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!