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Pitbulls are a highly energetic dog breed which causes them to act hyper at times, especially when they’re young.
If they do not calm down, their hyper behavior can escalate to become more destructive and aggressive.
So, when do Pitbulls calm down? Pitbulls calm down when they’re at about 12 to 18 months of age. They’re more likely to act hyper as puppies because they have higher energy that they don’t know how to release in a healthy manner, but by the time they reach adulthood, they would have received more training to control their behavior.
Keep reading to learn more about what causes Pitbulls to act hyper and how to get them to calm down.
Are Pitbulls Hyper?
Even though Pitbulls are highly energetic, They are not inherently hyper. Pitbulls are more likely to act hyper when they’re younger, but they will naturally calm down while getting into adulthood.
It varies from one dog to another as it also comes down to the dog’s training and living conditions.
Some Pitbulls will continue to act hyper even when they reach adulthood. Their behavior might even escalate to become more destructive or aggressive; however, this will rarely happen without a proper reason.
How to Tell If Your Pitbull Is Hyper?
You must know how to tell if your Pitbull is hyper to discipline its behavior early and prevent it from escalating further. By the way, you can check out my guide on how to discipline your Pitbull here.
So, here are some signs you can look out for to tell if your Pitbull is hyper:
- Your dog will suddenly start running and jumping around very quickly
- Your Pitbull will begin barking loudly and excessively for no apparent reason
- Your dog will sometimes paw or dig at the ground as if it’s looking for something
- Your dog will have a very short attention span and have trouble sticking to its routine
- Your dog will often act impulsively and fail to respond to commands
- Your dog will get tired quickly and crash very often
- Your dog will display some destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture
- Your dog will play too rough with you or display some aggressive behaviors
- Your dog will pee or poop inside the house even though it has been potty trained
Your Pitbull may also be just having the zoomies and is not behaving like his normal self. You can learn why and when Pitbulls get the zoomies here. I also discuss how to calm down a Pitbull with the zoomies in there, so make sure to check it out.
When Do Pitbulls Calm Down?
As mentioned before, Pitbulls are more likely to act hyper when they’re young because, at that age, they tend to have higher energy levels that they don’t know how to release healthily.
Pitbulls will usually calm down when they reach adulthood at about 12 to 18 months.
By then, they would have received more training to control their behavior and learned how to release any pent-up energy healthily.
Now, let’s take a closer the Pitbull’s levels of hyperactivity throughout different ages:
2 to 4 months
At this age, Pitbull puppies will naturally be excited and fascinated by everything around them, causing them to act hyper most of the time.
However, their bodies will still be going through developments, so they will deplete their energy and get tired more quickly.
4 to 12 months
At this age, Pitbull puppies tend to be the most hyper.
They will have a lot of pent-up energy that they’re still learning to release properly.
Their bodies would also be fully developed, so they won’t get tired as quickly.
12 to 18 months
Pitbull would have reached adulthood at this age, and they will naturally start to calm down.
They might still act moderately hyper. However, they would have received enough training to control their behavior and learn how to release their pent-up energy healthily.
What Causes Pitbull to Act Hyper?
Pitbulls will rarely act hyper when they reach adulthood.
If your Pitbull doesn’t calm down as it gets older, there’s likely something causing it to act hyper other than simply its age.
So, here are some of the causes for your Pitbull’s hyper behavior:
Not Receiving Proper Training and Discipline
If Pitbulls don’t receive proper training and discipline when they’re young, they’re likely to act hyper when they reach adulthood as this kind of behavior was never discouraged, and they can’t tell that it is wrong.
Not Receiving Proper Socialization
Suppose Pitbulls don’t receive proper socialization when they are young.
In that case, they will be more likely to feel scared or anxious when they’re exposed to unfamiliar environments or when they have to interact with new people or other dogs.
Feeling scared or anxious will cause Pitbulls to act more hyper than usual as a way of coping.
Not Getting Enough Attention
Pitbulls are social dogs, and they constantly crave attention from their owners and others around them.
So, if they don’t get as much attention as they need, they will start to act more hyper to get their owners to pay more attention to them.
If you must leave your Pittie alone for hours every day, you should do your best to make them feel less lonely and adapt to their stay alone.
You can learn that in my post on how long can Pitbulls be left alone here.
Not Getting Enough Physical Exercise
Pitbulls are highly energetic, and they need regular exercise to help them healthily release their excess energy.
So, if they don’t get enough physical exercise, they will seek alternative ways to release their pent-up energy, which can cause them to act more hyper.
Other signs that your Pitbull isn’t getting enough exercise include sudden weight gain, muscle stiffness, and various health problems.
Not Getting Enough Mental Stimulation
Pitbulls are also highly intelligent, and they need regular mental stimulation to keep them from becoming too bored.
So, if they don’t get enough mental stimulation, they will seek alternative ways to occupy themselves, which can cause them to act more hyper.
Not Eating a Good Diet
Pitbulls need to eat an average of 922 to 1,740 calories in a day, depending on their size and activity level.
So, if their diet doesn’t provide them with enough calories and nutrients to remain healthy and in good shape, they will start to act more hyper than usual to communicate what their body needs.
Developing Separation Anxiety
Pitbulls love companionship, and they tend to get very attached to their owners. Pitbulls are one of the easiest dogs to imprint on their owners, in my experience.
So, if they are left alone for extended periods, they will begin to develop separation anxiety which causes them to act more hyper as a coping method.
Pitbulls are prone to develop Hyperkinesis, which is a condition that’s very similar to ADHD in humans.
This condition can cause Pitbulls to act inexplicably hyper and experience other symptoms, including excessive abnormal movements, excessive barking and drooling, impulsive behavior, short attention span, and extreme oversensitivity to stimuli.
How to Calm Down a Hyper Pitbull?
Now that you know what causes your Pitbull to act hyper, here are some valuable tips that you can follow to get them to calm down quickly as well as prevent them from acting hyper in the future:
Start Your Dog’s Socialize at A Young Age
You need to start your Pitbull’s socialization when it’s still young to teach it not to feel threatened or scared in new environments when it grows older.
Proper socialization involves taking your dog to different places where it will be exposed to new scents and sounds, as well as getting to interact with other humans and dogs in a safe environment
To do that, you can take your dog for daily walks in a busy park or to socialization events that are usually held by pet shelters.
Start Your Dog’s Training and Discipline at A Young Age
You also need to start your Pitbull’s training and discipline when it’s young to ensure it will be obedient and well-behaved when it grows older.
Teach your Pitbull to respond to basic commands like “stop,” “sit,” “stay,” “quiet,” and “down,” so you can use them whenever you need them to calm down and make sure to use proper discipline methods throughout the training process.
Reward Calm Your Dog’s Calm Behavior
Make sure to reward your Pitbull whenever it displays good behavior or whenever it’s calm to encourage it to continue to behave this way in the future. You can reward the dog by giving it whatever motivates it the most, including favorite toys, treats, or praise.
Keep in mind that this training method is known as positive reinforcement. You should only use Positive Reinforcement when your dog displays desirable behavior, as it reinforces whatever behavior your dog does.
It works with bad behaviors because it is not used to stop the dog from doing the bad behavior. Instead, you use it to replace bad behavior with desirable one.
If you start rewarding your dog when it acts hyper or for no reason at all, you will eventually diminish the effect of the reward and cause the dog to misbehave more often.
Discourage Your Dog’s Hyper Behavior
Never reward or praise your Pitbull when it acts hyper and immediately discourage its behavior.
The most effective way to discourage undesirable behavior in dogs is to ignore it, and this will help your dog understand that acting hyper is not the right way to get you to pay attention.
Another effective way is to spray your dog with water whenever it acts hyper.
The water is entirely harmless to the dog. It will only cause a little discomfort, so with repetition; your dog will eventually associate acting hyper with the discomfort of getting sprayed, which will cause it to stop acting hyper to avoid the water and the discomfort that comes from it.
You should never use aggressive methods such as beating and yelling to discourage your dog’s hyper behavior as this will only provoke the dog and cause its behavior to escalate. You can learn why this is bad and how to correctly discipline a Pitbull here.
Establish a Stable Routine for Your Dog
You need to establish a stable routine for your Pitbull to help them anticipate what will happen throughout their day, which can help them maintain a calmer state of mind.
Establishing a routine involves setting specific times for meals, walks, games, exercise, sleep, and general interaction.
Any lack of structure throughout the dog’s day will make it feel anxious and cause it to act hyper. So, avoid deviating from your dog’s routine as much as possible, and if you need to make any changes, make sure to introduce them gradually to avoid disturbing your dog’s calm.
Give Your Dog Enough Attention
Make sure to give your dog enough attention by spending more time with them.
During the time you spend with your dog, you can feed it, play with it, or even sit and talk with it as long as your dog gets to be in your company.
Also, avoid leaving your dog alone for extended periods to prevent it from developing separation anxiety.
This will not only help calm your dog and prevent it from acting hyper, but it will also help strengthen your bond with your dog.
Exercise Your Dog Regularly
You need to establish a regular exercise routine for your dog that includes various physical activities.
Regular exercise will help your dog release any pent-up energy and tire it out when it starts acting hyper.
On average, Pitbulls need to get around 30 minutes of physical exercise in a day when they’re puppies and about 60 minutes of physical when they’re adults.
Some of the physical activities that will help your Pitbull release excess energy include taking it on daily walks or runs, climbing stairs indoors, or playing some games with it like fetch, hide and seek, and tug of war.
Engage Your Dog in Mentally-Stimulating Activities
You also need to engage your Pitbull in various mentally-stimulating activities to prevent them from getting too bored.
Some of the mental activities that will help keep your Pitbull stimulated include hunting hidden treats, playing with different puzzle toys, going through an obstacle course, or teaching it to do a new trick.
Improve Your Dog’s Diet
It would help if you improved your Pitbull’s diet to keep its body functioning and healthy.
Make sure that your dog is eating enough calories for its age, size, and energy levels.
Also, make sure that your dog is eating only healthy nutrients such as proteins and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
Try to avoid feeding your dog low-quality canned food or anything that contains too much sugar, fillers, preservatives, or byproducts.
Make sure your dog’s diet also has a variety of food. Despite what some people will say, Pitbulls should not eat a raw diet only or any restricted diet.
Instead, Pitbulls need to be on a diet with something of everything. Their diet should include veggies, red meats, chickens, rice, etc. You can learn more about why Pitbulls should not be put on a raw meat diet here.
Keep Your Dog Away from Stressful Situations
You need to observe your Pitbull’s body language and learn which situations are too stressful so you can keep your dog away from them as much as possible.
It would be best if you also were prepared for your dog’s reaction in any given situation to act accordingly and prevent their behavior from escalating.
What to Do If Your Pitbull Won’t Calm Down?
The first thing you need to do when you notice that your Pitbull is acting hyper is to identify the cause for its behavior, so you can effectively get it to calm down.
Suppose you can’t seem to identify the cause behind your dog’s behavior or get it to calm down.
In that case, it is recommended to take your dog to a vet to figure out what’s causing this change in its behavior and get the appropriate treatment as there are various underlying medical conditions and neurological conditions that can manifest as hyperactivity.
It is also recommended to seek a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist to help you manage or correct your dog’s behavior if you don’t have enough time to do that or don’t know how to.
Will Pitbulls Calm Down After Getting Spayed or Neutered?
Spaying or Neutering is a surgical procedure performed to sterilize an animal.
The term “spaying” is used with female dogs, and it refers to surgically removing their ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.
Meanwhile, the term “neutering” is used with male dogs, and it refers to surgically removing their testicles.
There’s a common assumption that the Pitbull’s breeding instincts will often cause it to act hyper and that Pitties will calm down after getting spayed or neutered.
While there is truth to that, and most Pitbulls do calm down after being neutered, that’s not a guarantee, and it is not always the case.
While the procedure will permanently remove the dog’s ability to reproduce or go into heat, it won’t necessarily remove its instincts for breeding or fix any behavioral issues that result from these instincts.
It will usually depend on the age the dog got spayed or neutered and the kind of behaviors they have already learned.
So, If the dog got spayed or neutered while it’s still very young, it’s less likely for them to be driven by the breeding instincts and they will be less likely to act hyper. Meanwhile, if the dog gets spayed or neutered at an older age, it’s more likely to act hyper as it has already learned that behavior.
Are Pitbulls Aggressive?
Pitbulls are not aggressive, at least not by nature. If they are properly socialized and trained when they’re young, they will grow up to be good-natured, obedient, and friendly around others. They will only become aggressive if they are provoked or if their territory was threatened.
How Smart Are Pitbulls?
Pitbulls are considered to be very smart because they can quickly learn new commands as well as respond to old commands with little practice. Their high levels of intelligence make them a lot easier to train and discipline, even for beginners with little experience of dog training
How Long Can Pitbulls Be Left Alone?
Pitbulls can be left alone for a maximum of 2 hours when they’re puppies and 4 to 6 hours when they’re adults. It varies from one dog to another depending on how attached it is to its owner and how often it needs to be fed or taken to pee. If it is left alone for too long, it will begin to develop separation anxiety.
When Do Pitbulls Reach Full Growth?
Pitbulls reach full growth when they become adults which is usually at about 12 to 24 months of age. At full growth, the average Pitbull will usually weigh 30 to 60 pounds and stand at 17 to 21 inches at the shoulders. Factors that can affect the dog’s growth rate and size include its genetics and diet.
What Are the Common Health Problems in Pitbulls?
Common health problems in Pitbulls include allergies, various skin conditions, eyesight and hearing problems, hind leg problems, obesity, parvovirus, and cerebellar abiotrophy. So, you need to take your dog to a vet for regular checkups to make sure that it remains healthy.
I have a guide on Pitbull leg problems in this guide on why your Pitbull is limping.
What Is the Average Lifespan of Pitbulls?
The average lifespan of Pitbulls ranges between 12 and 15 years, and it mainly depends on the dog’s genetics and the quality of its living conditions. To prolong the lifespan of your dog, it’s recommended to provide it with good training, a regular exercise routine, and a healthy diet.
At What Age Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pitbull?
You should spay or neuter your Pitbull when it’s old enough to tolerate anesthesia which tends to be at 8 to 10 months of age. You can also spay or neuter it before its first heat, which tends to be at five months of age. Spaying or neutering your Pitbull when it’s younger than that will put them at risk of various health problems.
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