Playing around with your growing pup is an unforgettable experience. As you bond with your dog, you’ll create ties that last a lifetime. But it’s also an important period for training your puppy. A well-trained puppy will become a pleasant, safe, and well-trained adult dog.
So, how can you do that when your little bundle of joy just won’t calm down?
This is our guide to when to expect your puppy to calm down, and what you can do with their excess energy in the meantime.
When Do Puppies Calm Down: The Short Answer…
Puppies calm down between 6 and 9 months old, but some breeds can take several years to reach full maturity. Don’t forget that some dog breeds are naturally more energetic and playful than others!
You should notice their behavior beginning to naturally calm down from the 6-month mark.
When Do Puppies Calm Down: The Long Answer
The average dog will be calm(er) when they reach the 6-to-9-month stage of growth. But this isn’t a strict rule. Numerous things determine when a dog will calm down:
- It’s maturity development,
- The sex of the dog (females tend to mature faster than males),
- The natural energy levels of the dog breed,
- Other dogs in their environment (that can teach them to be calm),
- How much exercise and play they get,
- How you train them.
For example, a small teacup variety of female dog that matures quickly (full-sized in 6 months) and is well trained, will become calmer a lot faster than other dog varieties.
Genetics plays a big part – some dog breeds are just calmer than others. This is something you should consider before you adopt a puppy! And if you want to avoid the crazy, wild, energetic stage of puppy life, consider adopting a mature dog instead.
Furthermore, different pups will display different energies. A border collie, Belgian sheepdog, Australian shepherd, and other herding dogs will start to display that need to herd other animals and people. The dachshund breed, on the other hand, loves to dig up the backyard thanks to their natural instincts to dig out small rodents.
Helping a puppy learn to stay calm isn’t an overnight process. We’ve got some training tips for you at each stage of puppy development in our timeline below.
Breeds That Calm Fast
Every puppy will be adventurous and a little energetic at times, as this is just part of their development. But if you want a dog breed that is easy to train, calms fast, and remains calm during adulthood, consider these breeds:
- Basset Hound,
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,
Breeds That Take Their Time
A well-trained dog will have periods of calm, where they can sit happily in their bed with a chew toy while you catch up on Netflix. But that doesn’t mean that these dogs can’t also be very active at times. If you lead an active lifestyle and need a dog that can keep up, consider these breeds that retain their energy after the puppy years:
- Siberian Husky,
- Welsh Corgi,
- Labrador Retriever,
- Miniature Pinscher.
The American Kennel Club has a full list of the most active and playful dog types.
3 Myths About Puppy Behavior
Some myths are floating around the doggie community about how to keep your puppy calm. Make sure you don’t get confused and fall for these!
Spaying/Neutering Helps Them Calm Faster
This is not necessarily true. Energy levels aren’t directly linked to hormone levels. So, while spaying and neutering your pup will prevent unwanted surprises and some behavior types like scent marking, it won’t affect their energy levels.
If you have a very active and sociable dog breed, neutering or spaying the dog won’t change that. It’s genetic.
Lots of Walkies Will Help
Tiring out your pup each day is indeed important, so they can blow off steam and reach a calm state. But that doesn’t mean going on 10-mile hikes.
Long walks or walks over tough terrain can cause damage. Your pup is still growing, and excessive walking can damage the pups’ growth plates.
Better forms of exercise for your growing puppy include:
- Playdates with other dogs (older dogs can help show them the correct behavior),
- Short, safe walks over gentle terrain,
- Backyard games of fetch and socializing with humans,
- Swimming, if available in your area.
It’s also important to have specific times for them to learn to be calm. Sitting in a safe spot (their bed or a crate) with a toy, for example.
A Hyper Puppy Can’t Be Trained
This is just not true – it’s so important to train your pups. When they are still puppies, they’re developing and learning and growing. Exposing them to the environment and stimuli will help them stay calm throughout adulthood. The behavior they learn at this age will determine their behavior as an adult dog.
Ever heard the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?
These are words to live by when you’re raising a puppy. As your puppy grows, their energy levels change, and you should alter their training to match.
Read our puppy calmness timeline for training tips and advice.
When Do Puppies Calm Down – Timeline
As they grow, their energy grows with them. This is what to expect, when to expect it, and how to train your pup accordingly.
0 to 5 Weeks
The activity usually begins at 3 weeks old, when their ears and eyes have opened and they’re ready to start exploring. At this point, your main priority is making sure they’re in a safe and clean environment – they won’t stray too far from mom.
6 to 9 Weeks
This is when the energy really starts to kick in. Socializing the pups with humans and other pets begins at this stage. They’ll be fully mobile and exploring anything and anywhere they can reach. So, keeping an eye on them at this stage is important.
Any play should be kept short and sweet. If you need to tire out your pups, have playtime for 5 minutes, take a break, then repeat until they’re calmer and more settled.
You can also start basic training as you get to the 9-week mark, but don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t take straight away – at this age, they won’t be able to pay attention to their lessons for long.
10 to 15 Weeks
From 10 to 15 weeks, most dog breeds transition from pup to young adult. The pre-teen years. Energy levels are still high, and the dogs will be developing other skills too – learning to sit and stay on command should happen at this stage.
You can enjoy longer playtimes and encourage them to chew on toys (rather than your furniture). Consider arranging puppy play dates and doing more complex playtimes to stimulate their mind too – this will help to keep them calm.
As you get past 15 weeks/4 months, the energetic period starts to wane. Of course, it does depend on the dog breed.
16 Week to 4 Months
At this point, your developing puppy will want to push the boundaries of their energy. Keep your training firm but kind and be patient as they explore the world – they just want to understand their place in it.
To keep them calm, try switching to slightly calmer exercise. You can start taking your pups on short, calm walks (not jogs/runs) as they approach 4 months. Don’t let them over-exert themselves. Instead of tiring your pup out, you’ll make it even more excited and worked up.
At this stage, the key is to reward calm behavior when playing and resting. Create a routine that they can get used to.
5 to 6 Months
Now is the time to make sure that your dog is polite and well-behaved. Even when visiting the park and they’re all excited over a game of fetch, you need to teach them to behave well with other dogs and strangers.
Socialization is important, and so is letting them burn off some energy. When you miss one (or both) your dog enters adulthood unable to be friendly around people, dogs, and other animals. They may bark, growl, and even bite.
Good training, socialization, and showing them how to burn off energy in a good way (plenty of walkies and playtime), will make for a well-integrated and happy adult dog.
6 to 12 Months
By this stage, the manic puppy energy will fade away. Your dog will still have plenty of energy for walks, jogs, runs, and playtime at the park. But they’ll also naturally know when to stay calm and not over-exert themselves.
The goal at this stage is to settle your dog into a routine where they can get plenty of exercise, let their energy out, and remain calm and friendly.
Conclusion – When Will Your Puppy Calm Down?
Although our timeline is quite detailed with set time intervals, each dog breed (and even each individual dog) will be different. If your dog takes longer to calm down or is naturally calm and subdued, don’t worry!