Why Dogs Turn Around Before Lying Down to Sleep
Scientist that have studied the behaviors of wolves noticed the animals’ habit of circling before lying down. This habit is attributed to the animals instinct to gain comfort and safety. Wolves are pack oriented thus they would hunt together and live together. It is common for the pack to sleep close together as well presumably to conserve heat. Thus, before lying down, members of the pack would circle around to mark the spot and to give others more room. As wolves would sleep anywhere, they have to be sure that the area chosen is not inhabited by snakes and dangerous insects thus they would have to circle around.
Dog wise people believe that modern day dogs are about 99% genetically identical to wolves. Therefore, it is not surprising for dogs to manifest some of the behaviors of their ancestors. One of the reasons why dogs circle around before lying down is to make the bed more comfortable. It is possible that the dog is not satisfied with the soft and comfortable bed provided by the loving owner. Thus the pet would turn around several times to be more comfortable.
Outdoor dogs would sleep anywhere. Dogs would be seen digging the chosen spot a bit, turning around several times and then lie down. To make the chosen spot more comfy, the dog would prepare the bed by digging a bit and circle several times. Circling around several times makes the bed more comfortable as the vegetation is pressed and any stones that would bring the dog discomfort are removed.
Dogs have another reason for circling around several times before lying down. Just as with wolves in the wild, domesticated dogs would make sure that snakes, scorpions and other insects are not lurking in the sport where they are about to sleep.
Dogs are one of the most pampered pets. Some pet parents consider doggie beds not be good enough for the pet. They are also allowed to sleep with their owners. As such there will be no need to make the bed more comfortable in the same manner that there is no need to ensure that the bed is safe from harmful insects. However, the habit of circling around remain. This is one of the habits of dogs that cannot be understood by humans in spite of the long years of association. Dogs though are still the best pets. Dogs remain to be man’s best friends.
Dogs do many amusing things. One of them is to circle before lying down. Having learnt about this behaviour and why they do it. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn about other curious behaviours like why do dogs howl, pant or eat dirt? At Sarah’s Dogs you can.