On the slopes?

Ray has, on numerous occasions, displayed a disturbing (and muscle straining) character trait. “Zoomies” while on his leash!

Many of you already know (and the rest of you can use your imagination) what it is like to have 75lbs of hyper dog on the end of a leash. Fortunately he usually wears a harness when out with us so potential neck damage from the collar is mitigated. This is in total contrast with our upper arm muscles which seem to be a little tight and tender on a daily basis!

The issue is aggravated by his Rotti rear design which gave him very powerful back legs. Having 75lbs of dog on the end of the leash can be a challenge, but if he powers his way to the end of the leash …. then whoever has the leash needs to brace themselves!

We see it as simply over-exuberance of a happy dog and/or perhaps expressing a desire to play.  Getting to know Ray over the past 2-1/2 years has convinced us that it has nothing to do with trying to break away from his restraints* . Our problem is trying to predict when they are likely to happen so we can choose to either prepare for the inevitable, or change circumstances and hopefully avoid them.

He does seem to really like the sensation of sand and small stones under his feet. He has had “zoomies” on sand in parks near the lake, and also in children’s play areas. He has also had “zoomies” on flat grass areas so perhaps there is no common denominator?

We recently took him on a bit of a different route and at one point, Carol (who had his leash at the time) decided to take a shortcut which involved climbing up a relatively steep grass embankment. I was quite a few steps behind and just as I noticed where she was going (and was wondering why), I saw Ray fire himself “to infinity and beyond”! Well that is bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. I could only watch as Carol fought to stay upright while Ray was flying around like an out of control drone! She eventually maneuvered her way back down to the sidewalk where he became the perfect walking companion once more.

Thinking about the incident, I remembered that he had done this before on sloping grass so was the slope significant in any way?

Part of me says to let him have his “zoomies” as they appear to be fun, at least for him. Another part of me says to keep him on a surface where he has shown no interest in having a “Zoomie” , but walking him on the road does not seem too practical! Given that there appears to be no common denominator, we’ll just have to be prepared for “zoomies” at pretty much anytime, and be thankful that it is something which he appears to enjoy doing!

*Footnote: He also has “zoomies” when off-leash in our back garden. That is fun for all of us!

21 thoughts on “On the slopes?

  1. Maggie can shift when she wants to, even at her age. Most of the time on our walks she’s off lead, but in town we put her on one. She normally won’t pee if she’s leashed, and as for ‘the other’ on a lead, no chance. Obviously we’re having to be careful at the moment, but if she wants to go, she’ll go (and not just a pee either!) Trying to keep her quiet………. yeah, right. 🙂

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  2. Sammie has her “zoomies” as well! Usually they are in the house or in the backyard – we haven’t experienced one on a leash, but that’s probably because she’s rarely ON a leash (like you, we don’t have the power to fight her when she decides she wants to go somewhere)!!

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    • Hi Samantha: We have a “6ft leash by-law” here to acknowledge. We must also be careful because we know that Ray has a strong prey-drive, and his recall at that point is “zero” so who knows where he could end up. Also, he has no road sense whatsoever and we wouldn’t want to risk losing him in a traffic accident. Finally, he presents himself as very friendly and cuddly, but if a child wrapped its arms around him, I would not want to predict the outcome. We have many reasons for abiding by our local by-law and therefore maintaining control over him and his immediate surroundings.

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    • Hi “Guys”: To answer your question (or given the lack of a “?” perhaps it was rhetorical?), your thought, like your science interests, can be heavily influenced by perspectives. From my perspective, it would be quite a unique pic. From Ray’s perspective, it will never happen. If you can create an equation that would provide an answer to “What are the chances of it happening?”, you must factor in his jaw size, strength and response speed; his teeth size and number, and the effects of his body weight on the anticipated resistance. Trading off that accumulative factor would be his generally amiable personality, and the positive weighting of a really good treat or two, or three! The end result should provide not only answer to the proposed question, but could probably be extrapolated to produce a chance of being aggressively warned to stop! 🙂


        • Well actually, it is influenced by Einstein! Wasn’t it him who said something like “There are only two things known to man that are infinite – the universe, and human stupidity, although I am not totally convinced about the universe.”

          Anybody who would seriously consider forcing a mature German Shepherd/Rottweiler to do something against its wishes rather supports the Einstein quote.


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