Why Do Dogs Walk in Circles Before Lying Down?
Back in the days before fluffy pillows and luxurious dog beds, dogs had to make their own bed. By flattening the grasses and brush for themselves and their young, they made a comfortable nest and drove out critters such as snakes. (oh my!) Scratching imparts a scent to their bed expressed by the small glands located in the feet, further defining the space as their own (think ‘freetos feet!”)
You will see them scratch at, crumple, and even wind themselves up in a blanket. But it’s always a way to get “snugglier” for a dog. And curling up in that tight ball also saves body heat from escaping their parts not covered as much by dog hair.
While we’ve domesticated pets, some of these instinctual behaviors and functional anatomic features are part of what makes dogs such fascinating creatures! They still do what Mother Nature whispers in their ears!!!