Why Do Dogs Run When Excited



Is your dog crazy or is it just a case of the zoomies? If you have just witnessed your adorable dog suddenly get a burst of energy, a wild look in his eyes, and take off running faster than ever before, chances are you just witnessed a case of the zoomies. The scientific term for zoomies is Frap or Frapping. Frap is an abbreviation that stands for frenetic random activity period. Basically, it is the name for the behavior your dog expresses during frapping. Pet parents often get scared the first time they observe this behavior. Before you start thinking your dog is possessed, continue reading to learn the cause of the zoomies.

The Root of the Behavior

Zoomies is a natural behavior in dogs that don’t have a negative effect on their health. Triggers that often cause the zoomies are lack of exercise and being cooped up in the house or a crate for too long. Sometimes the trigger might not be noticeable until your dog suddenly starts zooming around the house or yard. All canines have the ability to have the zoomies but not all breeds will experience this energetic release. Dog breeds that are known to be calm don’t usually experience the zoomies, but dogs who are known as working dogs, herders, and high energy breeds are more likely to experience frapping. As a pet parent, you might feel concerned about your dog after the first time you saw him experience the case of the zoomies. Dogs who are in this brief state of releasing energy are often destructive when running around the house knocking over lamps, breaking vases, and damaging anything else that is in his path. 

The zoomies happen without warning and are shocking to anyone who is nearby. Dogs tuck their bums under, crouch down close to the ground, and run faster than you can imagine. Some pet parents have reported their dog has run around on the edges of the furniture in a "Matrix" movie style frenzy which led to a concerned call to the veterinarian office. The zoomies last anywhere from a few seconds to one minute. The length of the zoomies is determined by the amount of energy your dog is trying to burn. If the zoomies episode lasts more than a minute or so on a regular basis, you need to consult with a veterinarian to assure a medical issue isn’t the cause. If a medical problem is not the cause, there are a variety of ways you can help lessen the number of times your dog experiences the zoomies.

Encouraging the Behavior

The zoomies is a natural behavior in dogs that don’t need any encouraging. Pet parents who have a dog that experiences the zoomies on a regular basis get used to the situation. Sometimes they begin to think it’s a cute or funny behavior. Think about how cute your dog will look running around the house like he’s in the "Matrix" movie. There’s no reason to stop the behavior because it isn’t harmful to your dog’s health. However, if you are tired of your dog getting the zoomies and breaking or damaging everything in sight, you can take steps to prevent the episodes from happening again. 

One of the main causes of zoomies is built up energy your dog has stored inside that needs to be released. Your dog can’t experience zoomies if his body is physically tired. Taking your dog for a long walk, playing fetch in the yard, visiting a dog park, or simply letting your dog run around in the yard will help release energy and prevent frequent frapping. If you are away from home for hours at a time, you need to exercise your dog before you leave. This will help him rest while you are gone and prevent energy from building up. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

An excellent solution for pet parents who spend a lot of time away from home is hiring a pet sitter or dog walker. This option allows you to provide exercise for your dog throughout the day which helps prevent frapping. If you work long hours and feel too tired to take your dog for a walk when you get home, a dog walker is an excellent alternative. You can also help prevent zoomies by involving your dog in your own hobbies such as running, jogging, walking, hiking, and swimming. If your dog has health issues, discuss exercise options for your dog’s specific situation. 


Zoomies is just your dog’s way of releasing energy that has been stored up in his body. Regular exercise helps prevent frapping. The zoomies aren’t harmful to your dog’s health and shouldn’t hurt him in any way. If your dog has frequent zoomies sessions indoors, remove small objects, vases, and other items that can be broken and cause injury to you or your dog. If your dog continues experiencing zoomies you may just choose to enjoy the entertainment because most of the time the behavior is quite funny.