Why Does My Dog Spin Before Going Potty?
written by: tigerrlily218
Are They Making Crop Circles?
Almost all dogs make strange choices when it comes to potty breaks and odd bathroom behavior is not just confined to one particular breed. Some dogs will do their business in the grass regardless of weather conditions, while others refuse to even set one paw down if the grass is not well manicured and dry.
Some breeds may not even want to touch the grass at all and may prefer to go potty on concrete or your precious hardwood floors. However, a lot of dogs will spin in circles before finally settling on what appears to be a magical spot to relieve themselves.
This behavior is common in all dog breeds and ages and chances are, your dog has done this at least once! While it certainly is funny, you may be wondering why your fur child is spinning. We can assure you that there is a logical explanation for your dog’s odd behavior and it has nothing to do with making you laugh or shake your head in confusion.
Magnetic Fields and Your Dog
According to research, dogs spin in circles because they are trying to align themselves with the earth’s magnetic field. Like most animals, the earth’s natural magnetic field has a strong effect on them. Dogs prefer to do their business once their body is positioned along the north-south axis.
They also like it when the magnetic fields are calm. When the fields are out of sync, dogs will not necessarily align themselves with the axis and may not spin in circles at all.
While this may seem like a completely crazy theory, research and studies involving over 70 dogs in a 2 year span confirmed that dogs do prefer to align their bodies before taking a potty break. Unfortunately for Fido, the magnetic fields are only calm for about 20% of the day, which does not leave much time for alignment! Keep in mind that they will relieve themselves even when the magnetic fields are not perfect.
When these studies were conducted, the dogs were not given specific instructions or commands in order to avoid confusion and biased results. They were simply let outside to do their business and observed. For all intents and purposes, the study was blind.
During their research, the scientists also concluded that the sun has little to do with the dog’s positioning. A lot of people believed that this spinning behavior was due to the fact that the dog was attempting to find the best position available where the sun’s blinding rays were not in his or her face. However, the research done showed that the sun’s position had no effect on where the dog stopped to excrete.
So Why Align North-South?
Although scientists were able to conclude that your dog is spinning in an attempt to align with the earth’s magnetic field, they could not say for certain why this alignment was so important. They could not say with absolute certainty that dogs were picking up on a sensory effect of the field, or if they just felt more comfortable in that particular alignment. However, they did determine that dogs will avoid the east-west position when possible.