Why Does My Dog Spin Around In Circles When Excited?

Dog spinning is strange behavior that can stem from various reasons. If you are wondering: “why does my dog spin around in circles when excited?” here are the answers! 

Dogs are lovely creatures and are known for their best traits. Dogs signal through their body language, one of which is moving in circles. 

Many vet experts have observed dogs spinning and could detect many reasons why dogs spin in circles. In most cases, the reasons could be as simple as pent-up energy or just happiness to see their pet parent after a long day at work!

In this article, we will go deeper into the possible reasons behind dog spinning. 

Is It Normal For Dogs To Spin Around In Circles? 

As per the behavior expert Dr. Perry, it is entirely normal for your dog to spin around in the house. However, many dog owners feel skeptical about the sudden change in dogs’ behavior. 

Like any other behavior patterns like wagging tails, snapping flies, rushing behind shadows, or scratching heads, dogs can spin around in circles because they are just being playful. 

Vet Specialists often claim that dogs have a non-verbal way of communicating. So, when dogs spin around in circles, it is likely that your dog wants more attention. 

Is There Any Scientific Reason Behind Dog Spinning?

There is a scientific term for dog spinning known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). FRAPs can occur at any time of the day. 

There is no single scientific reason which leads to FRAPs, and it could result from using the stored body’s energy after long idle hours or any other reason that makes them excited to jump around in circles. 

Dog zoomies are behavioral patterns in dogs after sitting idle for a long time. Younger dogs have more energy, and when they sit idle for prolonged hours, they want to lose their strength by circling for some time. 

Additionally, dog spins can happen when they see their pet owner after a long time. 

Zoomies can occur in any breed or age, but younger dogs are more likely to burst out the unused energy. 

Why Does My Dog Spin Around In Circles When Excited

Is Spinning A Form of Non-Verbal Communication?

Just like humans use verbal communication, dogs use the non-verbal way of communicating what goes inside their minds. 

Typically, if your dog bounces and has open body language, pet owners can easily detect that the dog is in a happy mood. Otherwise, if the dog seems to be wide-eyed and circling with a stiff neck, it can be a sign of anxiety. 

Some common reasons which people believe might be the cause behind these zoomies are:

Spinning when they see you

Dogs are extremely attached to their humans. If the human goes out for longer hours than usual or your dog hasn’t seen you in a while, the sight of you can literally cause it to spin around in circles with joy.

Spinning Early In the Morning

It is often underestimated, but dogs also require physical stimulation in some form. Mental stimulation allows them to let out the energy after long hours of sleep. For this reason, dogs spin around in circles to activate the body’s cells. 

Many pet owners also indulge their dogs in playful activities like catch games or a long walk. So, dogs usually spin around a few times before doing these activities as they feel excited to do something enjoyable. 

Spinning Before Pooping

Dogs possess a reluctant nature when they feel vulnerable. For this reason, these creatures do a small circle a few times when they are about to poop. 

There is no study to support the reason, but it has been observed that dogs look for a safe and secure environment. Circling a few times allows dogs to look for possible threats like other animals or people who might interrupt them while still in a vulnerable state. 

It is also said that dogs mimic the ancestor behaviors that are learned when they are born.

Why Does My Dog Spin Around In Circles When Excited

Spinning Before Bedtime

Right before sleeping at night, your dog might spin around to warn other animals who might come over to your dog’s sleeping area. They usually do this by moving around to identify any smell or sense any risk. 

For this reason, Dr. Stanley Coren did a small experiment on 62 dogs, which confirms why dogs spin before sleeping. It highlights that only 19% of dogs circle smooth surfaces while nearly 55% move in circles on uneven surfaces. The study implies that dogs are three times more likely to respond when placed over a bumpy space.  

In a nutshell, a dog spins to find a better and smooth place to sleep. Besides that, many breeds circles in a bowl shape to adjust their body in a particular sleeping posture.

Spinning due to Behavioral Disorders

If your pup is spinning around so much that it is ignoring nap time and chow time, it’s time to talk to a vet and discuss if there might be some psychiatric problems such as anxiety that are causing all the commotion.

How Frequent Spinning Is a Sign Of Danger? 

Any such spinning behavior is often dismissed as a sign of excitement, as a signal to poop or rest and make up for the unused energy. 

Nevertheless, there can be situations when your dog, particularly the older ones, might deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The cause behind the condition can be fear or unknown anxiety, so it is best to observe if the dog doesn’t seem to stop. 

Experts suggest that the aging process directly impacts the dog’s vestibular system. When dog’s age, their inner ear canal can develop a bacterial infection that makes them spin more to the affected side. 

Why Does My Dog Spin Around In Circles When Excited

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog spin around in circles when excited?

It’s just a sign that they are happy to see you!
Your dog might spin around in circles when they are happy to see you coming over, particularly after long hours of separation. However, your dog can circle in an attempt to find something or to dismiss the idea of a vet visit.

Why does my dog sit and spin in circles? 

To check the area out for comfort before sitting down.
Many dogs do a little introspection before settling down at a particular place. Your dog may want to check if the resting site is free from obstacles. Also, this is a direct way of leaving cues to other animals that this place belongs to them.

Why does my dog dance around his treats? 

Because it loves the smell!
Dogs have a sense of smell that is 40 times more potent than human beings. Your dog might dance around his treats to sense the food smell. More likely, this behavior stems from their instinct to protect their food from other animals.

A Few Final Words

Dog spinning is a learned behavior from their ancestors. Consequently, many dogs only mimic such behaviors. 

However, a pet owner must not take it for granted if this problem affects their dog’s daily routine. In such a case, it is best to seek medical help from an experienced vet and ask for any changes in medications or lifestyle. 

Thank you for reading our article, and we hope you will agree with the reasons that we shared behind dog spinning. We welcome feedback and other opinions from dog lovers and parents in the comments section!

We have also written extensively about other weird dog behavior such as eating earthworms, chasing flies, and licking their balls. Do read to learn more about your favorite pooch!