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Why Does My Dog Circle Before Lying Down?

Offbeat  (tags: animals, environment, pets, dogs, behaviours, protection )

- 2240 days ago -
Does your dog walk in a circle before he or she lays down? Experts claim the bizarrely cute ritual is most likely a habit residing from the days our dogs' ancestors lived out in the wild. Circling around a spot is a way for dogs to subconsciously stamp

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Susan S (187)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 8:10 pm
A border collie at the animal shelter always circles in a panic when he is returned to his kennel after being in the outside (larger) play yard. He has been going through a lot of trauma lately, and when he came in as a stray hanging around a sled dog team he was very frightened and skittish. He is showing more self-confidence, but also a lot of boredom lately. All these poor dogs in shelters need so much TLC and attention, if you have the time could you please walk a dog at the shelter. You will be making a remarkable difference.

Sue Matheson (79)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 8:11 pm

Cam V (417)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 8:43 pm
This is great information Cher! Thanks for posting it!

Carol H (229)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 8:50 pm
noted, thank you Cher

Constance F (418)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 9:10 pm
Thank you - I thought the circling and digging at the bedding was trying to nest well, as they would have in the wild. But it also makes alot of sense that it could be from discomfort. I noticed too much of this behavior from one of my dogs when he got arthritis in his later years. He was trying to make himself more comfortable !

. (2)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 11:39 pm
How interesting!

paul m (93)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 12:33 am


Amanda G (27)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 12:56 am
LOL. and all this time I thought she was doing it because its what the cats do!. My pup thinks she is a cat so it didnt surprise me.

. (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 2:33 am
thx Cher very good information

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 2:53 am
I have in the last few weeks just taken a rescue RottyxLab 13 months old- what a friend he is turning out to be after the loss of my best friend my German Shepherd pictured due to age related problems.
Cain I have called him, we have in the last hour returned from a long walk on the beach and would like to report he did not circle to lay down, he just flopped in his new bed all four legs in the air very content with his new home - we have a long happy life ahead of us, OH and he loves the boss of the house Abbey the cat.

Debra Phillips (77)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 3:06 am

KS Goh (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 3:19 am
Thanks for the article.

Quanta Kiran (67)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 6:05 am

Kerrie G (116)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 7:25 am
Noted, thanks.

Intan Surya Dawood (3)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 7:36 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 10:01 am
Wellnow I can sleep at night.I always wondered!!!

Diana P (12)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 12:16 pm

janet f (29)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 12:40 pm
I guess they still have some of the wolf in them.

Elisabeth T (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 1:16 pm
Our cats do that sometimes...interesting

Shirley S (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 1:31 pm

Lydia Weissmuller Price (181)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 2:06 pm
Dogs circle to align their spine. This is a very natural, normal behavior. An animal chiropractor will tell you that.

Nelson Baker (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 2:57 pm
They do it because they can.

Edgar Zuim (47)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 3:08 pm
I think that's a natural behavior.

Fred Krohn (34)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 4:40 pm
Nice to take note of natural behaviours in our companion animals.

Anita Thornton (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 4:42 pm
This is good to know, thank you for this story.

michelle t (41)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 6:24 pm
It is natural behaviour

Roni Jo Patterson (4)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 6:35 pm
I've always wondered why marmots do a flip each time they vocalize. Looks really funny.

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 6:44 pm
Noted, thanks.

Charlene Rush (79)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 6:50 pm
My cat has this habit, as well, and drives me crazy sometimes.

Marianna molnar woods (9)
Monday April 9, 2012, 12:39 am
thanks for sharing

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Monday April 9, 2012, 2:34 am
Thanks for sharing interesting article

Ruth C (87)
Monday April 9, 2012, 6:50 am
I had one dog that would do it lay down then get up and do it again then would lay down again and go to sleep.

Teresa W (782)
Monday April 9, 2012, 9:52 am

. (0)
Monday April 9, 2012, 10:39 am
Thank you for sharing.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 9, 2012, 11:24 am
noted thank you,xxx

Marilyn M (145)
Monday April 9, 2012, 1:22 pm
Noted. Thank you for posting, Cher.

Diane L (110)
Monday April 16, 2012, 12:13 am
I hope not a lot of research money was put into this study behavior. It's very likely to be exactly as suggested............making a more level place in which to lay down, and to make sure the place is big enough to allow the animal to lay down in the first place. If the body smacks up against "stuff" when circling, likely the space on the ground won't be big enough and the animal might end up "stuck".

Not all dogs "circle", either. Mine doesn't. She goes straight forward to where she wants to lay and goes down, back feet straight up along the outside of her body. Doesn't matter if it's outside on the grass, inside on the throw rug in front of the TV or on her big doggie bed in my room, either..........the "preclude" is always the same........she's a 10-yr-old GSD and I've had her since she was 2. She's always done this.
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