When Do Puppies Calm Down? Plus 5 Tips for Calming Your Dog | Pupford

April 21st, 2023

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I still remember the first time I turned to my wife and asked, when do puppies calm down?! 😩

We had just come home from a long outing at the park and our pup was still bouncing off the walls, wanting to play, demand barking, chewing at our shoelaces, the whole ordeal.

We were both exhausted from all of the puppy energy!

While there isn’t one simple answer, generally speaking puppies calm down (at least a little bit) when they stop growing. But it’s not that simple…

In this article, we’ll dive into all things puppy energy. Here’s some of what we will cover:

  • Why do puppies have so much energy
  • What factors influence when puppies calm down? (there are lots)
  • At what age do puppies calm down?
  • Do puppies calm down after being spayed
  • Tips for calming down a puppy

Let’s find out when your puppy will calm down 👇

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WHY DO PUPPIES HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY?

breaking down why puppies have so much energy

When I was in elementary school I played sports ALL the time.

Basketball in the driveway, competitive baseball teams, tackle football, street hockey with neighbors, the list goes on. Looking back I wonder how in the world I had all the energy to play sports all the time!

Nowadays I play on a recreational soccer team once a week. I typically feel almost recovered by the time the next game rolls around! 😰 My energy levels are just different than they used to be…

And just like elementary school kids, our puppies are growing. And when we’re growing, we have a lot of energy to use! Our puppies are basically babies...

Puppies are going through growth spurts and those growth spurts often come with a lot of energy to get rid of. And in a simple sense, we’re often feeding our puppies lots of food (as is necessary) which gets converted into energy.

Another factor for puppies having lots of energy is that they’re just learning and exploring the world around them. They are excited by their surroundings and that translates into a lot of running, jumping, mouthing, biting, etc. to explore their new world!

Alright, now that we know why puppies have a lot of energy, let’s discuss what factors help determine when puppies calm down.

🐶 Need helping teaching your pup to be calm? Sign up for the 100% free class, 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE WHEN PUPPIES CALM DOWN AND MELLOW OUT?

a puppy laying on the ground acting calm

A quick note before we look at the factors. The question of ‘when do puppies calm down’ is truthfully a loaded question.

Are you really wondering about when your puppy will have less energy or when your puppy will be better behaved?

Thinking that a puppy will just magically be calm, attentive, and behave properly when they ‘calm down’ over time will lead you to a world of disappointment. A “calm” puppy really comes with training, routine, and proper teaching, but more on that later! And be aware as well, the puppyhood stage involves energy. It just does!

One more note to add… every puppy is different. Truthfully there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when puppies calm down! But, we’ll still do our best to break down some factors.

Alright, let’s cover what factors can influence when a puppy will calm down. ⤵️

  • Breed
  • Size
  • Gender
  • Socialization with other dogs
  • Home environment
  • Routine & training

Let’s dive deeper into each factor!

BREED/SIZE INFLUENCE MATURITY

Breed & size are the #1 factors for when your puppy will calm down!

Size is a huge factor in knowing when your puppy will calm down.

In most cases, puppies calm down when they stop growing!

So let’s look at when different size dogs stop growing and reach physical maturity. (Weight is expected full-grown weight)

  • Small breeds (0-20 lbs): Usually stop growing by about 10-12 months
  • Medium breeds (20-50 lbs): Usually stop growing by about 12-15 months
  • Large breeds (50-100 lbs): Usually stop growing by about 16-18 months
  • Extra-large breeds (100+ lbs): Usually stop growing by about 18-24 months
when do dogs stop growing infographic

This is by no means a perfect science. If you want a better understanding of your specific puppy’s growth, talk to your vet 😃

An important point to keep in mind is that each breed can be much different within a weight class.

For example, let’s compare two dogs. A Beagle and a Mini Australian Shepherd.

Average Beagle weight: 20-25lbs

Average Mini Australian Shepherd weight: 20-30lbs

While these dogs are similar in size, their breed characteristics are quite different! Mini Aussies are typically much higher energy than a Beagle. And that is going to play a role in when they will calm down, even if they stop growing around the same time.

To recap here, when your puppy stops growing you will often notice them becoming calmer.

It’s not an overnight thing though! You won’t wake up when your 20 lbs puppy hits 12 months old and they’ll magically be calm and attentive. It does NOT work like that!

Now, let’s talk about gender!

GENDER

does gender play a role when puppies calm down

While gender can play a role in when your puppy calms down, it has to do more with when your puppy stops growing (see above). Not always, but often females finish growing before males.

And as we discussed, puppies typically calm down when they stop growing. So, female dogs may relax and calm down earlier than male puppies.

But again, it’s not a perfect science!

SOCIALIZATION WITH OTHER DOGS

Remember when I said that wondering when a puppy will calm down is a loaded topic? This is part of that!

While properly socializing your puppy isn’t going to make a puppy magically calm down, it’s vital to their well-being. And a puppy’s overall well-being can contribute to a calmer dog!

A puppy who learns how to play with other dogs and puppies during the socialization period will have much better puppy manners. And puppy manners will help them better understand how to be calm and behave appropriately in the “human world”.

Plus, giving your dog time to play with other puppies and dogs will be extremely beneficial for their energy levels on a daily basis.

My youngest dog Scout seemed to calm down much more quickly than my other puppy Sunny. We often attribute this to the fact that she always had another puppy to play with (Sunny) AND she had a senior dog in the home, Buddy!

We joke that Buddy taught Scout how to chill out on the couch and just enjoy the pets and belly rubs from humans.

Again, it’s not a perfect science but exposing your puppy to other well-behaved dogs can help them calm down more quickly!

🐶 Need helping teaching your pup to be calm? Sign up for the 100% free class, 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

HOME ENVIRONMENT

home environment can affect your puppy’s calmness levels

Similar to socialization, your puppy’s home environment can play a role in when they will calm down.

Consider some of these questions when thinking about how your home environment can affect your puppy.

Are there other dogs in your home? If so, is it another rambunctious puppy, or is it a calmer senior dog?

Are there children in your home?

How many people live in your home? Is each person helping or potentially hindering your puppy’s understanding of what calm looks like?

What are you like? Are you always going out on adventures with your pup? Or are you more of a homebody that spends more time on the couch?

Again, there is no perfect answer, but your home environment can play a role in when your puppy will calm down.

ROUTINE & TRAINING INFLUENCERS PUPPY ENERGY

routine and training will help calm down a puppy

As I mentioned previously, no matter the other factors we’ve discussed, your dog will not become “calm” without being taught what that actually means.

That is where routine and training come into play!

Your idea of “calm” is foreign to your puppy.

Let me say that in another way…

Your expectation/idea of what a calm puppy should do is completely unnatural to a puppy.

Chilling on the floor next to you while you read? Totally foreign and unnatural to a puppy.

Not jumping up on guests when they come in the door? Totally foreign and unnatural to a puppy.

Relaxing once you come inside for the evening? Totally foreign and unnatural to a puppy.

Waiting to be released to go through a door? Totally foreign and unnatural to a puppy.

Not chewing on everything they can get their teeth on? Totally foreign and unnatural to a puppy.

A calm puppy doesn’t just happen with time, it happens because of training!

One of the best ways to speed up your puppy’s understanding of what “calm” looks like is to work on impulse control training! Most behaviors that we view as not calm are really just a lack of impulse control.

And like I mentioned (over and over) above, impulse control is a learned behavior. It’s NOT natural for your puppy!

In our 21 Impulse Control Games (part of Pupford Academy+), you can get step-by-step instructions for games to help calm your puppy (and improve impulse control)!

Here’s an example of what you can expect ⬇️

example of impulse control games to help calm down a puppy

Impulse control training will pay long-term dividends in your pup’s behavior (and calmness), get access to all 21 games here!

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT WHEN A PUPPY WILL CALM DOWN

Now that you know when puppies calm down (when they stop growing, basically), let’s answer some other common questions!

AT WHAT AGE DO PUPPIES START TO CALM DOWN?

a calm puppy at about 18 months old

Puppies will typically calm down when they stop growing. Here is the age at which most puppies calm down.

  • Small breeds (0-20 lbs): Usually calm down by about 10-12 months
  • Medium breeds (20-50 lbs): Usually calm down by about 12-15 months
  • Large breeds (50-100 lbs): Usually calm down by about 16-18 months
  • Extra-large breeds (100+ lbs): Usually calm down by about 18-24 months

Of course, as we’ve covered in other parts of this article, it’s not that simple and can vary from puppy to puppy! But, a good general rule of thumb is that puppies calm down when they reach full-grown physical maturity.

Need extra help calming down a hyper pup? Try our Calming Supplement for Puppies, specifically formulated to help relax your pup. Shop here. 

DO PUPPIES/DOGS CALM DOWN AFTER BEING SPAYED/NEUTERED?

do puppies calm down after being spayed or is it a myth

This is an extremely commonly asked question, and also a bit of a myth.

There have been studies conducted to determine if spaying or neutering a puppy helps calm them down. The results range from mostly indifferent to conflicting.

The caveat here is that you will likely see a reduction in sexual behaviors like mounting, chasing, and other similar behaviors. So you may see a better sense of calm from your puppy after they’re spayed/neutered. But, it isn’t a “silver bullet” solution for a hyper puppy.

So if someone tells you that you need to spay or neuter your puppy to help them calm down, know that may not be completely grounded in truth. It can be a factor, but it isn’t going to completely calm down your puppy.

Another reason people might think that spaying calms down their puppy is when that spaying/neutering coincides with the finishing of a final growth stage.

For example, if you spay your small dog at around 12 months old, that also might just be the time they are naturally starting to calm down. Correlation isn’t causation!

TIPS FOR CALMING DOWN A PUPPY WITH HIGH ENERGY LEVELS

puppy playing to help him be calmer

Alright, now that you know all about when puppies calm down, let’s talk about some things you can do to help your puppy be calmer on daily basis.

PHYSICAL NEEDS MUST BE MET

Imagine trying to make a toddler sit still all day. You’d have a h*ck of a time, and your toddler would surely act out.

Puppies are 4-legged toddlers, and sometimes we need to treat them that way!

Puppies need to get their wiggles out, play games, explore the world… be a puppy! While there isn’t an exact amount of time your puppy should exercise, many people go by the following rule. ⬇️

For every month of age, multiply by 5 and then give that amount of exercise twice a day. So, a quick example.

A 3-month-old puppy would get 15 minutes of exercise (3x5), twice a day. So, 30 total minutes of physical exercise.

The reason you have to be careful is that your puppy’s joints and bones are still growing. Too much aggressive exercise can cause problems down the road.

Again, this is a rough estimate, please talk to your vet about your specific puppy’s needs.

This doesn’t include mental exercise, which we will cover next!

🐶 Need helping teaching your pup to be calm? Sign up for the 100% free class, 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

MENTAL ENRICHMENT IS BENEFICIAL FOR CALMING A PUPPY DOWN

puppy doing mental enrichment to help calm her down

While physical exercise needs to be done carefully with puppies, mental enrichment is more flexible.

Mental enrichment is one of the most effective ways to calm down your puppy. Seriously!

Mental enrichment can come in many forms, here are a few examples 👇

There are SO many more options as well. Check out this list of articles for plenty more ideas!

For a deeper dive AND step-by-step instructions for making DIY mental exercise toys and games, check out the Enrichment Activities Course here!

TRAINING IS VITAL

As mentioned previously, a dog truly becomes calm when they are taught how to be calm.

It’s on us as pup parents to teach our puppies how we want them to behave. While it can feel daunting at times, with the right tools and methods you can do it!

If you’re looking for help, don’t skip out on 30 Day Perfect Pup. It’s a 100% free (no credit card required) course taught by Zak George. Here’s some of what the course covers.

  • Biting
  • Chewing
  • Leash walking
  • Potty training
  • Sit, down, stand
  • Stay
  • Recall
  • Crate training and more!

By signing up you’ll get instant access to videos, 30 day’s worth of timely tips, and even access to a private Facebook community with professional trainers and pet parents like you.

Sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup here!

Even if you choose not to sign up, train your puppy! There is a host of information (some better than others) to help you learn the steps for teaching your puppy how to behave in their new world.

PUPPY TO PUPPY (OR DOG) INTERACTION

When our puppy Sunny was acting wild, we tried to find a puppy play date ASAP.

Giving her time to interact with other puppies with her same energy level was an absolute game-changer. They would wrestle, chase, and play with each other to their hearts’ content.

Then, she’d be tuckered out and nap. H*CK yeah 🙌

Another great way for your puppy to learn to be calm is to spend time with older dogs (by old I mean, not a puppy) who are calm. Us humans can only do so much to teach our dogs. Sometimes they just need guidance from an older pup who can show them the ropes.

I credit my puppies easing into calmness to our senior dog Buddy. So, if you don’t have an older dog in the home, find a neighbor or friend with one and try to set up some play dates!

Just make sure the older dog is good with puppies. And be sure to check out our full guide to puppy play dates to make sure things run smoothly!

PUPPIES ARE OFTEN HYPER AFTER FEEDINGS

puppies are often hyper after eating a meal

Puppies eat a lot of food. They’re growing and their bodies need the calories!

Unfortunately for you, puppies often get more hyper right after eating. So, use that knowledge to plan your play and exercise accordingly. If you feed your puppy and then expect them to just chill out you may be disappointed!

It’s usually a good idea to feed your puppy, then take them out for potty, then do some fun play!

WHEN DO PUPPIES START TO CALM DOWN? FINAL THOUGHTS

Before you head out, I’d love to hear about your own experience with puppies and helping them calm down. Take this 1-question survey!

To recap, puppies typically start to calm down when they finish maturing and growing. It is different for each dog, and there isn’t one exact answer, so keep that in mind! To help your pup relax, be sure to try out our Calming Supplement for Puppies, perfect for calming down a hyper or stressed pup.

If you were to have one takeaway from this article, I’d hope it would be this… Calmness and a well-behaved puppy don’t happen just with time, it happens with purposeful training and practice!

Be sure to check out 21 Impulse Controls Games to get your puppy’s calmness levels moving in the right direction!

Also, in the comments tell me the age at your puppy started to calm down, curious to hear your thoughts!

🐶 Need helping teaching your pup to be calm? Sign up for the 100% free class, 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

EXTRA RESOURCES ON HELPING A PUPPY MELLOW OUT

Here are a few more helpful resources for helping to calm down your puppy! And if you're dealing with a dog in the puppy teenage phase head here.

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