Canine Column: Dog zoomies - why do dogs run in circles?

Dog zoomies are periods of frantic activity in which a dog runs around in circles, and seems to be unaware of its surroundings. Although more common in puppies, this can be seen in dogs of all ages.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 2:13 pm

So why do they do it?

The honest answer is that we just don’t know why some dogs are prone to zoomies and others are not. We do know that zoomies are more common during times when a dog is full of energy: Maybe they haven’t been walked for a while or they have been on their own for a time. Some dogs never get the zoomies, no matter how full of energy they are, and others getthem frequently, so that can’t be the only explanation.

For some dogs there are particular triggers, such as after grooming, a game or a bath. If this is the only time your dog runs around like crazy, then it might not be a true case of the zoomies.

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Dog zoomies are periods of frantic activity in which a dog runs around in circles, and seems to be unaware of its surroundings.

If they only run around after their bath, it might just be joy that the bath is over. Some run around with their bum in the air and their head on the ground to dry themselves.This is not the body language of a dog with the zoomies. Dogs who have the zoomies generally have a crazy look in their eyes, with no regard for the safety of anything around them.

Zoomies are more common in puppies or young dogs. While zoomies are not in any way linked to aggression, occasionally a young dog will start nipping during its zooming around.

If your dog is nipping or biting during an attack then management might need some other management. Avoid physically handling him, and stop any game you may have been playing.

They need to be able to calm down.

The good news is that zoomies are not going to harm your dog in any way. They might be clumsy, but be aware that in this state they may not know where they are going or what they are doing and so might crash in to you or in to other more frail dogs in the home.

When your dog is zooming round I would suggest trying to move them outside so that they have the space to run.

If it is a problem – try and work out why they are doing it, then you might be able to change the set-up so that they are able to expel their pent up energy in another way.