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Why Puppies Get Hyper at Night


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I get much feedback from the owners of young puppies that I train about their dogs being so hyper at night from 6-10pm. There are many reasons for this, and I will give some reasons why your dog gets hyper and tips on managing the dog's energy level in the evening.


Remember that these are general tips, and each dog is different. For the first 4 weeks of having your puppy, you must experiment with many things to get the correct information for controlling your puppy's energy level at night.


REASON 1: Feeding Schedule

If you feed your puppy late at night, they will have much more energy. Dogs must be on a structured feeding and potty schedule to build a routine. If possible, feed your dog's last meal before 5:00. My dog Spaulding used to have his meals at 8am and 3pm as a puppy and adult dog. I gave him a few high-protein treats at night. Even as a puppy, he was always calm and relaxed in the evening.


REASON 2: Your Dog's Food

There are many choices for puppy and dog food; how do you know which is best? I cannot give advice that would usually come from your veterinarian. However, I can provide feedback on what has worked for my dogs. For the entire 12-year life of Spaulding, I fed home nothing but Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet dry and wet dog food combination for his two meals a day. I gave him True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts, usually chicken or turkey, for his treats.


Nutritional values for puppy food can vary significantly from one brand to another, with protein content ranging from 22-32% and fat content ranging from 10-20%. Every bread and age of puppies has different requirements. The best thing to do is experiment with small bags and/or cans of various brands with different nutritional values. When you find one that works best for your puppy, including taste, digestion, elimination, and energy levels, you can stick with that one.


REASON 3: Not Enough Exercise

You may think it's best to get the puppy to exercise late at night to help tire them out and sleep. If you go for a long structured walk combined with basic obedience training, that's fine. However, if you start playing with your dog late at night, it could get them more excited and hyper and prevent them from sleeping early.


Get the play time done earlier in the day and stick with walks and obedience training to tire out the dog's mind. Remember that a dog can quickly tire mentally, but it takes much longer to drain them physically.


REASON 4: You Are Encouraging The Behavior

You reinforce the behavior if you give your puppy attention, toys, or treats when it's hyper. Avoid rewarding it when it gets hyper, so it doesn’t learn that being hyper brings rewards.


REASON 5 High Level of Activity and Energy in the House

Most families are home in the evening with a loud TV, socializing and talking. The noise level in most homes increases at night, and so do people's energy levels after work. Puppies will react to this increased activity and naturally want to be part of the excitement.


If you want your puppy to get to sleep on time and be less hyper at night, they should be in an environment that resembles a library, not a nightclub. Think about this next time your puppy is hyper at night, and check the noise and energy level of the environment at that moment.


THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • Are you rewarding hyperactivity during the day?

  • Is your puppy more hyper at night, or are you just noticing it more at night?

  • What is different when your puppy is less hyper?

  • Control the bladder at night with less water.

  • Crate your puppy at night.

  • Avoid negative reinforcement. Stop training your dog to be hyper at night.

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