dog walking in circles

Dog walking in circles

Have you ever wondered what cause the dog walking in circles. It might be for a couple of reasons. In this article will be covering the reasons – why dogs walk in circle


Some very anxious dogs can be restless, and walking around or in circles can be ways to vent this emotion. Stress can have many causes: fear of thunder/fireworks, separation anxiety, trauma, or even obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In addition to walking restlessly, a very anxious dog may also stop feeding during periods when he is most stressed. Lick his paws repeatedly, and cry or bark. but they all indicate that the dog may be anxious.

To lie down and sleep

Walking in circles before lying down is normal behavior for dogs and one that arouses curiosity. This behavior has been maintained since the ancestors of dogs. and there are several theories to explain why:

To “make a bed”. Dogs did not always have sleeping beds. It is believed that dogs walked in circles to crush the bush and fluff the surface, making it more comfortable to sleep.

To make the nest safer. When walking in circles and crushing the grass, the dog also ended up scaring small animals, insects, and snakes from its “nest” – thus, it was safer to settle there.

To adjust the temperature. In the heat, digging and walking in circles helps expose the soil below the grass, creating a cooler surface. In the cold, the hole created thermally isolates the dog from the rest of the environment, protecting it from extreme temperatures.

To check for predators. While preparing its “bed”, the dog could also check its surroundings and make sure that there were no predators or other dangerous animals nearby.

Vestibular disease

The vestibular system is accountable for the sense of balance, spatial understanding, and position of the canine’s body. When this system is impaired, the dog may lose his balance, hang his head to one side, walk in circles, and even vomit from feeling dizzy.

Most vestibular disease cases in dogs are related to chronic or recurrent otitis since the receptor of this system is inside the middle ear. Generally, if the primary cause is treated, vestibular disease improves significantly or can even be cured. If the vestibular disease is central (in the brain), the prognosis is not so good.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, also known as “Dogs Alzheimer’s,” is a disease that causes several behavioral changes. The dog may start pacing from side to side or in circles because it becomes restless, disoriented, or confused. Other signs of CHD include changes in the sleep/wake cycle (the dog sleeps a lot during the day. Stays awake or active at night), loss of training, standing still looking nowhere, among others.

Brain tumors

A brain tumor, depending on its size and position, can cause changes in behavior, causing the dog to move in circles or from side to side for no apparent reason. The signs of a brain tumor are very variable. Still, they can include seizures, mental confusion, pain, motor incoordination, among others.

Partial seizures

Partial seizures are a different type of seizure than “typical” seizures, which everyone knows. This type of seizure affects only part of the brain, so that the dog does not become unconscious, but can exhibit aberrant behaviors.

Hunting invisible flies, biting its tail, moving one or more limbs involuntarily, walking in circles, becomes suddenly and inexplicably aggressive.

These strange behaviors last for a short time and stop as quickly as they arose. Partial seizures are always “acquired” (that is, unlike epileptic dogs, for example, no dog is born prone to partial seizures) – so it is common for them to start occurring after traumatic accidents or intoxications. They can also be due to tumors and stroke.

Health problems

Take your dog to the vet to rule out health problems. If the dog is in pain, he can walk in circles to ease any discomfort. Some diseases that usually cause this behavior are ear infections, eye problems, or disorders of the nervous system.

Advanced age

Like people, elderly dogs also become senile and have dementia. See here about the cognitive loss in senile dogs. This can cause disorientation or forgetfulness. The canine may stroll around and around as though it were lost, gaze at entryways or corners of the house and show changes in character. He can forget where the food, water, or toilet pad is. If he never missed the pee location, he may start to lose. Elderly dogs need to go to the vet more often to ensure their health is up to date. Take good care of your elderly dog.

How do you know what the case with your dog is?

It is interesting to film the dog when it shows the behavior that you find strange – whether it is walking restlessly in circles. Or other changes that catch your attention. When you go to the vet, take the video with you to understand what’s going on, without any problems with interpretation. Depending on the case, he may request tests and arrive at a diagnosis or conclude that the behavior is typical for that dog.

The fact that the pet walks in circles may or may not represent a problem. The only way to be sure is to take the animal to the Veterinarian, who should do some neurological exams and better understand the pet’s history. Depending on their habits, behaviors, and associated symptoms, the professional should direct the diagnosis and therapy.

Compulsive behavior

Many dogs have a compulsion for certain things, and walking in circles is one of them. Loud noises, unexpected situations, or scares can cause this behavior. Separation anxiety can also contribute. When your dog exhibits this behavior, try to remove what makes him stressed or change his environment. you can distract him with any of his favourite thing or snack. Avoid stroking and “comforting” him. You will reinforce this behavior, and he will see that he gains affection every time he does this.


Exercising is essential for a dog’s mental and physical health. Dogs that do not exercise enough can begin to walk in circles to relieve frustration. Consider putting him in a dog daycare to spend a few days a week playing with other dogs and expending energy. Remember: don’t fight with your dog when it starts to circle. This behavior is a way for him to tell you that something is not right with him.