My dog goes around in circles: why and what to do?

Your dog is going in circles and you hesitate between finding this funny or disturbing? Here you will find all the answers to your questions. We take stock of so-called “normal” behaviors and those for which it is time to worry and put solutions in place.

My dog ​​goes around in circles: the causes

A dog that goes around in circles to catch its tail, before making its needs or before lying down, it is completely normal and no need to be alarmed if your dog adopts this behavior from time to time.

On the other hand, if your dog constantly and excessively adopts this behavior, it is indeed time to ask questions and especially to find the answers.

The first question to ask is therefore why does his dog go around in circles almost obsessively. And to answer this question, it is very important to differentiate between “normal” behavior and behavioral disorder in your dog.

Here are the main causes that cause a dog to go around in circles, and we will distinguish so-called “normal” behaviors from worrying behaviors:

Normal behaviors

A dog can go around in circles to make sure there is no danger before going to bed or going to the bathroom. It is an instinctive and natural reflex to ensure that the place where he decides to relax is safe. In this case, no need to be alarmed, it is completely normal and it proves besides that your dog is rather balanced, attentive and worried about his comfort.

A dog can go around in circles simply to play trying to catch its tail. This is more visible in puppies and generally disappears as the dog evolves. If you observe this behavior in your puppy, do not worry, it is not considered a behavioral disorder.

Abnormal behaviors

An adult dog that goes around in circles constantly to catch its tail can on the other hand be more akin to a disorder, otherwise called “spinning in the dog” or “whirling dog”. Spinning in dogs is one of the compulsive behavioral disorders, we even speak of partial epileptic seizures during which the dog can be aggressive or completely disoriented (staring at his bowl, hunting imaginary objects, etc.).

A dog can also go around in circles out of boredom and lack of spending. It is often the first suspected cause and the first line of work when we want to solve the problem.

Finally, a dog can also go around in circles out of anxiety. He will then find in this activity a certain escape.

My dog ​​is going in circles: what to do?

First of all, the first reflex to have when we observe such behavior in his dog, worrying because of its frequency, is to consult his veterinarian so that he can examine the dog in a complete way and therefore diagnose or rule out a possible nervous or physical cause.

The veterinary consultation will be all the more important if the behavior appears suddenly and / or if it is accompanied by other disorders such as disorientation, aggression, etc.

Following the examination of the dog, supplemented by the observations that you will have transmitted (frequency, duration, symptoms, consequences, etc.), your veterinarian will then be able to enlighten you on the real cause of this behavior and therefore provide you with solutions, that ‘they are medicinal and / or behavioral.

If the “medical” causes are ruled out and your dog seems to be in good health, then it will be necessary to look into behavioral solutions. Again, you can be helped by a professional dog training and behavior to guide you towards the best solution.

Here are the “universal” solutions that can be implemented to prevent his dog from adopting such behavior:

  •  Spend your dog daily, physically, mentally, socially and in an olfactory manner. Be aware that lack of spending is the main cause of many behavioral problems. The practice of a canine sport ( cani-cross, cani-mountain bike, treibball, etc.) or a regular activity to offer at home ( obe-rhythmic, tracking, learning tricks, etc.) can then allow your dog to be more fulfilled and better in its paws.
  •  Keep your dog busy when you don’t have time or when you leave him alone at home. Boredom is a real plague for our canine friends, do not hesitate to offer him occupation toys.
  •  If you observe an anxiety state in your dog, causing an activity consisting in going around in circles, try to observe the triggering element (s) to calm your dog and / or avoid the appearance of these elements triggers and / or work on desensitization. Solutions like Adaptil necklaces or diffusers are also possible or even natural treatments with Bach Flowers to allow an emotional rebalancing.
  •  Divert your dog’s attention, allow him to focus on another activity. It’s up to you to find the activity that will most excite your pet and that will allow it to get out of its compulsive state.

In any case, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian. All behaviors adopted suddenly and obsessively and compulsively must be subject to the expertise of a professional.