What does it mean if my Shih Tzu scratches the floor/part the wall or when she turns around in circles before lying down

Asked by KOPEE on May 1st 2008 in Other Behavior & Training
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Layla's right. It is just a nest-making routine that's ingrained. Some do this all the time, while others just drop and go straight to sleep.

Jack likes to fluff up his bed. We call it "making a futon" since he invariably ends up with a crumpled, futon-like mess. What looks horribly uncomfortable to us is heaven to him, apparently. LOL!

There are some interesting theories that develop over the years about the reasons for ingrained, instinctual dog behavior and one of the more interesting theories is about the circling/nest making.

Basically, before dogs were domesticated, they were like any other animal, avoiding human beings and other potential predators. By stomping and scratching at all over their dens/beds and circling around their nest, they created "evidence" of a larger looking animal that would intimdate predators.

Over the years, the behavior evolved to be localized to the sleeping area only.

Pretty fascinating, if you ask me. And, also cute.

Jack answered on May 2nd.

Other Answers



She's likely just trying to make her "nest" comfortable and it's become a habit or ingrained in her behavior. One of our pups does it from time to time on tile or the couch and more often in his crate before he lays down for the night.

I wouldnt think much of it unless she's creating a problem or damaging things then you can tell her to stop.

Layla answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I turn in a few circles most of the time before a lay down. I like to be comfortable!

Milligan answered on 5/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jumpin' Jack Flash Red

Jack had OCD for a while. He would have to spin twicw before going throu entrances, Pee on the same spot everyitme, etc. We got another dog and it kind of went away. Or its nesting...

Jumpin' Jack Flash Red answered on 5/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer