wondering how to calm a hyper puppy or if that can even be achieved.
If you’re reading this article thinking ‘my Dachshund puppy is driving me crazy’, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to discuss the reasons why your puppy is acting like the Tasmanian Devil and how to calm a Dachshund puppy when they are getting out of control.
Reasons Your Puppy is Acting Crazy
This burst of hyper energy called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP) or ‘puppy zoomies’ art short bursts of chaotic energy.
While they may feel crazy and over the top, the zoomies are a very normal phenomenon experienced by many dogs.
Experts haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact cause of this experience, however, they have been able to identify several triggers.
The most common triggers for puppy zoomies include:
- Being overly excited
- Having excess energy and not being provided with a way to let it out
- Experiencing a ‘second wind’ when overtired
- Feeling overstimulated or anxious about their current situation
A happy, excited puppy is never a bad thing and your dog’s burst of energy will begin to slow as their excitement starts to settle.
While the zoomies may be frustrating, they are completely normal.
For dogs that have excess energy, this could be a sign that your puppy needs more frequent physical activity (walks, games of fetch) or that they would benefit from some additional mental stimulation.
However, we are going to look a little closer at the way an overtired puppy or overstimulated puppy acts and how you can address it.
Overtired Puppy Symptoms
Much like young children that start to act out when they are feeling exhausted or have missed an important nap, your puppy can also be triggered by being overtired.
This is more than just a yawn or feeling like it may be time to go to sleep.
When your dog is overtired, the level of fatigue that they are experiencing can make them crabby or reactive, and even cause your pup to forget their training in that moment.
This is caused by their ‘second wind’, or a boost of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
How do you know if your Dachshund puppy is acting crazy because they are overtired?
In addition to the hyperactivity, some of the most common symptoms include:
Excessive Drinking: Your puppy may be drinking more than usual, taking more frequent water breaks, or licking their lips obsessively as if they are experiencing dry mouth.
Growling/Nipping: If your puppy is stressed and grouchy, you may find that he’s easily agitated and letting you know by biting and nipping.
Panting: The act of panting can be a sign of stress, caused by the boost of cortisol.
Clinginess: While Dachshunds are normally clingy or needy, you may see this behavior more as your dog turns to you to help him deal with this feeling of stress.
Not Listening: Even the best trained dogs may act out and break rules when overtired as they stop using their minds to focus on their training (including housebreaking).
Barking: Due to their high stress level, or in an attempt to get your attention, your puppy may be triggered to bark more frequently.
If your puppy won’t settle down at night and is showing any of the above signs, you may have an overtired (and grumpy) puppy on your hands!
How to Know Your Puppy is Overstimulated
On the other end of the energy spectrum, you may also experience puppy zoomies as a response to being overstimulated by their current situation or surroundings.
This means that there is so much going on in your dog’s world at that very moment that they simply can’t process everything that is happening.
It’s helpful to watch for potential signs of over stimulation in your puppy when they are acting crazy hyper.
An overwhelmed dog can quickly become very stressed or anxious.
Many of the signs that your dog is overstimulated mirror the signs of anxiety in dogs, including:
- Excessive Licking
- Constantly Alert/Unable to Settle
- Compulsive Behaviors (Paw Chewing, Tail Chasing, Excessive Grooming)
You may also notice that your dog is suddenly looking for a place to hide to escape from all the activity or stimuli in their environment.
Dogs that are crate trained often retreat to their crate for the sense of safety that it provides.
Another common sign is when a puppy is hyper and biting or nipping at familiar people or animals, despite being well socialized.
How to Calm Down a Hyper Puppy
Excited puppies and pent-up energy
The easiest way to calm a hyper puppy, as we mentioned above, is simply to allow your pup to run it out.
This is especially true if your puppy’s zoomies are a result of being overly excited or happy.
You can also provide your puppy with some interactive toys like Kong-style treat toys or food puzzles to challenge their minds, which can wear your puppy out even faster than physical activity.
If, however, you are looking at how to calm a hyper Dachshund puppy and believe that they may fall into the categories of being overtired or overstimulated, there are some additional factors to consider.
How to calm an overtired puppy
How do you calm an overly tired puppy?
The question may seem redundant, but as we’ve discussed, it’s not as easy as it may seem at first glance.
Unfortunately, at this point, the cortisol in your puppy’s system will likely keep them from falling asleep.
If they are open to being handled, they may allow you to gently stroke them, lulling them into calming down and releasing the stress.
Puppies need quite a bit of sleep so can easily become overtired.
However, this isn’t guaranteed to work once they have reached this point.
The best option for an overtired puppy is to prevent it from happening by establishing a predictable bedtime routine and making time throughout the day for puppy naps.
Remember, puppies are just babies and need 18 to 20 hours of sleep every day.
Even if you are at home with your puppy all day, set aside some time to place your puppy in his crate, room, or designated space to relax and rest up.
How to Calm an overstimulated puppy
When trying to figure out how to calm an overstimulated puppy, you should take a moment to identify the cause for their stress, anxiety, or overstimulation.
If you are in a busy location with a lot of noise or moving things, you may need to find a quiet place to let your puppy calm down.
This is common in puppies when going out and exploring the world early in the Dachshund socialization process.
If you are in a public space where your dog is interacting with many people or animals when this happens, remove him from the situation to give him space.
Preventing overstimulation can help puppies calm down quicker.
Introduce stimuli slowly in the early years, providing time to adjust and work up to busier areas like bustling downtown streets and busy dog parks.
Where possible, settle with your dog in a dark space and gently stroke him (if he is comfortable being touched at that moment).
Make sure to stay calm yourself as your puppy will sense and feed off your emotions and stress levels.
At What Age Do Dachshunds Calm Down?
After reading through all this, you may find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering will my hyper puppy ever calm down?
The answer is going to be different for everyone as no two dogs are exactly alike.
However, most dachshund puppies start to calm down and reach a more mature mentality at approximately 1 year old.
But don’t let this become an excuse for skipping your dog’s daily walks!
Your dog is going to require exercise throughout every stage of his life to keep him happy, healthy and promote a strong back.
The puppy years can be a trying time, especially if you have an overly energetic dog that is constantly on the go.
Try to remember that this is only one phase of your long life with your dog.
Before you know it, you’ll be looking back on the puppy years and wondering where they went.
Have you ever been in a situation where you found yourself wondering: Why is my Dachshund puppy so hyper?
If so, what were the most common causes for your pup?
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.