I once didn’t know what the zoomies were, I had small, calm dogs who didn’t zoom anywhere. Sure they played for a few mins at a time and ran out in the fields, but they didn’t zoom. Some of you reading this won’t have experienced the zoomies either. I think there are a few types of dogs that zoom, huskies and mals do it, but most commonly it’s the lurchers, sighthounds and longdogs.
So what are the zoomies?
Quite simply – running like you’ve never run before, for the fun of it, for the thrill and just because you can RUN.The dog spins, turns, dashes and then runs some more. I want to zoom – I want to have that freedom that Archie does when he flies. Anything can set the zoomies off – from me getting home from work, to having a poo, to the rain.
There is a serious side to zoomies however, a quick internet search reveals worried owners who are looking for their dogs braking system, after zoomie related injuries. Its not just the dogs either – every lurcher owner will be proud to show off their ‘launch’ bruises (where you are used as a starting block) or even collision injuries!
Here’s my foot just hours after being launched from 😦
Why do they do it then?
I read on one blog that its fear (http://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/why-do-dogs-zoom-zoom-zoom-around-the-house/), which in all honesty I disagree with. We are not talking tail down, ears back, wide eyed running – that is an assumption from people who don’t know the true zoomies. True zoomies are obviously fun, can start spontaneously and the dogs appear to enjoy them. I can think of few lurcher owners who would say their dog was scared when zooming. The same blog says they are frequent, random activity periods, I think he meant frenetic, but we’ll give him that one. FRENETIC random activity periods, (FRAP) is the technical name for these zoomies. FRAP is common in puppies, and the experts don’t relate it to fear at all, but energy. As the dog gets older, the frequency of FRAPing is reduced, unless you have a breed that store energy up for small sharp bursts- like lurchers, greyhounds etc. They were bred to use a lot of energy in a short period of time, and so they do it via zoomies. I don’t have any studies on the subject but I’d bet those that are working dogs zoom less at home!. Nearly all dogs display FRAPs after a bath, which may well be fear based, a bath is traumatic for most dogs – but maybe they just feel good!
Should I be worried – What should I do?
There’s no simple answer. Zoomies can be dangerous for dog and human if they occur in a small space. But a dog that is zooming to use up energy is going to be less of a bother in the house when that energy has gone. Zoomies can and do happen in the big wide world, but mostly at home where the dog is more relaxed. Set up a zoomie trigger – imitate a play bow or teach them a cue to start zooming in a safe area, don’t chase them – it will undo any recall work you have done. But most of all – enjoy it! The zoomies are a wonderful thing to watch, and seem like a wonderful thing to do!
I ran a competition on my shop facebook page http://www.facebook.com/tdhboutiqueuk asking for the best pictures or videos of zoomies my ‘likers’ had. What a response! Nearly all lurchers, which I expected but so many fun moments!
Summer is a 4 year old lurcher who was dumped on the M25. She suffered terribly, was emancipated and obviously neglected. Owner Gerri loves to see Summer dash about, as it shows how much she has come on since adoption. Well done to Summer, Tilly and Gerri who have a bag of goodies on the way to them!
Runner up was Henry, he zooms for no reason other than to zoom, and perhaps because his feet were cold! unfortunately the video was not loading on the blog so here’s a picture instead 😀
Henry is a saluki x borzoi and his owner, Steve says he is a typical lurcher, 30 seconds of energy tires him out for the day.
Other runners up included:
Does your dog zoom? Why do you think he does it?