Why Does My Puppy Go Crazy in the Evenings?

My sweet, little puppy becomes a complete psycho around 7 p.m.

We know to start watching for “the demon” to come out around this time every night.

Typical behaviors from my Demon Puppy during the “witching hour” include barking, growling, biting and frantically looking for things to shred.

He torments the cats, bites the leash and is just a complete terror.

He forgets all training and chases “imaginary friends.”

Does this sound familiar? (Please say yes!)

This post contains affiliate links to Chewy.com.

Why does my puppy go crazy in the evenings?

I hear it’s normal for puppies to become downright “WILD” in the evenings as I’ve read person after person explaining the exact same thing. (Some people are very concerned about this puppy madness! No one warned them about it!)

So, is the puppy’s evening WILDNESS from being overly tired or is it from not enough exercise?

I think, usually, it’s a little of both.

Why does my puppy go crazy in the evenings?

Why does my puppy go crazy in the evenings?

One of my readers (thanks, Sean!) said the behavior is often because the puppy is actually overly tired and instead of needing more exercise he is ready for bed. (Think of little kids throwing tantrums in the evenings when they’re tired.)

In our case, I think this is true. Remy is acting out from being overly tired.

Remy falls asleep as soon as I put him in his kennel. He does get plenty of exercise and interaction, play and training throughout each day so I do not feel bad about putting him to bed in his kennel at 9 p.m. every night.

On the other hand, you do want to make sure your puppy or young dog is getting the exercise he needs earlier in the day. That way, when he gets his evening “crazies” you know you’ve done your part and don’t have to feel guilty about crating him.

How to manage your crazy puppy in the evenings

Clearly I could use some tips myself, but here are my suggestions. Can’t wait to read yours too. Please add them in the comments (we could all use the help!).

1. Stay calm when your puppy gets wild!

Oh my God, this is my biggest challenges as I can lose my patience pretty quickly.

As reader Jessi said recently in the comments of this post:

“I got so frustrated with him (my puppy) on Friday night that I yelled at him and stuffed him in his crate, because apparently I am about as mature as my 4-month-old puppy.”

Yep, me too … me too.

I try not to get mad and yell at my puppy. It’s not really going to help. It’s also not the best time to engage in exciting games like fetch or tug. If I do play these games in the evenings, I keep the play to just a few minutes so it’s controlled.

*If you’re enjoying this article, I’d love to send you other helpful puppy tips in my weekly newsletter. Click Here.

2. Go for a relaxing walk to calm your puppy.

I’ve recently moved Remy’s walk from 5 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m. This helps manage the craziness. We get back at 8:15 or 8:30 and I only have to put up with him for another 40 minutes or so before I put him to bed. Done.

Since most puppies can’t go running yet or on really long walks, it can help to have them on a longer leash to give them a bit more freedom to run and move around. Rotate between structured, training walks and “fun” walks where they can sniff and explore.

Long dog leash

See my posts:

How far can I walk my puppy?

Exercise ideas for hyper dogs

3. Don’t expect your wild puppy to focus on training.

You’d think working on some calming training exercises like down/stay would be helpful during this time. If that works for you, great! Definitely do that.

In our case, Remy seems to forget everything he’s learned and it doesn’t work well for me to practice basic training at this time. We just get frustrated with each other and he ends up biting and flailing around while I wrangle him. Just not worth it.

What does work is to practice more training during the middle of the day when he’s able to focus. I use a treat bag on walks to reward him for paying attention or doing basic obedience. That way, come evening, I don’t have to feel guilty about not spending quality training time with him.

4. Give the crazy puppy something to chew.

It can really help if you give your hyper puppy something to chew on in the evenings. Some good options include a Kong stuffed with peanut butter or a bully stick. If you freeze the Kong, I imagine the cold sensation might feel good on his teeth and gums if he’s teething.

Put him on a leash if that helps (although some will just freak out and chew the leash, right Remy?). This would be a good time to get out any of your puzzle toys or interactive toys. A Kong Wobbler is another good chew toy or puzzle option.

For more ideas, see the best puzzle toys for dogs.

“Oh hi. I chew up dog beds, so I don’t get a bed. I get an old sheet.”

Weimaraner pup Remy is a hyper puppy at night!

5. Tether the puppy.

You can also try tethering the pup to something heavy, assuming he won’t chew whatever he’s tethered too. I recommend a chew proof cable leash.

Confession: sometimes we tether Remy to our two 30-pound dumbbells and set him across the room for us while we watch TV.

Some will think this looks like dog abuse. I call it puppy management. 🙂

I don’t recommend this if your puppy is getting frustrated and barking or pulling, but it can work well if he’s able to stay on a blanket chewing a bone.

Why is my puppy so wild in the evenings

6. Put the puppy in his crate.

As I’ve said, the routine that works for us is to feed Remy around 6:45, walk him from 7:30 to 8:15 and then in the crate he goes at 9 p.m. every night (weekends too).

I simply can’t take it anymore by 9 and we all need some time to relax without the puppy. (Pretty sure myself, my husband and our 3 senior animals all let out a sigh of relief once Remy goes to bed.) I do let him out again for a quick potty break before I go to bed.

If you don’t have a crate for your puppy, I recommend a fold-up wire crate. You could also consider an ex-pen or puppy play pen when you need a break, especially if you have a smaller breed.

*Note, you can take 30% off your order when you signup for your first autoshipment with Chewy. That’s a great deal, especially when you’re buying a more expensive item, like a crate.

7. Plenty of walks and play during the day.

That way there’s less pent-up energy at night. Or, at least you know you’ve done your part and he’s not acting out due to lack of exercise. Again, a long leash can help with this.

What age do puppy crazies stop? When will my puppy calm down?

You may be wondering, when will my 12 week old puppy calm down? Good question! I’d love to hear your answers to that one in the comments!

I think so much depends on the individual puppy and things like breed, personality, daily activities, etc.

With my weimaraner, he was pretty wild in the evenings until he was about a year and a half old. At that time, we did notice a significant difference. Instead of a full evening of puppy shenanigans, he was only wild for about 20 minutes after he ate dinner.

Weimaraners are known for being pretty immature until they are at least 2 years old though. Some breeds mature much faster!

*If you would like to receive our down-to-earth, weekly dog training tips, Click Here

What else would you add to this list? Does your puppy go crazy at night?

Why does my puppy go crazy in the evenings?!

Please tell me some of you have dealt with this kind of behavior! 🙂

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  2. Mighty Paw Treat Pouch:
    A treat pouch allows you to easily carry treats so you can help your puppy focus. This is helpful on walks as well as for short training sessions.
  3. Kong Flier Fetch Toy
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Related posts:

When you regret getting a puppy

Help! I’m doing everything wrong with my puppy!

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw food for pets and running with dogs.

108 thoughts on “Why Does My Puppy Go Crazy in the Evenings?”

  1. Try seeing if the puppy has to poop. No lie, my puppy would get wild during the evening if she needed to go to the bathroom again.
    If that problem is solved, that’s an excellent time to solve a puzzle together. We made heavy use of her favorite puzzle toy during that phase, and that usually helped.

      1. 10 minute time out in his crate works for us, always around 7in the evening manic never experienced this so bad before. Our spaniel had zoomies but not to an extent where completely crazy.We have a cockerpoo now adorable but very trying sometimes easy to train though. Has the knack of when we let him out lies there giving you the eyes like I’m
        sorry snuggles on the couch with me hook line an sinkered

        1. We have a 4 mo old golden doodle and we love the breed, he is our second. I don’t remember the night (and sometimes day) zoomies with the first but that was 10 years ago! I put myself in timeout for about 5-10 minutes. I just go in another room and close the door. 100% of the time he is settled and laying on the floor. Most of the time that is the end of the episode. Murphy gets plenty of walking , play, and training time a day so I don’t use more exercise I agree with the walking schedule of 5 min per month twice a day for good joint health. Hope everyone makes it through this stage

    1. you have no idea what finding this means to me! i have a 11 week old Australian Cattle dog that is cool all day, he even walks with me and doesn’t pull, he knows sit and come and we are working on down. all good you say? he gets possessed every evening like a maniac he pulls his basket through the house , digs in it , chases the cats, grunts you just can’t stop him. yes i yelled( sorry Rudra , i m just a human not a saint) i put him in time out( he has no crate) that works for about a Minute then he is back at it. your description is just perfect and i m sorry you had to go through this but i m so happy that i m reading that i m not the only one , thats all i needed , i m going to deal with it, as long as it is normal and the freaking demon in him doesn’t jump over on the cats or me…

    2. It has been 15 years since I had a puppy. I did not remember going through this before but maybe I did. I find myself looking at my pup and saying “YOU need a NAP!” and putting her in her crate when I just can’t take her mania and whining anymore. Of course, I do always make sure she is not just hungry or needs to potty. I am glad to know this is not just a trait my little pup is going to hang onto.
      She no longer whines when she is in her crate, settles down, and takes a little snooze. When I hear her whimper again I do let her out and she is back to her little happy dog self. Nice to know this is a thing.

    3. My puppy also acts insane when she has to go #2. Once I realized why she does it, it made so much sense. Sometimes we haul ass when we need to go as well lol.

      1. I’m so relieved I’m not on my own with the hyper puppy my cockapoo is the same will try to see if she needs to poop when she starts tonight thanks for the tip

      2. Deborah Carroll

        My puppy is part Shepard and husky she bites all the time she draws blood how to break her I have got all kind of toys she is 8 weeks old

  2. I’m happy to say that now that he’s approaching 5 months Link is starting to lose the crazy episodes. When he was at his worst (probably about a month ago?) I noticed he’d have crazy DAYS rather than crazy nights. We’d have a couple days where he’d act almost sane, then he’d have an entire day where he was positively manic. Not taking him for a walk almost always caused a manic day the next day. He also just graduated from his cloth slip collar to a chain training collar and oh my gosh our walks are 10x more fun! For me and him, since he’s no longer choking himself the whole time.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Haha! I’m so glad things are getting better! We’ve been using a Gentle Leader so I can keep my sanity on walks.

  3. I am quite concerned that it sounds like you are “walking” a four month old puppy for up to an hour! Please read this chart. https://puppyculture.com/tablet/exercise-chart.html

    The old rule of thumb was five minutes per month of age which would one be 20 minutes.

    With our greater understanding of puppy bones and growth plates you need to more cautious especially with a large breed puppy that could be prone to hip problems later in life.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      We stroll around for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 to 45 minutes or so at night. It works well for us.

  4. Thanks for sharing this experience. It’s great to learn about Remy’s development; he is a lucky puppy having all the right treatments and attention. Perhaps he will soon be enrolled into the training program at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

  5. Hi and oh my goodness, I feel you! My pup just turned 4 and still wants to go outside most of the night long! Naturally, as soon as I settle down on the couch to watch tv about 8:00 he gets up to begin his routine to go outside! Drives me nuts! Maybe he hears neighbors or critters, don’t know. I do walk him twice a day, morning and evenings for about 40 minutes each time and now that it stays lighter at night I walk him about 6-6:30 p.m. which has helped. About three months ago, however, he started to go through a week of growling, snapping, guarding a chew stick badly every night directed at me. Scary. I happened to have a vet appointment that week and when I shared this sudden Dr Jekyl-Mr Hyde change in behavior, he tested him for thyroid issues and lo and behold he is hypothyroid! Almost immediately once on thyroid meds his evening behavior improved. He’s back to his (evening) sweet self again. So my suggestion would be to share this behavior with your vet because you just never know. Granted your pup might be too young to know yet. My pup is part Beagle, and at 3 months’ old is about the time this condition can show up in Beagles. So glad you brought this subject up, thanks! Personally 9:00 p.m. to me doesn’t seem too early for his bedtime in his crate. Ha! That’s almost my bedtime! Oh and my pup never did well with the crate…or maybe I didn’t lol. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      9 p.m. works well for us, sometimes 8:45 and then he gets let out one more time at 10:30 so he’ll sleep till about 5:15. Welcome to my life.

      I’m so glad you caught your dog’s medical issue and that he’s doing better now. I’m sure Remy is just being a normal puppy.

  6. Oh and my pup goes to doggie day care, since he was six months’ old, about once a week, once every other week, for usually 4-5 hrs and is completely drained the rest of the day after playing with the other pups, and into the following day. It’s wonderful! And I can take that one day off from walking him. He loves it, I love it!

  7. Sandy Weinstein

    sometimes about 11pm my 2 younger girls want to play and roughhouse with one another, up and down the hallways, i dont mind, they can always use the extra exercise. they settle down after awhile, i dont go to bed til late anyway…my oldst sometimes sleeps but b/c of her lite dementia, she has sundowner syndrome, so she walks alot in circles then goes to sleep. i stay up til she goes to bed, to watch her. i dont think i ever walked my girls that much when they were this young but then again i have mini schnauzers, which are basically house dogs anyway. my middle child likes to go outside on the deck at night and even in the middle of the night if she hears something, she is the watch dog…the least little noise and she wants to know what is going on, but i live in the country, with lots of deer, coyotes, etc.

  8. Yeah, evening crazies! We got that, and still can at times, even though Lambeau is two now. He seems to get his crazies now in the morning. Of course, he’s just gotten out of his crate, been out for just a potty break, and is waiting for breakfast! LOL Enough exercise during the day is still crucial for him. If he doesn’t get his walks and playtime, he can still be a handful at night. One thing that works for me is that he gets a raw bone every night when it is time to settle in so we can unwind with some TV or a movie. He gets one every night as a signal that it’s time to settle down, and as a supplement to his mostly commercial diet. The time he spends chewing and gnawing on the bone seems to really calm him and get him ready for a last potty break and then to his crate for bedtime.

  9. As puppies we were all wild before bedtime, but then we crashed and were out cold. We did some playtime, had a chew of some sort and then off to bed. We were also wild after eating but Mom put a stop to that right away and taught us to nap after every mean for at least an hour to prevent bloat.

  10. I have no experience with puppies, but can you put him to bed earlier? If he’s over tired and he likes his crate, I feel like this should work. Or does he then wake up earlier than 5:15? (Not sure I could handle a dog that woke me up that early!)

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yeah you’re probably right, that might work. I don’t know if he’d get up earlier or not but that’s why I keep him up … in the hope he’ll continue sleeping until 5:30 or so.

      1. Joanne De Silva

        So pleased I googled this feel quite relieved I m not alone , don’t remember having this with my last dog – a bearded collie, this pup is a cockapoo. Sounds like I m doing the right thing by putting him in his pen for time out – or out side the living room ( theres a stairgate across it ) if he keeps attacking the furniture. It does seem to make him calm down .
        I bring in his blanket and toys to settle on .

  11. My dogs, even as adults, get a little riled up in the evening and get the zoomies before bed. When I’ve traveled to places with lots of stray dogs, I always notice them mostly sleeping everywhere during the day, and active in the evening. Maybe it’s a dog thing? But it makes sense for a puppy to get an evening burst of energy from being over-tired. I never thought about that. So this means he’s getting plenty of attention during the day! I think the 9pm bedtime schedule you’ve set for Remy is really good advice. You’re teaching him that his crate is a great place to sleep, he’s learning how to settle, and you’re all getting a well-deserved break.

  12. Lulu our rescued 2 year old Staffy has a FRAP almost every night around 6-7 pm. She does it during the day as well but we don’t ACTUALLY witness that one. What is a FRAP? It’s an acronym for Frenetic Random Activity Period. Some folks call them Zoomies.
    She is displaying pure, unprecedented joy and happiness but I gotta tell ya, I paste myself to the wall if she’s doing it in the house for fear that she knocks into me.
    It seems to start when one of us gets home , she just gets so wiggly and happy. She brings us a toy to throw and …she’s off.
    Her eyes dilate and she runs FAST. And she pants. After a few laps, she’s back to her old self as usual. I know this won’t last with this intensity forever , but our elderly boxer did it into advanced age after baths. Enjoy it while it lasts. And YES, get them the exercise they need. With Lulu, there’ll NEVER be enough exercise. After all, she’s MY girl! #fitpit.

  13. Dogs have a magical ability to wait to do their loud playtime until your favorite show is on and you are trying to relax and hear the dialogue. I’ve never owned a Weim, but from my experience with our dogs they still do something silly in the evenings when they’re older it just isn’t quite as tornado-like. Our old girl would pull out the loudest toy she could find and decide to chew on it right when we’re all settled and that cliffhanger from last week is being revealed. I’m sure you would agree that dog ownership takes a fine sense of humor.
    I guess what I’m saying is that he’ll eventually grow out of the crazy, but it might turn into some other silly nighttime ritual. I love reading your posts about Remy! It is wonderful to hear first hand accounts from dedicated owners.
    You’re doing well! One day you’ll laugh about the silly antics Remy did when he was a puppy. 🙂

  14. We’re lucky to have Raven to work some of the energy out of Archer when the witching hour hits. When he’s too much for Raven Linus comes and tell him it’s enough. If he’s too much for Linus then the humans get involved. I’ll grab his leash and put him in a sit or a down while I sit on the couch. He usually falls asleep within a few minutes.

  15. Puppy madness! Remy is so cute. I’d add: Food toys! Feed puppies their evening meals in food toys. They get to have fun, eat, and make their brains and bodies a bit more tired = win for everyone.

  16. What a relief that we don’t have the devil dog.
    Our 9 week old is a perfect angel until 8:30 pm. The other night I thought he had rabies! He was a lunatic!
    It makes total sense about being over stimulated at night.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Haha! It gets better. Mine is almost 6 months and he’s still crazy but the night craziness doesn’t seem as bad now.

    2. I am so relieved to read some of these stories! My sweet cockapoo is an angel, loving listens, is almost housebroken can sit and shake hands and she’s just 5 mos old! Tonight I was ready to explode and I became the demon! She was scared of me because I yelled and lost it. I literally hate evening time because of the lil demon…..but tonight thanks to you all, you guys saved me from giving up and bringing her back to the breeder!
      I think a walk after dinner will calm both of us down.
      I put her in her crate about 8:30 and she went immediately to sleep!

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Hang in there! My pup is 1.5 yrs now and the night crazies are gone. I noticed a difference at around a year but a lot of dogs mature faster than weimaraners.

    3. Victoria Berridge

      Hi I’m so glad I read this. My eight month old Cockapoo has me in tears tonight. He won’t settle in an evening. Bounces from one sofa to the other, barks at his reflection, eyes dilate and he goes crackers. He gets walked at the least twice a day for 40-60 mins each time, mostly the last ‍♀️ is at 20:30 hours because we struggle to entertain him much more. I feel at my wits end. First time puppy owners and struggling. Love him to bits but…

      1. I’d say put him in his kennel/crate or if you don’t use one maybe put him behind a baby gate. I think he’s just ready for bed at that point. Haha. I know it’s not funny when you’re in the middle of it, but I’m able to laugh at it now looking back. Good luck!

  17. “Oh hi. I chew up dog beds, so I don’t get a bed. I get an old sheet.” So does Joey, our beagle mix! He’s almost 2 y.o. and still chews frenetically on his bedding (old fleece/woven throws at the foot of our bed) before falling asleep. He pauses when I give him a massage and resumes chewing when I stop. We figure this behavior is akin to an infant sucking its thumb to comfort itself or something like that!

  18. lol. Glad I’m not alone! My Remy goes absolute bonkers around 8 pm.
    I find that yelling does no good. What I do is get his attention by walking over to him, bending down, and staring at him. He stops, rolls to his back, licks me and shows his belly. Much better than ruining my vocal cords and having the neighbors think I am an out of control weirdo. lol.

  19. This makes me feel so much better. Henry is 8 weeks old and is an absolute sweetheart until about 730 when he goes absolutely crazy and sounds like he wants to eat me. I am happy this is normal and will try some of the tricks on here.
    Thank you

    1. Hi
      Our puppy is 11 was old and a lurcher from 5pm she just doesn’t settle she runs around getting in to everything ,wants a wee back in whizzs around just a nightmare ,tonight at 7pm we put her in her crate so we could have a rest she whined for about 2mins and fell asleep ,have I done the right thing ?

  20. We play fetch with our little pommy, and then have some groom time ..(brush his teeth, comb his hair, etc.) That seems to tire him out and make him feel pampered. If he is tired and barks anyway, it is usually because he thinks he sees something outside he needs to warn us about. Poms are great little watch dogs. He doesn’t know how small he is.

    BTW, your dog Remy is beautiful.

  21. Thank you for letting me know my Teg is normal, I started to wonder if he was over tired and it makes sense. But so glad to read all your comments, it helps so much to know I’m not alone!

  22. Amber R Bullock

    Just found this thread and made me feel better. 4 month old curr named Dollye has been “mouthing” Everything, flipping around and just being odd tonight and 2 nights ago about 10 pm. Tonight I was so annoyed I finally picked her up and put her in the kennel. She was out like a light. Over tired….just my human toddlers used to get.

  23. My GSD is 13 weeks and she just had a total flip from 7.30 till I crated her at 10!! I play all the games but I must admit i get angry towards the end. Will learn to stop that and just behave really calmly! Never thought of over tired but to be fair she probably doesn’t get that much sleep in the day as as soon as i move she’s up and awake!!!! Thanks for your tips, i don’t feel so alone now!! Lol

  24. Thank you!!!!! My lab is 4 months and just started doing the night time crazies. I appreciate everyone’s advice and can’t wait to implement all these great ideas. Rileigh is the first pup we have rescued. So the advice is so appreciated!!! Going to start taking her out for a longer walk at night. Makes sense Crossing my fingers

  25. Noreen QLD. AUSTRALIA

    Toddlers do the same come witching hour.. I play ball with my dog Rhani @ 5PM she then has dinner & lies on her lounge or in her cubby house then i groom her ,, she puts herself to bed ,i come downstairs & close her gate she is an outside dog.when my adult grandson comes over she gets excited & runs up to step 3 she never goes up other times.she is 8yrs young full of energy.Dustin gives her a ball game or tug of war with her toy’s tied to clothes line. We did the same when she was little also likes to walks

  26. I love puppy crazies, my boxer girl did it for years! She is much quieter these days but I have a bulldog pup around 7 months old and she does it in the evening now and again but only for about 10 minutes, I love it, I love the joy on their face

  27. Great info! Our pup gets pretty good exercise/long walk every day. Never thought of the “overtired” evening syndrome – but it makes perfect sense – recalling the past with 3 toddlers! Thanks for the good advice!

  28. All of your comments are so much what I deal with every evening. It’s really good to not be alone in this. My sweet little Pom pup is building up steam and we can see it coming each evening. I’m so glad you all shared …helps to know that this will probably pass. It’s hard to be creative with the whole problem solving thing when all I want to do is relax and watch a little tv. Thanks for helping me breath a little easier! Sharon

  29. I CALL MY DOG “MR BUTTONS”; HE IS MY DOG FROM HELL!! GOING ON 8 MONTHS NOW, CAN BE A HANDFUL AND A HALF. LAST NIGHT HE CHEWED OPEN MY PILLOW – -HE IS SO DESTRUCTIVE AND WITH HIS TOYS TOO; IN NO TIME HE HAS THEM ROUINED AND I HAVE TO THROW THEM AWAY. I’M AT WITS END MOST OF THE TIME. I KNOW HE IS A PUPPY; MAYBE I CHOSE THE WRONG DOG FOR US. HE IS A GOLDEN DOODLE. WAS EASILY TRAINED AS FAR AS HOUSE BROKEN, BUT TRIES MY PATIENCE TO THE END. HE IS LOVIBLE AND DOES HAVE GOOD POINTS TOO.

    1. We found the only solution is to pick up our things (lost a really good pair of shoes), watch him constantly and when we have to even go downstairs crate him. When he was new to the house I kept the leash on him. We also have taught him “leave it” when he has something in his mouth he shouldn’t have. If he is on the leash we do not move until he drops whatever is in his mouth. Puppies are challenging but with consistency by everyone who interacts with dog (use same language i.e. leave it, sit, come, etc. he is getting so much better (except for the witching night hours lol).

  30. So glad to know I’m not alone with my pup’s nighttime craziness. Last night we stumbled upon something that worked for her. When she starts going crazy we just leave the room and close the door behind us. She calmed immediately down and waited for us on the other side of the door. Almost like a “puppy time out”, just took three or four minutes. Won’t work for everyone since a lot of pups will take being alone as a free pass for mayhem! But as it seems, everyone has to try different things for their dog to see what works for them!

  31. Thanks sooo much for All the comments. We thought we were the only puppy parents with this problem. And bad parents !

  32. OMG Max our 6 month old puppy goes crazy at night. He wants to be walked like 3 or 4 times regardless if he has plenty of exercise during the day. He is most likely to have an accident at this time if we do not pick up the clues. It lasts from 5pm to around 9pm and then he collapses and he is back to my angel puppy. When I bring him to doggy day care and he runs with the pack he comes home exhausted and does not have the crazies but I can’t afford to do that every day. Thanks for letting me know this is a normal puppy thing!!!

  33. My 4 month old pug really turns into a devil dog around 5-7 pm, barking at me, biting constantly, randomly grabbing things, he goes super destructive and nothing calms him, i dont use a crate but had to put him in the bathroom last night as he was just too out of control. He had a big walk in day. I think hes over tired and needs help winding down, hes on a raw diet but im yet to add bones, could this help him? Maybe he gets a bone at that time?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I think you’re right he’s overly tired at that point. Yes, you could try giving him a bully stick or his raw meaty bone at that time. That’s only if it won’t disrupt his bathroom schedule. Not sure how he’s doing on going through the night with/without bathroom breaks. Hang in there! It does get easier. Haha.

  34. Sarah. 16 week old Portuguese Water dog. Very sweet all day, but turns into a daemon in the evening, and I am the focus of her tantrums. Live in the country so she is outside running around freely, frequently during the day. In the evening she starts nipping at me wildly, my feet, my hands, my arms, anywhere she can get. If I’m walking she nips at my legs and pulls my clothing. It is very upsetting. Never had a puppy that nipped like this and I’ve had several puppies. She has endless bones to chew. I try distracting her with toys. Last evening I started just putting her in a crate for a few minutes every time she started, but that is exhausting. And, I’ve never had a dog I had to crate. I don’t crate her at night, she sleeps gated in my walk in closet. She will eventually be a good 55 lbs. I have an 11 year old dog as well, his growls don’t seem to scare her at all, but she does leave him alone. Thought about growling at her, but don’t want to make her aggressive.

    1. Hi Vickie, same issue with my 18 week pug x Jrt, he was just getting so silly and nippy and barking in our faces and it was getting out of control but i got a little squirt bottle and some may not agree with this method and i used to be against it but within a few hours he became so much calmer and nicer and now we feel we have control over his crazy behaviour. We hardly use it we just make a certain noise and he knows that will mean ill get the sprayer and he stops. We are all much happier and he seems more relaxed. He got too big for his boots i think haha

    2. I totally understand how upsetting the nipping can be. Our 4 month goldendoodle has the crazies each evening, but one thing we have been able to diminish is the nipping (after some of my clothes were ruined). I try not to react or do very little to unhook my clothes from her mouth and get the heck away from her. I tried putting her outside, but that didn’t help much. What does help is me getting out of her sight for a minute or two. We have puppy gates keeping her in the kitchen and familty room, so I go outside of them into my bedroom. When she gets worked up, she regresses a bit, but this has definitely helped. Good luck!
      Sometimes I have do to it twice, but she nips very little now.

  35. We are so relieved to have stumbled across these posts. Ringo, a mini Australian Shepherd who will be 12 weeks old next week, is not our first puppy, but he is the first one to absolutely lose his mind in the evening. Compared to his morning and daytime behavior, he is two different dogs. He is housebroken (no accidents in two weeks) and knows how to sit, lie down, head down, play fetch and so many other great behaviors, but at night: biting furniture and wires, attacking the cat, nipping at us … and we just about lose it. We have tried crating for short time-outs, but when he comes out, he flies right back at it. We are going to attempt some of the other suggestions: later walks, healthy chew activity and spray bottle. We truly appreciate every puppy parent who has shared their trials. Thank you!

      1. Thanks, our 14 week old ShihTzu /Maltese is so sweet…but she gets the crazies in the evenings. I am going to try the later walks and treat toys. The good thing is she loves her crate. She goes it by herself around 8:30/9:00. When I go to bed…I take her out for a potty time and then put her back in and close the door.
        I am ashamed to admit that I lost it last night with her crazies…continue sending ideas! I need help and I do love her!

    1. I previously posted about Sarah going nuts in the evening. She is doing better, but still gets wild. I haven’t used the spray bottle. Now if she starts nipping and won’t listen to ‘no bite,’ I tie her on a long, attached house line that won’t allow her to reach me on the sofa. It is just long enough that she can lie at my feet, but can’t jump up on me. At first she was a little frustrated by this but now accepts it and just begins to play with toys instead of nipping at me. I have also discovered cow hooves. She loves them. They keep her busy for hours and last forever. I fill marrow bones with canned dog food and freeze them which serves to get more food into her and occupy her. She also loves the edible puppy teething rings.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Oh that is great, thank you, Vickie! We did something similar with Remy when he was a puppy. We would tether him to a large weight in our living room. Like you, he could be near us but couldn’t bite us. Haha. It sounds kind of mean but it really saved our sanity and he didn’t have to be kenneled. We had to use a chain leash though or he would chew right threw it. Now that he’s 2, he’s a good boy in the evenings! You’ll get there!

  36. Thanks for the article. We lost our 11 year old Weim Lexie last October and a week ago brought home a new 8 week old Weim, Luna. Perhaps we have forgotten a lot in over 11 years but I never remember Lexie being a holy terror in the evening, at least not like Luna. Luna is generally a bit nippier than Lexie was but when crazy time hits, watch out!

    So, it’s a bit of a relief to know that this is “normal” and now we can watch for a) whether she’s overtired (very active day, probably time to crash for the night) or b) not had enough exercise. One thing I’ll stop doing is trying to wear her out with play (tug, fetch, etc.), instead focusing on calmer activities like a walk.

    Hopefully our one other challenge with her will also turn out to be “normal”… she does not do well crated, yet. On the positive side, after 10 days with us she will usually deal with being crated (in our bed room) without whining more than a few minutes at most and will sleep about 5-6 hours without waking and whining to go potty. Unfortunately, going back in the crate at 5am sometimes results in 15+ minutes of crying, whining, howling, etc. We have an ex-pen in living room and a crate in my home office and we have been gradually getting her used to both with short visits, always with treats and usually with us still in the room, but she is never really happy being in there, even to the point of ignoring a loaded Kong.

    With Lexie, we went through some period of her crying in her crate and while it was too long ago to recall how long that went on, neither of us recall her being anywhere near this resistant to being crated.

    Anyway, thanks for the article… and love the pictures of Remy – I’m a WeimAddict and can never get enough of Weim stories. You can see more about Luna (and Lexie before her) at @LexieAndMe on Twitter.

  37. Great to find this blog and read all the stories. Our story is similar…12- week old Welsh Springer who becomes uber frenetic at night. If it goes too OTT we give her a time out at those times, usually to save our 11year old choc lab from being constantly assaulted by this crazy puppy. She hates the crate and screams blue murder until we start the clicker routine which works well to calm her down. Def going to try the chew bone though …thanks for that tip!

      1. It was an an Ebook that l came across with crate training techniques…she recommended putting puppy in the crate then leaving the room, when there is a 3-second break in the crying click, go back into the room and quietly praise her then leave again, you keep repeating this for about 10 times with the last time letting her out of the crate for a pee break. She recommended doing this about three times a day increasing the interval of clicks as crying gets less until puppy is calm and happy to be left in her crate.

        To be honest we gave not been as consistent with the training as we should have been, we got lazy because we found we just have to use the clicker a few times and she settles down. I think if we had been consistent with the method those few days she wouldn’t fuss going in the crate as she still does.

        1. Interesting idea. Two weeks since my previous post and not only is Luna bigger (turns 12 weeks on Sunday) but nipping is more biting. We are now working with a trainer and seeing some improvement but when evening rolls around and she gets the crazies, it’s like being in a shark cage with a Great White!

          A timeout in the crate is one of the things we were told to use when she is all teeth and won’t chill out. Unfortunately, after even just a few timeouts where we put her in crate when she obviously didn’t want to be there, now she always resists the crate (even with us being calm, keeping it low key). And, for any time in crate except at bedtime, she still cries a lot.

          Mind sharing info on that ebook? Besides the clicker technique, I’m curious what it has to say about ways to get them willingly in the crate in the first place. We can’t still be we fighting this battle when Luna is 6 months old!

    1. Nate – happy to share. The book is called The Happy Puppy Handbook by Pippa Mattinson, I got the kindle version on Amazon. A lot of what Lindsay shares with us here is in this book so its a nice affirmation. She writes very simply and in straight forward manner though I think she leans towards Lab puppies more but more importantly is all about positive affirmation. (PS I went a little out of sequence here because the margins are getting very narrow so difficult to read and almost by the third reply to a convo it becomes a letter a line which is impossible to read).

  38. My husband googled , “why is my puppy such a spaz in the evenings” and this came up. I am so glad to read it, I thought there was something seriously wrong with my Apollo. He goes nuts, hiding under couches and barking, biting everything in sight, just plain driving us all nuts. He’s 9 weeks old and terrorizes my cat during this time which we do NOT put up with. Anyway, our dog trainer comes tomorrow. I will see if she has any advice, but appreciay you writing all of this!

  39. This is an awesome post – thank you! I thought my dog had some sort of issue. He’s a thirteen week old cavapoo… i thought that meant that he’d want to sit on my lap and be super smart… NOT AT ALL! I mean, he’s smart and picks up commands fairly easily, but doesn’t want to spend ANY time in my lap. At night, around 7p, something happens and he doesn’t seem to know what to do with himself. I work from home, so am spending all day around him. He gets like at least an hour of interaction with me – either walking or playing, which I thought would be enough to poop him out (forgive the pun), but without fail, he is biting, running around, and just generally annoying every night. I have a 4×4 fenced in crate for him in the living area and put him in there when he goes nuts, but even in there, he’s overstimulated, chewing up his bed, barking, whining, and crying… I’ve given up watching television now… I thought I was going to have to medicate him until I read this post. Thank you! My last dog, a little Yorkie, didn’t show any of this behavior… God, I miss him! 🙂

  40. So glad to hear so many familiar stories here! I brought home lil girl Lou three weeks ago – an 11-week-old mini cockapoo. I am a first-time puppy owner and all the research in the world couldn’t have prepared me for this little love bug! She is an angel during the day – but 7pm is her witching hour. She somehow wants to cuddle AND wants to zoom – which results in a fluffy whirlwind of tiny shark teeth. She gets lots of exercise and attention during the day – and I am starting to recognize when the pre-nap crankiness emerges. Tonight I gave in and put her to bed at 7, and she fell asleep immediately. I feel guilty putting her in her house and would love to spend this time winding down/cuddling, but it feels like she doesn’t know how to wind down yet! Glad to read that I am not alone.

    1. Denise Andalman

      We have a 13 week old poodle. First couple of weeks we fought with the wildness every night and suffered the wounds from puppy teeth. I was putting her in crate for 9pm and she slept all nite. A couple of weeks ago we decided no more. I play with her throwing the ball in a controlled environment from 7:00 till 7:45. She then goes outside for poop and pee and in the crate by 8pm. The crate is next to my bed and we watch tv in the room. She cries for about two minutes then I hear her chewing her nylabone and then she crashes. She sleeps all the way until 6:30 or 7am. I felt guilty at first putting her to bed so early but I am retired so she gets plenty one on one all day. We are all happier. She is an angel in the morning and only crazy wild at night.

  41. Thankyou very much that was helpful I have a 14 week Labrador x and round 7pm he gets so naughty barking biting and I swear he turns his ears of

  42. I have a 15 week old Golden Retriever. She loses her mind at 8:00 pm. Catapults of walls and the top of the couch, barks and tries snapping at us. How do you handle the snapping? This post made me put down the phone to my breeder. I thought it was just my dog.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I think you should just give her some don time with something to chew on in her crate. Or move her bed time earlier. She’s probably overly tired. Haha. Best of luck, I know it’s hard!

      1. Kim S. Williams – that was us 6-months ago, we were at our wits end but got some great advice from others…what worked for us in the end was, make sure your pup is well exercised, physically during the day AND gets a few time outs as well or they will go over the top just like a human child! Use tug toys with long ropes or handles on them to avoid the alligator teeth, brain games in the evening like find-it and your-choice work like magic at tuckering them out, and if all else fails early to bed! Good luck l promise this will change soon and your bundle will become the dog you want it too.

  43. Thank you SO much for posting this (I know it is an older post) but is extremely helpful!!! I was at my wits end with some of these behaviors and am comforted that many of them are normal!! Thanks for the peace of mind!

  44. So glad out found this page. Having a new pup (it’s been 11 years since our older dog was a pup) I had forgotten these crazy nights. Our little 14 week old doodle changes into a mean biting daemon. Your explanation and the many comments have been extremely helpful and make me feel much more at ease putting him in his crate at 9:00 pm. I thought I was a mean mamma by putting him in the crate but I think I’m doing the both of us a favor. Thank you so very much!!!

  45. I’m so relieved to have found this article and it’s not just me dealing with the witching hour in the evenings!
    I have a little rescue puppy called Hector who’s 5 months old. For the first couple of weeks I had him he was mega chill and affectionate but the last two weeks in the evenings (around 7.30 or just when I’m finally relaxed on the sofa) he goes totally nuts. My main problem is all he wants to do is bite my hands and feet. I’ve tried everything from distraction to ignoring him to trying play / training to crate time to going out in the garden but nothing seems to snap him out of it. Just wondering if anyone else has the same problem and has any recommendations? Thanks!

  46. So glad I found this page. 13-week old golden and struggling with all of the above. Thought she was potty trained – she would follow older dog out doggie door to do her business, but sometimes returns to the kitchen to finish up the job. She’s smart – learning to sit and down, waits for her food (!), but gets the Zoomies in the evening and terrorizes the older dog (11 yr lab/pit). I will read through again and look for more tips. Mostly feel better that so many are experiencing similar frustrations. Will look forward to more ideas. Thanks

  47. Ooo boy, am I glad I’m not alone in this. I have a 6 mo old puppy, Shine. Shine is a stray dog and so sweet. She is adorable till around 7 pm. She then starts jumping on every couch, chairs, whatever she can jump on. I’m from the Caribbean so Its always warm so I open the door and let her go outside. That helps but…. when she’s back she takes the newspapers, slippers, my handbag, whatever she sees lying around, she takes. Thank God, not even her toys, does she break but when is this going to stop? I’m dead tired at night.

  48. Thank goodness I found this article! We have had a 9.5 week old puppy for five days and his witching hour behaviour has been gradually getting worse. I thought it must have something to do with being overtired as he gets lots of exercise during the day. I put him in his crate tonight and he passed out after whinging for a while. So glad he’s not crazy!

  49. Well for those of you who wonder when your puppy will grow out of this stage, I am here to report that I have 14 year cocker spaniel that lately turns into a complete psycho every night around 8:00. It is like she is a wild puppy again. During the day she walks around pretty slowly and has trouble on the stairs but somehow during the bewitching hour she runs around like a terror. Last night along with the incessant barking, she was also causing quite a racket using her paws to bang at the fireplace tools. She makes us crazy but we are happy to see her have this energy.

  50. Happy to see all this- my 13 week old mini cockapoo goes crazy every evening and terrorizes our 11 year old dog and tears up all my plants in the yard, he pulls grass out by the roots and does Zoomies all over . I have a hard time catching him but when I can I put him in the house in his play pen for a time out then try again a few minutes later- repeating the process as necessary. It has been a while since i have had a puppy and this will be my last one – I am retired- I put him in his night time crate by my bed about 9:30 or 10 and he sleeps tile 6:45. I take him outside for a few then put him in his playpen with food and water and let him listen to tv and I can go back to bed for another hour or so before i get up and we walk a couple of blocks to coffee stand to get coffee- and a treat for him. So good to now this is normal behavior

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