Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pug zoomies: Why your pug runs around like crazy

Liam the pug caught in the middle of a pug zoomie session
Flipping the ears back is Stage 1 of zoomie time!
Almost everyone who has a pug can tell you about the "pug zoomies." People who do not have pugs, however, seem to find the behavior a little odd. I've even had some people run up while Liam is in zoomie mode to ask if he's been stung by a bee or injured in some way. I thought I'd just clear up the misconception.

During a pug zoomie, the pug tends to:
  • Unfurl the tail. Liam can hold his straight down.
  • Flatten the ears.
  • Bend the back knees.
  • Run at high speeds in no particular direction. 
  • Make shrieking noises. 
I have no idea why they do this. Liam will break into spontaneous zoomies when my husband returns from work, and sometimes he'll zoom around the living room in the evening with no provocation at all.

I've seen multiple pugs do this at meetups, and I've heard that other breeds do much the same thing. In fact, my Boston terrier got the zoomies, but he didn't have a tail to flatten and he took a more upright stance in the run. My Boston also stopped the zoomies when he hit age 5, but Liam seems to be going strong year after year.

Zoomies can be a bit intimidating, and they can also be a little annoying. Having a dog running about and screaming while you're trying to sign for a package, for example, can be a little much. But I like to think that zoomies are an expression of joy, and if so, I hope Liam continues to zoom for the rest of his days.