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Why do dogs circle before going potty?

 When you are potty training your dogs, many dog trainers would tell you that if you see your dogs circling,it is a sign of them going potty so,take them out for potty right away.

 Palette is now 8 years old and she must have circled for potty zillions of times in the past from puppy hood. I always wondered why do they circle before going to potty.

 In Palette case, she goes sniff the ground first and looks for the perfect spot for potty and then… she pace to left and right for pee and circle to left ,circle to right,circle to right,circled to left,and she does half circle left and right and then,squat to poop.

 Then,when she pooped a little nugget size poop, she does chicken walk to move forward and squat to poop more. If any sound or view has distracted her circling regime, she has to start all over again, and I have to wait for her to finish her poopy dance.

 Sometimes, this poopy dance made me stand in the cold weather for long period of times and, I kept hoping nobody or nothing would interrupt her poopy dance..

 Otherwise, I have to be in the cold longer time. Below are pictures of Palette when she was around 3 months old and she was going to go potty..

I am ready to look for my perfect spot for potty,mom..

Hmm..this area maybe perfect spot for potty..

Oh,wait! That is Dad’s foot prints.I gotta smell that!

Where did he go??

Back to my potty spot hunt..

I gotta sniff very deep to make sure this spot is safe enough..

*Bunny hops,bunny hops* I love snow!!

Mom; What happened to your potty spot hunt?? Are you done yet?

*Deep breathe..* Hmm… this smells like..squirrels’ foot prints..


 So, why do dogs do circle before potty?

 I know that dogs do circle before lying down to sleep is their instinct, and they do that to protect themselves from predators.

 Scienceline website suggests a couple of theories.

1. Dogs stomp the grass to have perfect flat potty spot

** The article says that someone suggested that the circling behavior is coming from ancestor lived in the wild with tall grass area

2. Dogs circle left and right to be able to spot any predators and make sure the spot is safe to potty

3. By circling, leaving their scent from foot (dogs have scent gland on foot and anus)

You can read full article at scienceline website here .

 At another website called Sarah’s Dogs, she suggests that dogs do circle to sniff out whether there were any other dogs were there before and looking for the perfect spot for poop.

You can read full article at Sarah’s dog website here .
So, what are your theories on why dogs do circle dance before going poop?

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Feb 28, 2014 | Comments are off | Doggy mom's gossip