Why do dogs circle before lying down

Dogs have indeed made a lot of difference to our way of life because aside from being loyal companions and dependable protectors, they have provided the family with amusement as well. With a dog for a pet, the family will seldom have dull moments as the dog will constantly amuse its people with its comic acts. These silly pets would chase their very own tail, sleep like an upended table or cock the head as if wearing a hundred pounder earring. Another silly and amusing habit of the dog is circling around several times before lying down.

Dog owners can’t help but be puzzled and amused by the dog’s habit of circling around before lying down. Every time the dog lies down whether inside the home or outdoors it will do its ritual of turning several times. This behavior was noticed in dog in the wild thus there is an idea that turning around in circles before lying down is a genetic trait that was handed to present day dogs by their ancestors. Dogs in the wild would sleep anywhere – on grasses, on the hard earth and even on freezing snow. Beds of ancient dogs will be open to the elements.

Instinctively, dogs would know how to make their beds comfortable and safe from dangerous animals. Dogs will be seen circling the sleeping area several times purportedly to flatten grass and snow and to drive away snakes and poisonous insects. Dogs are pack oriented thus they will be seen hunting, eating and sleeping together.

Although wilderness is a huge area, the dogs would have to choose a den that will be sheltered from the elements and one that will be safe from predators. The place chosen to be the den may be cramped. A dog that circles the chosen sleeping area is marking its territory. This behavior is a kind of announcement that tells other dogs in the pack that the spot is already claimed.

Modern day dogs no longer need to make the bed comfortable. Pampered pets are provided by the loving owners with comfortable beds. Dogs don’t need to chase snakes or poisonous insects from the bed as not only would these spoiled pets live inside the house but they also sleep on the bed of the master. Circling around before lying down to sleep is a deep-rooted habit that was handed down by primitive dogs to present day canines. This behavior was genetically programmed and a dog owner can’t do anything but allow the dog to do its own ritual before sleeping.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on why dogs circle before lying down.

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