Dogs do a few pretty weird things, but one of the biggest head-scratchers that pretty much every good boy or good girl does is scratch at their beds before lying down. Your dog does it, your friends dog does, everyone’s dog does it. You’ve seen it a million times, the dog will do a few spins, scratch at the bed, and then finally lay down, but why?
Just like why dogs like to dig holes and hide things, the behavior of scratching at their beds goes back to their ancestors and survival instincts. Specifically, this behavior is left over from their wild ancestors, according to The Dodo.
Wolves like to dig at a spot before lying down on it. Wolves of course live in the wild and don’t have a comfortable bed to sleep on, so they dig and scratch at a spot to help regulate temperature. Digging a hole in cold weather to sleep in helps wolves stay warm while doing the same in hot weather allows cool soil beneath the surface to have the opposite effect.
A dog scratching at their indoor, cozy bed doesn’t make all that much sense seeing as how it’s not a survival situation, but it’s still an animal instinct that has been passed along to domestic pets. Scratching at their bed is just a dog being a dog, really.
Of course, sometimes dogs are simply scratching at their beds to move around any blankets or toys that are in their way, but more often than not it’s just an instinctual action that dogs can’t really shake.
Dog beds aren’t so cheap and being frustrated with your dog at ripping yet another bed is one thing, but at the end of the day, it’s just what dogs do.
[H/T Mental Floss]