Why does my dog sit and spin in circles?

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why does my dog sit and spin in circles

Have you ever noticed your dog just sit and spin around in circles? This might seem pretty strange to you. You could be wondering if it’s the sign of a problem.

In this article, we’ll discuss all the reasons why your dog might be sitting and spinning. We’ll also talk about some ways you can help him stop.

Let’s dive in.

Why does my dog sit and spin in circles?

There are a lot of things that dogs do that we humans consider pretty strange. If your dog tends to sit and then spin in circles, you’re probably wondering why.

You might also be wondering if there’s a way to get him to stop.

There are several reasons why your dog could be sitting and spinning in circles. We’ll go over them before we get into some helpful ways you can get your dog to stop.

But first, there are some related articles on other odd dog behaviors you should check out:

In a nutshell, when dogs sit and spin in circles, it’s often due to some discomfort around their bottoms. Often, it’s simply that fecal matter is stuck back there. But the issue might also be parasites, allergies, or anal gland issues. If it persists, you should probably go see a vet.

He’s not clean

The image of your dog spinning around on his behind might be a cute one. But as adorable as it may look, it could actually indicate that there’s a problem with your dog.

One of the simplest explanations is that your dog’s behind may not be clean. He could be doing something called “scooting,” which is when dogs drag their butts on the floor to try and clean them.

Your dog could have “dingleberries”—little bits of poop stuck to his butt. He may also be struggling with diarrhea, where scooting might give him some relief.

If you are looking for some more information on scooting and how you can get your dog to stop, check out this article: Why Do Dogs Drag Their Butts on the Floor? Scooting Explained.

does your dog sit and spin in circles? he might simply not be clean back there
Not always as clean as they (and we) would like.

Problems with his anal glands

Your dog’s anal glands are two glands located on either side of his anus. These glands produce a strong smell that helps other dogs identify each other. Canine experts believe that dogs also use these glands to mark their territory.

Sometimes, problems with a dog’s anal glands can arise. When this happens, he might try to find some relief by scooting on the floor or spinning around on his butt.

If your dog is experiencing problems with his anal glands, he’s likely to have other symptoms as well. You might find that he’s licking his behind excessively, itching it a lot, or having difficulty doing his business.

You might also notice blood or pus around the area.


It’s not a pleasant thing to consider, but issues with worms and parasites are very real possibilities for dogs.

If your dog is scooting a lot or seems oddly intent on spinning around in circles on his bottom, he might have parasites.

There are several different kinds of parasites and worms that can infect your dog. If you suspect that your dog might have this issue, you should get him to your vet as soon as possible.

Your vet will be able to tell what kind of worms your dog has. Once they do that, they can set you up with a solid treatment plan to help get rid of them.

Worrying about vet bills? These related articles can help you learn how to effectively save money at the vet:


Dogs can have allergies just like us!

When dogs eat something that they’re allergic to, or when a particular part of their body comes into contact with the source of their allergy—in this case their butt—their bodies will react.

Your dog could be scooting and spinning around in circles because he’s having an allergic reaction to something. If you think that your dog might have allergies, make sure to get in touch with your vet.

Your vet will perform a series of tests that will help them determine what allergies your dog has so you’ll know what to avoid.

if your dog wants to sit and spin in circles, allergies might be the cause.
Dogs can have allergies to much the same stuff as we humans: pollen, smoke, dust mites, and various foods.

Reaction to fleas

Every dog owner fears seeing fleas on their dog. Part of your dog’s overall health includes keeping him clean and safe from fleas. Fleas can carry diseases and are generally uncomfortable for your dog.

They could also be the reason why your dog is scooting. If you notice fleas on your dog, get him to the vet right away so they can get you the medication your dog needs.

Also, remember that prevention is the best way to deal with fleas. Make sure you have preventative measures like flea collars for your dog.

Prolapsing rectum

A prolapsing rectum is a serious condition in which the dog’s rectum—the last bit of his intestines—protrudes from his anus.

When this happens, your dog may be unable to poop properly, which could result in serious infections or other medical problems.

One of the symptoms of rectal prolapse is scooting on the floor. Your dog may also try to sit and spin in circles. Either way, he’s likely trying to relieve the discomfort of the problem.

If you think your dog is experiencing this problem, call your vet right away.

What can I do when my dog keeps spinning on his bottom?

Now that you know the reasons why your dog is scooting and spinning around on his butt, you might be wondering how to get him to stop.

There are several helpful tips you can implement to help your dog. Here’s a little more information.

Bathe him and trim his fur

If the reason for your dog wanting to scoot or to sit and spin in circles is something simple like a matter of cleanliness, there’s an easy solution to this.

If your dog tends to get dingleberries that pull on his fur and cause him to scoot and spin around, then regular cleanings can help.

You can also help him out by trimming the fur around his butt so that poop can’t gather there and cause discomfort.

Regular visits to the groomer for trimmings and cleanings will prevent this issue.

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Relieve anal sac discomfort—how do you express a dog’s anal glands?

If your dog is scooting or trying to sit and spin in circles because of anal gland discomfort, then you will have to express his anal glands.

You can do this yourself as long as you are careful. But expressing anal glands is generally best left to the experts.

You can bring your dog to the vet to have his anal glands expressed. Your groomer should also be able to perform it for you, and they might be the cheaper option as well.

Get him checked at the vet

If you suspect that your dog has a medical problem, you should make sure that you take him to the vet.

Your vet will be able to tell if there is something physically wrong with your dog. If there is, they’ll make sure that your dog gets the treatment that he needs to be healthy again.

Speaking of the vet: Have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!

Adjust his diet

Many dog issues can come down to problems with their diets.

As his owner, it’s your job to make sure that your dog is getting all the right nutrients out of his diet. Make sure you read the label on your dog’s food carefully to ensure that it has everything that he needs.

Feeding him the right food could prevent issues like allergies and anal gland irritation.

Are you concerned about your dog’s diet or eating habits? You can find helpful information in these related articles:

dog with food licking snout
A proper diet helps with many bottom-related issues, including anal glands problems and allergies.

FAQ: Why do dogs spin in circles?

Do you still have questions about your dog spinning in circles? You might find the answers you’re looking for here.

How do I get my dog to stop spinning in circles?

Spinning around in circles is normal behavior for dogs. For some, spinning is an instinctive way to get more comfortable before they lie down for a rest.

But excessively spinning around could indicate that something is wrong. Some dogs will spin around when they are feeling anxious or stressed—they’re blowing off nervous energy that way.

Separation anxiety is a common issue for many dogs. If you think your dog might be struggling with separation anxiety, here are a few related articles:

Why do dogs spin around before lying down?

In the wild, dogs don’t have comfortable beds.

Your dog’s ancestors would have to try and make whatever they could find comfortable enough to sleep on.

Although your dog gets to enjoy comfy beds now, he still has these instincts. It’s totally normal for dogs to spin around a few times before they lie down.

Why does my dog spin in circles when excited?

Does your dog start spinning around in quick circles when he’s getting excited?

Dogs don’t express themselves the same ways that we humans do. If something is happening around your dog that is getting him excited, he can’t tell you with words.

Instead, he’s got to channel all that energy into something else. In this case, it’s spinning around in circles!

Normally, this isn’t anything to be worried about. But issues arise if your dog gets over excited. If this sounds like a problem your dog faces, then check out these related articles:

Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!

Field Dogs 300 x 600

Why do dogs spin in circles when playing?

It might be confusing to see a dog spinning around in circles when he’s playing.

The reason why your dog might be doing this is likely because he’s excited!

Playing is super fun, and it also means that your dog gets to spend more quality time with you. What could be more exciting than that?

As long as your dog isn’t getting too hyped up and refusing to listen to you, this is totally fine behavior.

My dog is spinning in circles, is it anxiety?

Some dogs will spin in circles when they are feeling anxious about something. Conversely, many dogs will spin in circles when something exciting is happening.

So how can you tell if your dog’s whirling around is caused by happiness or anxiety?

It’s usually not too difficult to tell simply by using the context of the situation. If things are going on that make your dog nervous, like you preparing to leave, then the spinning is probably due to anxiety.

But if he’s spinning because you’re getting his food ready, for instance, then he’s probably just happy!

Is my dog’s spinning in circles a neurological problem?

Spinning in circles is natural dog behavior. But if your dog seems to be spinning around excessively, that could indicate that something is wrong.

Some dogs experience neurological issues that make them perform repetitive behaviors like spinning. If the spinning has come on suddenly or your dog seems to be doing it more than is normal, it might be a good idea to visit your vet.

Your vet will be able to tell if there is a medical issue and ensure that your dog gets the help he needs.

vet holding a dog
Your vet can likely tell you more.

Why does my dog spin in circles while pooping?

Have you noticed your dog spinning in circles when he’s trying to poop? Your dog could be doing this because he has a medical problem.

Your dog might be constipated, and spinning around is the only thing he can think to do to get his bowel movement to pass.

Being constipated isn’t fun for your dog. The issue could be with his diet. Remember to make sure he’s getting all the nutrients he needs.

You might also want to consider a vet visit to make sure he isn’t sick.


If you’ve been wondering why your dog is spinning around in circles on his bottom, now you have all the answers you need. You can follow the above tips if you’re worried about this behavior to ensure your dog stays healthy.

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