7 Signs of an Overtired Puppy

by beaconpet
Signs of an Overtired Puppy

If you’ve ever witnessed a tired toddler’s temper tantrum after missing their nap, then you can understand how overtiredness can affect behavior. The same goes for puppies. While it may seem that wearing them out will lead to better behavior, too much activity without sufficient rest can actually make them overtired. In this article, let’s explore the seven signs of an overtired puppy and discuss how you can prevent it with BEACON PET. From nipping and biting to excessive barking and panting, these signs can signal that your puppy needs some rest. With some proactive measures and a routine that includes downtime, you can ensure that your puppy stays happy and healthy while avoiding the negative consequences of overtiredness.

Signs of an Overtired Puppy

Just like toddlers, puppies can become hyper, cranky, and defiant when they’re overtired. It’s easy to assume that tiring out a puppy will make them better behaved, but too much activity without proper rest can actually lead to them being overtired. Recognizing the signs of an overtired puppy is important in order to prevent any negative consequences. Here are seven signs to watch out for:

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Signs of an Overtired Puppy


Nipping and biting

Puppies explore the world and express themselves with their mouths. When they are too tired to focus on other ways to express themselves, they may resort to nipping and biting. This behavior can be an indication that your puppy needs rest.

No longer listening

Just like tired children who become defiant, overtired puppies may ignore cues that they usually respond to. If your dog suddenly stops listening and following commands that they previously mastered, it may be a sign that they’re overtired.

Hyperactivity/inability to settle

After a certain amount of time without sleep, the hormone cortisol kicks in, providing a “second wind” of energy. However, this makes it difficult for puppies to calm down and settle. If your puppy seems hyperactive and unable to relax, it could be a sign of overtiredness.


Dogs that don’t get enough rest can engage in destructive behaviors like chewing. If you find your new shoes shredded and your dog is the culprit, it may be a sign that they need more rest.

Signs of an Overtired Puppy: Chewing

Excessive barking

Overtired puppies often struggle to settle down, so they seek attention from their owners or other people and animals. Excessive barking can be a way for them to get the attention they crave and continue the stimulation.

Panting and/or lip licking

When puppies reach an overtired state, they can experience stress and overstimulation. This can manifest in compulsive panting or lip licking, both of which are signs of stress and exhaustion.

Excessive thirst

Stress and exhaustion go hand in hand with being overtired. This can lead to increased thirst in puppies, as their bodies are working harder and they may feel dehydrated. While some water breaks are normal, constantly visiting the water bowl could be a sign of being overtired.

Why Shouldn’t You Let Your Puppy Get Overtired?

It’s important to prioritize rest for puppies because they need a lot of sleep, especially as they are growing and developing. When puppies don’t get enough rest between active periods, they can become overexcited and it can have adverse effects on their health and wellbeing. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t let your puppy get overtired:

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Why Shouldn't You Let Your Puppy Get Overtired?

Weakened immune system

When puppies don’t get enough rest, their immune system can become weakened. Adequate sleep is crucial for their bodies to repair and strengthen the immune system, which helps protect them from illnesses and diseases.

Joint or back issues

Puppies’ bodies are still developing, and rest is necessary for their joints and back to properly form and strengthen. Overtiredness can increase the risk of joint or back issues, which can lead to long-term mobility problems.

Dangerous destructive behaviors

Overtired puppies may engage in destructive behaviors like chewing, which can be dangerous for both them and your belongings. Providing proper rest can help prevent these behaviors and keep your puppy safe.

Lowered ability to learn and retain

When puppies are overtired, their ability to focus, learn, and retain information decreases. Adequate rest is essential for their cognitive development, as it allows them to process and retain the training and information they receive.


Overtired puppies may exhibit signs of aggression, as their lack of rest can lead to increased stress and frustration. It’s important to prevent overtiredness to maintain a calm and well-behaved puppy.

How to Calm and Prevent an Overtired Puppy

While the ultimate goal is to prevent your puppy from becoming overtired in the first place, it’s important to know how to calm them down if they do reach that state. Here are some strategies to help calm and prevent an overtired puppy:

How to Calm and Prevent an Overtired Puppy

Remove stimulation like toys or other animals

When your puppy is becoming overtired, it’s important to remove any sources of stimulation that may be keeping them awake and engaged. Put away toys and separate them from other animals to create a quiet and calm environment.

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Take your dog into a quiet or dark room

If your puppy is struggling to calm down, take them into a quiet or dark room where they can relax and unwind. This change in environment can help them settle down and prepare for rest.

Have your dog sit or lie down while you gently pet them or place them in their bed or crate

Physical touch can be comforting for an overtired puppy. Sit or lie down with your puppy and gently pet them to help them relax. Alternatively, guide them to their bed or crate, where they can find comfort and security.

Keep a calm demeanor when handling your dog

Your puppy can pick up on your energy and emotions. When you’re trying to calm down an overtired pup, it’s important to remain calm and avoid becoming frustrated or agitated. Your calm demeanor can help relax your puppy as well.

Create – and Stick to – a Routine

Establishing a routine is essential when raising a puppy. A consistent schedule ensures that your puppy’s needs are met regularly and provides a sense of predictability to their day. Incorporate designated periods of rest and downtime into their routine, especially after periods of high activity. This allows your puppy to anticipate and embrace moments of rest, preventing overtiredness.

Crate Training

Crate training is a valuable tool for preventing overtiredness in puppies. A crate provides them with a safe and dedicated space where they can settle down, rest, and recharge. Proper crate training involves creating positive associations with the crate and ensuring your puppy feels secure and comfortable. Teaching your puppy to use their crate as a place of rest can help prevent overtiredness.

Short Bursts of Activity

Incorporating short bursts of activity into your puppy’s routine can help prevent overtiredness. Instead of engaging in long, continuous periods of activity, structure your schedule to include downtime, such as breaks in a crate or designated rest areas. This ensures your puppy has enough energy and focus for each activity while also providing ample opportunities to rest and recharge.

Recognizing the signs of an overtired puppy and implementing strategies to calm and prevent overtiredness is crucial for their overall health and well-being. By prioritizing rest and following a routine, you can help your puppy grow into a happy, healthy, and well-behaved dog.

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