Why does your dog circle around before doing #2?

By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell

Don’t deny it. You’ve wondered this. We all have.

So which reason do you think it is?

  1. Sniffing out other dogs’ scents
  2. Anxiety
  3. Stalling
  4. To be in line with the magnetic poles

If you said, “all of the above,” you nailed it.

  1. Sniffing out other dogs’ scents: It’s been said that dog pooh is canine social media. Carlo Siracusa is the director of the Small Animal Behavior Service at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital. He explains, “These messages can tell your dog how many other dogs are in the immediate area, the sexual status of those dogs…whether a particular dog is a friend or an enemy, what he or she had for lunch, and when they were last in the area.”
  2. Anxiety: If your pup has anxiety issues in other areas of her life, it’s likely that this will also be a source of anxiety, especially if you have her perform in a public area. If this is the case, walk your doggie on a quiet street and/or at a quiet time of day or evening to give her the privacy she craves.
  3. Stalling: If the only time your furbaby finds himself in the great outdoors is during potty time, he’s going to want to take his time to enjoy the experience. If that means it takes extra time to find the perfect spot, so be it. So yes, he might be stalling to get to stay in the fresh air for just a little while longer.
  4. To be in line with the magnetic poles: According to a study in Frontiers in Zoology, dogs may prefer to do their business with their bodies aligned along the North-South axis.

Here’s how Wired magazine sums it up, “The (Frontiers) study observed dogs’ eliminating (both urination and defecation), and ruled out other influences such as time of day, the angle of the sun, and speed and strength of the wind. In the end, the scientists conducting the study were left with compelling evidence that the earth’s magnetic fields might influence how and where your dog drops a you-know-what.”

So now that you know why your doggie has a particular pooh routine, you’ll hopefully have a bit more patience with him or her. Just don’t forget the bags. I once did and I had to use my mask to clean up!

Virtual hugs!

Tobi's Signature

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PPPS: Photo credits: Two dogs looking out the window: Reagan Freeman. Dog looking out on the horizon: Jonathan Borba.