If you have a dog in your life, you don’t need anyone to tell you that they can act rather strangely on occasion. For example, they may beg you to go outside one moment and then within a few seconds, they are asking to come back in. They may also have a favorite toy and ignore all others, even if they are exactly the same.
Perhaps one of the most mysterious behaviors of many dogs is the fact that they spin around in a circle before they poop. What do you think they do that?
There are actually 2 different theories that try to explain why this is such a common behavior. One is fairly normal but the other is somewhat bizarre.
The Trampling Theory
One of the reasons why your dog may spin around before pooping is the same reason why they do a spin before they go to sleep. Experts believe that these behaviors are closely related to each other.
If the dog was living in the wild, it would be to their benefit to look for predators before they either relieve themselves or went down for a nap.
When a dog circles in place it flattens the grass below them and makes a more comfortable area for them to lie down. Some research may even back this up because dogs tend to spin more frequently on uneven surfaces.
If a dog is going to poop, having a flat area to do so may also make it more comfortable. It is less likely for it to get caught in the grass and stick to their fur.
The dog may also spin in this way to let other dogs know that it is their spot.
A spin is a visible maneuver and it leaves behind the area that is flattened for all other canines to recognize. It also helps to spread pheromones so that the dog is actually claiming the space.
The Compass Theory
The trampling may have picked up ground with some experts but according to a Czech researcher, Hynek Burda, there may be more involved.
He points out the dogs can smell their predators or hear them coming. They can do so standing in place so such a spin would not be necessary.
His explanation may seem bizarre when you first hear it. Dogs spin to line themselves up with the magnetic fields of the earth.
This may not be as strange as it seems. Researchers already feel that cows, birds and other animals may have a special sense, known as magnetoreception. It allows them to use the magnetic fields of the earth to align themselves properly.
Burda feels that certain animals may rely on an internal compass as he, along with his team, have spent two years watching dogs pooping to prove it.
According to the research, dogs will commonly face north or south when they do their business. When the magnetic pull is not as stable, dogs are not as picky about the direction they face. This may lead some credence to the theory.
What would the connection be between direction and pooping? If they are facing north or south, they would never have the sun in their eyes.
Dogs also mark their territory with pee and poop so if they had a stronger sense of where they were, it would help them when doing their business.