Good Question: Why Do Dogs Walk In A Circle Before Lying Down?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lake of the Isles Dog Park in Minneapolis is like spring break for dogs — and just like people, man’s best friend has some pretty weird habits.

“Moses howls constantly and then sleeps in the bed under the covers like a person,” said Essau Gotlieb.

“She likes to hide stuff in our couch. So she will bury bones and stuff,” said Jessica Macken.

“She likes to do a butt wag. That’s how she interacts and gets others to play with her,” said Jonah Santo.

But there’s one strange ritual that nearly every breed of dog goes through — they walk in a circle before they snooze. So why do dogs do that?

“My best guess is they are trying to look at their surroundings,” said Jessica.

“They’d turn around to flatten out so they lay down in it comfortably,” said Ross Kahn.

According to animal health experts, this is an instinct that goes all the way back to prehistoric times. Before there were doggy beds and human beds to sleep in, dogs literally had to make their own beds.

They would build “safe nests.” The easiest way to beat down grass to make a nest, was to walk in circles. Experts believe it was also a way to drive out reptiles or insects from that area.

And lastly, it may have been a way to sort of “mark their territory,” since car tires and fire hydrants weren’t invented yet.

“She’s got her bed. Her two kennels. Her toys. She’s good to go. She’s set,” Jonah said.

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