It may seem cute and unusual, but it’s not all a game.
In the canine world, chasing one’s own tail is only one of many bizarre antics that may make even the most jaded pet owner grin or scratch their head. This kind of activity is normally OK, but it might be a sign of trouble if it persists. Here’s how to tell whether your dog needs to see the doctor because it’s chasing its tail, and what could be causing the behavior.
What’s up with canine tail chasing?
When your dog all of a sudden becomes fascinated with her own tail, she is probably just being a goofball. But if she starts to chase her own tail excessively or if you see any of the other signs listed below, it’s time to consult your doctor or a veterinary behaviorist to make sure it’s not anything more severe.
1. Your Dog Is Only Joking Around
It’s normal for your dog to be delighted and enthusiastic on days like this. This might cause her to whirl rapidly or chase her tail for a short time. When she is very excited about anything (such a new toy or a chance to go for a walk), she may repeat this behavior every time it happens. This is just the dog doing what dogs do best: being cute.
2. Your Dog Is Worried
Your dog will be just as uneasy as you will be if you’re feeling worried or apprehensive. Your dog may suddenly start engaging in repeated activities like chasing her tail when she is feeling anxious, such as shortly before a trip to the vet or when you leave for work.
She may be suffering from separation anxiety or another kind of anxiety if this is followed by other problematic behaviors like excessive whining, barking, chewing, damaging objects in the house, or having pee accidents. To figure out what to do next to assist your dog, talk to a qualified canine behavior consultant or veterinary behaviorist.
Displacement behaviors, which are typical canine behaviors that are expressed in an unusual setting, might be exhibited when your dog is feeling confused or uncertain of what to do. Displacement behaviors like tail chasing or spinning are common in environments where your dog is exposed to stressful stimuli. Being a source of solace and support and doing all you can to lessen the tensions around you is crucial in this situation.
3. Canine Compulsive Disorder Could Affect Your Dog
Repetitive habits are common in dogs, particularly herding dogs. This is the typical expression of a dog that is desperate for more of his or her favorite activity, such as having the Frisbee thrown to it or doing a trick for a reward. When dogs become too enthusiastic, they may start spinning in circles or chasing their tails.
All of these examples are perfectly reasonable patterns of behavior that arise in response to a certain situation. But when they get in the way of daily life, repeated habits become a serious issue. Your dog may be coping with a compulsive condition if she is unable to be distracted from a certain object or behavior, or if she has repetitive rituals, such as chasing her tail at inconvenient times.
Symptoms of canine compulsive disorder include but are not limited to: tail chasing, licking or chewing an area of the body repeatedly, excessive barking, excessive leaping, and pacing.Canine compulsive disorder may have several root reasons, including as frustration, physical concerns, stress, or worry. Because it might be frustrating for both the dog and its owner, we don’t advise laser pointer playtime.
Your pet’s typical play sequence is disrupted, leading to extreme frustration and maybe obsession if they can never catch the light. To provide your dog with the mental and physical stimulation she needs, consider taking her on a trip, trying out nose work, playing fetch, or giving her a snuffle mat.
4. A health problem might be plaguing your dog
When our dogs are sick, they sometimes act in ways they wouldn’t under regular circumstances. Repetitive tail chasing in dogs may be a symptom of a number of medical problems, such as those affecting the anal glands, the neurological system, the tail (such as a fractured bone or injury), allergies, skin conditions, or epilepsy. You should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible if any of these symptoms appear or worsen.