Bianca, a beautiful 10 week-old Italian Greyhound, is a pup I was lucky to meet this week when her new Mom invited me to their home for a lesson. As to be expected from any new puppy parent, especially one who is raising a pup for the first time, there were loads of questions she needed answered. One of which was in regards to Bianca’s twice daily ritual of zipping wildly and frenetically about the house. I explained that there was no cause for alarm or frustration. Bianca was just displaying what is sometimes referred to as ‘puppy zoomies,’ or more technically Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP).
These bursts of activity, where the dog runs around, racing from one end of a room to the other, sometimes spinning in circles and with a bit of a wild glint in their eye, usually end in a contented and exhausted flop onto the ground and are fueled by the loads of energy that most puppies and many adult dogs have.
While these bursts of energy are normal, they might indicate that the dog needs more outlets for their energy. Make sure to schedule numerous appropriately vigorous play sessions with your dog throughout the day and be sure they are getting enough walks and enough environmental enrichment in the home when you can’t spend time with them. One of the ways you can help to enrich your dog’s environment is by feeding them from food stuffable toys.
Be careful not to chase your dog as she runs about as this could be counter-productive in regards to your dog learning to come when called. And be sure not to let your pup run about at any time when you think they might have an accident. If you can predict the typical times during the day when these bursts might occur, take your pup to her toilet area first and be sure the area where she is allowed to run is as safe and puppy proofed as possibe (slippery floors should be avoided). Ideallly, try to let your dog have opportunities to burn off steam in a safely enclosed outdoor area.
As puppies mature these ‘zoomie’ sessions tend to decrease. But, if you are longing to see your adult dog zip about happily, just give her a bath, after which most dogs revert to their puppy-self for at least a few minutes. In which case, you can sit back and enjoy the show.