Whether you have heard of them or witnessed them in your own Rottie, zoomies are a funny little quirk we see in our dogs. Sometimes they seem random, other times you might notice a pattern to this behavior. In this article, I will explore exactly what the zoomies are and what they mean for your Rottweiler.
The Rottweiler zoomies, also known as 'frenetic random activity periods', are sudden bursts of energy in your Rottweiler that cause them to run in a repetitive circuit. These sudden bursts only last until your Rottweiler becomes tired. They are not usually a concern and only last a few minutes.
You can learn more about the zoomies below, including when to be concerned about them. You can also find ways to prevent these sudden bursts (unless you don't mind this funny little habit!)
What are Zoomies?
There's nothing cuter than seeing a happy Rottie racing (or 'zooming') around the garden with that big goofy grin on their face. This is basically what zoomies are. Your Rottweiler gets a sudden burst of energy and begins racing around in a circuit (eg. in a circle or to the other side of the house and back multiple times.)
Another name for the zoomies is 'frenetic random activity periods', or 'frapping'. This phenomenon is observed in all dogs, not just Rottweilers. So if you've owned a dog for long enough, you're likely to have come across it before (even if you didn't know what it was called.)
How Long do They Last?
Zoomies last for different amounts of time, depending on how long it takes to tire out your Rottweiler. This can be determined by the age of your Rottweiler, with younger dogs taking longer, or simply by how confined they have been.
Most of the time, the zoomies will only last a minute or so. This is because it is such a high intensity activity, meaning the energy is depleted very quickly. Can you imagine running full speed for more than a minute or two?
One pattern you will see emerge is that your Rottweiler's zoomies will last longer if you engage in the activity. Joining in, such as running or playing along, will encourage this behavior and give your Rottie the drive to keep going.
What Causes Them?
Zoomies are caused by excessive energy in your Rottweiler's body. This is why it is more common in puppies, where bursts of energy are a daily occurrence. Regardless of whether they are still a puppy or an adult, this excessive energy can be explained by one of the reasons listed further down.
Most Rottweiler owners notice that their Rottie will get the zoomies first thing in the morning, after a bath or after being kept inside (or in a crate) during the day. As you may have noticed, all of these situations relate to one of the three causes listed above.
In the morning, your Rottie has the most energy after a long period of sleep or being confined to their sleeping area. After a bath, most dogs either feel excited about their new-found freedom or stressed from the bath itself. And being kept inside or in a crate for the day is a sure way to build up energy from a lack of exercise.
1. Lack of Exercise (physical or mental)
This is a given. Not exercising causes energy to build up inside the body because food is always converted into energy. If your Rottweiler is eating, then their body is producing energy and that energy needs to go somewhere.
But exercise doesn't always mean physical activity. Your Rottweiler's brain uses a lot of energy as well, so a lack of mental stimulation may also result in a bout of the zoomies.
Stress causes the body to release hormones that stimulate energy production. This is what is known as the 'fight or flight response'. When in a situation that causes stress (a supposed danger/threat), this provides the body with the energy needed to fight the danger or run away from it.
The same occurs in your Rottweiler when they are stressed. They produce more energy as a response to the stress, which can then be used up all at once when they go zooming around.
Excitement is a form of stress, even if it is a much happier version. As a result, excitement in your Rottie can also cause a build-up of energy that results in the zoomies. If this is the reason they have the zoomies, you will probably notice other signs that they want to play, such as getting low to the ground, wagging their tail and barking playfully.
Are They Good or Bad?
The zoomies aren't anything to be worried about if they happen occasionally. They will not cause any problems in your Rottweiler. In fact, it is better for your Rottie to release that energy to keep them functioning normally.
The zoomies are like a pressure valve in a machine. The pressure valve provides a release for the built-up pressure, preventing damage to the machine. In saying that, if your Rottweiler does not exibit this behavior, that is also normal. This simply means that they don't have an excess of energy.
If your Rottie races around regularly with the zoomies (ie. every day), this could indicate that they are under too much stress or not getting enough exercise. These problems can then cause other issues such as high blood pressure, weakened immunity or obesity.
The only other issue with the zoomies is the destruction your Rottweiler can cause. Inside the house, furniture could be knocked over and damaged or small children could also be injured if knocked over. In the backyard, you may find plants get crushed or the grass can be damaged (either ripped out or worn down).
How to Prevent Them
When your Rottie is racing around, you can divert them to the backyard by blocking their path around the house. Damage to plants is generally the cheaper option compared to damage to furniture. There is also usually more room outside for them to run.
In regards to preventing the zoomies, you will need to eliminate the primary cause, which will be one of the three things mentioned above.
Lack of Exercise
Make sure you are giving your Rottweiler the exercise they need, particularly for their age. If you need ideas for how to tire out a Rottweiler, click here. If you are meeting these requirements, you may need to provide mental stimulation. There are a number of puzzles you can find to help with this, such as this one.
Stress & Excitement
Stress (or excitement) is triggered by different things and it varies with each dog. But if your Rottie is getting too stressed or excited, keep your environment calm and happy. This can involve calm music, no sudden movement, a calm voice, gentle pats, etc.
Rottweiler Zoomies Example
I hope the above has given you a better understanding of the unusual phenomenon we know as the zoomies. Take a look at the video below to see a great example of a Rottweiler with the zoomies!