I am big. That is why they call me a “Great” Dane. However, one time I was a little pup, just like every other dog just starting out. That is when I learned the circling ritual by watching my mother get ready to lie down to sleep. It is the same ritual that my mother learned from her mother, who also learned it from her mother.
The history of this ritual goes back so far that no dog can remember who was the first dog to do it. Nevertheless, almost all dogs do it.
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The classic move is to circle three times and, while going around, flatten out the place to lie down while keeping an eye open for any vulnerable areas that might be the direction of an attack when sleeping.
Dogs prefer to sleep with either their backs to a hard surface or back-to-back with another dog. This is the best way to prevent being caught off guard by a sneaky nighttime attack.
You may be wondering what can possibly be the source of a dog being attacked in the modern world inside a beautiful home? Have you ever seen how much movement goes on at night in a typical house with a lot of pets? I am talking about cats. Those creatures make it a habit of sleeping in the sun on the windowsill all day so they can prowl around the house all night long.
Cats can be so annoying and will walk across your face at night if you are not paying attention. If you happen to be in the way they want to go, they do not care. They know they can jump and run off before you can wake up and catch them. So, I conduct my nightly circling ritual with an eye to the possibility of a cat attack.
Another thing that dogs like is a soft thing to sleep on. It turns out that soft things do not come in my size. I have to make do with whatever I find. The bed for the little dog is one of the softest things I ever found. I decided to make it my bed too. If the little dog wants to sleep with me, I am happy to share it.
When I get ready to lie down, I go around and around to make the softness the comfiest. Then, when the softness is just right, I plop down, hitting the center of the softness. I don’t know why this makes my owner laugh. It is a cultural dog thing that we take very seriously and not a laughing matter.
If humans had a circling ritual for your bed, you would probably enjoy a more restful sleep. I think your ritual of staring at a little blue screen or the talking box before going to sleep is not as good. That little beeping thing you always have in your hand seems more like an addiction than a comfort. The talking box with moving pictures is just annoying. Next time you get ready for bed, try to circle around or at least roll around to make your sleeping place more comfortable.