As a professional dog trainer, I have never been asked to help make a puppy more hyper, but almost every new puppy owner requests some training on how to make their puppy more calm.
To achieve the goal of puppy calmness, it’s mostly about trimming the fat…or eliminating things you are doing that overstimulate the puppy. In addition, most new puppy owners unconsciously create and reinforce the unwanted hyper puppy behavior. Calming hyper behavior in your puppy is about down less, not more.
Here are 3 tips to help make your puppy calm
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Welcome to Puppy Talk, episode number 77, how to Calm a Hyper Puppy. In all of the years that I've been training puppies and been to so many homes to see hyper puppies, I've never been asked once in my life to make a puppy more hyper or more excited. I always get asked by the new puppy owners how to calm their hyper puppy. What can they do, or what can they not do to calm down their puppy when they have the zoomies around the house, they're jumping all over furniture, they're jumping on everybody. They're play biting too much, and so on and so forth. Now, immediately, most people would think we have to set boundaries for them. We have to put them on a leash and put up baby gates and put them in a crate to stop their movement, and that's one thing you can do.
But I've identified two things that are more important than that, and I'm gonna tell those to you in this podcast episode, to achieve the goal of puppy calmness, it's mostly about trimming the fat or eliminating things you are doing that overstimulate the puppy. In other words, most new puppy owners unconsciously create and reinforce the unwanted hyper puppy behavior. Calming, hyper behavior in your puppy is about doing less, not more. Here are three tips. One, stop talking to your puppy so much with commands they don't know in a high-pitched voice. It's just gibberish to them. It's like Charlie Brown's schoolteacher, wa wa want wah. It just goes in and out that has no meaning to them, because you gotta remember an 8, 10, 12, 14 week old puppy. They don't know English, they haven't been programmed yet, their software has not been programmed. And even if it has, it's only gonna know a few words.
Maybe sit down, stay calm, might know their name. At this point, it doesn't know English or any other language, so one thing to do is not say so much to them because your voice is going to get them more excited. And here's what I experience when I go to new puppies homes where their owners have over stimulated the puppy and created a hyper puppy with their voice. Dixie, sit. Dixie. No, Dixie down. Dixie. Sit, sit, sit down off Dixie, no, Dixie, stop. Stop. No, okay, down. Okay, Dixie, come. Dixie, stop. No Dixie, no. Stop. Dixie. I hear this every single day when I go to a new puppy owner's home. A better way to do it is first, not say a lot to them, not repeat commands, not use their name so much. And a trick that I learned from acting classes is to be like John Wayne in a hotel lobby in the 1970s, John Wayne gave Michael Kane one tip, and this was it.
Talk low, talk slow, and don't say much. Do you understand how this voice here calms down a puppy when they're excited versus this high pitch voice here, which just gets them more excited, and then we calm them down with a low tone? Even if you're a female, you can drop the pitch down, slow down your voice, calm yourself down with your breathing, and your puppy will get less hyper by about 50% immediately just by changing your voice. I did a previous podcast episode on how to Speak to your puppy using these skills with your voice. Go ahead and check that out. Number two, stop touching your puppy so much because all of that affection is reinforcing their hyperness when they are already hyper. Save the affection for a life reward when your puppy is calm and tired. For example, if your puppy's jumping and they're running around and you grab the puppy and you're trying to calm them down by holding them and they get more hyper and they start play biting you too much, you're reinforcing that behavior.
You're reinforcing that hyperness because they are getting affection and attention from you just like they were with your voice, and that hyperness is being reinforced. So stop talking to your puppy so much. If you do, do a low tone, stop touching your puppy so much and only give them affection when they're already calm and tired. They're about to take a nap and go to sleep. They are already in a state of mind of calmness, and you can give them a little affection then, or give them some affection as a life reward when you've mentally tired them out. Tip number three, ensure your puppy gets enough sleep, exercise, mental stimulation and lease training, and is on a strict schedule for discipline. One of the main reasons why puppies get hyper is they're not on a strict schedule. There's no leadership, there's no guidance, there's no structure.
The puppy has free reign of the house. They're doing whatever they want to do. And what you want to do is go back to a past episode that I've done on creating a puppy schedule where you rotate this around throughout the day, the puppy wakes up in the morning or from a nap, you take them outside to go potty, you bring them back in, you do a little training with them for five or 10 minutes. You feed them their food and water, take them back outside to go potty, bring them back in, play a little bit with their ball or a toy, put them down for a nap, and you just rotate that around throughout the day. The nap could be one or two hours, and you're gonna rotate this schedule around throughout the day until they fall asleep at night. This is the best way to ensure that your puppy's getting everything they need.
They're getting sleep, exercise, mental stimulation, lease training, and they're on that strict schedule for discipline. These are just three tips that I have, but I'm going to tell you that the number one tip is your voice and talking to them too much. That overstimulates a puppy that makes a puppy hyper because the sound waves of your voice creates a resonance in your puppy's body that makes them overexcited. So you wanna make sure that you put that in check first. If you have any questions about how to calm a hyper puppy, you can always contact me through the website, puppy talk podcast.com. Have a great day.