Why Do Pitbulls Get the Zoomies & Run Around Like Crazy?

pitbull zoomies

One of the best things about being a Pitbull owner is the utter unpredictability of life with your furry partner in crime. One moment your dog is completely calm and relaxed, and the next, he is running in circles all around your living room doing the zoomies.

Your Pitbull terrier might get the zoomies after a bath, towards the end of the day, at night, when playing outdoors, after they have done a poop, or perhaps for no obvious reason at all.

It’s almost as if an invisible switch has been flicked, and your Pitbull is suddenly running back and forth and around in circles all over the place. These occasional absurd bursts of energy are often referred to as the zoomies… and for good reason too.

Why do Pitbulls get the zoomies? Pitbulls get the zoomies and will run around like crazy in circles often to get rid of any excess energy. Pitbulls also get zoomies to relieve stress. It’s normal canine behavior knowns as frenetic random activity periods (FRAPS).

Why do Pitbulls run around like crazy?

Pitbulls run around in circles like crazy with the frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs) frequently. Also known as the zoomies, they are frantic, repetitive behavioral episodes caused by excess buildup of energy.

Handy Hint: Running around like crazy can get less as the Pitbull grows older. Here’s when you can expect most Pitbulls to start calming down.

The zoomies or FRAPS most commonly occur in Pitbull puppies and younger dogs, but it can also happen in Pitbulls of all ages.

High-energy, active dogs such as Pitbull Terriers may have more zoomies than less active breeds. Senior dogs that still get the zoomies will likely live very long lives—zoomies are actually sign of very good health and nothing to be overly concerned about… providing your dog isn’t hurting themself.

Why do Pitbulls get the zoomies
The zoomies can strikes indoors and outdoors (Image via https://unsplash.com/photos/68k0-ln4Xg8)

Unfortunately, there is no scientific explanation about why zoomies occur. Still, it’s an accepted fact that it’s all down to excess energy that’s been building up in your dog over several hours. Every dog reacts differently to this energy buildup, so it’s difficult to predict how and when he will get the zoomies.

Pitbull zoomies can be triggered at certain times of the day or after a specific activity. Anecdotally, many Pitbulls get zoomies after they’ve had to stay still for a bath or after spending many hours in a crate.

Pitbull zoomies can also be triggered by stressful situations like a vet visit, too. Sometimes a dog meeting another dog can trigger a bout of excess energy release.

Pitbulls who get the zoomies usually seem like they’re having the time of their lives. It’s completely natural, normal, happy dog behavior that shouldn’t be a cause of alarm.

Just give your Pitbull the room to run around without running into furniture or other dangerous objects.

However, suppose you notice that your Pitbull has been getting the zoomies much more often than he used to. In that case, it’s a good idea to keep a closer eye on him and determine precisely what he’s reacting to.

Frequent zoomies can be a sign that your Pitbull is not getting enough exercise. This can be resolved by going on longer or more frequent walks.

When Pitbull zoomies happen most

Owners can often tell when their Pitbull is just about to get the zoomies. He or she will get a glint in their eyes, they might assume the play-bow position, and they start jumping around in small bursts before full-on running around in big circles or running up and down corridors in your home like crazy.

Pitbull zoomies hit at seemingly any point of the day, and for one reason or another. There are a few occasions where they you are more likely toyou’re your Pitbull get the zoomies though.

  • After your dog has had a poop.
  • When there’s high winds whistling around him outdoors.
  • When you have “wound” him up with play in doors.
  • After a bath and you are trying to dry him.
  • Before bedtime or late at night.

My Pitbull zoomies after a bath

Your Pitbull gets the bath time zoomies happen due of the pent-up adrenaline from having to sit still for so long, or because running around will dry their fur faster.

You will have seen this behavior I am sure; once he thinks he has the all-clear, he will jump out of the bath, start shaking the water off, then make a break for it.

If your dog is anything like ours, it pays to shut the bathroom door, so he doesn’t get the chance to soak the corridors in your home.

My Pitbull zoomies before bed or late at night

Some Pitbull puppies get the zoomies right before bedtime as a final energy release before settling in for the night.

Perhaps he didn’t get as much exercise he needed, and also knows he needs to get rid of that energy so he can sleep better.

Other reasons why Pitbulls get the zoomies

Some Pitbulls get the zoomies right after an extended training session, once they’re free to take out their built-up nervous energy. Sometimes even a good poop can send a Pitbull into running like crazy in ever more excited circles.

Zoomies are especially common in winter when it’s too cold to do more than do their dog business when out for a walk. There’s no other way to release pent-up energy but to run around in tight circles like crazy for a few minutes at a time.

Some Pitbulls get so excited that their zoomies include nipping or biting behavior. If this happens, redirect his energy by engaging him in a game of tug of war, fetch, or by presenting his favorite toy.

How do you calm a Pitbull with the zoomies?

When your Pitbull runs around like crazy, expect the zoomies to normally last around five minutes or less. If so, there’s nothing to worry about as long as your Pitbull is zooming in a safe place.

Instead of trying to control the zoomies (almost impossible to do), you can control the environment wherein he zooms.

The best zoomie locations are in any wide-open spaces you may have in your home: a fenced yard, an expansive garden, on a carpet away from breakable items and small children.

Avoid letting your Pitbull zoom on slick surfaces or your hardwood floors.

Don’t ever chase after a Pitbull with the zoomies. A chase will likely be misinterpreted as an attempt to play and will only excite him further. If you need to catch your zooming dog, go the opposite way and try to make him chase you. Encourage him to follow you into a safer area, and give him a toy or a treat when he does. Teaching your dog and regularly practicing the “come” command can help get your Pitbull to follow you.

If your Pitbull is zooming a bit more wildly than can be contained, you can try to redirect their energy by throwing them a toy. If your dog has good recall, he will come to you once the worst of the zooms calm down.

Handy Hint: Pitbull Terriers are one of those breeds that do have a reputation for getting clingy. Here’s why Pitbulls get clingy and what you can do about it.

Are Pitbull zoomies dangerous?

As long as their environment is safe, it’s alright to just let your Pitbull’s zoomies run their course. Zoomies won’t give your dog seizures or cause emotional or physical problems.

Even if they seem very clumsy as they zoom, dogs usually don’t hurt themselves. Zoomies are only dangerous because unpredictable energy bursts can increase the chances of a physical accident or breaking china.

However, if your Pitbull has a long history of being very low-key and calm, and he suddenly starts to run around like crazy in wide circles every day, a trip to the vet may be necessary.

This behavior change could signify a health problem, especially if nothing in your family routine has changed to cause so much excess energy.

Any significant change in your dog’s zooming behavior may mean he’s not getting enough physical or mental stimulation.

Compulsive behavior like chasing shadows or continuous tail chasing may be concerning enough to consult an animal behaviorist to better understand the reasons behind this behavior.

I would also like to draw your attention to the comments of Dr Marc Bekoff from the University of Colorado. Here’s what he says about the dangers of the FRAPS and zoomies on the on the Psychology Today website, and whether you should let your dog do it.

“My answer is always something like, yep, as long as you’re sure that she or he won’t harm themselves or others and it’s done in a safe area. And, it’s essential for a human to know their dog and to remain alert when either the dog or other individuals are in the path of a frapper fugue and potentially can be harmed.”

How to stop your dog’s zoomies

When it comes to zoomies, prevention is the best medicine. You may be able to reduce the frequency of your Pitbull’s zoomies by challenging your dog physically.

Your dog may need much more stimulation than he’s currently receiving. Release that pent-up energy with a long hike instead of a short neighborhood walk.

If your Pitbull gets the bath time zoomies, perhaps a vigorous game of tug of war or a long walk before his bath will lead to a nap instead?

Your dog may need more mental stimulation, too. Bored Pitbulls are more prone to the zoomies. A short training session every day will develop good habits and be great exercise for your dog’s mind.


Whilst there is no absolute scientific evidence to explain why Pitbulls get the zoomies and run around like crazy, we can make assumptions as described above.

The zoomies are unlikely to harm your Pitbull, but if you do want to reduce them, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

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Image in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/7rriIaBH6JY

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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