Dog Zoomies: Causes and How to Manage Them [Dog Trainer Explains]

Does your dog ever get a wild look and then start running wild and zipping in circles? This behavior often known as "dog zoomies” is common with dogs of all sizes. When dogs get zoomies it can take owners by surprise, even causing people to worry if their dog is ok. Good news, although confusing to people, zoomies are very normal for dogs.

What are Dog Zoomies?

As the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine explains, the scientific name for the zoomies is Frenetic Random Activity Periods or FRAPs. Although most dogs get the zoomies, there is no known medical cause for the FRAPs/ zoomies. Zoomies are normal behavior for dogs of all ages. When dogs get the zoomies, they start running as fast as they can in circles. Zoomies usually last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Dogs will run wildly, and then usually tire themselves out and return to a normal activity level. Dogs generally get zoomies when they have pent-up energy. After zoomies most dogs are tired from getting the energy out.

dog zoomies

Do Zoomies Mean Dogs are Happy?

The zoomies are usually a clear sign that your dog is happy and excited. Zoomies happen when dogs need to get all the excitement out of their body. Dogs get the zoomies when they are feeling very excited or over-aroused. This could be after a bath, after pooping, as part of play, when they get a new toy, or when an owner comes home after being away. Zoomies can also be a way of burning off stress. This is especially likely if a dog hasn't gotten enough physical exercise or training recently. To tell if your dog is happy while zooming, pay attention to your dog’s body language. A stressed dog will have a stiff and tense body. Their eyes will also likely be bulging with the whites visible, often called “whale eye.” In this case, your dog may be exhibiting zoomies behavior to try and reduce stress. Dogs who have playful zoomies will have relaxed features, and look happy as they race around.

What Dog Breeds get Zoomies?

Dogs of any breed can and do get zoomies. Zoomies are most common with puppies and young dogs who have more excess energy to burn off. However, it’s not uncommon for dogs of all ages, even senior dogs to have excited moments and get the zoomies. Dogs of any breed can get zoomies, but high energy breeds are most likely to get zoomies regularly. Active breeds like herding dogs, working dogs, and terriers are more likely to get zoomies if they aren't getting enough exercise. These dogs use zoomies as a way to self-managing their excitement and energy.

How do I Calm my Dog’s Zoomies?

In addition to getting your dog outside for walks and rigorous play, find ways to challenge your dog's brain. Spending time training is a great way to provide your dog with mental exercise. Get some of your dog’s favorite treats and practice obedience skills (sit, down, recall) around the house. You can also use this opportunity to teach your dog a new trick or skill. Even a few minutes of fun training can use a lot of mental energy and help your dog be more relaxed. Another option is to break up treats and add them into a snuffle mat or other enrichment puzzle. If you need to snap your dog out of the zoomies use some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats to stop running. Then, engage your dog in a quieter game.

What Should I do When my Dog gets the Zoomies?

When your dog gets the zoomies, it’s important to make sure that you and your dog are safe. To avoid injuries, move out of your dog’s way to prevent your dog from running into you and knocking you over. If your dog has zoomies inside, keep your dog away from sharp furniture edges. It's helpful to also put away fragile things that could break. Try to have an open area of your home, or a fenced area of your yard where your dog can zoom and be safe. Then, if your dog gets the zoomies the best thing you can do is to sit back and enjoy watching your dog having fun!


Do you have any special tricks or tips for managing your dog's zoomies? Or perhaps a funny zoomie moment to share below in the comments?

About The Author

Sassafras Lowrey Author Photo

Sassafras Lowrey

Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Author, Freelance Contributor

Sassafras Lowrey CPDT-KA, CTDI - is a celebrated author and dog trainer. Sassafras’ books have been honored by organizations ranging from the American Library Association to the Dog Writers Association.

Sassafras is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), American Kennel Club Trick Dog/Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, American Kennel Club FIT DOG Instructor, and Fear Free Certified Professional. Sassafras’ multi-media work with dogs focuses on engagement, enrichment, play, and competitive trick training.

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1 comment

Kenneth Jenkins on Mar 20, 2024

I have a question and then I need some help with my baby mama‘s dog. She a pitbull sweetheart but she don’t listen to her, but my boys they listen to them