If you’ve ever taken notice of a dog prior to laying down, then you have most likely noticed that the dog circles the area first. It probably looks a bit odd or silly as you watch the dog going around not once but twice or even more times than that. It does not matter whether the dog is indoors or outdoors, he still circles the area more times than not before laying down to rest.
Quite likely, this instinctive behavior goes back to the days when dogs lived in packs in the wild before dogs were domesticated as pets. Wild dogs circled the area, in which they intended to bed down, in order to flatten it and make it comfortable. They would flatten down tall grasses and weeds before taking a nap. If the area happened to have small rocks, stones, or debris the dogs would push these away with their paws. Plus, during the winter in colder climates, dogs would flatten down the snow to fashion a more comfortable bed.
Additionally, circling the ground was a good method for checking the area for unwanted creatures or enemies such as snakes or unpleasant insects. The dog would attempt to kill or chase away any unwanted creatures. This instinctive behavior remains with domesticated dogs as well as wild canines today.
It might not make as much sense to us when we watch our beloved pets circling the carpet. However, we can put this behavior into the proper perspective when we think about the manner in which we fluff our pillows before getting into bed. Then, it appears as a sort of bedtime ritual and quite ordinary in fact.