Why Do Dogs Circle before they Lie down?

There’s nothing more charming than watching your pet relax in a tiny ball and sleep. Why is your dog feeling the need to create several circles before lying down? Does this seem to be a normal thing or should you be worried?

The majority of experts believe that, although there could be some reasons behind this behavior, the practice of circling prior to lying down is a habit that dogs have learned from their ancestral ancestors in the wild.


When you make circles in a circle, a wolf, coyote, or wild dog will be able to take a look around the area. They will take a final look around to make sure there aren’t any possible predators within the immediate area. They could also conduct a final inspection of all the relatives in their unit making sure all are safe and sound. A full circle permits a wild dog to discern which direction it is that the winds come from. If they are able to identify this they can rest by putting their noses towards the wind in order to sense the smells of predators prior to the predator being able to detect them.

Finding a comfortable resting spot

Coyotes and wolves do not have the soft, cushy blankets and beds which our dogs have the pleasure of sleeping in. They’re left with forest floors and fields. Moving around in circles could crush tall grasses and collect pine needles to make the softest place to sleep and even get rid of the insects and animals hidden in the brush. The pets at home might have many blankets and beds however that shouldn’t hinder them from attempting to make their pet’s bed a little cozier. If your dog forms an arc before lying down it could be looking for a comfy place to sleep.

In stomping all the vegetation with a circular motion the area, wild dogs can identify a particular area as their own, to let all the other animals within the family know the area is a place to be spoken about.

Temperature Control

Coyotes and wolves have lived in all kinds of climates, from the cold of the mountains up to hot deserts. People who have to sleep in the snow often mix circling and digging up the snow. By placing snow in a pile around the edges of the area where they’ll rest, they not only keep themselves from being slumbering on top of the frigid snow but also utilize the snow to protect themselves from the frigid temperatures surrounding them. Circling can also allow coyotes and wolves in colder regions to curl up into the form of a tight ball, with their noses tucked beneath their tails. This is not only adorable cute, but it also reduces the body’s temperature by sleeping this way. In addition, coyotes and wolves who have to rest in warmer climates can combine circling with digging in the dirt. This way they are able to turn the soil to ensure that they sleep in soil that is cooler than the soil that was being baked by the sun throughout the day.

Why Should You Be Concerned?

In the majority of cases, it is normal to circle before lying down. is completely normal, totally normal dog behavior. If your dog appears to be circling too much or is the cause if they begin to circle more often? If your dog is suffering from orthopedic or neurological issues like osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis, it may start to circle more often than it did previously. It could be due to the fact that the process of finding a comfortable place to sleep can be more difficult. If you provide your dog with a supportive, orthopedic dog bed along with the correct medications for joint pain can make your dog more comfortable, and also reduce excessive circular movements.

A few dogs suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders that include tail chasing or trancing. In the event that your dog seems predisposed to ritualistic, compulsive behavior and behaviors, they could begin to be excessively circling as an indication of their obsessional compulsive disorder. Discussion with your veterinarian or vet behavior specialist will be the initial step in the direction of helping your dog.

Although the science isn’t able to provide any definitive explanation for why dogs are prone to circling when they lie on their backs, they do have plausible hypotheses about the cause of this behavior. If you’re worried that your dog’s circle could be due to pain, or could be a sign of a disorder that compulsively affects them talk to your veterinarian.