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Pet Bucket Blog

Why do dogs chase their tails?

 by lucy on 15 Dec 2016 |
1 Comment(s)
Everyone has watched in wonder as a puppy turns circles in a frantic attempt to catch his own tail. This playful behavior comes naturally to our young canine companions, but obsessive tail chasing in adult dogs can be signal something is wrong.
 
Tail chasing— also known as whirling— is a common behavior among young dogs and other juvenile predators. Some experts believe this is because, unlike prey animals, predators don’t have to constantly worry about being hunted and so have more free time to engage in play. While this is healthy behavior among puppies, it can be a sign something’s wrong when whirling continues to excess in older dogs.
 
Like humans, our canine companions can develop compulsive disorders ranging from obsessive chewing or licking to constantly chasing their tails. These behaviors can arise for many reasons, from spending too much time indoors to past trauma and separation anxiety. If you believe your dog’s obsessive whirling is due to a psychological issue, you should seek help from a behavior specialist. Excessive tail chasing can arise for other reasons, too, though. It can be a sign your dog has fleas or worms, for example, which can agitate pets and lead to compulsive behavior. Your dog can cause serious damage or injury by biting his own tail, so it’s important to address these problems with your veterinarian’s help. Whirling isn’t always a serious symptom, however, and may simply be your dog’s way of getting your attention or alleviating boredom. Running in circles provides pets with a means of expelling excess energy and entertaining themselves. Tail chasing also tends to garner laughter from humans, so your dog may be engaging in his tail-chasing antics to get positive attention from his human companions.
 
Most whirling stops as puppies mature into adult dogs, so there is no need to worry if your youngster is often in pursuit of his own tail. If, however, your adult dog continues chasing his tail, you may want to discourage the behavior by distracting him with a toy, such as a ball or Frisbee, that he can also chase. This will help dispel the excess energy and boredom that often lead dogs to chase their tails. If you notice your dog continues compulsively chasing his tail, however, schedule a trip to the veterinarian’s office to determine the cause of the behavior. And remember, certain breeds such as German shepherds and terriers are genetically predisposed to chase their own tails more often than other breeds, so don’t be alarmed if your adult dog has a solo circle chase from time to time.

Comment(s)1

Suzanne - Comment
Suzanne20 Dec 2016Reply
I will say it again.... if you are to male your articled in French, please find a competent English to French translator. Reading this does not make sense at all.... very very sad....

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