Why Do Dogs Circle Before They Lay Down?

Circling before laying down is an instinctual behavior in dogs. This ritual traces back to their ancestors who would circle to create a comfortable and safe spot in the wild.


Circling is a form of marking territory. Dogs have scent glands in their paws, and as they circle, they leave their scent on the area, establishing it as their personal space.

Territory Marking

Dogs circle to create a comfortable sleeping spot. This behavior allows them to flatten the area, clear any potential debris, and make the surface just right for a restful nap.

Comfort Creation

Circling helps dogs adjust the sleeping surface's temperature. By turning in circles, they can find the optimal position to regulate their body temperature, ensuring a cozy rest.

Temperature Adjustment

Circling is a safety check. In the wild, it helped dogs ensure there were no potential threats or discomforts in their chosen spot. 

Safety Check

Dogs may circle even on soft surfaces like beds or sofas. This ritual is deeply ingrained, reflecting the strong influence of their ancestral instincts.

Habitual Behavior

Some dogs may circle more than others. Understanding your dog's unique circling habits adds another layer to appreciating their intricate behaviors.

Individual Variations

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