My Dog'd Weird Behavior: barking and circling around a tree

by umair

Calm for the picture

Calm for the picture

I have a pair of German Shepherd dogs, both very healthy, the problem is with the bitch. She is 8 months old and has a very unusual behavior. Whenever something different from normal happens, for example, guests come to the house, she starts fighting with the other dog and then starts going round and round in circles around a tree. She also barks too much while she does this. I don’t know what happened to her, she has always been very moody, even from an early age. I just can’t understand why she keeps going around the tree so much, please help!


From what you described, it seems that your female dog is probably stressed or unusual things cause her anxiety and her way to deal with them is to start circling a tree and keep doing it over and over again until she is exhausted and stops. Barking is also another way to relieve stress or try to deal with a situation in which she doesn’t know what to do. Because she is so stressed, her threshold starting a fight is lower, so she may get into fight with her brother for this reason too.
Honestly, it is hard to explain why she is doing it or what triggers this anxiety related dog behavior in her without watching it happen.

If it really is stress or anxiety what is making her behave this way, then the following training tips should help out. You should at least see the behavior happen less often, with less intensity or lasting a shorter amount of time.

Obedience training

Teaching your German Shepherd dogs some basic obedience commands will help you all “talk” to each other better. Reward-based training is the best way to go, specially if your dog is already anxious and stressed. Teach your dog sit, sitdown and stay . Then progressively ask her to sit and stay while guests enter the house.

By progressively, I mean that you need to practice first with known people, ask them to come in the house 10-20 times one after the other, until your dog is able to sit and stay. Then do it with another person, then another, etc.

This will teach your female German Shepherd dog what to do when someone comes in the house instead of going crazy.

Exercise and games

You GSD may also be stressed out of boredom, provide lots of walks, exercise and games for her. Buy her interactive toys that make her think, take her to a dog park to run and play with other dogs, or take them out for long walks.

Use positive methods

Never punish your dog for barking or going around the tree in circles. If she is stressed and anxious, yelling and punishment will only make matters worse. The best thing to do is try to help her and teach her to be relaxed in these situations with positive methods.

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Sep 10, 2015
by: Anonymous

Wow what a great information you share with us about German Shepherd dogs . I really like your question and i appreciate your answer. In your post you discuss really great point.

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