Anyone out there an animal behaviorist?? In another forum "dogster" the discussion came up about FRAP ing and whether or not it is instinctual in herding breeds. It's so common among corgis I thought I'd ask you all.

FRAP (Frantic or frenzied acts of random play) are when the corgi does the figure eights around the furniture or bushes outside, ears laid back and seemingly possessed. There are very tight turns, full out running, turning in one direction several times, stopping and then doing several laps in the opposite direction.

When I was doing research on the breed, everyone spoke of it and every corgi owner I know, said their puppies did it. Timmy still does it to this day, but some others have stopped as they grew older. Anyway, wondering if anyone knows if this is part of a play behavior, sign of stress (I have my doubts), or just another way of getting attention? Does anyone know if this behavior has ever been seen in wild canids? References to articles or body of knowledge would be helpful.


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I am not an animal behaviorist, but can tell you both my dogs do this. It has always seemed to come at the end of playing. My dogs love to play chase, and it seems they get really "wound up", and just have to let it out. It seems to make them really happy, and satisfied It's almost like "high gear" for them. Really stretch out all the muscles, and let it go.
Timmy doesn't have another corgi he play with, but when he plays with his girlfriend (Australian Shepherd) he starts going and she steps aside in "wonderment". Sometimes at full speed,as he goes by her, he'll bark and sort of air bite. Personally I think it appears an expression of joy. Don't know, but someone on the other forum suggested it was because the dog was stressed, and I don't feel that at all.
A few months ago I did a little research on the FRAP. I think it's so cute and my last dog (rottweiler) never did it.

It seems that most puppies (any breed) FRAP, but nearly all breeds outgrow it when they get older. It seems that Corgis and Scottish Terriers and Westies are most notable breeds who are most likely to FRAP their whole lives. I read a little about a few Labradors who never outgrew the FRAP, but not the majority.

I've never run across a specific "reason" for it. Charlie seems to do it when he's really happy and just can't contain himself. Too much energy in that little body!

Just as an aside: It seems like every cat I've ever owned also enjoyed an occassional FRAP thoughout its life.
Charlie thanks for that information and it's interesting. Do the Scottish Terriers and Westies do the figure 8 pattern or is the FRAPing circular? Where did you find references to the behavior?

I found some reference to "locomotor play" in a study from two professors in Utah and Idaho. Their conclusion is that "this type of play may function to grow good connections to the cerebellum, between its cells (synapses) and peaks when growth peaks". This wouldn't explain why some dogs continue to do it as long as they are physically able.

I've seen larger breeds do the circular or straight out and back, which is also funny when they're pups since most are pretty clumsy. Thanks again for the info
That's interesting about the synapse connection. Maybe Corgis, Scotties and Westies continue to get smarter for life. LOL It almost looks like some kind of adrenaline rush, but I haven't read that anywhere.

The little research I did was just Yahoo search results for "puppy frap" and "dog frap". I don't remember reading about the Scotties or Westies pattern (figure 8 or not).

Charlie and I just came in from our "sunset" playtime. He finished off with a great long FRAP around the yard. Three minutes later, he's totally sacked out in my recliner. I think I'll join him and watch the Agility Trials on Animal Planet! : - )

If you find out anything more about the FRAP, I'd love to hear it!
My corgi is still young (nine months) but he still does it fairly often. He is crate trained, but only has to be in the crate when no one is home to watch him. He pretty much exclusively FRAPs right after I let him out of the crate. I think it's adorable, especially b/c when he does it, my two cats start doing it too! It's so funny!
Winston does this a lot. I personally think it's hilarious. Sometimes he'll try to jump up and bite me (sometimes he actually knocks me over, who knew 20 pounds could knock a 126 pound girl over?!) but usually he just runs around like a psycho little doggie. My mom thinks it's so funny.
Brynn does this everyday . It seems she is happy and loving life .
Cricket does this right about the time we're ready to go in. I really think that she's just gotta let it out, because she has two very busy parents who are affectionate but neglectful in the exercise dept. I just wish I had the energy to follow suit....then I wouldn't worry about a diet!
I didn't know this behavior had a name! My friend has two Shih Tzus that do this also she calls it "Ya-yas", and I call it windsprints. At least I don't have to worry about Zephyr being psycho now.
Wow Aerion does this too and the kids thinks it's the funniest thing to see him. He looks like a little bullet running through the house and behind the couches!
that look is so cute! =)


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