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A dog walking in circles before doing a poop

Four Reasons You'll See Your Dog Spinning In Circles Before They Poop

One of life's mysteries as a dog owner and something we see all the time! Why is it that our dogs often spin in circles a few times before having a poop? We've got a few theories....


Possible reasons your dog will spin around before doing a poop

Preparing the ground

Your dog is tamping down the grass and chasing away any bugs or other creatures to give it a nice clean place to do its business. The circles allow your dog to get a good, clear view of the surrounding area to make sure there are no threats or predators near by when they are in such a vulnerable position.


Checking for cleanliness

The dog is looking for scents from other creatures to see who else has been in the area. Dogs just like humans want a nice clean and hygienic place to do their business.


Getting things moving

Some people say that the dog is spinning in circles to help stimulate the intestines to help bring on a bowel movement. Yes, there is a theory that the dog with its circle dancing action is actually helping to stimulate the need to go to the bathroom.


Checking that the force is with them

Don’t laugh about this one but there is also a theory by researchers at a university in Prague that says dogs do this and then line their bodies up with the earth’s magnetic axis. Sounds crazy you say? Well like all kinds of other wacky research they actually spent two years and probably lots of money conducting this research so there's got to be something in it, right?!

Keep in mind that not all dogs do the circle ritual and it appears that not all dogs do it every time they need to go. If you have a dog that circles it is just part of the norm for dogs.

So why your dog does the circle dance before doing its business is probably not something that can be fully explained yet. However, it is not a behavior that you should be worried about.

Our main concern is making sure our dog can find the exact right location for them to do their poops by simply keeping moving, letting them stop and sniff when they like, until that perfect spot is located. The worst part is getting him or her to hurry so we can get in out of the rain, snow, cold or heat!


Do you have any theories about why dogs spin in circles before having a poop? Is it something your dog does?

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  • My Yorkiepoo spins up to 50 times on occasion. Other times, only 15-20!!! And rarely, not at all. I always thought she was using centrifugal force!!

  • One of our 2 GSDs do the “spinny spinny!”
    Our pittie — well, that’s just unnecessary energy he’d have to exert! Lol

  • My dog definitely spins around many, many times, sometimes up to 10 times. Then something will catch her attention, and Bam ! , no need to poop anymore after being out for a half an hour.
    She drives me crazy !!


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