Zoomies, or racing around, while barking is normal behavior for dogs. Restrict zoomies to outside during the day by giving your dog plenty of exercise and encouraging play in the yard throughout the day. Puppies are most prone to zoomies and barking, and they might settle down as they get older.
If your dog’s barking is excessive, teach them the “quiet” command. I’ll talk more about how to do so below.
In this article, I’ll also discuss why dogs do zoomies and bark, how to control your dog’s behavior if they do it too much, and why zoomies are best done outdoors in the daytime.
Barking During Zoomies is Normal
If your dog is racing around the yard barking, this is normal behavior! They’re just getting out their energy and having fun, like a kid running around and yelling outside.
However, just like a screaming toddler, your dog can begin to annoy you and the neighbors if they bark too much!
Luckily, zoomies don’t usually last that long. If it’s just a quick sprint, there’s nothing to worry about. After all, you can’t expect complete silence from your dog all of the time. Some dogs are just very vocal!
While you shouldn’t try to stop your dog’s zoomies, you can control the barking if it gets out of hand. I’ll discuss some ways to do so below.
Keep Zoomies Outside if Possible
While zoomies are normal behavior, especially for puppies and young dogs, that doesn’t mean it’s always an appropriate time for them.
Small dogs may be able to race around indoors if you keep things out of their way, so that they don’t hurt themselves crashing or break your things.
However, this is much more of a challenge for big dogs!
Encourage your dog to run around outside in a fenced yard if possible. Do this by calling them outside when (or ideally before!) the zoomies start.
It’s best to restrict this to day time, especially if your dog barks during zoomies. This way, you won’t disturb the neighbors while they’re sleeping.
You also might want to get out of your dog’s way, especially if they’re large! They might accidentally sweep you off your feet by crashing into you.
It’s extra important to keep any children or other pets out of the way if your dog is going wild with their zoomies!
When your dog is calmer, train them how to interact with others gently so that they know that running into people, jumping up, and biting are all off-limits no matter how excited they are.
This might take time, especially for puppies who are just learning the rules.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
If your dog is racing around barking at inappropriate times, that might be on you! Are they getting enough exercise throughout the day?
Dogs need to run, play, and have fun throughout the day. Almost all dogs need at least one daily walk, while some may need even more than this.
If you’re unsure about how much exercise your dog needs, research their breed and age.
Puppies typically need frequent, short bursts of activity, while grown dogs can endure longer exercise.
Sighthound breeds are calm and love to laze around, but they still need at least one long daily walk or run as well as time to do zoomies around the yard.
On the other hand, brachycephalic dogs, or those with short muzzles, require less exercise and can easily suffer heat stroke in hot weather—so you need to watch their breathing and keep strenuous exercise to a minimum.
Your veterinarian can also tell you how much exercise your dog needs when it comes to their breed, age, and health. Feel free to ask them during your next visit!
Teach Your Dog the “Quiet” Command
Again, we can’t expect our dogs to always be silent. However, sometimes it’s necessary or their barking will gets out of hand.
This is where the “quiet” command comes in handy. You can tell your dog to be “quiet” when they’re barking to calm them down.
- Teach your dog to speak. This way, you’ll be able to get them barking on command. While this might seem counterproductive, it will make it easier to control your training sessions.
- Say “quiet” and wait for your dog to stop barking. Because you’ve told them to speak, they aren’t barking like mad—it will take them much less time to calm down.
- Reward your dog for quieting down. I like to say something like “good quiet” while treating my dog as he learns new tricks. This reinforces what you want them to do.
- Practice! Continue practicing the “quiet” command until your dog gets the hang of it during this controlled training. Keep training sessions short and try to end on a positive note each time, rather than waiting for you or your dog to become frustrated.
- Add distractions. Now, try giving your dog the “quiet” command when they’re barking at something of their own accord, or during zoomies. Keep practicing until they get it, and of course treat them for listening!
Never yell at your dog to be quiet. They may see this as you joining in on the noise, rather than you wanting them to calm down.
Reasons for Barking Zoomies
1. Your Dog is Hyper
Sometimes dogs just get hyper and need to get their energy out!
Like I discussed above, you can prevent this at inappropriate times by giving your dog lots of appropriate ways to get their energy out, like daily walks, play time in the yard, and encouraging zoomies outside during the day.
2. Your Dog Needs more Exercise
As I discussed above, sometimes your dog becoming so hyper is a sign that they need more exercise. If you already exercise your dog with daily walks and play, this likely isn’t the case.
But if you don’t walk your dog daily or play with them enough, they might need an outlet for that pent up energy.
Research your dog’s breed and age, or talk to your veterinarian to find out how much exercise they need each day.
3. They’re a Sprinting Breed
Sighthounds in particular were bred to sprint fast after prey! They catch something in their line of sight and race after it at top speeds.
These dogs can run at over 40 miles per hour. That’s why it’s so important that they have a large, fenced yard. They need to stretch their legs and engage their instincts to sprint.
If your dog is a sprinting breed, they’ll be much more prone to zoomies!
4. Puppies get Zoomies More Often
If your dog is still a puppy or even a few years old, they’ll be more likely to get zoomies than older dogs. After 1-2 years, dogs typically settle into their adult level of activity.
Of course, for some breeds this still means they’re pretty hyper! Some dogs may do zoomies while barking well into adulthood.
5. They’re Excited
Sometimes a dog will do zoomies after a bath or going poop. They might be excited to get out of the tub or because they…pooped? Some dogs are weird like this!
Of course, if this is unusual for your dog, there might be something wrong too. Zoomies after pooping might indicate pain, and your dog should be checked out by a veterinarian.
If they’ve always done this, though, and have been pronounced healthy by the vet, then it’s just a weird quirk of theirs!
Never Allow Your Dog to Bite
Sometimes along with barking, a dog might nip or bite during zoomies. This should never be allowed.
Stop your dog from biting when hyper by removing yourself from the situation. Show your dog that they don’t get attention for biting, and that it isn’t a game to you.
Also be sure to give your dog plenty of interaction and play when they’re behaving well!
Punishing your dog for biting is a bad idea, as harsh training methods have been proven not to work. It might even make your dog’s biting worse.
Remember, dogs bite when they’re angry or afraid—and punishments can make them feel both of these things.
You want your dog to instead have positive experiences and feelings for you. Use positive training methods, like the one I explained above, to keep your relationship intact while teaching your dog what you expect from them.
See a Veterinarian for Sudden Behavior Changes
Zoomies and barking aren’t typically a problem, but they can be. Any time your dog’s behavior changes suddenly, it could be a symptom of a medical condition.
For instance, a dog who suddenly zooms around the yard after pooping, when they’ve never done so before, may have tummy problems or other digestive issues.
Note when your dog is barking and doing zoomies if it’s happening at a specific time. Also observe your dog for any other symptoms or changes in behavior. Report all of this to your veterinarian during your appointment.
Writer: Katelynn Sobus