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Why Does My Dog Spin In Circles – Is It Normal For Them?

Sometimes it may be hard to remember that your dog is inherently a wild animal and sometimes does odd things. And the top of that list can be spinning in circles. You wonder if they are ok, if there is something wrong or if this is normal behavior. So let’s answer the question you have right now; why does my dog spin in circles?

Dogs spin in circles when they are excited to see their owners, need something, or need to release excess energy. An anxious or overwhelmed dog is more likely to spin in circles. Dogs also spin in circles to find their sleeping location for the day.

Spinning in circles can mean so many different things to different dogs. It depends on their mindsets and learned or inherited behaviors. Read on to understand all the various reasons why your dog may be spinning in circles. 

7 Reasons Your Dog Spins In Circles

Dogs have funny actions, at least to us humans. You may think it is a bit silly when your dog spins around in a circle before doing various tasks, but it is in their nature. Here are some of the top reasons that your dog might be turning around in place. 

● They are excited (for many various reasons)

● They need to go potty

● They are trying to find the right place to lay down

● They may be overwhelmed or overexcited

● Your dog may need a nap

● They are trying to get comfortable

● They are anxious

These are just a few of the reasons that your dog may spin around in circles. 

Depending on your dog, that could be a vast variance like breed, temperament, learned behavior, etc. You will see various actions. Often, it is generally because your dog is excited or uncomfortable in some way. 

Why Is My Dog Doing Circles

Your dog is doing circles because they are releasing energy. It is crucial to know that generally, your dog has an IQ of a 2.5-year-old, so simple things excite or confuse them, even after a long time. 

Another reason your dog could be doing circles could be they are chasing their tail. Maybe they saw it out of the corner of their eye and cant t understand what could be back there.

A more concerning reason your dog may be spinning in circles is because of an injury or illness. If your dog is spinning for seemingly no reason, it may be time to speak with their vet. Here is a list of medical reasons your dog could be spiraling around in circles.

● Seizures

● Anxiety

● Inner ear infection or damage

● Stroke

● Brain Tumor

● Dementia

Why Does My Dog Spin In Circles When Excited

Dogs spin circles, when they are excited, is because they simply have no other way to contain it. Because dogs can’t speak to us, they expend their energy in the best way they know how. There are a couple of various reasons why your dog will spin in circles when they are excited.

We often forget how intelligent our dogs are that they are just animals. Sometimes even minor things will excite them and send them into a literal tailspin, such as:

● Treats

● New toys

● Going on a walk

● Playtime

Other times, your dog may start spinning for various reasons. Sometimes they are anxious, and turning around is familiar and soothing, so they will begin to this behavior to soothe themselves. 

Why Dogs Spin Around Before Lying Down

If you have ever noticed your dog spinning in circles before laying down, it is a common action, and the majority of dogs will do this from time to time. This is done for two main reasons.

  1. Your pup is trying to get comfortable and will circle around, trying to locate the perfect spot before plopping down to rest.
  2. Dogs will spin in circles to find the best way to lay to face an area they feel needs to be watched. Instinctively dogs want to protect themselves, so they will lay in a location that can keep them on guard.

Why Does My Dog Spin In Circles Before Pooping

Generally, your dog will spin in circles before the poop because they are trying to get comfortable. They want to find the right spot. Just think about it in our eyes – we can’t just go anywhere. 

We need to be comfortable before we relieve ourselves. I’ve noticed so many times, even in my yard, my dog running back and forth, clearing needing to poo, and once he finds a spot, he then runs around in a circle before relieving himself.  

After a while, even when they are at home, more or less the reason they start spinning in circles is due to habit. They are comfortable at home, but it is not inherent because so many times before, they turned around, and they can’t stop doing it. 

Why Does My Dog Spin In Circles When He Sees Me

When you walk in the door after being at work all day, there is nothing cuter than seeing your dog running in circles out of joy and happiness. Your dog is acting this way because he is full of excitement that you are home with him, and this is his way of doing “happy dance.”

Why Does My Dog Spin In Circles Before Going Outside  

If your dog starts to spin around in circles before going outside, it’s a good indication they have to go. If you see your dog spinning around near the door, assume it’s an emergency and get them out for a walk. This type of excitement mimics a toddler who really as to pee and will dance around in one place waiting to go.

You may also want to consider that the spinning movement uses body language to say “Hey, let’s go.” and use their bodies to point you in the right direction.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Spinning In Circles

If your dog’s circle spinning is making you dizzy and you want them to stop, you need to approach it like any other behavioral issue. Technically speaking, if your dog doesn’t have a medical illness, its spinning is compulsive. To get the spinning to stop, you need to train them.

Ways To Stop The Spinning

Here are a few tips on ways you can stop your dog from spinning circles around you.

●      Redirect: When your dog starts to do their happy spin, stop them in their tracks. You can offer them a toy or treat as a “reward” for no longer spinning.

●      Keep them busy: If your dog is spending a lot of time playing, chewing, or running, they will no longer have the energy needed to spin in circles because they are excited.

●      Spend time with your dog: If your dog is so excited to see you when you get home, maybe they are looking for more attention. Play and interact with them a bit more throughout the day.

Teach them other cues: If your dog is spinning to go out or because they are hungry, train them in another way to let you know. Invest in the doggy doorbell ringer, or train them to sit at the door when they have to go out.

●      Ignore it: This is an excellent example of tough love. If they try to get your attention by spinning in circles, don’t give it to them. However, as soon as the spinning stops, acknowledge them and deal with their needs.

Remember: Never punish or yell at your pet for doing this. It is not beneficial in any way and could potentially make the situation worse.

Things to Consider

We can understand how a dog spinning in circles can concern, confuse, and even frustrate you. This is a behavior that can cause anyone to feel irritated with their pet. However, it is essential to remember that a dog would never intentionally do something to upset its owner. They do their best to keep you happy regardless of their feelings. 

A dog’s body language is his voice. He can’t simply ask you to go for a walk or tell you he is sad that you are not around. They rely on what they know to communicate.

Dogs are also inherently on guard and will do what is necessary to feel comfortable and safe. They do not have the luxury of pulling blankets over their bodies or putting on a sweater when they are cold. In turn, your dog will revert to its wild side to soften up a spot to make it comfortable enough for a nice nap.

The best way to figure out what it means for your dog is trial and error. Try a few things and if those don’t work, try a few more. Generally, based on their other actions, you can tell what your dog needs. Once you pick up on your dog’s social cues, you will better understand what they need. 

Even though we can not have conversations with our pets, it doesn’t mean we can learn to understand them. Once you get to know your dog’s personality and cues, you can work with them to change the behaviors you don’t feel is necessary.