Reasons why dogs chase their tails

Although your dog's tendency to chase its tail may appear odd, most behaviorists think it is actually a typical and important part of play. However, excessive or obsessive tail-chasing is not typical canine behavior and may need to be addressed.

Why would a dog continue to follow his tail?


For a variety of reasons, dogs follow their tails. This entails going through emotions like boredom, enthusiasm, fleas, the urge to vent, or anything more serious like an accident. Take the time to speak with your veterinarian if you believe the latter to be the case.

The explanations given above are some of the most typical ones for why dogs follow their tails; however, there is more material below. Following are four specific explanations for why dogs follow their tails.

1 - Your dog is merely joking around.

Happy Dog

Your dog may occasionally be exceptionally happy and enthusiastic. This can cause them to whirl swiftly or briefly chase their tail. When she is particularly excited about anything (a nice toy or the opportunity for a stroll), they may exhibit this behavior again. It's simply a dog being a cute puppy, and everything is perfectly normal.

2 - Your pet is anxious.


Your canine buddy is just as uneasy as you are when you are nervous or apprehensive. Your dog may suddenly start engaging in repetitive behaviors like chasing their tail when they feel that uneasy anticipation, such as before heading to the vet or shortly before you leave for work. They might be experiencing separation anxiety or another type of anxiety if this is followed by other worrying behaviors like frequent whining, barking, chewing, damaging things around the house, or having accidents in the toilet. To decide the best course of action for your pup, speak with a trained canine behavior expert or veterinary behaviorist.

Your dog may exhibit displacement behaviors, which are typical canine behaviors performed outside of a typical setting, when they are conflicted or confused about what to do. Tail-chasing and tail-spinning are examples of displacement behaviors, particularly in environments where your dog gets exposed to unpleasant triggers. In this situation, it's critical to offer consolation and support, as well as your best efforts to reduce the pressures present.

3 - Your dog can suffer from dog compulsive disorder.


Many dogs exhibit repetitive behaviors, particularly herding dogs. This typically resembles a dog that is sincerely asking for another Frisbee toss or a treat by repeatedly engaging in a favorite trick. When overexcited, some dogs may start spinning in circles, while others may begin chasing their tails.

All of these could be short-term, typical, repeating behaviors connected to a particular situation. However, when repetitive behaviors obstruct daily functioning, they become a problem. Your dog can be suffering from compulsive behavior if they appear fixated or obsessed with anything and you are unable to divert their attention, or if they repeatedly chase the tail at strange times. The symptoms of canine compulsive disorder vary, but they frequently include tail-chasing, repetitive licking or chewing of a particular area of the body, excessive barking, leaping down and up, and pacing.

Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder can have many distinct underlying reasons, including genetics, stress, severe anxiety, health conditions, or dissatisfaction. We do not advise dog parents to use laser pointers for the purpose of playing with their pets due to frustration. Because they are unable to capture the light, your pet gets agitated and could even develop an obsession because it disrupts their typical play routine. Instead, go for a walk, try out nose exercises, engage in a game of fetch, provide a snuffle mat, or conduct some trick training using positive reinforcement. Your dog requires enrichment that challenges both their mind and body.

4 - There may be a medical issue with your dog.


When our dogs aren't feeling well, they could act in ways that are out of character for them. Dogs who chase their tails repeatedly may be experiencing problems with their anal glands, neural systems, tail injury (damaged bone or other injury), allergies, skin conditions, or seizure disorders. It is best to schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible because all of these issues have the potential to be serious ones that appear out of nowhere and worsen quickly.

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