10 Reasons For Dogs Spin In Circles Is That Normal?

Let’s talk about potty training with our canine friends. Whenever Chipper, my Husky-Golden Retriever mix, is about to poop, I can predict it 100% accurately. Before taking care of business, she circles a few times clockwise and may do a couple of short hops before getting into the perfect position.

Whenever she is tired or investigating a new doggy bed, she circles the bed before plopping down on it and snoozing. The circling action displayed by our dogs is enough to make a person dizzy – and a bit confused. Here are reasons your dog is spinning if you’re looking for an explanation.

Why Does My Dog Spin?

1. A nap time circle

We’ll now discuss the circle-pawing ritual performed by some dogs about to nap. You are cleverly using your dog’s circling to release her scent, which serves as an aromatic alert for other dogs. She uses it as a signal that this bed is hers, and hers alone.

Traditionally, she circles and paws the bed before plopping down to sleep because this behavior has been handed down from generation to generation. When living in the wild, her ancestors would paw at twigs and leaves to create the perfect sleeping area and bowl shape. It also made it harder for potential predators to see them.

2. Protecting the area

In the past, dogs lived, hunted, and slept in packs before they had loving companions. Predators couldn’t simply flop down on a couch at night, confident that they were safe. Before going to sleep, some experts believe dogs would turn around to take a good look around them. Before closing their eyes, they could address any danger they perceived. It is possible that herding dogs are trying to get a sense of where everyone is before they relax.

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3. A lot of spinning

In most dogs, circling before pooping or sleeping is harmless and even humorous. In some cases, however, dogs may circle constantly to the point of ignoring food or sleeping. Anti-anxiety medications – combined with behavior modification – are sometimes required in these cases.

4. Getting Comfortable

Another theory is that dogs turn incessantly in order to make a nest for themselves. They may be able to detect uncomfortable rocks or twigs by doing this activity. A comfortable bed out in the wilderness can also be made by patting down tall vegetation.

My dog spins in circles before she goes to sleep, looking for the most comfortable position under the covers to stretch out across. I think she’s trying to figure out where my feet are so she can plop on top of them. A pregnant pup may create a nest as part of her natural maternal behavior before she gives birth.

Despite the lack of research on this subject, one dog expert conducted his own study to find out why dogs spin before sitting. He set up an area with either a smooth carpet or a rug with uneven lumps underneath it and sent dogs inside for 15 minutes.

Three times as many dogs circled before sitting on the bumpy surface as on the flat one. While this doesn’t prove that dogs spin before sitting only to find a comfortable position, it does support the theory.

It is also common for some breeds to cover their faces with their tails when hitting the hay. Cold-weather species, such as huskies, exhibit this behavior.

They are protected from biting winds and snow by their fluffy tails. The trait of sleeping outside in icy weather may be passed down from your dog’s ancestors, even if you don’t let her do it. It is easier for her to maintain her warm position if she rotates before settling down.

5. Spinning is fun

Some love-their-people dogs literally go into tailspins when they see their favorite person walk into the door after being at work or returning from vacation. When they become excited, they spin quickly, prancing up and down – and some even let out happy, greeting yelps. You can feel like a rock star when you’re the recipient of this happy circle.

6. They stake their claim

According to Live Science, wild dogs might have circled an area to leave a visible mark. In this way, other dogs would have known that this spot was taken. As a result, vermin, such as snakes and rodents, would have been unable to hide in the area and bite the dog. Maybe your dog is turning circles on your mattress to let you know that it’s no longer yours.

7. Keeping the pack safe

Canines often slept with their packs in the wild. In addition to providing body heat, this helped protect the animals. Every animal benefits from sleeping in a tight circle. In case of an emergency, animals can still spring up even when curled up. If they were lying on top of each other, they wouldn’t be able to do that. By turning before settling down, the dogs can form a tighter bundle.

8. Excitedly releasing some energy

When they’re happy, some dogs can’t contain themselves. You can tell that your dog is excited when she turns in circles when you walk through the door. In between waggling her tail, licking you, jumping up to get closer to you, and pressing her body into your legs, she’s not sure what she wants. As a result, she does everything at once, resulting in frantic movements.

9. Potty time!

Does your dog spin before going to the bathroom? Dogs do this to make sure that they’re not about to be attacked by predators while they’re vulnerable. Others might do this to warm up their intestines before assuming a more energy-intensive squat. Consider yourself lucky if this describes your pet. When your dog messes up your neighbor’s yard, you’ll always be warned.

10. Anxiety is affecting her

Some dogs spin because they are anxious or have obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Repeated behaviors can be a sign of frustration, according to Nest. It is not uncommon for dogs to walk in circles without a reason, to ignore you when you offer food, or avoid sleeping. There are some dogs who can’t stop chasing their tails. Other rhythmic actions include licking paws, snapping at invisible insects, soaking up too much water, and sucking on blankets.

The lifestyle of your pet may be the answer to this behavior, regardless of whether it is a new one. Has an animal companion recently passed away? Are you spending more time away from your dog? Has she undergone any other significant changes? Having your dog examined for a medical condition might also be a good idea.

Is every dog a spinner?

Dogs do not all have the instinct to spin. Dogs sleep in a variety of ways. It’s not uncommon for dogs to just collapse on the floor when they’re tired. Others slide down the floor in a series of yoga-like positions. There are many ways dogs communicate when they need to go to the bathroom or when they are excited.

Your dog still has some wild instincts, despite the fact that she’s perfectly pampered in your house. In spite of the fact that spinning can be a form of communication, it most likely comes from instinct. It’s impossible to stop your dog from doing what she wants.

When Dogs Lay Down, Why Do They Spin In Circles?

According to research, dogs spin in circles before lying down to make themselves more comfortable. Creating a nest for themselves is what they do by circling. As a result of their ancestral traits, they inspect grass for leaves and twigs that could be uncomfortable for them. During sleep, these pets cover their faces with their tails to keep themselves comfortable.

In addition to this, dogs also spin in circles before lying down at night to stake their claim. They are claiming this part of the couch or bed as their own. They also let other dogs know that this spot is reserved. A visible mark was made by wild dogs in a circled area to express this.

As a way to protect their pack, these pets also spin in circles before lying down. They sleep in packs and tight circles in order to protect each other and to share body heat. In case of danger, they can also act together. Before they poop, some dogs spin to ensure that there are no predators or dangers around.

Dogs Usually Spin In Circles, But Is That Normal?

Yes, that is the answer. Circling around a place before pooping or lying down is a ritual for many dogs. It is very cute to watch your pet chase its tail and circle around. Dogs usually circle around for a reason, and it’s normal for them to do so. Dogs lived in nature before they were domesticated.

Besides sleeping, eating, and hunting in packs, they were wild. Before sleeping, they spin around to secure the area and check out their surroundings. Even though domestic dogs live in a safe and controlled environment, they still exhibit this protective behavior.

In order to leave their scent behind and sniff out predators, dogs practice 360-degree movements of circling. Before sitting down in a secure area, they check for safety. During pooping time, dogs also circle. As a result, their bowel movements are kicked off. Besides this, dogs are also known to spin in circles before napping.

When they circle, they emit an aromatic scent that tells other dogs that the bed they are lying on is theirs. A dog’s ancestors passed on this trait to them as well. The bed may be circled and pawed by the dog before he/she takes a long-awaited nap.

Their ancestors used to paw and circle leaves and twigs to create perfect sleeping areas for themselves. As they make this area into the shape of a bowl, potential predators will have a hard time spotting them.

When Your Dog Spins In Circles, What Should You Do?

Aside from their protective instincts, dogs usually circle when they are excited about something, such as their owner arriving home, a favorite meal, or perhaps a game of fetch.

Despite the fact that spinning in circles is a daily occurrence, it does not make it normal. Pet owners should be concerned if this behavior is becoming compulsive, even though there are specific reasons why pets do this.

Compulsion behavior is defined as an abnormal response to stimulation. There is no purpose to the behavior and it is consistent, repetitive, and unintentional. It occurs frequently throughout the day, lasts for a few minutes, and seems to be uncontrollable.

Initially, a dog may feel two different feelings and spin around in circles chasing its tail because they are confused. If you notice this behavior in your puppy, it may be time to visit the vet and find out why. In addition to talking to your veterinarian, you can also consult an animal behavior specialist to break your dog’s habits.

why do dogs spin in circles when excited

When Your Dog Spins In Circles, What Does It Mean?

Dogs spin in circles for a number of reasons: to secure an area, to follow a ritual, to make themselves comfortable, to protect their pack, and to poop. Dogs also chase their tails quite frequently in addition to spinning in circles. The tail is used by these animals to chew on or discover their bodies, which may seem odd.

This behavior can also be explained by a medical condition. Dogs use these behaviors to let out their excitement. Our fluffy canine friends get compulsive when they’re happy, and they spin around in circles compulsively.

When a dog is experiencing so many emotions, it doesn’t know whether to lick you, wag its tail, or jump on you, so it runs around in circles to contain its excitement. It is a way for dogs to show how much they miss you after not seeing you for a while.

Here are some ways to stop the spinning

You can stop your dog from spinning circles around you with these tips.

Stop your dog in their tracks when they begin to do their happy spin. If they stop spinning, reward them with a toy or treat.

Your dog won’t have the energy to spin in circles if they are playing, chewing, or running a lot.

Your dog might be looking for more attention if he or she is so excited to see you when you get home. Spend time with your dog. Throughout the day, play with them and interact with them more.

If your dog is spinning to go outside or because they are hungry, train them in another way to communicate. If your dog has to leave, invest in a doggy doorbell ringer or train them to sit at the door.

This is an excellent example of tough love, so ignore it. You shouldn’t give them your attention if they spin in circles to get your attention. When the spinning stops, acknowledge them and address their needs.

Do not punish or yell at your pet for doing this. No benefit can be gained from it, and it could potentially aggravate the situation.

Is it dangerous for your dog to spin in circles?

It is normal for dogs to spin around in circles and is not dangerous in general. However, if your dog is older or has back problems, he may get injured if he twists too fast while spinning. In addition, your pet shouldn’t perform zoomies near stairs or on slippery floors, which may lead to serious injuries.

Nonetheless, if your dog is behaving oddly, spinning excessively, showing strange eye movements, or bumping into things, then you should take him to the vet to ensure that there are no neurological problems causing his behavior.

A dog’s inner ear canal may also become infected with bacteria as they age, causing your pet to spin in circles, especially toward the affected side.

What is the impact of spinning in circles on your dog’s aggression?

When your dog is excited and spinning in circles, he may nip or bite if you get too close, especially if he is overexcited. It is best to let your pet spin in circles without getting too close or trying to stop him. Be careful not to get bitten by your dog.

While your dog is spinning, avoid running after him or chasing him, as this may worsen his behavior. Children should be kept away from your dog when it is spinning in circles so they don’t get hurt.


When I see my dog, he spins in circles

Seeing your dog run in circles when you get home after being at work all day is nothing short of adorable. This is your dog’s way of doing a “happy dance” because he is excited you are home with him.

What can I do to stop my dog from spinning in circles?

You should approach your dog’s circle spinning as you would any other behavioral issue if it makes you dizzy. When your dog spins compulsively without a medical condition, it is technically compulsive. You need to train them to stop spinning.

Before going outside, my dog spins in circles.

Before going outside, if your dog starts spinning in circles, it’s a good indication they need to go. When you see your dog spinning around near the door, assume it’s an emergency and takes them for a walk. A toddler who wants to pee will dance around in one place waiting to pee when experiencing this type of excitement. Also, you may want to consider that the spinning movement uses body language as a way to say, “Hey, let’s go.” and to direct you.

Before pooping, my dog spins in circles

When your dog is trying to get comfortable, they will spin in circles before they poop. Finding the right spot is important to them. Our eyes tell us that we can’t just go anywhere. Before we relieve ourselves, we need to feel comfortable. My dog runs back and forth in my yard, poop-clearing, after finding a place to relieve himself, he runs around in circles before relieving himself. I have observed this so many times, even in my yard. The reason they start spinning in circles after a while, even at home, is more or less a habit. Because they have turned around so many times before, they are comfortable at home, but it is not inherent.

Final thoughts

It could be because your dog is bored, anxious, excited, checking out his surroundings, or preparing to poop that he’s spinning in circles. There is nothing to worry about here; it’s just a canine thing.

To ensure that your pet is in good health, you may want to speak with your veterinarian if the spinning becomes obsessive or if your pet appears to be in distress.


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