Why Do Dogs Run In Circles?

Why Do Dogs Run In Circles?

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You may have seen your normally calm, tiny dog suddenly acting hyperactively and circling the entire home in high and low cliques? Or perhaps you've noticed that while your Caucasian is calm and doesn't run around in circles, your Bull terrier won't stop running and whirling even as a puppy. You've probably watched your playful dog circle himself in an aimless attempt to eventually grab that fleeting tail. You might have even stopped to consider why your dog might act in such a manner. He seems bored or thrilled? Or simply absurd? You keep asking yourself why you are suffering and what could be the reason for your running in circles. Different responses to this question have been included in this article.


This happens sometimes literally because dog might occasionally revolve in circles if excited. At some instances, it's a sign of a disease, a characteristic linked to how active your dog is, it may also be caused by restlessness or an absence of attention, and lastly, some dog breeds have a tendency to circle about more frequently than other dog breeds. Therefore, as long as it is not caused by a medical disease like Canine Distemper or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), that are associated with circling in dogs; thus, circling usually isn't a cause for alarm.



This hyperactive behaviour, often described as "whirling," may simply be a typical way for young dogs to explore their fun side. How about if, however, you consider there may be additional factors at play. As it turned out, there may be a plethora of reasons why your dog has developed the new hobby of running in circles. Here are six potential explanations for your dog's possible circle-running behaviour:

  • Boredom
  • Craving attention
  • Injury or irritation
  • Breed
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Canine distemper


Your dog may be doing it out of extreme boredom if he enjoys making himself woozy. Catching his tail may be a way for a dog to release some pent-up enthusiasm if he isn't getting enough excitement, whether inside or outside on walks. If your dog is still a young puppy, this type of energetic discharge may diminish as he ages. But there's no denying that your dog enjoys playing, prances, and pants as frequently as he can. Therefore, the circular chase will continue to be used if the dog's puppy years have long since passed and he isn't spending a significant amount of time inside or outside.


Craving Attention

Although it might be quite endearing to observe your dog circle the room for what seems like hours at a stretch, it's better to ignore him if he's just seeking to gain your awareness. If you do, this will only lead to more of the exact same behaviour. The next time you notice that annoying little tail become the focus of his stimulation, overlook it because dogs respond to all attention, regardless of whether it's favourable or unfavourable, and they will probably stop. However, it's still crucial to spend quality time alone with your energetic dog, so continue giving him ear scratches, tummy rubs, and ball tosses to reinforce good behaviour.

Injury or Irritation

It might not be as charming to chase that tail as it first seems. If your dog is getting aged and appears to be engaging in this behaviour more frequently, something more dangerous might be hiding beneath. Yes, the cause might very well be those terrible parasites as lice. Another possibility is that your dog's tail has been injured in some way. A tail caught in a doorjamb is a typical reason for this. If this is the situation, your dog may be chasing his tail in endeavour to make himself feel good. It could be advisable to see the veterinarian to look further if this behaviour appears a little unusual or extreme when compared to normal.


Some dogs are more likely to bite their tails than others. While German Shepherds typically spend more of their free time revolving, some breeds, like Bull Terriers, circle more frequently than others. They occasionally have a tendency to pursue a little bit longer than necessary and wind-up nibbling or biting on their tails. Even if you think your breed is more prone to this behaviour, it's wise to keep a watch on them while having this type of fun because it could lead to damage or hair loss.


OCD, often known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, may be the cause of your dog behaving a little more erratically than normal. Yes, much like some people with OCD over wash their hands excessively or constantly rearrange their belongings, certain canines can also display symptoms like running in circles. One way this disease can manifest is by tail pursuing. The uncontrollable tail-chasing of a dog with OCD might result in damage to the surrounding area. In order to discuss behavioural modification strategies and an available therapeutic approach, see your vet or an expert in dog psychology if you do observe that your dog is running in circle more commonly.

Canine Distemper

A temper is different from having a distemper. Dogs could contract canine distemper, a highly infectious virus that targets their neurons in specific. One sign of distemper is having convulsions, which usually include your dog spinning around in circles before collapsing and kicking his paws. He can seem confused after the seizures. This is just a sign; also include vomit, high temperature, and mucus from the eyes and nose. Only the veterinarians can identify and manage this illness, so schedule an appointment right away if your dog seems ill and behaves strangely.



As has been covered in great detail in this article, a dog occasionally going in circles does not necessarily indicate a problem or cause for concern. Since this behaviour may be brought on by excitement, boredom, an absence of attention, and finally because some dog breeds have a tendency to circle about more than other dog breeds. Additionally, it was mentioned that circling when running in dogs is a certain symptom of canine distemper and OCD in infected dogs.

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