What's with the circling?

Stanley Coren, PhD, decided to get to the bottom of this one. He tested 62 dogs on various surfaces to see what kind of behavior they demonstrated before lying down. He found that dogs who were put into an area with an uneven surface (shag carpeting) were three times as likely to spin in at least one circle before they settled down.

Coren believes that confirms at least part of one theory: they're simply trying to get comfortable. Other parts of the theory suggest that this behavior is also hardwired into them from their wild days and that the circling is partially scaring away any bugs that might bite, kicking away any sharp rocks or sticks, and simply just making the ground more suitable for snoozing.