If your dog is pacing in circles there are a few possible causes that might be effecting it. Take into consideration your dog’s past experiences. Where he came from and what he went through before he came to your home. Environmental issues can also be a factor. Notice what is going on when your dog exhibits this behavior and decide if the dog is reacting to whatever is going on around it. Team up with a veterinarian to find the best possible solution to your dog’s behavior issues

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Health Issues

  • Take a trip to the veterinarian to rule out any health problems your dog might be experiencing. If the dog is in pain it could pace and circle as it tries to work through its discomfort. Ear infections, eye and vision problems, and nervous disorders can cause a dog to pace or circle. Finding the cause of your dog’s discomfort and receiving proper treatment through a veterinarian could alleviate the pacing and circling if it’s caused by a health issue.

Older Dogs

  • Dementia might be a factor if your dog is older. Like Alzheimer’s disease, canine dementia can cause the dog to experience confusion or forgetfulness. It may walk in circles as if lost, stare at doors or corners, and exhibit personality changes. The dog may have trouble remembering simple things around the house such as where its food dish is or where it sleeps. A previously house-trained dog may suddenly start having accidents around the house. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms visit a veterinarian. There are some medications that could help your dog be more comfortable in their golden years.

Compulsive Behavior

  • Canine compulsive behavior is another reason your dog may be circling and pacing. They may be nervous about something in their environment, such as loud noises or unexpected or strange situations. Separation anxiety can cause the dog to pace or circle. It’s important not to punish your dog for these behaviors. Instead, try to distract the dog by offering a favorite toy or treat. It will help if you can remove the thing that is stressing them from their environment. If you can’t remove it, reassure your dog that they are safe by speaking softly and petting them.


  • Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. Dogs that do not receive enough exercise can pace and circle out of frustration. Enroll them in agility or training classes to give them exercise and stimulate their mind. Be sure your dog is well socialized. A dog that is comfortable around people and other dogs has less of a chance of developing behavioral problems. Be careful when introducing your dog to new people, places or other dogs. Keep it on a leash until you’re sure how the dog will react.