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Why Is My Dog Running In Circles?

I was sitting on the patio minding my own business when suddenly a whirl of wind got my Golden spinning wildly. At least, that’s what I thought. But I was wrong.
If your dog has been running in circles you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your dog has been running in circles and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.

So, why does my dog run in circles? Possible reasons why your dog has been running in circles are to release excess energy, boredom, an issue with its diet, nervousness, excitement, inadvertently encouraging the behavior and medical issues.

Why do dogs run in circles when they get excited?

Most dog owners are very familiar with the explosive bursts of energy that your dog experiences when you let them out after having been gone all day. Your dog frantically runs in circles, and it almost seems like they are going a little crazy.

These intense bursts of energy are called zoomies. The technical term for zoomies is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). Zoomies are a completely normal behavior. They occur because your dog has a lot of energy, and they need a way to release it. Your dog will sprint and run in circles because they are very excited and energetic.

What makes dogs run in circles?

If you find your dog creating tornadoes or running around the yard for no apparent reason, let me start by saying that it’s normal. Dogs experience this sudden burst of energy that leads them to run frantically around the house or take laps around the furniture as if they were stung by a bee or spooked by a smaller animal.

Frankly, it got me scared at first. So I quickly got hold of a local vet over the phone and explained my dog’s peculiar behavior. According to him, my dog had a Frenetic Random Activity Period, also known as zoomies, which is a common phenomenon among healthy dogs.

After I was assured that my dog was safe and sound, I jumped on the Internet and started reading about it on forums.

Why does my dog run in circles?

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been running in circles and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

To release excess energy

The reason why your dog runs in circles could be that it does it to release excess energy that it has. This would be more likely if it suddenly starts sprinting around the house or yard which is known as “Zoomies”.It would also be more likely if it does it when it has been sedentary for a while such as in the morning.

Running puppy dog

Boredom

Most dogs are meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours has been running in circles. This would be more likely if it tends to do it on days when it has not been able to get any exercise.

It would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed if it is healthy.

An issue with its diet

It could be the case that there is a problem with its diet that is causing it to become hyperactive. This would be more likely if it started doing it when you changed its diet and if it started to act differently in other ways as well. It would also be more likely if it tends to do it more when it eats certain foods.

You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.

Nervousness

The reason why your dog does it could be that it is releasing nervous energy. This would be more likely if it does it right after something that might cause it to be nervous goes away.

For example, if it does it right after you had guests over and it had to be well behaved then it might be doing it to release nervous energy.

Excitement

Sometimes, dogs will start running around when they are excited and it might be why your dog runs in circles. This would be more likely if it does it at times where it is likely to be excited such as when you are about to take it for a walk, when you’re playing with it or when you come home.

Inadvertently rewarding the behavior

It could also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it rewards when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it runs in circles, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead of giving it things like treats, toys or attention when it does it, try to reward it when it is well behaved and to give it lots of exercise so that it is less likely to want to run around.

Medical causes

There are some medical reasons why your dog might be doing it.

There are some medical conditions that could be causing it such as dementia (source). This would be more likely if it started acting unusually in other ways as well such as by pulling to one side when on a leash.

A medical condition would be more likely if your dog has been doing it excessively, it has also been walking in circles or pacing a lot, if it has started doing it suddenly, it has been acting unusually in other ways and if it has been showing other signs of having a medical condition. If it does seem like your dog might have a medical condition then the best option would be to take it to a vet.

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