You’re worried your puppy is overstimulated.
Because they seem to lose their mind over everything.
And before you follow in their footsteps…
Let me help you tell if they’re indeed overexcited.
Continue reading to find out:
- What an overstimulated puppy looks like.
- 15 alarming signs of an overexcited puppy.
- 7 disturbing compulsive behaviors an overstimulated pup shows.
- And much, much, more…
Table of contents
- What does an overstimulated puppy look like?
- 15 signs of an overstimulated puppy
- #1: Panting at rest
- #2: Breathing too fast
- #3: Rapid heartbeat
- #4: They’re always on high alert
- #5: They have no impulse control
- #6: They tend to overreact
- #7: Your puppy is easily bored
- #8: They display destructive behaviors
- #9: Constantly seeking attention
- #10: Having the zoomies
- #11: They’re barking too much
- #12: They keep whining
- #13: They’re restless
- #14: Extreme friendliness
- #15: Compulsive behaviors
What does an overstimulated puppy look like?
An overstimulated puppy looks like they’re shocked or alert. They have dilated pupils and aren’t blinking. Then, you can see their teeth chattering or their mouth clenched shut. Plus, they’ll be up on their toes. And their tail is in an upright curve, similar to a scorpion’s.
15 signs of an overstimulated puppy
#1: Panting at rest
Puppies are naturally energetic.
However, some dog parents test that stamina to the extent…
So they constantly entertain and play with the puppy.
Though instead of tiring out the young canine…
That pushes Fido’s brain to the limit, which overstimulates them.
And according to vets, that can lead to them panting while at rest.
It’s because their brain is overloaded…
As a result, the young canine feels stressed.
Which gives them more energy while feeling drained.
#2: Breathing too fast
Your puppy’s body is in contradiction when overstimulated.
As I mentioned, they’re supposed to be tired…
Yet they remain lively.
So for their body to keep up, they’ll breathe too fast.
“What is considered rapid breathing in my puppy?”
VCA Hospitals say all canines must have a breathing rate (BR) of 15 to 30 breaths per minute.
Anything higher is called tachypnea, which is another term for an abnormal BR.
How to measure your puppy’s breathing rate
- Prepare a timer and set it to 15 seconds.
- Start the timer countdown.
- Count how many breaths your puppy takes by watching their chest rise and fall.
Note: For 1 breath, there’s 1 rise (or inhale), then 1 fall (or exhale).
- Multiply what you get by 4.
Note: Step #4 is crucial. You only counted for 15 seconds, which is ¼ of a minute. So, you need to multiply by 4 to get the estimated rate for 60 seconds.
#3: Rapid heartbeat
This sign is also called tachycardia.
And your puppy experiences this when they’re overstimulated by the following:
Now, PetMD says the average heart rate in puppies is 220 beats per minute.
How to check your dog’s heart rate
Step 1: Prepare
Equip yourself with a timer to ensure your measurement is accurate.
Step 2: Locate Fido’s pulse
You can place your hand on either of these areas:
- Inside your puppy’s hind leg.
- Behind Fido’s forelimb and over their left chest.
Choose wherever you can feel the pulse most.
Step 3: Measure their pulse rate and calculate
Set the timer to 15 seconds.
Press start and begin counting.
Note: Each pulse is 1 heart rate.
After that, multiply the number you got by 4.
#4: They’re always on high alert
If your puppy is overstimulated, they’ll be hypervigilant.
That means they’re always on the lookout for something.
And they stay alert, even if there’s nothing to be worried about.
“How can I tell if my puppy is hypervigilant?”
You’ll know because they’re easily distracted.
The sound of dripping water can turn their head…
Or even if a light object falls to the ground…
It’ll catch Fido’s attention immediately.
Moreover, PetMD tells us they’ll show the following body language:
|Ears||Pointing and standing upward.|
|Eyes||Focused and wide open. But their forehead remains relaxed.|
|Mouth||Closed without tension.|
|Tail||Slightly straight and extended. And it can be still or wagging slightly.|
#5: They have no impulse control
If they’re too alert…
Once something grabs their attention…
An overstimulated puppy will immediately react toward it.
That’s because they have no control over their impulses.
They just rush into the scene without thinking.
For example, you take them on a walk…
Then, they see a fellow canine…
And without hesitation, they’ll start:
Moreover, since they’re easily distracted…
They can quickly lose interest in their trigger.
Then, they’ll move their focus to another stimulus.
So, it’ll be an endless cycle of hasty decisions from your pup.
#6: They tend to overreact
Go and call them a drama queen…
Because not only do they respond quickly…
But an overstimulated puppy’s reaction is also a bit over the top.
For example, you dropped a handkerchief…
Even though it didn’t make a sound when it landed on the floor…
And it’s a non-threatening object…
It turned your puppy’s head and made them rush to get it.
Then, they try to destroy it like it did something wrong to them.
Warning: Vets tell us that reactivity from overstimulation leads to aggression in dogs. When it does, your puppy might cause intentional harm and destruction.
#7: Your puppy is easily bored
Since they’re overstimulated and have so much energy…
Your puppy gets bored quickly.
They tend to get tired of playing with just one toy.
Or they’ll often switch from 1 activity to another.
Moreover, it’ll look like they’re always hurrying to shift their focus.
Warning: Research says boredom risks your puppy’s welfare. Because it can cause reduced physical and mental health. Moreover, they’ll behave poorly during interactions. Which leads to social problems.
#8: They display destructive behaviors
According to AKC, a bored canine will make their version of fun.
So when your puppy is overstimulated, and they got nothing to do…
Their boredom will show through destructive behaviors like:
- Tipping over trash cans.
- Scratching (the floor, carpet, couch, walls, etc.)
- Chewing your furniture or belongings (ex. socks and clothes).
#9: Constantly seeking attention
If they’re not busy playing or destroying some of your things…
Your overstimulated puppy will demand your attention.
Because they know they can turn to you when they got nothing to do.
So SFSPCA says they’ll bug you with these attention-seeking behaviors:
- Jumping on you.
- Pawing or nudging you.
- Pulling or nipping your clothes.
- Dropping things in front of you.
- Stealing objects from you to initiate a chase.
#10: Having the zoomies
In general, all puppies have a recurring case of zoomies.
Moreover, AKC states the proper term for it is:
Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs).
And it’s the act of running frantically in circles. Just like what Ubi, the energetic Frenchie, does in this video:
However, zoomies are more common in overstimulated puppies.
If that’s the case, you’ll deal with this behavior at least twice daily. Which is too much.
“Is this dangerous? Should I be concerned?”
In most situations, zoomies are better than dealing with destructive behaviors.
Because, unlike the latter, the former is usually harmless.
But for that to be true…
Ensure your puppy has enough room to run around.
So that they won’t get injured while they sprint in circles.
#11: They’re barking too much
As I mentioned, your puppy is an overreactor when they’re overstimulated.
That’s why they’ll bark at the slightest commotion.
But sometimes, your pup will do it without any stimulus.
So they bark non-stop and rhythmically…
Simply because they just feel like it…
Or they’re bored, and they have so much pent-up energy.
You might also want to know: Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? The Truth + 7 Anti-Barking Tips
#12: They keep whining
If they’re not barking, they’ll display another kind of vocalization…
So ready your ears for your overstimulated puppy’s whining.
Which is another way for them to spend the saved-up energy they hold.
#13: They’re restless
Sometimes, an overstimulated pup will skip the zoomies and other behaviors…
Instead, they’ll keep all their energy to themself.
And with so much of it in store, they have difficulty relaxing.
With that, they’re restless throughout the day.
The signs of that are:
- Sleeping less.
- Repeatedly pacing.
- Stirring so much while lying down.
Continue reading: 15 Easy Tips To Calm A Restless Dog At Night (How-To)
#14: Extreme friendliness
Most overstimulated puppies are friends with everyone.
So while you’re walking your little canine…
Expect them to be ecstatic over almost every stranger you pass by.
Because their energy drives them to be interested in everything.
Moreover, if your puppy is a naturally-friendly breed…
They’re more likely to experience this.
And examples of hypersocial dog breeds are:
- Shih Tzus.
- Irish Setters.
- Border Collies.
- Boston Terriers.
- French Bulldogs.
- Golden Retrievers.
- Labrador Retrievers.
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Fun fact: A study reveals naturally-friendly dogs experience a genetic mutation. Researchers found variants of GTF2I and GTF2IRD1 genes. Those lead to Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS). Which is a genetic disorder that makes an individual hypersocial.
For further reading: My Dog Is Too Friendly With Strangers: 5 Reasons + 5 Tip
#15: Compulsive behaviors
Apart from destructive behaviors and excessive vocalization…
Overstimulated puppies also develop weird habits…
Which are called compulsive behaviors.
According to PetMD, some examples of that are:
- Gnawing their skin.
- Staring at you or into space.
- Pica (eating non-food items).
- Licking objects (ex. toys and floor) or their skin (ex. their base of tail).
However, just because you see these behaviors on your pooch…
That doesn’t mean they’re automatically compulsive and overstimulated.
“Then how can I know?”
AKC says compulsive behaviors occur if:
Your puppy is practicing them randomly.
That means they had no reason to do that.
For example, their coat and skin are healthy.
But they scratch and bite themself like something’s wrong.
Moreover, your pooch will have trouble stopping themself.
And ultimately, compulsive behaviors get in the way of their daily functions.