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Hyper

How to Calm Down a Hyper Maltipoo

Overview

One of the nice traits about the Maltipoo is that this is a lively, alert and active dog. Matlipoos generally have a lot of energy and despite their small size can keep up with busy owners.
However, many owners do wonder if their Maltipoo is acting a bit too hyper and wonder if there is a specific age that Maltipoo dogs tend to calm down. 
The Age that a Maltipoo Calms Down

While there are many factors that can cause a dog to act hyper and these will be discussed ahead, in general a Maltipoo will calm down once he emotionally matures and transitions from puppy to adult. With first generation Maltipoo dogs that have a toy Poodle as one of the parents, the age that the pup begins to act calmer is right around the one year mark. If a miniature Poodle was used as either the dam or the sire, the Maltipoo will reach this milestone a bit later, usually around the 15 to 18 month mark.

It should be noted that Maltipoo puppies will not suddenly stop acting hyper on their 1st birthday. This is a gradual process that happens as the dog matures. In addition, there are other elements that will play a role in how well a dog listens and his ability to sit still and focus on other things besides running around the house. 
cute Maltipoo dog
Elsa, 12 weeks old
Photo couresty of Persis B. 
How Much Hyper Behavior is Normal

Puppies are bundles of pure energy and it is normal for them to have surges of high activity, followed by periods of rest. It is normal for a Maltipoo puppy to romp all over the house, sliding around and acting silly, only to crash down and fall asleep without much warning. The pup is filled with curiosity and drive, but can only go for so long before he needs to take a nap. 

There tends to be a leveling out that occurs; as the Maltipoo grows a bit older he needs fewer and less frequent naps but also has learned some restraint in how he acts when he is awake. Also, as a puppy learns about his world, there is less that is 'new' and this can help calm him down as well. 

Things that can Make a Maltipoo Hyper

There are several elements that can make an active Maltipoo even more hyper; some can be controlled and some are simply factors that the puppy will outgrow:

1) Encountering new elements - When a Maltipoo is very young, so many things are new. Every time that the pup comes into contact with, sees or even hears something novel, this triggers an inquisitive response. The Maltipoo may jump up, bark, run and otherwise be on high alert to figure out, 'what is this?'

2) A high energy household - Most often, a dog will act in a way that correlates to his environment. It is rare to find a mellow, calm dog in a loud chaotic household. In cases of older Maltipoo dogs acting hyper, typically the house has too much foot traffic, loud noises (arguing, blaring TV's, etc.) and other stimuli that is too overwhelming for the dog to relax and calm down. 

3) Not enough healthy ways to release energy - When dogs are inside too much, they can suffer from the canine equivalent of cabin fever. This can happen if owners are gone at work all day and after arriving home are distracted by household obligations such as cleaning, cooking and childcare. Other factors include weather related issues such as rainy or snowy weather that limits how often a dog is taken out. 

How to Help a Maltipoo Calm Down

While the puppy stage of being hyper is usually temporary, if a Maltipoo is not socialized properly he may continue to act hyper around a wide variety of triggers. Dogs that have not learned how to respond to other people, dogs, cars, situations and events may always respond in a negative way.

There are things that you can do that can lead to a calmer, more restrained dog. 

1) Gradually expose your puppy to all sorts of outside elements. A dog that very rarely sees a squirrel will act very hyper when he does happen to come upon one. However if he sees them every day when he's taken outside, at some point it will become a tad boring and will not elicit a major response. This example is true for the majority of stimuli.

Just about every element will be perceived as 'new' the first 20 or so times that a dog encounters it. As soon as a Maltipoo puppy has had all of his puppy shots and can then safely be taken out into public places, socialization training should begin. The key is to do a slow and gradual introduction to the world. Short sessions are best, and this is built upon in both frequency and duration. 

A Maltipoo that is walked alongside traffic, see other dogs, interacts with cats, hears birds and other woodland animals, sees a wide variety of people and has his world expanded will learn to act calm. Expect your Maltipoo to be hyper at first and opposite to that, some may behave shy or timid. However, when an owner handles himself in a matter-of-fact way with gentle encouragement, dogs typically follow suit. 

2) Teach independent play. When a dog thinks that his only form of entertainment is to play with his owner, this can lead too much reliance on this interaction. Depending only on his human to bring about fun, a Maltipoo may act super hyper in an almost begging sort of way… jumping up, barking and just about demanding attention. 

While playing with your Maltipoo is a very important part of care and helps create a strong bond between owner and dog, learning to focus on toys is vital as well. 
You will want to have a good collection of a wide variety of dog toys. This should include chewers, treat-release and interactive toys that will offer different playing experiences. 
3) Meeting exercise requirements. This plays a huge role in how hyper a dog acts as well as his ability to behave calm when he is home. No matter a dog's size, daily exercise is vital to keeping a dog both healthy and happy. Not only is this good for his physical health, it is emotionally beneficial as well. 

In just about all cases of hyper Maltipoo dogs there is a need to increase daily exercise. Most do well with two walks per day. Each session should have a duration of at least 20 minutes. The pace should be what is considered brisk for the particular puppy or dog. If a Maltipoo is very hyper and these needs are being met, a third walk or adding 10 minutes to one or both of them is often needed.

Exercise allows a dog to release pent-up energy. It gets the blood flowing, the heart pumping and the muscles moving. Taking walks outside also allows a dog to put his canine senses to work. He uses his exceptional hearing to pick up noises that humans don't even notice. His uses his remarkable sense of smell to pick up scents that we are not even aware of. He is also taking in his surroundings. 

This is all happening regardless of how a Maltipoo behaves and even if he does not appear to be doing this. So, in other words, he is able to do what dogs do best. When a walk is done, a dog feels an inner satisfaction. The body has had a bit of a workout and his canine senses were put to use. This alone often brings about a more relaxed, calmer state of well-being.  

Dogs that are regularly active in a controlled way such as this are able to rest, focus on tasks at hand such as commands and toy interaction and also sleep much better at night. 

In just about every case of a hyper Maltipoo, when exercise is increased (without overdoing things) the dog acts calmer over the course of the day. It should be noted, however, that you will not want to add any sessions within two hours of intended sleep time as this can cause a puppy or dog to have trouble settling down. 
Other ways to help a Maltipoo direct his energy in a healthy way is to play an enthusiastic came of fetch for at least 15 minutes. Whether done inside with a soft ball or outside with a miniature tennis ball or a toy breed sized Frisbee, this sort of intentional, focused activity can tire a dog out and satisfy his need for both attention and motion. 

Finally, do not allow the cold or stormy conditions to disrupt your Maltipoo's schedule. Remember the old saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. This breed does have a low tolerance for cold and/or wet weather, however by placing the right outdoor gear on your dog (and yourself) such as vests, parkas, doggie shoes (or paws wax) and even a rain coat, the rain, sleet or snow does not need to be an obstacle. 

4) Offer a peaceful vibe in the house. Dogs that do not feel safe in regard to their territory or their belongings can have a near constant unnerved feeling that can translate into acting oddly hyper. A Maltipoo's eating area should be in a quiet corner where no one walks by or otherwise makes him feel as if he is being encroached upon. A resting and sleeping area, in a room that allows for seeing the family but not so close that he is bombarded with activity and noise should be provided as well. Alternatively, do not have your Maltipoo in a spot that makes him feel too isolated; the stress of that can also alter a dog's behavior. His toys should be kept in a bin and not played with by children in the house; these are a dog's prized possession and he may act agitated if they are disturbed. 
Maltipoo acting calm
Hank, 1 year, 3 months
Photo couresty of Debbie Sloan
Health Issues that Cause Hyper Behavior

There is a canine health condition called hyperkinesis in which a dog will have clinical hyperactivity problems, however this is exceedingly rare and owners should be on guard for misdiagnosis. Most dogs that do suffer from this have a high intolerance for any noises or activity and can be set off into a hyper state by seemingly mundane elements such as the noise of a dishwasher. They will also typically have rapid heartbeat and heavy breathing even when at rest. If suspected, testing at a veterinary clinic for 2 to 3 days is generally done. The dog's heart rate and respiratory responses are monitored both at rest and while stimuli is introduced. If this is found to be the cause of exceedingly hyper behavior, medications can be given. 

Summary

Do expect your puppy to act rather hyper, interspersed with times of deep sleep as he recovers from intense play. As he matures, he will calm down and most adult Maltipoo dogs are active, playful and alert without being overly exasperating. Your Maltipoo with a toy Poodle parent will begin to rein things in by the one year mark and your Maltipoo with a miniature Poodle parent will start to calm down by the 15 to 18 month milestone.

If you feel that your Maltipoo is indeed too hyper, a good schedule of walks along with a fun collection of toys and socialization to the world around him will gradually help him gain control of his behavior. 

Take note of the level of activity in the household, taking care to offer your Maltipoo a quiet area to rest, to not allow foot traffic near his food or resting spot and keep noises low and lights dimmed to help your puppy or dog calm down when you want him to ready himself for sleep. 

Finally, remember that if you wanted an extremely lazy and quiet dog that stayed flopped on the floor all day, a Maltipoo would not have been the choice. This breed thrives on contact with his humans and needs interaction each day to feel satisfied and happy. 
Things to Do Now

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