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

By Kerry
Updated on

Pitbulls are a highly energetic, affectionate, and active breed that require a lot of daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

If you’re new to owning a Pitbull or are interested in adopting one you might be curious to know: Why do Pitbulls get the zoomies and run around like crazy?

In this article, I cover some key information about Pitbulls and the zoomies, so you can gain a better understanding of this lovable breed. 

Let’s get started.

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Why do Pitbulls get the zoomies and run around like crazy?

Some breeds of dogs are more energetic than others, but when it comes to owning a Pitbull, you should know that they are prone to sudden bursts of energy that are often referred to as the zoomies.

Zoomies are entirely normal in dogs. That being said, the first time you witness it happen it might come as a surprise to you. It’s almost as if something has come over your Pitbull, and they’re suddenly running back and forth and around in circles all over the place.

So, what’s the cause of these sudden bursts of energy in your Pitbull?

Pitbulls get the zoomies and will run around like crazy for a variety of reasons. The zoomies often work to get rid of any excess energy that has built up in your pup over a few hours. Pitbulls also get zoomies to relieve stress, which refers to frantic, repetitive behavioral episodes caused by excess buildup of energy also known as frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs).

Generally speaking, the zoomies are most common in Pitbull puppies and younger dogs, but they can also occur in Pitbulls of all ages if they have excess energy that they need to burn off. It is also worth mentioning that high-energy, active breeds such as Pitbull Terriers may have more zoomies than less active breeds. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a scientific explanation about why zoomies occur. That being said, it’s an accepted fact that it mainly comes down to excess energy that has 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.

Every dog is different, and predicting when your dog will get the zoomies can be difficult as it will differ between Pitbulls. That being said, you might notice that your Pitbull gets the zoomies during certain times of the day or after certain events. For instance, you might observe that your dog gets the zoomies after being kept in their crate all night or have been asked to sit still in the bath whilst you clean them for a significant amount of time.

It is also normal for the zoomies to be triggered by potentially anxiety-inducing and stressful scenarios, as it helps them to relieve their stress. Bearing this in mind then, if your dog has a negative association with the vet or hasn’t been socialized from a young age with other dogs, for example, this could trigger the zoomies. 

Although zoomies are totally normal, if you begin to notice that your Pitbull has been getting the zoomies much more often than they usually would, then it is a good idea to keep a closer eye on them in order to determine what they’re reacting to. Frequent zoomies can indicate that your Pitbull is not getting enough exercise. Failure to exercise your Pitbull enough will result in pent-up energy, boredom, and destructive behaviors in your dog, with them resorting to ripping up your furniture and other mischief as entertainment if you’re not on top of walking them. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you are making sure that your Pitbull terrier is receiving enough exercise throughout the day to ensure that they are as happy and as healthy as possible. Trust me, your pup and furniture will thank you!

That being said, to rectify their frequent zoomies, you’ll need to be taking them on longer walks to make sure that they are entertained throughout the day to burn their energy and to ensure that they’re not becoming frustrated!

It is also important that you move any furniture or objects out of your dog’s way when they have the zoomies, to prevent them from injuring or hurting themselves in the process! 

When do Pitbulls get zoomies the most?

As I mentioned above, it is hard to predict when your specific Pitbull will get the zoomies, as every dog is different. However, the common denominator that causes zoomies is that your dog is burning off excessive amounts of energy.

Below are a few common times that your dog might get the zoomies.

In the morning

After a good night’s sleep, your dog is going to be feeling energized and ready to take on the day. If they sleep in a crate, you might find that they are more prone to zoomies in the morning after they’ve been in there all night just by virtue of the fact that they haven’t been able to roam around freely for a significant amount of time.

That being said, when you let them in the yard first thing in the morning, it is also likely that they’ll get the zoomies for the same reason! It’s their first time in the day to burn off some energy, so it’s totally normal for them to exert a lot of energy when they first wake up.

Late at night or before your Pitbull goes to sleep 

You might find that your Pitbull gets the zoomies right before bed or late into the evening to burn off any excess energy that they have leftover from the day. 

Your Pitbull frantically running around at night could be down to a few reasons. Whether they didn’t get enough exercise in the day or are simply running around to burn off their energy to have a better night’s sleep, it’s a fairly common occurrence. 

That being said, if you consistently notice that your dog gets the zoomies before bed, you might want to try increasing their walking time to see if this makes a difference. If they’re not getting enough exercise, a long walk in the evening is likely to tire them out more!

After a bath 

When it comes to bathing your Pitbull, you might find that your dog gets the zoomies after being asked to sit still for a significant period of time. 

Bath time zoomies occur due to the pent-up adrenaline from having to sit still for so long. Alongside this, they can happen because running around will dry their fur faster, which is often why you’ll see your dog shaking even if you’ve tried your best to towel dry them to get the majority of the water out of their coats.

This is incredibly common in lots of dogs, whether your dog waits until they’re away from people or furniture to start shaking the water off is a whole different story! Once they’ve shaken off excess water, your Pitbull might also make a break for it to zoom around until they’re satisfied. 

As a result, you might find it safer for your furniture if you shut the bathroom door before your Pitbull can escape and shake all of the water off around your house!

Other reasons 

Zoomies are especially common in winter when it’s too cold to do more than do their dog business when you take your Pitbull out for a walk. For especially cold walks, the zoomies are the best way to release pent-up energy quickly. Running around in tight circles like crazy for a few minutes at a time can significantly reduce your dog’s energy, and can feel like a much more fulfilling walk when the season doesn’t allow for their normal length walk.

It is important to note that sometimes, Pitbulls can get so excited that their zoomies include nipping or biting behavior. However, if this happens, you’ll want to ensure that you redirect their energy by engaging them in a game of fetch, tug of war, or by presenting their favorite toy.

Although it’s normal for them to be excited, it isn’t ever okay for them to bite or nip at you and you will need to make sure that they know. This leads me on to explore how you calm a Pitbull with the zoomies.

How to calm a Pitbull with the zoomies 

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In an ideal world, your dog would get the zoomies in a wide, open space, so they’re not in any danger. However, it’s not always as simple as that, and you can feel overwhelmed when your dog is frantically running around with no sign of stopping.

It is fairly standard for the zoomies to last for around 5 minutes or less at a time. This isn’t something to be worried about usually, provided that your Pitbull is zooming in a safe place and isn’t in danger of injuring themselves or damaging your furniture.

The fact is, zoomies are nearly impossible to control and where they happen is random, whether it’s inside your home or when you take your Pitbull out on a walk. Keeping this in mind, then, instead of trying to control the zoomies, you can control the environment where they zoom to ensure that they’re in the safest place possible and aren’t going to risk hurting themselves by accident because they’re so excited.

It isn’t wise to chase after a Pitbull with the zoomies. This simply comes down to the fact that chasing your Pitbull will likely be misinterpreted by them as an attempt to play and will only excite them further.

That being said, if you find yourself needing to catch your zooming dog to get them out of a dangerous location, try going in the opposite direction and try to make them chase you. Encourage your dog to follow you into a safer area, and give them a toy or a treat when he does. It is imperative that you consistently train your Pitbull from a young age. Teaching your dog and regularly practicing the ‘come’ command can help you to make sure that your Pitbull follows you, which can help in a situation where they are zooming in a potentially unsafe space.

If your Pitbull is zooming more frantically than can be contained, you can try to redirect their attention by throwing them a toy. If your dog has been trained from a young age and has good recall, then it is highly likely that they will come to you once the worst of the zoomies has passed.

Are a Pitbull’s zoomies dangerous?

Provided that your Pitbull is in a safe environment, then it is usually fine to let their zoomies simply run their course. 

Even if your Pitbull seems very clumsy as they zoom around the place, dogs usually don’t hurt themselves. It is important to remember that Zoomies are only dangerous because unpredictable energy bursts can increase the chances of them having a physical accident or alternatively breaking something in their environment.

However, whether you need to be concerned about your dog having the zoomies will depend on their general temperament. Although zoomies are incredibly common in highly energetic dogs, if your Pitbull has a long history of having a calm personality and temperament and suddenly starts to run around like crazy in circles every day, then a trip to the vet might be required. 

This sudden behavior change could signify a health problem. That being said, you should make sure that you’re exercising them frequently and they haven’t undergone any stressful changes recently, as this could be affecting your dog’s behavior significantly. If nothing in your family routine has changed to cause so much excess energy, then your vet should be your next port of call to check that everything is okay.

Any significant change in your dog’s behavior may mean he’s not getting enough physical or mental stimulation. This is especially true if they begin displaying destructive behaviors, such as chewing or destroying furniture, or seem like they have a significant amount of energy to burn throughout the day. 

Pitbulls are highly energetic dogs, and if you are planning on adopting one, you will need to ensure that they receive the right amount of exercise. Failure to do so can lead to a variety of issues that go beyond just the zoomies, and your pooch could become incredibly unhappy.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.