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  • Writer's pictureMichael Williams

Why Does My Dog Spin in Circles Before Lying Down ?

Updated: May 21, 2023

Have you ever noticed your dog spinning in circles before lying down? Although it might look like an amusing act, this behavior actually serves an important purpose. This act of self-preservation is known as “preparing their bed”, and is a common canine behavior. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and how to decode canine body language.


Dog behaviorists believe that a dog’s need to perform the bedtime ritual of turning around in circles before lying down is inherited. Canine ancestors, such as wild wolves, did the same thing, and domestic dogs retained this genetic predisposition. Evolutionary behaviors like this one are aimed at self-preservation and are strong influences that persist for generations in the animal kingdom.


By spinning around several times, the canine can create a comfortable temperature for sleeping. They can stomp down any tall grasses or vegetation to make it smoother and more comfortable. Wolves were naturally drawn towards dens or hollowed-out places where they could create this kind of environment for themselves. This behavior has been passed on from generation to generation, with all types of domesticated animals now following suit when trying to find a comfortable place to sleep. In addition to creating an optimal temperature, spinning around may also help dogs familiarize themselves with their surroundings. By having an intimate knowledge of their resting area they can be more aware of any potential predators or hazards near their spot. If a threat were detected they would know exactly how they could escape quickly without getting confused or disoriented. In conclusion, spinning in circles helps create an environment conducive to good rest - comfortable temperature for sleeping, fewer sharp plants or grasses, and better awareness of the area - thereby increasing chances of survival.






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