Why dogs circle before they lay down before they lay down, it is usually a normal and harmless behavior. This is an instinctive action rooted in the past when their wild ancestors used to circle before taking a nap. This was a way of tamping down grass or other surfaces to create a comfortable nest for sleeping in. It also allowed them to check their surroundings for predators using both sight and smell before they climbed into the warm and cozy abode.
Another possible reason for this is that dogs in the wild are pack animals and circling before laying down allows them to take one last look at their territory. They might be checking out the pecking order of their fellow pack members or ensuring that they are not being watched by any predators in the area.
Canine Rituals: Decoding Why Dogs Spin Before Settling Down
A 2016 behavioral study found that pet dogs are more likely to circle before laying down on a surface with an uneven texture like a shag carpet. This is because the uneven surface makes it harder for them to find a comfortable position, and circling is their way of trying to make things as snug as possible before settling down for a restful nap. If your dog’s circling behavior becomes excessive or painful, though, it may be a sign that they are suffering from a neurological or orthopedic condition such as spinal cord or joint issues. Getting the appropriate treatment for these conditions can help transform this behavior into something that is not only less painful but also more restful for your pooch.