Updated: Aug 27, 2021
Many puppies and teenage dogs have a "witching hour" where they get REALLY active REALLY quickly! They sprint around like they just discovered running, sometimes mouthing and grabbing at anything they can. We call this behavior "the zoomies" (Us behaviorists call them "frenetic random activity periods" or FRAPs, and that's just not as catchy).
The zoomies are a normal, but not always convenient, part of having a young dog! You can't stop the zoomies, but you can help your pup make better, safer choices during them:
If your pup gets the zoomies predictably, you can bring them to a secure fenced yard to get their ya-ya's out around that time. (Or just let them outside to run off their zoomies when they start, if it's your yard!)
Choose to play with extra-long toys (like a flirt pole or long rope tug). You can make an outdoor flirt pole with a horse lunge whip and a tug toy. You can also buy one for indoor/outdoor use. One of my favorites is the Outward Hound Kaijen Tail Teaser, available on Amazon. Long toys helps keep your pup’s mouth away from your body when they're excited!
Small kids should be separated from zoomy puppies until they're done zooming.
If zoomies are intense, you can try and pre-empt them to help reduce their intensity. Exercise/play with your pup 30 minutes or so before they'd normally happen.
Some days are just ruff. If your dog is having an especially difficult time (or you are too tired/overwhelmed to train), you can help your pup out by putting them in their pen or crate with a really yummy stuffed Kong, favorite chew, or Licki Mat. This lets them get their energy out with a good chew/lick session!
Check out our video on our favorite way to stuff Kongs!