It‘s an interesting question, and something I’ve seen now with my five Dachshunds of different ages.
The issue came up in a column in PetWorld.com on Wednesday (July 27) by Steve Dale ( firstname.lastname@example.org.) A writer from Indianapolis asked:
Q. My dachshund has a weird habit of circling his food dish before eating. He’s 8 years old and has been doing this all his life. Last month, we rescued a dachshund puppy, and he’s doing the same thing. Does this surprise you?
The answer, perhaps not so surprising, came from a Chicago-based dog trainer. He said, “Dachshunds sometimes circle when they get excited.”
Then, he added: “Your dog began to circle all those years ago as you approached with the food dish. You rewarded the behavior by giving him his food,” he notes. “Most likely, the same thing occurred with the puppy, but it’s also possible, though less likely, that the puppy learned the routine from the older dog.”
Our older dog only now circles around the bowl, perhaps to establish territory with puppies two generations younger, and then two others a generation younger. (Old Rudi is just 16!)
For great advice about dogs, check out Don Helverson in Studio City, Calif. in his Pet Peeves column.