Are Poodles Hyper?

Are Poodles Hyper?

Poodles are among the most popular breeds in the United States, especially popular as companion or family dogs. Poodles have a reputation as spoiled lap dogs, but like many dog breeds, they were working dogs first. This transition from working dogs to companions has left many people with a frustrating problem; their poodle is hyper. So, how do you calm down a hyper poodle?

Poodle is Acting Hyper
Poodle is Acting Hyper

Physical activity, mental stimulation, and obedience training can often reduce hyperactivity in poodles. Poodles are intelligent, active dogs that require proper exercise and enrichment in order to be tranquil. In rare cases, poodles can become clinically hyperactive and require treatment by a qualified veterinarian.

How to Calm a Hyper Poodle: A Helpful Guide With Videos
How to Calm a Hyper Poodle: A Helpful Guide With Videos

Though poodles may serve as companion dogs today, This breed’s temperament, history, and intelligence often make curbing hyperactivity in poodles a chore. The key to calming your poodle lies in understanding their behavior and channeling it into activities that keep them happy, healthy, and calm- well, calmer. Read on to discover why poodles are hyper, when you can expect them to calm down, and what you can do in the meantime.

Why Exactly Are Poodles Hyper?

There are logical explanations for your poodle’s hyper temperament. It’s pinpointing the exact reason why that can be challenging. Let’s dive into some of these reasons to help you find out what’s causing your poodle to be hyper.

Poodles are often hyper as a result of:

Breeding

  • Poodles were first bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. As a result, these dogs were bred for intelligence, trainability, and energy.
  • Hunters realized the hair meant to keep their dogs warm, also absorbed too much water and weighed them down when working. As a result, owners trimmed their poodle’s hair everywhere they didn’t need to keep warm, leading to the poodle’s distinctive cut.
  • Most dog breeds were originally bred for work, usually hunting, guarding, herding, or pest control. The idea of companion dogs is a relatively recent development and leaves dogs with instincts and behaviors which are not needed any longer.
  • Companion dogs, such as poodles and border collies, often need toys, activities, and training so that all that energy meant to go into herding or retrieving doesn’t build up and led to negative or destructive behaviors in your home.

Intelligence

  • Poodles are an extremely smart dog breed to be hunting dogs. Intelligent dogs need to use their brain; whether they’re in training for a specific task or puzzle games played at home. These dogs are smart enough to train as service dogs, therapy animals, or even watchdogs!
  • Poodles need plenty of mental stimulation. In your downtime, you might read, play video games, paint, or do other activities that both engage your mind and let energy out. Poodles have the same need to keep their mind engaged, and if not occupied, poodles can get hyper and full of anxiety.
  • Poodles are rated as the 2nd most intelligent dog breed in the world, so it’s especially important to keep their minds occupied. A clever dog isn’t going to be satisfied just lounging around the house all day. Lack of proper socialization and intellectual vigor can lead to separation anxiety if not properly addressed.
  • Check out this article I wrote on separation anxiety in Poodles. In it, you’ll find fifteen easy ways to curb this destructive behavior fast!

Activity Level

  • Poodles can become hyperactive when not given enough exercise or playtime. If you ask a poodle to spend a day alone in a kennel or a single room in your house, it’s a recipe for trouble. 
  • Adequate space to run around is essential for a poodle, even miniature and toy poodles. Limiting your poodle to one room, or even a kennel, while you’re out may sound like a good way to protect your furniture, but likely won’t address the heart of the problem.
  • Larger dogs generally need more exercise than smaller dogs. Larger poodles are no exception as they need up to two hours of exercise per day. While Adult poodles may be able to get this exercise all at once, puppies have less stamina but more energy, so it’s best to break up their exercise into shorter sessions throughout the day.

What Can I Do to Calm My Poodle?

  • Thankfully, there are several different avenues that you can take to calm your Poodle down that require physical activity.
  • An excellent first step is ensuring that they have adequate space to run around. If your home or yard doesn’t provide the necessary space, consider looking into dog parks nearby and letting them run around there for a bit.
  • If you do have the space at home and you notice them getting hyper, let them outside.
  • Regular walks will also help keep Poodles calm. The stimulation from smelling new things will help just as much as physical activity will.
  • Poodles were born to swim! Try finding a place in your area that’s safe for them to swim. If you don’t have a suitable location around you, even a kiddie pool for them to splash around in can provide them with an excellent outlet to get rid of pent-up energy.
  • Do you have friends that have dogs? Schedule a doggy play date with them and let your Poodle play safely. This is a good way to keep them from getting hyperactive and help familiarize them with other dogs.
  • One final suggestion is to play with them! Since it’s ingrained in them to be good at retrieving, try playing catch with your dog. This is a great bonding activity and often ends up being just as fun for you as it is for them.
  • An important thing to remember overall is that if your Poodle is often home alone during the day, it can be good to have someone pop in and visit with them or occasionally take them to daycare.

Does Intelligence Play a Role?

Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Because of this, they’re easy to train and are excellent at learning new tricks.

Because of their intelligence, if a Poodle is mentally unstimulated, it can also lead to them being hyper.

To remedy this, particularly when they’re puppies, try:

  • Enrolling them in agility training
  • Using food puzzles
  • Teaching them tricks
  • Allowing them to sniff

Teaching them tricks regularly and providing them with new toys to use will help them to feel mentally stimulated and ensure that they’re properly trained before it’s too late.

Another option to consider aside from tricks and new toys is making use of food puzzles. There are a wide variety of options available, but making them work for their food helps them to use their brain and slow down their eating at once.

Agility training is a great way to combine physical and mental stimulation. When they think about how to tackle each obstacle, it’s using brainpower and all the obstacles require running, jumping, etc. so it’s sure to help them burn off some energy as well!

Finally, remember that sniffing is one of the most significant ways that dogs take in information. So if you’re taking them on a walk, allow them enough time to sniff and enjoy themselves rather than rushing them along.

Can You Give Poodles Something to Stay Calm?

If you find that your Poodle seems to be hyper even with proper physical and mental stimulation, there are two possible causes.

The first applies if your Poodle is still a puppy. Poodle puppies need around 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day! If they aren’t getting nearly enough, they’re likely overtired, leading to hyperactivity the same way it does for humans.

Be sure to give them an adequate area to sleep in. It should be a quiet and calm space that allows them to relax and sleep as much as they need when they’re young.

The second possibility is that you have a legitimately hyperactive dog, meaning that they’re in a constant state of hyperactivity versus having short bursts due to a lack of proper care.

This situation is rare, but it’s characterized by:

  • Their inability to fully relax even at home
  • An elevated heart rate/breathing rate
  • A short attention span

If you notice these signs in your dog, talk to your vet so that they can fully assess the situation and give you proper advice based on your Poodle specifically.

At What Age Should You Expect a Poodle to Calm Down

Depending on the type of Poodle that you have, you can expect them to be fully grown at different ages, when they reach adulthood impacts when they will grow out of their puppy phase and start being calmer.

Miniature Poodles

Miniature Poodles, like toy Poodles, will reach adulthood around the one-year mark where they will weigh 10-15 pounds. They are still intelligent and natural athletes, so keep this in mind as you work to provide them with proper stimulation in both cases.

Toy Poodles

  • Toy Poodles reach adulthood at age one, where they will be between six and 9 pounds. At this point, they should be noticeably calmer than when they were a puppy.
  • Despite their smaller size, toy poodles have the same energy as full-size Poodles and should be treated the same when it comes to exercise.
  • Toy poodles are often considered to be the most hyper of all the Poodle sizes. Although as a general rule this is unfair, there are plenty of hyper-energetic Toy Poodles.
  • Toy Poodles are known for surprisingly high energy levels and often have a lot of trouble calming down. This can make them difficult to handle for some people, and often results in them being given up to shelters or rescues.
  • There are a number of things that you can do to help your small Poodle calm down. One of the most important is to make sure that you are providing enough exercise for them. Taking them on walks and playing with them will help tire them out and make it easier for them to relax when they’re at home.
  • Puzzles toys or Frozen Kong’s provide a great distraction if your Poodle needs to spend some time at home alone.
  • You should also train your small Poodle to be calm using positive reinforcement methods. If they associate treats with calm, they will become more calm. Poodles are very food motivated!

Standard Poodles

  • Larger breeds take longer to reach their full size of 40-70 pounds, so standard Poodles are considered adults between 18 and 24 months.
  • Keep in mind that between toy, miniature, and standard size Poodles, the standard Poodle will need the most space due to their size.

The Final Poodle Hyperactivity Breakdown

Are poodles hyper dogs? They certainly can be if they aren’t given the proper environment to enrich them mentally and physically.

If you notice your Poodle is hyper when they’re a puppy, it’s normal due to their age, but it can be from a lack of sleep.

If your fully-grown Poodle is acting hyper, consider what activities they take part in each day and try to work in some of the suggestions mentioned here if it seems like they might need more play.

Above all, your Poodle was born to be full of energy and life, so expect them to need much playtime and special attention to remain calm and happy.

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