Why do dogs walk around in circles?


Quick Answer

Walking around in circles is not a normal behavior for a dog unless it is preparing to defecate or urinate, tracking a scent or preparing to lie down. If a dog exhibits the circling behavior for a reason other than those mentioned, it should be a cause for concern for the pet owner, and the dog should immediately be examined.

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Full Answer

If this behavior in dogs is a symptom, it may be indicative that the dog is suffering from an ear infection or a neurological condition. Should a vet determine that walking in circles is merely a behavioral problem, then the dog may be taken to an animal behaviorist if the habit persists or has become annoying.

Before visiting the vet, pet owners can conduct their own physical examination to figure out what may be causing the problem. First, try to coax the dog to turn in the opposite direction. If the dog appears unable to do so, then it could be a sign of a neurological condition.

The dog's ears, eyes, spine and limbs should also be checked. If the examination reveals that the dog has an ear infection or that its pupils are not of the same size, then it should be taken to the vet for immediate treatment. It is vital to act quickly after the circling behavior is noticed as the symptom may be a sign of illness.

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