Dog pawing at the ground to make a "nest"
I have a 14 or 15-yr-old Maltese who has early stage dementia (gets "stuck" in hallways and behind furniture, hooooooooowls at night, walks in large circles).
He sometimes scratches at the floor in the way a dog would if there were a blanket there and he were trying to prepare his bed. Unfortunately there is no blanket where he is pawing, just linoleum. He will paw at this for fully 5 minutes or more, trying to get the linoleum "just right" so he can lie down. When he gets tired he switches paws and continues to scratch at the linoleum instead of giving up.
If I bring a blanket and put it directly under where he is already scratching, he promptly paws at that for 15 seconds to bunch it up, feels satisfied, and immediately curls up to sleep. However he will not give up and go find a blanket somewhere else in the room on his own. (We have perhaps 10 or 15 scattered around the room, plus some throw rugs.)
Is this part of his dementia or just something that some dogs do? The place he was scratching at tonight did indeed have a blanket exactly there before I did the laundry this evening.