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ANIMALS

Why do dogs turn around in circles before lying down?

You may have noticed your pet pooch’s bedtime ritual of turning around in circles before settling in to sleep. This trait is inherited from their ancestors.

Update:
You may have noticed your pet pooch’s bedtime ritual of turning around in circles before settling in to sleep. This trait is inherited from their ancestors.
ALEXANDRE MENEGHINIREUTERS

Dogs turning around in circles before lying down is a behavior that has roots in their ancestry and instinctual behaviors. While it might seem like a simple routine, there are several reasons why dogs act this way, dating back from prehistoric times.

Domestic dogs have retained many behaviors from their wild ancestors, even though they have adapted to their lives around humans.

Why do dogs turn around in circles before lying down?

According to Live Science, this before-sleeping ritual could be attributed to their nesting instinct. In the wild, dogs would create a comfortable and safe sleeping area by patting down tall grass or leaves and turning around in a circle to create a “nest.”

Circling the area could also be a way to mark territory. Dogs have scent glands in their paws, and as they turn in circles, they may be leaving their scent on the ground. Flattening the place can also be a way of saying the place has been claimed.

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Dogs prepare for potential danger

VCA Animal Hospitals believes that turning around is also a way to check the environment. It allows a dog to survey its surroundings and make sure there are no potential dangers or obstacles in its chosen spot. It’s a way for them to ensure they are in a secure and comfortable location.

According to VCA, dogs could instinctively know to position themselves for sleeping in way that would make them ready to fight off an attack.

Not all dogs exhibit this behavior, and some may simply plop down to sleep without turning in circles. While it’s often a harmless and natural behavior, if you notice any significant changes in your dog’s behavior or if they seem to be struggling to lie down comfortably, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

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