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Hi,

We have a 12 week old working cocker puppy, we have had him 4 weeks. He’s fine all day but he turns wild from 8-11pm (zoomies?) I have tried playing with him and giving attention but it ends up taking over the whole night trying to stop him barking and waking up my daughter. When I ignore him he sits and starts barking. When I go to pick him up he backs off and puts his bum in the air and is a little bit aggressive towards me. Never bitten me but seems defensive. In the end I have started putting him in his crate just to try and calm him down.
His last walk is around 5pm and uses the garden for toilet afterwards.
He has multiple sleeps during the day and eats well.

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Thanks
Gav
 

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Crate him at night. He needs to learn night is for sleeping, not play.
 

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I suspect puppies need some zoomies, but not 3 hours' worth. Depending on when you go to bed, you could try allowing a reasonable time for wild play then deliberately changing over to more calming activities. For instance, can you do a later walk and/or give him a puzzle toy or a short training session that would tire him mentally? You say he's disturbing your daughter's sleep. Can he play/zoom somewhere she won't hear? Basement? Safe garage? Yard with yard light? If your daughter is very young and goes to bed early, just crating him then means he's going to need to go out during the time you want to still sleep and probably are in deepest sleep. If an early bedtime for your daughter overlaps your sleep time and adds up to 10, 12 hours.... Think about ways to balance puppy, daughter, you.
 

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If your pup has that much energy at night, I find myself wondering how much exercise he gets during the day.
 

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You have a working dog. I have a working dog. Different breeds but similar in DRIVE. This means you have a very active dog that needs a LOT of exercise and actual brain stimulating work in order to find and use the "off switch." This dog has been bred to go all day hunting. If you want him to be a pet you still need to meet his activity needs with a combination of training and exercise.

BEFORE zoomies, engage the puppy in games where he must THINK. Various games with a clicker can help because these games (which are training) force the dog to think in order to get the click and a prize (treat). You may need to feed his night meal this way.

After (and during if need be) training take him out to pee and poop and then bring in and crate. IF you have done your job training, he will settle and sleep. I would be timing this so he enters training mode just after 8 PM with the final crating at 9:00 PM. It will likely mean you have to take him out at 11PM before you go to bed OR you may need to get up at 5AM to get him out in the morning.

When you get him out in the morning leave ample time to exercise him and add a little clicker training before breakfast.

I do not know what your day schedule is, but if you go to work and cannot work the dog during the day expect to do it as soon as you get home and not just 5 minutes. Maybe out, 5-10 minutes of training, then exercise such as throwing a ball or walking or combination of both for about an hour.. then feed, out and crate so you all can eat.. then out and more exercise.. and then around the time of zoomies more training involving a lot of thinking as noted about.

This schedule is for a PUPPY. As he matures his needs will grow and you will need to give him more exercise and more thinking work.

Welcome to the life of owning a working dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have a working dog. I have a working dog. Different breeds but similar in DRIVE. This means you have a very active dog that needs a LOT of exercise and actual brain stimulating work in order to find and use the "off switch." This dog has been bred to go all day hunting. If you want him to be a pet you still need to meet his activity needs with a combination of training and exercise.

BEFORE zoomies, engage the puppy in games where he must THINK. Various games with a clicker can help because these games (which are training) force the dog to think in order to get the click and a prize (treat). You may need to feed his night meal this way.

After (and during if need be) training take him out to pee and poop and then bring in and crate. IF you have done your job training, he will settle and sleep. I would be timing this so he enters training mode just after 8 PM with the final crating at 9:00 PM. It will likely mean you have to take him out at 11PM before you go to bed OR you may need to get up at 5AM to get him out in the morning.

When you get him out in the morning leave ample time to exercise him and add a little clicker training before breakfast.

I do not know what your day schedule is, but if you go to work and cannot work the dog during the day expect to do it as soon as you get home and not just 5 minutes. Maybe out, 5-10 minutes of training, then exercise such as throwing a ball or walking or combination of both for about an hour.. then feed, out and crate so you all can eat.. then out and more exercise.. and then around the time of zoomies more training involving a lot of thinking as noted about.

This schedule is for a PUPPY. As he matures his needs will grow and you will need to give him more exercise and more thinking work.

Welcome to the life of owning a working dog.
 

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Your puppy is still very young. How much napping does your puppy do? When they are overtired, this is when I see most of the zoomies and undesirable behavior such as biting/jumping uncontrollably. My pup gets a lot of excersise throughout the day since I'm home, he gets up at 8am and usually pretty tuckered by 8 or 9pm. Not to say he doesn't have another rush of energy, but generally he is much calmer and napping more by this time.

When he was younger, like your pup's age, he was zooming around (high energy play/training/excersise for 1-2hrs and napping for 1-2hrs. At 23 weeks old, he doesn't nap as much, but he still naps after 3 or 4hrs.

Not sure if he would have gotten into the habit of napping if we didn't create a downtime for him. Otherwise I think he might have kept going and made himself overtired.
 

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I'm curious how much sleep she's getting too. Some puppies definitely need more exercise and mental stimulation than others, but there's also puppies who do not know how to settle down and nap on their own. Some are both, and that can be a 'fun' combo, haha. Then they get overtired and get even more wild and out of control. My trainer says puppies should be getting 18-20 hours a day when they're very small - not sure what the veterinary consensus is on that, but generally speaking they need more sleep than you realize.

My boy was one of those dogs who did not know how to settle. We had to enforce quiet times in his pen, where he'd get a filled, frozen Kong or chew to work on, and he wasn't allowed out until he was looking much calmer and more settled. He could get up and play and interact with things in the pen, but he couldn't interact with us or our older dog, so it was a boring environment for him where the most rewarding activity available to him was inherently calming (chewing). If he fell asleep, he'd get let out when he was done napping. Even now, sometimes he needs enforced calm-down breaks when he's too amped up and clearly unable to think clearly or use self control (usually this only happens when my older dog also gets too amped up and they rile each other up, I don't think it'd be much of an issue if he were an only dog).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Your puppy is still very young. How much napping does your puppy do? When they are overtired, this is when I see most of the zoomies and undesirable behavior such as biting/jumping uncontrollably. My pup gets a lot of excersise throughout the day since I'm home, he gets up at 8am and usually pretty tuckered by 8 or 9pm. Not to say he doesn't have another rush of energy, but generally he is much calmer and napping more by this time.

When he was younger, like your pup's age, he was zooming around (high energy play/training/excersise for 1-2hrs and napping for 1-2hrs. At 23 weeks old, he doesn't nap as much, but he still naps after 3 or 4hrs.

Not sure if he would have gotten into the habit of napping if we didn't create a downtime for him. Otherwise I think he might have kept going and made himself overtired.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the feedback that’s great. Yes I think he struggles to settle down and sleep which is causing the issue. I’m just leaving him to be alone and it seems to work as when I return to the room he’s asleep. Usually leave him for 30 mins or so
 

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I'm curious how much sleep she's getting too. Some puppies definitely need more exercise and mental stimulation than others, but there's also puppies who do not know how to settle down and nap on their own. Some are both, and that can be a 'fun' combo, haha. Then they get overtired and get even more wild and out of control. My trainer says puppies should be getting 18-20 hours a day when they're very small - not sure what the veterinary consensus is on that, but generally speaking they need more sleep than you realize.

My boy was one of those dogs who did not know how to settle. We had to enforce quiet times in his pen, where he'd get a filled, frozen Kong or chew to work on, and he wasn't allowed out until he was looking much calmer and more settled. He could get up and play and interact with things in the pen, but he couldn't interact with us or our older dog, so it was a boring environment for him where the most rewarding activity available to him was inherently calming (chewing). If he fell asleep, he'd get let out when he was done napping. Even now, sometimes he needs enforced calm-down breaks when he's too amped up and clearly unable to think clearly or use self control (usually this only happens when my older dog also gets too amped up and they rile each other up, I don't think it'd be much of an issue if he were an only dog).
Thanks that makes so much sense. I think he also struggles to calm down and sleep. I have started leaving him alone in a different room for say 30mins. When I return he’s usually asleep and then wakes fines. I deffo think he needs the enforced quiet time.
 

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Thanks that makes so much sense. I think he also struggles to calm down and sleep. I have started leaving him alone in a different room for say 30mins. When I return he’s usually asleep and then wakes fines. I deffo think he needs the enforced quiet time.
 
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