Why does my dog ??run around before he lies down?
Does your dog also circle around before he lies down?
Experts claim that this cute ritual is probably a relic from the time that our ancestors lived in the wild. By turning around in one place, the dogs unconsciously kick grass and leaves flat to create a flat surface to sleep on. So they actually build a comfortable nest.
Many dogs circle around a spot before they lie down and rest. Although nobody knows for sure why they do this, the ritual is probably a custom from the days when dogs were still living in the wild, according to veterinary behavioral therapist Dr. Karen Sueda of VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
The ancestors of our dogs slept outside, surrendered to the elements, without too much heat or safety. Walking around in one place was a way to crush grass, leaves or snow and create a soft, flat surface. It looks a bit like building a nest.
When your dog is done circling, does he scratch his bedding or carpet before he lies down?
Like cycling, digging is probably ancestral behavior meant for safety and comfort.
In extreme heat, a dog could lower his body temperature by digging a hole. The cool soil helped him to regulate his body heat. If it was cold – or even freezing – a hole would help to maintain body heat and remain comfortable.
But why do our pets still exhibit this behavior?
Do not worry – circling is not a sign that your pet has heard the call of nature. Adaptive behavior tends to linger long after the usefulness has been lost. At least, as long as nothing happens to discourage that behavior again, Dr. Sueda tells.
When is cycling a cause for concern?
Restlessness can be a sign of discomfort or even pain. If your dog repeatedly circles and digs, and does not seem comfortable, he may have a health problem, such as arthritis or a neurological disorder.
Observe your pet to see if he has trouble getting up and unwinding. If he remains restless, take him to the vet to rule out pain and get a correct diagnosis.