Why Do Dogs Spin Around Before Lying Down?

posted by molly mutt on Jun 21, 2021

You spin me right round

Our wonderful dogs: they are loyal, adorable and provide us with unconditional love.  But if we’re all honest, they can be super weirdos on occasion!

For instance, nap time is one part of a dog’s daily life that brings out some odd habits that can leave us human’s a bit mystified.  We like to think of ourselves as nap experts here at Molly Mutt and wanted to shed some light on your dog’s nap time quirks.

Why does my dog sleep in the strangest places?

Ever found your dog behind the toilet?  Under a bookshelf in a space so small you can’t figure out how he got there? Yep, this is a thing.

No matter how much he loves his dog bed, you might find him occasionally holed up in an odd space due to the comfort it provides.  When dogs seek shelter or small spaces, they are instinctually recreating a "den." 

Help your dog out with a crate cover (that is stylish enough to keep in your living room) from Molly Mutt and build his den into your decor!


darker patterns on crate covers will keep the light out best, if you have a pup that wakes up before the rooster. choose a lighter patten for those dogs who love napping in sunny spots.

Why does she spin in circles (or scratch the bed) before getting comfortable?

This behavior is instinctual as well, going back to a time when dogs did not have beds as they do now and would create soft places to sleep in nature by turning in circles and scratching the ground to clear the area. 

Modern farm dogs have done this for hundreds of years with loose hay when cozying up for the night in the barn.

The habit remains for many long domesticated breeds. This also explains why she may pull and nuzzle a pet blanket into a desirable shape before lying on it.

Do dogs dream and are they chasing rabbits?

It is widely believed that dogs can dream based on observation. In lieu of just being able to ask this question of our dogs, we turned to psychology today to provide some facts. 

They note that brain wave patterns of sleeping dogs are consistent with those of human's, suggesting dreaming is occurring.  Additionally they site a study proving that rats, an animal with a smaller, less complex brain than dogs, dream about real-life activity based on memory.

Finally, psychology today agrees that simple observation of your dog when sleeping can indicate a dream state. After about 20 minutes into your dog's nap you may notice a change in his breathing, odd muscle twitches, and perhaps even see his eyes moving behind closed lids because he is actually looking at the dream images as if they were real images of the world.

In sum yes, your dog is dreaming and likely about something he experiences in his daily life or even earlier that day!

While we can't demystify all of the weird things our dogs do, we hope this helped explain a little bit about their napping behavior. 

Give your dog a durable and gorgeous backdrop to sleep on with a wool-filled dog bed.