What are Zoomies?
Zoomies, or Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs), refer to those unmistakable explosions of energy that dogs have on occasion. Zoomies often feature frantic, repetitive behavior such as running quickly from one side of the yard or room to the other, back and forth, or spinning in circles until they fall down.
Why dogs zoomies happen?
A frequent cause of zoomies is an excess buildup of energy that dogs hold on to, which is then released in one big burst. Dogs get the zoomies for a variety of reasons — when they are highly excited or aroused or after watching another dog engage in high-energy play. Sometimes, dogs get the zoomies when they are confused or slightly stressed at a dog-training class, such as when the skills being worked on are challenging and they need to blow off some of that nervous energy.
What triggers dog zoomies?
1. After a dog was crated or confined in some manner.
Your dog comes out of his crate a little sleepy.
As he wakes up, his demeanour changes and he takes off, bouncing off the walls. He needs to expel the excess energy that was stored up.
2. After an uncomfortable or stressful situation
When the pup exits from a visit to the vet, he’s so excited that the anxiety-producing event’s over, he starts zooming around on his leash.
3. After a bath or being groomed
Most dogs don’t love their baths. So when they get out, they’re ready to roll! They literally roll around, then sprint around, happily free from their beauty treatment.
4. After defecating
Some dogs get all excited after they poop!
5. When playing and When a favourite person comes home
The dog anxiously awaits your arrival. Now the fun begins! He tags you like a base and takes off around the room.
Zoomies usually last only a few minutes though they can occasionally last even 10 minutes.
What to do?
Zoomies are a natural part of behavior for dogs, and not something you should worry about preventing or discouraging, so long as your dog is zooming in a safe place. This means inside your home or fenced yard, ideally on carpet, and away from breakable items, or small children or elderly family members who could be accidentally knocked over by a large, zooming dog. Try to avoid letting your dog zoom on hardwood floors, or other slick surfaces. Instead of trying to control the zoomies in dogs, control the environment in which he zooms.
Never chase a dog with the zoomies
It’s hard to stop a dog mid-zoom, so it is usually easiest to wait out these short-lived actions. If you chase your dog, he is likely to misinterpret this as you playing with him. That will inspire him to continue running! Instead of chasing your dog, run away from him (in a direction free of roads or other dangers) and encourage your dog to follow you in a happy voice. It’s good to be prepared for this moment, and make sure to have high-value treats and/or toys on you at all times.