All about dog training

Why do springer spaniels go round in circles?

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Springer spaniels have some strange habits that, for new owners ( and sometimes experienced ones too ) can seem unusual and can be difficult to understand.

One such behaviour is ‘going round in circles’ and you’ll often find a spaniel that does this before he/she goes to the toilet, goes to sleep and settles down for a rest.

Springer spaniels go round in circles for several different reasons. When going to the toilet they are often just trying to get a comfortable stance before the action. When going to bed this circling is often said to be getting the ground ready and flattened down to make a comfortable bed.

Circling is instinctive behaviour

Springer spaniels have different instincts from humans and their behaviour is driven by these along with senses, intelligence, surroundings and other things.

Circling is common behaviour in dogs of all breeds and Springers are no exception.

Doggy behaviour, in dogs, is quite normal.

Find out more about how your dog thinks

Think Dog: An Owner’s Guide to Canine Psychology
  • John Fisher (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages – 07/14/2016 (Publication Date) – Cassell (Publisher)

Magnetic fields can cause Springer spaniels to circle

As bizarre as it may seem, research suggests that dogs are affected by the earth’s magnetic fields when they go to the toilet.

Researchers at Frontiers in Zoology determined in 2013, that dogs displayed magnetic sensitivity and, in experiments, they found that both male and female dogs ( regardless of breed ) would circle and orientate themselves to a north/south axis when going to the toilet.

You can read the article at the BMC website via this link:

Circling when settling down

It is not only when they go to the toilet that Springer spaniels circle.

They can also do it when settling down for a rest, especially if this is in an enclosed area like a kennel or pen.

This isn’t known why they do this but it is possibly to make themselves feel comfortable and safe.

Scent marking

Circling can also be a scent marking process ( like when they lift their leg to urinate against trees etc ) and this is often the case when your Springer circles around your feet or settles down in one spot for his/her afternoon nap, especially if it’s somewhere unusual that they haven’t visited before or for some time.

In this case it is the Springer’s way of making that area their own and by doing so they are marking it with their scent from glands that are on their paws.

In most cases when a Springer circles, especially when going to bed, it is instinctive behaviour and all you need do is let them get on with it.

why do springer spaniels go round in circles

When springer spaniels circle there may be a problem

There are times when circling is not normal and it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Most physical problems show themselves as pain, difficulty doing things such as jumping up or getting into the car and general fatigue.

Other issues can cause pacing around, such as anxiety which may come from changes in the household, boredom or stress.

If your Springer starts circling continuously or is doing it when he/she doesn’t normally then this may be an indication that something is wrong and you should take your dog to see a veterinary surgeon for diagnosis.

Final Words

The instinctive circling that Springer spaniels do when going to the toilet, settling down for a nap or a rest is a normal behaviour and in most cases causes no problems.

But there are times when it could be a sign of something being wrong so if your dog starts circling continuously or does it when he/she doesn’t normally then you should take him/her to see a vet.

Read Next

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Latest posts