Why Does Dogs Circles and Dig Before Lying Down?

Why Does Dogs Circles and Dig Before Lying Down?

Yes, you are not the only pet parent who has observed this compulsory ritual a dog performs, Whiskey (my dog) also does that. Well there are no certain reasons why a dog circles before sleeping; many dog/veterinary behaviorists attribute this pre-nap ritual to the inheritance from their ancestors (wild wolves) when dogs use to live out in the wild, while others believe it’s a way of claiming territory by spreading their smell while circling. Below are some of the suggestions on why dog circles before lying down based on residual habits of dogs from their ancestors:

1.Security:


According to various legends, wolves usually sleep with their noses towards the wind direction, enabling them to sniff out any possible danger. Turning in a whole circle also provided an opportunity to take one last look for any potential predators.

2.Keep Cool/Warm:


The dogs used to dig the soil or sod to bring out the cooler surface out before they lie down, while in cold weather, circling creates a fluffy tuck helping in heat retention.

3.Comfort:


Circling in wild or outdoor removes uncomfortable twig or stone. Circling would also help in flattening the grass or snow and forcing out any snakes or insects.

4.Determining Order in Pack:


Wild wolves and foxes still travel in packs which includes many members. Each member in the group is protective of one other, circling before lying down helps pack leaders to assess the pack and survey the area for members.

So we can say that although the dogs have been domesticated to live among humans but they still have retained some of their ancestor’s instincts.

 

 What if the dog circling is excessive?


Excessive circling however may indicate health problems in dog. If you observe your dog is having difficulties in settling down even after making several circles or restless, consult your nearest veterinarians as these may be the symptoms of many conditions including arthritis, neurological or heart problems. And if your dog gets a clean chit on health from the veterinarian chalk this dog behavior up to evolution and do not worry as instincts can stick around long after their usefulness is gone.

Does your dog also shows this behavior? Tell us in the comments!


We’re always happy to find the solutions for your pet parenting needs. Reach out to us anytime and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. We also welcome you to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions with all the pet parents.

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