Cats and Dogs
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Why does my dog randomly zoom around the house?

Why Does My Dog Get the Zoomies?

After I give my dog Mary Berry a bath and towel dry her, she sprints away as soon as I set her on the ground. She then starts playing “chase” with herself, zooming back and forth around the house. She’ll often head to the couch and rub herself all over it, knocking pillows off and acting like an all-around crazy dog.

Why do dogs get the zoomies? I decided to ask Preventive Vet’s certified dog trainer and behavior consultant, Cathy Madson.

What Are Dog “Zoomies”?
“The technical term for zoomies is ‘frenetic random activity periods’, or ‘FRAPs’,” says Cathy. “Your dog might run in circles or loops around your home or yard, burning off excess energy.”

“Zoomies, in most cases, are a normal dog behavior and tons of fun to watch. There’s nothing like watching a pup just tear around the yard just for the joy of movement. Some breeds zoom around more than others, and some dogs start to zoom when encouraged to do so by their owners. Zoomies are usually short-lived and last for a minute or two.”

Is It Normal for Dogs to Get the Zoomies?
“While getting the zoomies is normal dog behavior, if they are happening frequently, it might be a sign your dog is stressed or unsure about what’s going on. Zoomies can become what’s called a displacement behavior. Displacement behaviors are normal dog behaviors that happen out of their usual context. Ever been at an awkward dinner party and felt the urge to laugh, even though nothing was particularly funny? That’s a human example of a displacement behavior.”

“If your dog isn’t sure about what they’re supposed to do or feels anxious, they might start running around as a way to get rid of that build up of nervous energy,” explains Cathy. “Pay attention to when your dog tends to get the zoomies, as this could tell you that the situation might be stressful for them. Then you can work on creating a more positive association with those things through desensitization and counter conditioning training.”

“You also want to consider if your dog is getting enough physical and mental exercise,” Cathy says. “Providing lots of canine enrichment goes a long way in burning off excess energy.”

When Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?
“You usually will see these after a bath, after eating, before bedtime, or when a puppy or dog gets super excited to see a particular person or friend. After bath time, dogs also like to rub up against different things, since it probably feels really good and helps to dry off. Zoomies, or frapping, can really come out of nowhere — the urge to move might strike anytime! Just make sure your pup has room to run and won’t knock over anything (or anyone!) in your home that might break,” cautions Cathy. “You also want to avoid letting your dog zoom up or down stairs, or other obstacles, where they could injure themselves.”

“If you need to stop your dog’s zoomies, try to engage them in some toy play to redirect their attention back to you. Playing with a flirt pole is a great way for our dogs to still get to run around and play. Keeping them engaged in play with you, rather than running willy-nilly through a muddy yard, will mean all your work getting them clean isn’t immediately ruined.”

Why Do Dogs Get The Zoomies?

why do dogs get the zoomies

It’s 6 in the morning and your dog is in the living room trying to set the land speed record for fastest doggo. Your pup has just hit maximum overdrive! ⚡️

Although it seems like a weird behavior, your pup is experiencing a normal case of the zoomies.

What are zoomies?

The technical term for «the zoomies» is called FRAPs — Frenetic Random Activity Periods.

The zoomies are a sudden outburst of built-up energy that is perfectly normal in all dog breeds and ages. Dogs with the zoomies often sprint around the room or yard, jump over furniture, run quickly back and forth, and/or spin in circles. They may also try to encourage you or another pet to chase them.

This random explosion of energetic behavior typically lasts no more than a few minutes. If you’ve been around dogs long enough, you’ll recognize when your dog is about to burst into the zoomies. You may expect your pup to get the zoomies if he/she hasn’t had the opportunity to release their natural energy levels.

You can recognize the first sign of the zoomies which typically starts with your dog lowering his front legs into the play-bow stance. Then he’ll stare at you with wild eyes anxiously waiting for you to make a sudden move, and then BOOM! Maximum overdrive has been triggered.

What causes dogs to get the zoomies?

Dogs may get the zoomies for various reasons: when they need to release pent-up energy, when they’re highly excited, aroused, after watching another pet play, or when they have nervous energy from being slightly stressed or confused. Younger dogs and puppies tend to have these bursts of energy more often than older dogs, but older pups still get the zoomies too!

Witnessing a dog with the zoomies can be very entertaining. You may be thinking, «is my dog broken?» or «did my dog find a Red Bull?» Don’t worry, your doggo is normal. However, if you feel that your dog has been having these bursts of energy more frequently, you may want to assess if he/she is getting enough exercise.

Monitoring dog zoomies.

Since the zoomies are a very normal part of a dog’s behavior and helps them to release bottled up energy, this activity doesn’t need to be prevented as long as they are in a safe environment. «Dog-proofing» your yard or home can help to minimize the risk of accidents. For example, if your pup starts to zoom around on a slippery floor, try to direct him to a safer room or outside where there is a lower risk of slipping and injuring himself.

Sometimes when the zoomies takeover, a pup might try to ignore his training which can make it very tricky to control his behavior. If you’re in a situation where you need to catch your dog quickly and he won’t recall, do NOT chase your dog. If you try to chase your dog, he may misinterpret this as you playing with him, which will encourage him to continue running. Instead of chasing your dog, run in a different direction and encourage your dog to follow you to a safe place.

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