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Why Does My Dog Circle Me -The Interesting Reason!

Dogs are weird creatures. They do bizarre things at times. When they start to do funny things like circling you, you notice all the odd things they do. After seeing this happen a few times, the behavior becomes very noticeable. So, you begin to wonder; why does my dog circle me?

Dogs circle their owners when they are excited or that they want to get your attention. Dogs also circle you when they need food, are in pain, have underlying health issues, or are suffering from anxiety. Circling is also a sign of a dog herding you, a natural instinct of theirs.

Noticing a behavior change is a massive deal with your pet since they cannot tell you something is wrong.  It’s best to approach new or changing behaviors more curiously, though – don’t always assume the worst! Sometimes something small will set your pet off, and it’s our job to figure out what that may be. Read on to find out the many reasons that your dog may be circling you.  

Reasons Your Dog Circles You

Like any other action from your dog, there is usually a reason or motive behind it; because animals are nonverbal, they communicate with activities or lack thereof. Some things are easily understood, and something leaves us scratching our heads as to what our dogs are trying to tell us. 

Here are a few reasons why your dog may be circling you – 

  • They are excited
  • They want your attention
  • They want affection
  • They want to play
  • They may be nervous for some reason
  • They might be worried that something may happen or that you might leave, etc.
  • Your dog may be ready for a nap

So, depending on your dog and its temperament, this may vary. 

One thing that will always remain the same is that your dog is inadvertently trying to tell you something.  

Regardless of what they are trying to say to you. Please understand that regardless of what your dog is trying to say to you, that your dog is super vulnerable with you by showing you their feelings, 

Why Does My Dog Circle Me When I Come Home

If your dog is circling you when you get home after being out, it is typically because they are excited to see you, and they missed you! Dogs have a sense of time and will wait until you come home to release that energy.

You are your dog’s world. 

Everything revolves around you. 

When they hear you and see you walk in the door after being gone, they are beyond excited no matter the time frame. Usually, they are so happy they can’t contain their excitement, so they start to prance and circle you because they are so excited.  

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment – you’re at home all day, or even just for a few hours, you have the mentality of a small child, and your parent(s) who you love most in the world is gone. Then all of a sudden, they are home! Imagine how excited you would be. You would be circling them, too.

Why Does My Dog Circle Me When Excited

Dogs circle you when they are excited so they can release energy and communicate with you. There have been so many times that I have walked through the door, and my dog starts running around me, super excited. They cannot contain their excitement the way that we can. 

Dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves, so to speak.

When your dog is excited, do you ever notice that they do that little wiggle? Like almost dancing, prancing, shaking their tail vigorously? Yeah. That is pure excitement and happiness. Could you imagine being that happy when you saw someone? That’s how your dog feels when you come home.

Because they have such a hard time hiding their emotions and feelings, you can understand why your dog starts running circles around you because they are so excited.    

Why Does My Dog Circle My Legs

The main reason that your dog circles your legs is that they want some form of attention. This could be so many different things all at the same time. 

Usually, your dog wants you to love them in some way. I notice with my dog that sometimes he will not go lay down on his bed until I give him all the pets. And this is totally normal with the mentality that your dog has. They look at you like you are their everything, and they expect the same in return. 

What Does It Mean If A Dog Circles You

Depending on your dog’s age and life, there may be an underlying cause for your dog circling you. If you start to notice this become a more common trait or issue with your dog, and they may seem a little distant or out there while doing this, it may seem like they are a bit out there; this could be a sign of a more severe issue that generally comes with age.  

Much like humans, with age, there are certain diseases and medical conditions that come with age. A big one that is very present in both humans and dogs is dementia.

If you have ever been around a person or a dog with dementia, it is a heartbreaking condition in which your dog sporadically loses touch with reality.

If your pet starts to exhibit signs of dementia, they may become confused and start circling you and doing other odd behaviors. This is usually something that comes with the end of life, so if these confusing behaviors appear at a young age, you may want to seek medical attention for your pet. 

How Do You Stop A Dog From Circling

Because your dog generally does this as a reaction, like they are excited or anxious, the easiest way for you to stop your dog from circling you is to find the root of what is causing them to circle.

If it is due to a reaction, the simplest way, if possible, is to figure out what the root cause is and change or fit the issue from there.

Another reason may be that you have taught your dog what they call ‘learned behavior.’ This comes from accidentally reinforcing your dog for an adverse reaction—an excellent way to counter this the same way you reinforced it.

Please pay attention to their actions, and give them a treat ONLY when they do the action you want or need them to do.  

At all costs, avoid giving them a treat to stop a behavior because this will make them think they are doing something you want them to do. 

Final Thoughts

With all the above mention reasons that your dog may start circling you, another big, underlying issue may be anxiety. Much like humans, dogs experience a wide array of emotions, affecting them just as much as it affects us.

Maybe even more at times with their mindset and intelligence range. As stated before, dogs do wear their hearts on their sleeves.  

Another reason your dog may circle you or walk in circles, in general, may be due to an illness like an inner ear infection. 

When this happens, part of your inner ear becomes swollen, and it can throw off your balance. When this happens, you start to veer when walking, and your dog may begin inadvertently walking in circles.  

The most important takeaway from this is that your dog should generally be fine unless there is another underlying issue with health conditions. Just pay attention to your furry friend, give them the love and attention they need, and take them in for a check-up if all else fails. 

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