Why Does My Dog Go Crazy After A Walk – What is The Zoomies

crazy dogs

If you own a dog you will most likely have seen them going crazy after a walk. Running around in an excitable fashion fully focused on causing as much mayhem as possible. So why do dogs go crazy after a walk?

The reason dogs go crazy after a walk is due to, excitement, excess energy, relief, or frustration from their walk finishing. This behavior is referred to as the zoomies and tends to involve running in circles, up and down in a straight line, or jumping over and over again.

It’s true dogs love to let off a bit of steam once in a while. However, this can be shown in many ways and for different reasons. In this article, we delve deeper into why your dog goes crazy after a walk.


Why Do Dogs Go Crazy After A Walk?

Despite this action being a very common one and almost all dogs will do it at some point, “going crazy” can be for many reasons. Going crazy is not a term I would necessarily use and just like many other dog owners out there we tend to use different terminology. For example, when my dog gets excited and goes crazy, he usually runs around in a circle or up and down in a straight line. The terminology I use is “the wall of death” this is because you wouldn’t want to enter into his space as you may get mowed over. I heard others call it the zoomies, the zone of terror and whirling. Whatever name you decide to call it there is a more scientific term given to this outburst of energy and that is “Frenetic Random Activity Periods”. The terminology mostly used by owners is “The Zoomies”.

Every dog is different and in each instance, a sudden burst of energy will display itself differently. However, here are some of the common reasons your dog may go little nuts just after a walk.

  • This first one is probably obvious but one of the main reasons your dog goes crazy after a walk is because they are excited. It’s obvious that dogs love going for a walk, but they also love their home too. This display of energy may simply be because they are happy about getting back home. You may want to assess whether anything exciting happens after they get home from their walk, such as their dinnertime, this may indicate the display of energy.
  • This second one is the complete opposite of the first but is not necessarily sadness. The best way to describe it is frustration. Just like a child, dogs can act out when they don’t get their way….yep you guessed it a tantrum. A burst of energy is a natural response to frustration and something that even we as humans do. Expelling excess energy can often alleviate this frustration fairly quickly.
  • If your dog hasn’t been out for a walk all day, they will have lots of extra energy they need to burn off. If you then decide you can’t take them for a long walk, that energy will still need to come out. You may see after a short walk that your dog runs around. This is them burning off that energy they have built up still with some frustration inside them as they didn’t get the long walk they were expecting.
  • The final common reason for your dog going crazy after a walk is your own emotions. If you start fussing your dog and playing with him then you set in motion a burst of energy. Dogs often take most of their emotion from their owners, as they have incredible senses.

Even if you can’t see one of these common reasons being the cause of your dog’s energy levels after a walk, they will certainly be related in some way. Often this energy spans from emotion and finding out the reason why your dog goes crazy after a walk simply lies in assessing their emotions at the time.

How Can I Get My Dog To Calm Down After a Walk

Trying to get your energetic dog to calm down after a walk can often be a difficult task as it involves suppressing an emotion. If your dog is likely to start running around with what many refer to as the zoomies, you have to be clever about it rather than trying to suppress it. The emotion that your dog feels whether it be happy or frustrated has to come out somehow. Even if you think you have stopped your dog from running around going crazy you will often find that their energy comes out at a different point in time…..possibly eating your slippers.

Focusing your dog’s energy on something else can be the best way to stop your dog from going crazy after a walk. If you haven’t taken your pooch for a long enough walk then you will have to extend the attention they get, when you arrive home. A short game of tug of war can help or simply playing with their favorite toy, it’s all about focusing their energy towards something else. Often after a walk, my dog loves to roll around on the grass and so after a walk I open the door and he goes straight outside to roll around, after this he’s calm.

Another way of focusing your dog’s energy is to schedule your walks just before eating. So after your dog has been for a walk when they get home their attention is fully on what’s for dinner. It is good to wait 20 or 30 minutes after exercise to feed them, but as long as their attention is on their food then you won’t have a case of the zoomies.

It can be difficult to give your dog enough exercise when you have a limited time of your own. This is why off-lead walking is so great. We all have limited time now and then and it’s just something we have to deal with as a part of life. If you are stretched, allowing your dog to run free off of the lead can be a great way of giving your dog the exercise they need and keeping its frustration to a minimum. Find somewhere local to you that has a bit of space and allows dogs, even asking local landowners if they would allow you to walk your dog on their land can often bring surprising results.

Dog Zoomies During a Walk

It’s not just after a walk that your dog can become over-energetic, the most common time is obviously during their walk. There are simple reasons why your dog gets the zoomies during a walk and that is both excitement and opportunity. As previously discussed dogs can become excited very easily and this emotion comes out as the zoomies or a crazy spin on the spot. Either way, excitement is often the number one reason for the zoomies. The other common reason for a dog to get the zoomies during a walk is simply opportunity. If you’re walking your dog off lead, what better opportunity is there to run around and go crazy? Off-lead walking is my favorite type of dog walking and one which brings so much joy to both myself and my dog. If your looking to walk your dog off lead here is a great article to have a look at. “How To Walk Your Dog Off Lead”.

Other Dogs Can Catch The Zoomies

If there is one thing that the zoomies can cause it’s encouraging other dogs to join in the frenzy. Have you ever been down the park and seen several dogs all running around in circles, well this is a case of catching the zoomies. Your dog may see other dogs running around all excited and simply want to join in. The building level of fun causes dogs to get a burst of energy and start running around like crazy usually in circles. Sometimes during these playful sessions, you can see one dog move into their own space and simply run around in circles, this is their way of releasing that emotion and energy build up.

Do Dogs Grow Out Of The Zoomies

The simple answer here is no. Now obviously an older dog will be less inclined to run around like crazy but many older dogs will certainly try. Puppies are commonly related to the zoomies especially when they are progressing into adulthood. Pushing boundaries and having tantrums is what puppyhood is all about. Even though there is nothing wrong with the zoomies and something that is natural to every dog, you should still watch that older dogs don’t injure themselves during a crazy spin session.


What To Do If Your Dog Goes Crazy After a Walk

When dogs run at full speed it can seem like they are out of control, which in some cases they are. however most of the time your dog will have planned a route in front of them and know exactly where they are going. Many owners think it’s a good idea to move at the last second when their dog is charging toward them, this is not correct. If your dog has chosen his designated path the route is highly likely not to be through you. By moving at the last second you could move into your dog’s designated path and by that time they have already mowed you over.

If your dog does go a bit crazy after a walk and gets a full case of the zoomies then it’s advisable to just stay out of the way. If you are caught in the middle of this whirlwind and your dog is charging at you only move out of the way when it doesn’t look like your dog is charging at you.


Preparing your home for a case of zoomies is a good idea, especially if your dog’s trigger is finishing its walk. If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of space or a large garden area then your pretty much set. Ensure nothing dangerous is in the way and allow your dog to run around like crazy releasing that burst of energy. However, it can be a bit more difficult if you live in an apartment or a smaller area. I would first advise creating some space in a hallway or something in a straight line as running in circles may be difficult to accomplish in a small area, with the chance of breaking something very high. A straight line might encourage your dog to run up and down which is going to be easier to manage than if they were to run in circles around your house. The second thing I would suggest is pre-empting your dog going crazy after a walk and encouraging them to get it out of their system before entering the house. your dog may still be triggered by the area around their home and this could save you a lot of hassle when you enter the house.

When Do Dogs Get The Zoomies

Despite “Frenetic Random Activity Periods” (FRAPS) being something of a natural occurrence there appear to be certain events that trigger the zoomies. After reviewing much of the literature online I found that these are the most commonly talked about triggers for FRAPS.

  • The arrival of someone – This would most likely be someone your dog knows and the excitement of seeing them causes a sudden burst of energy.
  • After a bath or shower – This seemed to be one of the most common and is probably brought on by a sense of freedom or release of energy built up during the bathing task.
  • Other dogs – this was touched on slightly in this article and is something that owners commonly mention. Again triggered by exciting emotions and the need to release that playful energy.
  • After a walk – This is of course the main one we have covered in this article and is a very common occurrence.
  • The vets – We all know dogs tend to become less keen on the vets as they get older and what may start with excitement as a puppy quickly turns to frustration. These emotions are both released as high-energy bursts.
  • After eating – Another display of energy is brought on by the happiness of having eaten their dinner. This is very common in all dogs and rightly so, after all, food is the best.
  • After a poo – An interesting one as it’s not overly common but is mentioned often by owners. This could be because of a few reasons. Firstly being happy about the relief of going to the toilet and secondly pleased that they have marked their territory with a big stinker.

Dogs can go a bit crazy for many reasons but these were some of the most common ones mentioned online.


Your dog going crazy after a walk is a natural event and something that pretty much all dogs do. Making sure you are able to control the situation can help reduce the chance of injury or breakages. Understand that the trigger for your dog is arriving back home after a walk, but ask yourself what is their emotion are they happy or are they frustrated and therefore take different approaches to handle that emotion? If you enjoyed this article why not check out some of the others on our homepage?

Dean Lissaman

As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. For more information on me check out my about page.

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