Chances are you have your own ritual before hitting the sack. I know I do. Maybe I’ll fluff the pillows, get the covers just right, and make sure I have my latest read next to me on my nightstand.
It’s not much different for dogs. There was a time, long before you and I, when dogs roamed the wilderness and lived freely among other animals and very early humans.
I can imagine an ancient Rover seeking out a comfortable spot on which to park himself for the night. Perhaps on top of a bed of straws, or some rough earth, or grass. No doubt that he wants this spot to be just to his liking before he plops down.
So what does he do? He’ll go through his own ritual. He may circle the area a few times and make it comfy by push and pulling parts of it with his paw.
Let’s not forget that a dog’s paw contains most of the sweat glands. Thus swiping the spot he’s about to lie on is a great way of marking it and saying, “This is mine”.
Today, dogs have beds just as comfy and as good as we humans do, in some cases better. My dogs sleep on either plush comforters or dog beds that can only be described as posh. I’ve slept in worse.
Still, old habits die hard so it’s not uncommon to see a dog going through the same pre-naptime routine that his ancient ancestors did long ago.