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Why Do Dogs Spin And Bark?

Reasons Dogs Spin & Bark

Dogs can exhibit spinning and barking for various reasons, depending on the context and the individual dog’s personality. Here are some of the common reasons.

Reasons Dogs Spin & Bark


When a dog is excited about playing, greeting someone, or anticipating an activity, it might spin and bark. This is a way to display their heightened energy and eagerness.

Chasing Prey or Tail

Some dogs have a strong prey drive, and they may spin and bark when chasing a perceived prey. Some dogs might even chase their tails, and this spinning can be accompanied by barking.

Attention Seeking

Dogs may spin and bark to grab their owner’s attention. They might have learned that performing this behavior results in getting what they want: food, play, or affection.

Attention Seeking

Anxiety or Stress

Certain stressful situations or environments might cause a dog to spin and bark as a response. This behavior can be a way for the dog to cope with discomfort or nervousness.

Compulsive Behavior

Some dogs develop compulsive behaviors, and repetitive spinning can be one of them. If the spinning seems excessive or without obvious triggers, it could be a sign of compulsive disorder.

Medical Issues

If a dog suddenly starts spinning and barking without an apparent reason, it might be experiencing discomfort or pain. Conditions like ear infections or neurological problems might be the underlying cause.

Medical Issues

Territorial Behavior

Dogs can be territorial creatures. They may spin and bark as an alert or deterrent if they perceive a threat or intruder in their territory.

Tips to Stop Dog Spinning in Circles

  • Identify and Eliminate Triggers: Observe when and where the spinning occurs. If it’s in response to specific stimuli (like a certain sound or sight), try to remove or desensitize the dog to that trigger.
  • Provide Physical Exercise: Ensure your dog gets ample physical exercise daily. A tired dog is less likely to engage in repetitive behaviors, which can help burn off excess energy that might contribute to spinning.
  • Mental Stimulation: Challenge your dog’s mind with puzzle toys, obedience training, and new commands. This can prevent boredom and redirect the dog’s attention away from spinning.
  • Redirect the Behavior: If your dog starts to spin, redirect its attention to another activity, like fetching a toy or performing a command. This helps to break the cycle and offers a positive alternative.
  • Avoid Reinforcement: Ensure you’re not inadvertently rewarding the spinning behavior. For instance, if your dog spins when it wants food and you feed it, it’ll associate spinning with getting what it wants.
  • Consult a Veterinarian: Sometimes spinning can be caused by medical issues like ear infections or neurological disorders. It’s important to rule out any health concerns.
  • Work with a Behaviorist: If the spinning is severe or appears compulsive, consider consulting a canine behaviorist. They can offer specialized techniques and insights tailored to your dog’s situation.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Instead of punishing your dog for spinning, reinforce positive behaviors with treats and praise. This promotes desirable actions and gradually reduces unwanted behavior.
  • Manage Stress: If spinning results from anxiety or stress, try to create a calm environment for your dog. Products like calming collars, diffusers, and even soothing music can help.
  • Establish Routine: Dogs thrive on routine. Consistency in their daily activities can help reduce anxiety and associated behaviors like spinning.

Tips to Stop Dog Spinning in Circles

What are Dog Zoomies?

Dog zoomies, technically termed “Frenetic Random Activity Periods” (FRAPs), refer to those sudden bursts of energy where dogs run around wildly, often in unpredictable patterns. It’s a natural way for dogs to release energy and excitement.

Are Zoomies different than Spinning in Circles?

Yes, zoomies are different than spinning in circles. While both involve rapid movement, zoomies cover a broader area and are often more erratic, whereas spinning usually involves a dog turning in tight circles in one spot repetitively.

Why does my Dog Spin in Circles after getting a Bath?

Dogs may spin in circles after a bath due to a combination of relief, excitement, and an attempt to dry themselves off. The sensation of being wet can also feel unusual, prompting some dogs to react with spinning or other energetic behaviors.

Why does my Dog Spin in Circles after getting a Bath?

Why does my Puppy Spin in Circles at Night?

Puppies might spin in circles at night due to excess energy, excitement, or as a pre-sleep ritual. Just like children, puppies can get bursts of energy before finally settling down. It can also be an attempt to get comfortable before sleeping.

At what age do Dogs stop Spinning in Circles?

There isn’t a specific age at which all dogs stop spinning in circles, as it depends on the individual dog and the reason behind the spinning. However, many dogs exhibit fewer hyperactive behaviors, including spinning, as they mature and leave their puppy years behind, typically around 2 to 3 years of age. But some might continue sporadically throughout their life, especially if it’s behaviorally motivated.

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