Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

by
April 13, 2017
Comments Off

Have you ever watched your dog walk and turn in circles before settling in for a nap? Do you know why dogs do that? There’s a few theories but it seems to be it’s an instinct that has descended with dogs from their wild ancestors.

Some experts believe circling before lying down is a leftover behavior. Wolves and other wild dogs have been noted to circle before lying down as a means of leveling and flattening the grass or snow, like creating a nesting area. Other experts say it is may also serve as a sign to other dogs that the territory is claimed. Also, dogs may paw at a surface to “fluff it up” as if creating a border. This has been speculated as a dog’s sense of creating a dip with sides to keep heat in and insulate themselves from the cold.

As owners, we may unconsciously also be reinforcing this behavior when we laugh, pet, or talk to our dogs after they’ve created their sleep spot. In many cases, watching our dogs circle and circle before they plop down and let out that long sigh is cute. Dogs may read our body language and verbal cues as approval and make it a habit that endures.

However, if your dog’s circling behavior seems to have changed and they circle more or keep changing direction, there might a cause for concern. Sometimes excessive circling may indicate a neurological issue or a sign that your dog has some pain such as the beginnings of arthritis. Watch for other signs in your dog’s daily behavior to see if there might be something else going on. Common signs may be problems getting up after sleeping, small limping, change in activity levels, change in appetite, confusion at commands, and change in attention seeking behavior. If your dog is exhibiting changes like these, a trip to the vet may be in order.

Dogs are unique and we may not always understand what they are doing or why but if we know our dogs well enough, we can tell when something is going on and quickly address any possible health concerns.

Image from Vetstreet

Comments

My Petswelcome Passport

Now you can save your route and access it anytime on your trip and/or for future travel. If you already have a Petswelcome Passport account, just log-in to save this route.

Log-in to your account


Create an Account


Petswelcome Passport

Get yours today!

Once you put in your Search by Route departure point and destination and click on Get Directions, you will be asked if you'd like to save your route. If you would like to save it, you'll be asked to create you own account by putting in your email address and creating a password so you can access your directions anytime on your trip or in the future.

Petswelcome Passport

Get yours today!

To save your route just fill in the information below and you'll be able to keep it as long as you'd like and access it anytime on-line.  No more printing and forgetting to take the directions with you. And by saving trees and ink, you'll feel good about yourself, save money, contribute to a cleaner environment and, most importantly, be able to spend more time on having a great trip with your WHOLE family. How sweet is that?

Just fill in the information below to create an Petswelcome Passport account:

My Petswelcome Passport

Log-in to your account.



Create Account Lost Password? Learn More…

Petswelcome Passport


Create Account Lost Password? Learn More…

Petswelcome Passport

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account and we'll send you a link to reset your password: