Why Does My Dog Run In Circles Before Putting a Pile On?

Have you ever noticed that your dog spun in a circle one or more times before making a pile? And are you wondering why the dog does it? Here are the answers!

Admittedly, dogs sometimes act really weird from a human point of view, like when they happily sniff strangers for the first time. In a similar category is the question of why so many dogs often walk in circles before putting on a pile. We have an answer:

The Dog Makes Sure that there is no Danger

By making the circle, your dog makes sure that no one bites her buttocks while she goes about her business. Veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Austin compares this to people who check in advance for a snake hiding in the toilet.

In fact, as long as the dog is piling up, it is especially vulnerable. Unsurprisingly, he wants to hunt down possible attackers ahead of time. But there are other reasons for spinning.

The Direction Must Be Right

Several years ago, researchers in the Czech Republic and Germany found that dogs especially often stand along the north-south axis when doing this. So it may happen that your dog turns in a circle to position itself along that axis – consciously or unconsciously.

The Dog Marks its Territory and Makes Sure it is Clean Before Making its Pile

Two other reasons may explain why your dog is spinning in circles. On the one hand, he can clear the space for his business with his paws and at least roughly clean it. On the other hand, he marks his territory in relation to other dogs with the help of the olfactory glands in the anus. Ideally, the scent label should remain the same – even if you’ve collected and disposed of dog feces in an exemplary manner.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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