Thursday, November 30, 2006

Someone Please Explain





Our dog is special to us, but he's not unlike any other dog. So can someone please explain this canine habit/ritual.

What is with this circling about five times in the same place and then settling down? I was lying on our bed the other day, and Max jumped up to be with me. He circled a spot a good half dozen times, then lowered his body to it. Not a minute later, he jumps up, moves to another spot on the bed, does the same, and settles. Again, not a minute passes before he's doing it a third time. Finally, ah...FINALLY...he finds an agreeable place, lowers himself and settles in for the long run -- or at least till I get off the bed: whichever comes first.

And as long as we're on the topic of canine questions...

What's with the habit, but in Max's case, not a regular one, of doing his business somewhere outside, then hoofing/kicking his legs backwards? As I said, Max doesn't do it all the time, in fact, rather infrequently. Tyson, the pug, did it just about every time he did his business.

If I keep noticing any other "MAXims" I'll post about them...

9 comments:

Lonie Polony said...

Hey pearl, my dogs are the same. I think the kicking after the business is done might be to spread the scent around. The circling about before settling? Who knows, though I have heard an interesting theory that dogs and cats sense areas of negative qi in the house and lie there to neutralise it. (Subscribe to the notion or not, depending on your level of whimsy or new-ageiness!).

P.S. The bum-scraping thing is because of glands that need to be relieved by the vet...appealing thought.

Anonymous said...

I think the circling around is the dog equivalent of ... setting the ceiling fan on the right speed, checking the alarm, turning off the light in the kitchen... Just a bedtime ritual. Probably has some meaning in terms of securing the spot -- by circling they spread their scent with their paws: "My sleepy spot! MINE! No, wait... OK, THIS is my sleepy spot! MINE!"

Rhea said...

Good questions. There are now books and websites out there that explain how these behaviors served dogs when they were in the wild. It's really interesting to find out the origins. For example, the reason a lot of dogs practically inhale their food is that in the wild they never knew when they were going to eat next. My dog does funny stuff, too. You got me curious to buy one of these books.

Sharon from NY said...

My kitties have always done the same things- only insofar as elimination goes... they kick because they want to bury the stuff in the litter box. Outdoor cats apparently bury as best they can. Living indoors forever and not having to worry about predators tracking them from what they leave behind sometimes makes them not actually BURY the stuff...just kick the sand around. I believe dogs do the same. Intact males ( dogs and cats) use urine to mark their territory- so that explains peeing all over the place... yet another reason to spay / neuter pets! As far as the sleeping deal goes ....I couldn't say it any better than Miriam did!

cruisin-mom said...

my dog does that circling thing too. I guess I do the same thing, well I don't circle, but I certainly try to find the perfect place in my bed.

tuesdaywishes said...

I'm not a dog owner but I think the circling thing is a bed-making instict. They want to fluff up whatever they sleep in to insulate themselves, and also scare away bugs or whatever might already be sleeping there. The dirt-kicking is to bury their scent from whatever might track them.

Anonymous said...

shalom toronto...see, it's simple...the dog is jewish and just moving around until he finds the right table...the kicking is their way of covering up their business...of course they always miss, but hey it's the thought that counts, right? stay safe

Sweettooth120 said...

You might want to check out this website - Warren Eckstein, the Pet Show. He has great knowledge and solutions.

torontopearl said...

Thanks, everyone, for your insights. What interesting theories behind the habits. It's sort of annoying yet fun to watch Max as he does his shtick!