Why Do Dogs Spin In Circles When Excited

Watching your dog spinning around crazily trying to chase his tail and getting dizzy can be a cute sight that makes you laugh. You may also wonder why your dog is doing this. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this spinning behavior and discuss why dogs spin in circles.

Is Spinning Normal Behavior in Dogs?

Just like wagging their tails and running behind shadows, spinning in circles is a normal behavior in dogs. It is their way of being playful and engaging in non-verbal communication. Dogs may spin around in circles to get your attention and express their excitement.

Why Do Dogs Spin in Circles?

When dogs experience sudden bursts of energy, they often resort to spinning around or running in circles. This behavior is commonly referred to as “zoomies” or “FRAPs” (Frenetic Random Activity Periods). While the scientific explanation for zoomies is unclear, it is believed to be a way for dogs to release pent-up energy and alleviate stress.

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Zoomies can occur at any time of the day and are more common in puppies and younger dogs. However, older dogs may also experience zoomies occasionally.

Why Do Dogs Spin in Circles When Excited?

When dogs are excited, spinning in circles is their way of expressing their joy and energy. They may spin around because they have no other way to contain their excitement and release their pent-up energy. Dogs can get excited by various things, such as new toys, treats, playtime, or simply seeing their owners after a long absence.

Other Reasons Why Dogs Spin in Circles

While excitement is the primary cause of spinning behavior in dogs, there are other reasons that may contribute to this behavior:

Early in the Morning

Dogs need physical and mental stimulation, especially after hours of sleep. Spinning around in the morning helps them activate their bodies and release energy. This behavior is often seen when dogs are excited about upcoming activities like going for a long walk or playing games.

Before Pooping

Before relieving themselves, dogs may spin around in circles to find the right spot and ensure their comfort. This behavior also allows them to scan for possible threats and maintain a sense of security while in a vulnerable state.

Before Going Outdoors

If your dog starts spinning in circles before going outdoors, it could be a sign that they need to relieve themselves. This spinning action may also be their way of urging you to come along.

Before Bedtime

Before going to sleep, it is common for dogs to spin around in circles. This behavior helps them identify any potential risks and find the best position to keep watch. Dogs want to protect themselves instinctively and choose a comfortable place to sleep.

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Because of Behavioral Disorders

Some dogs may spin around to soothe themselves if they are anxious or experiencing other psychological problems. Excessive spinning, along with ignoring eating and nap times, may be signs of anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

When Do Zoomies Occur?

Zoomies can happen at any time and are often triggered by certain situations, such as:

  • When you come back home after work
  • During playtime
  • Late in the evening
  • After pooping
  • During overstimulated training sessions
  • When your dog is very excited

Pet owners may notice their dogs going into zoomies in the middle of the night or before bedtime. This could indicate a lack of sufficient stimulation and exercise during the day, resulting in pent-up energy.

My Dog Is Spinning in Circles All the Time, What to Do?

If your dog spins in circles excessively and the behavior lasts for long periods or interferes with their daily activities, it may be worth consulting a vet. However, occasional spinning behavior is normal and nothing to worry about.

Can Spinning in Circles Be Dangerous for Your Dog?

Spinning around in circles is generally not dangerous for dogs. However, older dogs or those with back problems may risk injury if they twist too fast while spinning. It is important to ensure that your dog does not engage in zoomies near stairs or on slippery surfaces to prevent serious accidents. If your dog exhibits odd behavior along with excessive spinning, consult a vet to rule out any underlying neurological issues.

Can Spinning in Circles Cause Your Dog to Be Aggressive?

When dogs are excited and spinning in circles, they may nip or bite if approached too closely. It is best to give them space and not try to stop them. Running after or chasing a dog while they are spinning can worsen their behavior. Keep children away from spinning dogs to prevent accidents.

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How to Stop Your Pet from Spinning in Circles?

While spinning in circles is generally normal behavior, if you wish to reduce this behavior, ensure that your dog receives ample exercise and mental stimulation. Regular walks, jog sessions, playtime, and mental stimulation with toys can help reduce excessive spinning. Additionally, agility and obedience training, along with social interaction with other dogs, can provide the necessary mental and physical stimulation.

Wrapping Up

Spinning around in circles is a common behavior in dogs, usually driven by excitement, boredom, or anxiety. As long as the spinning behavior is occasional and does not interfere with daily activities, there is no cause for concern. However, if the behavior becomes obsessive or your dog shows signs of distress, consult a vet to ensure their well-being.

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