Every evening my puppy goes into "crazy mode" at about 7:00pm. Crazy mode consists of messing up his bedding and throwing his toys, running around, jumping, barking and biting. He does stay home while the family is at work/school, but when we are home, he gets lots of attention, playtime and a walk in the neighborhood. We try to keep him busy so he will burn some of that energy, but he still gets wild in the evening. He is also not neutered yet, and during his crazy time he humps his pillow. I think this is a combination of him being a male puppy and full of energy. He will be getting neutered soon, so I'm hoping that will help. Has anyone experienced this? Is this normal behavior? Thanks.
Yes, it's completely normal. Kittens, (sometimes adult cats) have a notorious "ten o'clock crazies," with some of the same behavior that your described.
You might be interested to know that human children have this, too. If you allow them to get overtired, they will run themselves ragged, playing and/or throwing tantrums until they go out like a light. It's common to see a child with blue circles under his eyes, saying "I'm not going to bed, I'm not tired!" ten minutes before he is out like a light.
I'd recommend a short walk for your puppy every night at 8 followed by bed. You want to get him worn down a bit but not overstimulated or overtired. When he gets older, he will establish his own "bed time ritual" based on your bed time habits. He's just too young to know when he's tired.
I suggest taking that energy, and do some training, during these times. I would not use correction. I would want to preserve the energy and animation the dog has. Correction will kill that. When the dog gets a bit older put more pressure on them. But for now, just have fun. This will re-direct the dog to a contructive activity. Give ing the dog some direction. I think dogs that have this kind of personaility, not given any leadership, will soon spin out, and self destruct with unwanted behaviors. just a suggestion.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."