Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

As a dog owner, you have probably seen your dog circle before lying down.  This is a pretty common canine trait for all breeds and is an age-old ritual from their old wolf days.   Why do dogs circle before lying down?  No one really knows the exact reason, although we have some pretty good guesses.

Dogs Circle Before Lying DownKeep in mind that your dog’s ancestors were pack wolves, they slept outside and on the move, in many different places and varying levels of shelter.  Walking around a spot is the perfect way to check it and clear it off, flatten grass or brush, it is like creating a quick nesting spot.  They might scratch or dig in the ground as well, to clear it of anything uncomfortable.  Digging is also a way to clear a layer of hot soil to expose the cool dirt underneath.  It is just one of those die hard habits that they have not gotten rid of, probably because it still works for them.  This is a really hard-wired behavior that goes way back to their origination as a species.  Dogs are just way more competent than we are at living out in the wild, and circling to create a good nest is one of their many ingrained skills they use to do it! No one gets mad at a circling dog, but they certainly get a little bit of a nicer spot to lay down in!