Why do Borzois Spin?

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Borzois sometimes have some very weird behaviors—you might especially think so if you’re a first-time dog owner!

When a Borzoi spins, they are typically excited or need to go potty. This spinning should be fairly brief. If your Borzoi is spinning compulsively, it may be due to a medical issue. See your veterinarian for advice.

In this article, we’ll discuss why Borzois spin in different situations, how to tell if it’s a problem, and how to stop your Borzoi from spinning.

Why do Borzois Spin?

Borzois might spin for various reasons, which vary depending on the situation. Borzois might spin:

  • Before laying down
  • While playing
  • When you walk in the door
  • Before going potty
  • At mealtime

Spinning is typically normal for all dogs. More rarely, a Borzoi might spin around due to a health problem, such as a neurological disorder or ear problem.

borzoi running on sand and water
Zoom Zoom

It’s important to note your dog’s body behavior, when they spin, and for how long. For instance, if your Borzoi is jumping and spinning around before a meal, they’re excited. If they spin randomly throughout the day while seeming distressed, they are likely anxious or ill and need veterinary help.

Below, we’ll discuss the reasons Borzois spin in these situations, how to tell if it’s normal or problematic, and what to do about your spinning Borzoi.

Why Do Borzois Spin before Laying Down?

It’s not just domesticated dogs that spin around before laying down—it’s also wolves! Clearly, a spinning Borzoi has inherited this trait from their ancestors.

We don’t know why wolves spin exactly, but it’s thought to be a survival mechanism. The theory is that they sleep with their nose to the wind so that they can sniff out danger. They spin to figure out which way the wind is blowing.

They might also be assessing the area by turning in circles to see around them, or trying to get comfortable.

Circling before bedtime might be accompanied with pawing or digging at bedding. This behavior is called denning, and dogs who tend might benefit from having a crate. Even if you don’t close the door, you might find your pup enjoys spending time inside their little “den!”

Lastly, if your Borzoi is circling excessively, they might be in pain.

Why do Borzois Spin in Circles While Playing?

Borzois spin in circles while playing because they are excited about their toys or the game they’re playing. This behavior is usually normal, but you should see a veterinarian if your Borzoi spins excessively.

Something that might make your Borzoi spin is a game of fetch. When you’re about to throw the ball, they might begin to get bouncy and spin in circles!

This means they’re super excited for you to throw that ball so that they can sprint after it, fur blowing in the air behind them.

If your Borzoi is spinning around inside playfully, it might be that they’re not getting enough exercise throughout the day or that they don’t have enough space to play. Clear some floor space, let them outside more often, and make sure you’re meeting their daily exercise requirements.

Why do Borzois Spin before Eating?

A Borzoi who spins before eating is likely excited about their meal! This is a good sign, especially since sighthounds are notoriously picky about food. If your Borzoi spins excessively, however, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to check for health problems.

Usually, spinning before eating is normal behavior. Not all dogs do it, but it’s very common.

Spinning becomes a problem if your Borzoi is still spinning after you put their food down, or it’s disrupting their daily life in some other way such as refusal to walk or play.

Why does my Borzoi Spin when I Come Home?

Your Borzoi probably spins when you come home because they’re excited to see you. They can’t contain themselves, so they begin to twirl around! The two of you likely have a great bond.

Borzoi rolling on grass
So glad you are home

Of course, if the spinning persists for too long, you should see your veterinarian so that they can check for health problems.

But normally, spinning like this is a normal dog greeting!

Why do Borzois Spin Before they Poop?

Scientists don’t know for sure why Borzois spin before pooping, but they do have theories. They might be pressing the ground in order to stay clean, or even aligning themselves to a north-south axis.

Stomping down the ground by circling makes it flatter, and then when a Borzoi poops it’s less likely to get on their fur via blades of grass. We should be grateful for this hygienic choice so that we don’t have to constantly bathe our dogs!

However, researchers have found a possible alternate reason for circling. Dogs seem to prefer to poop on a north-south axis, and this includes Borzois.

While humans typically can’t feel the Earth’s magnetic field, dogs seem to have a better sense for it. And for some reason, they might poop accordingly!

How to know if Borzoi Spinning is a Problem

Some of us worry too much about our dogs—I’m right there with you! It can be difficult to tell when something is a problem, and when it isn’t.

If you have doubts, I recommend speaking with your veterinarian. It’s better to check than to let your dog suffer needlessly.

Below are some ways to tell if your Borzoi’s spinning is a problem:

  • You cannot distract your Borzoi from spinning by offering food, playtime, or walks
  • Your Borzoi seems confused or upset while spinning
  • Your Borzoi is displaying other worrying symptoms or other behaviors have changed
  • The spinning is new for your Borzoi and excessive
  • Your Borzoi wanders around, seeming disoriented
  • Their sleep pattern has changed
  • Your Borzoi is walking differently
  • They’ve regressed in potty training
  • Your Borzoi’s appetite has changed
  • They perform other activities excessively like barking, licking, or obsessing over a toy

My Borzoi is Spinning in Circles and Whining

A Borzoi spinning in circles and whining might need to go potty. If they’re doing so by the door or when they need to go, let them outside to do their business.

It’s also possible that your Borzoi is feeling anxious, and that is why they are whining and circling. This is especially likely if there are loud noises or other things scaring your Borzoi in that moment.

borzoi standing on railroad tracks
Your Borzoi may be giving your cues

Otherwise, your Borzoi might be displaying symptoms of an illness or neurological condition.

Borzoi Spinning in Circles: Is it a Neurological Problem?

If your Borzoi is spinning in circles due to a medical condition, it might be a neurological problem such as:

If your Borzoi has hit their head recently, this could also be the reason that they are spinning.

Bring your spinning Borzoi to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will give them a check-up, look for physical causes to their spinning, and diagnose them. Then they can advise you on treatment options.

Other Medical Reasons Borzois Spin

Although there are many neurological problems that cause spinning, as we discussed above, there are also a few medical reasons that your Borzoi may spin that have nothing to do with their heads.

They are:

Bring your Borzoi to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. They can then tell you what the treatment options are for your furry friend.

How to Stop a Borzoi from Spinning in Circles

There’s no reason to stop your Borzoi from spinning if it’s normal behavior, as outlined above. They’re just being a dog.

If your Borzoi’s excited spinning bothers you, try calling your dog to you when they spin. Give them a treat or an ear scratch for coming. This will break the spinning cycle, but it won’t necessarily stop them from doing so again next time they get excited.

Never punish or scold your Borzoi for spinning. They likely won’t understand what they’re doing wrong, because they truly are just acting like the dogs that they are.

When it comes to walking circles before going potty, this can definitely be annoying—especially when they’re leashed—but there’s nothing to be done about it. Again, punishing your dog in any way should be avoided. It won’t help and if it makes them nervous, they might take even longer to go pee or poop!

borzoi on a walk at night
Circles can make the potty walks much longer

In addition, punishing your Borzoi for this might make them thinking going potty outside is wrong. If this is the case, they may regress and start going in the house.

If your Borzoi is spinning too much and you suspect a medical problem, the only solution is to bring them to the veterinarian. Unfortunately, there aren’t home remedies for this.

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