Does your puppy become possessed in the evening hours?
Round about 7 o’clock in the evening something strange happens... Your previously sedate puppy suddenly gets a look in their eye. They start to go a little crazy… running around, biting, barking, chewing and generally acting like a little psychopath.
Don’t worry, you don’t need an exorcist (unless they can swivel their head 360°, then may God have mercy on your soul). The puppy witching hour is caused by a perfect storm of events that culminate in the behaviours that you witness.
For one thing, they’ve probably digested their dinner to the point all the carbohydrates are releasing sugars, giving your puppy that second wind sugar rush.
For another, it’s at the end of the day when your puppy will be feeling tired and getting to the point where they are overly tired and resort to annoying behaviours.
You’re also at a point in evening where you are ready to relax, unwind and watch the tele. So you might lack the patience you might have had if these behaviours occurred earlier on in the day or are more willing and able to redirect your puppy.
So, what can you do short of dousing them with holy water?
The puppy witching hour always occurs around a similar time so the key to preventing it from coming to fruition is to get in there before it starts up.
Have a dedicated area you can have you dog to settle and contain them in. This can be a crate, pen, behind a babygate or tethered to you or an anchor point.
Before your pup switched from Jackel to Hyde, let them out for the toilet, then take them to the space you have designated and give them something to do. Stuffed Kong, Lickimat, long-lasting chew like a pizzle, a cardboard box you don’t mind them shredding. You can even freeze the Kong and Lickimat to make them last longer.
Get your pup stuck into watch they are doing and then quietly leave them to it. If your dog isn’t used to you leaving them, then either have the settle space next to you, or stay in the same space as your dog, just not within nailing distance.
Your pup might have a preference for what they want to enjoy so you might want to try a few things to see what they like and rotate them so it’s something new and interesting each night. There is the possibility of puppy tantrums when they suddenly have their usual plaything (you) taken away from them, but unless they are very distressed, just keep redirecting them and the new habit will take over from the initial frustration.
Good luck… mwahahahahaha!