Getting Puppies to Stop Acting Crazyby Naomi Millburn
Having a puppy is undoubtedly a joyous experience, even if the little one makes you want to pull your hair out in frustration once in a while. If your lively creature is just a little too hyperactive and energetic, don't fret, as these behaviors generally subside as adulthood approaches.
If your wee puppy doesn't seem to comply with any commands and just seems a little "crazy" and hard to handle, it probably is just a temporary issue. If you offer your pet sufficient training from a young age, he may start calming down and behaving in a more mellow and docile manner anywhere between 6 and 9 months in age, according to the experts at the Del Ray Animal Hospital of Alexandria, Virginia.
Boisterous behavior is totally natural and normal for many wee pups. Dogs do not learn flawless behavior overnight, and as youngsters are prone to everything from excessive barking and abruptly leaping onto peoples' laps to ignoring basic commands and chewing up a storm.
Although you may not be able to turn off your puppy's hyper behavior like a light switch, there are some things you can do to help the calming process along. If you ever see your puppy behaving in a relaxed and low-key manner, encourage it by lavishing him with what he most likely wants -- love and attention. Cozily stroke his fur. Engage him in a lively play session with toys galore. Establish a positive association with quietness. On the other hand, never offer acknowledgement for loud and persistent patterns -- all that may accomplish is training your puppy to think of those things as being desirable behaviors.
If your baby pooch seems a little crazy with his failure to follow your commands, consider whether you are repetitive with them or not. If your puppy doesn't come as soon as you say so, don't say it again. This just may train your pet to think that he has to wait around for multiple versions of the exact same instruction. Always be firm in your commands. After saying something just one time, employ yummy food as a means of getting your puppy to respond appropriately. If he does, be sure to let him know that you are pleased as punch with him -- perhaps by giving him a soft pet on the head.
When it comes to playtime and fun for your pup, be sure to always be the one to steer the ship. You determine exactly when playtime starts and ends. In doing this, you may just stop your pet from thinking that playtime lasts 24 hours, every day of the week.
If your pup is acting just a little too wacky for your comfort, he may not be receiving ample daily exercise. If your puppy is of a working dog breed, for instance, he may have especially high fitness needs. If you think that this may be the situation with your pup, consult either a veterinarian or a pet behavior specialist. A professional may be able to help you determine exactly what is missing from your puppy's physical routine, whether extended walks or even games such as fetch.
During the early stages of a dog's young life, it is important for you to establish yourself as an authority figure or "pack leader" to him. If you make sure that your puppy has a sturdy foundation to his life, full of stability, commands, restrictions and even healthy rewards, he may begin to see you as a trustworthy leader. Whether your puppy simply runs around all day, barks a lot or even chews on your favorite work shoes, the answer is respect. Always remember to be as collected and calm around your puppy -- another tool for earning his esteem. If you ever have any concerns about your puppy's behavior, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible, especially if you think that you may need outside assistance in managing it.
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Behavioral Problems of Dogs
- Hampton Park Vets: Hyperactive Puppies
- Del Ray Animal Hospital: Excitable and Disobedient Dogs
- DogChannel.com: Hyperactive Dog
- DogChannel.com: Calm, Assertive Energy and Calm, Submissive Energy in Dogs
- Santa Barbara Humane Society: Pet Behavior & Training Tips
- David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images