Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

Tail Chasing

Most dogs at some stage in their lives will chase after their tails. Now to you and I this appears to be a pretty pointless exercise, the tail is attached to them so of course when they turn around and around in circles obviously their tail will follow them. You do not have to have a degree to work that one out!
But have you ever wondered why it is that your dog displays this ‘comical’ behaviour? For most canines tail chasing will never become an issue to them because it is perhaps a behaviour that they only display now and again. To some dogs though it can prove to be problematic when they injure themselves whilst whizzing around after their tail, they could easily pull a muscle or experience a similar type of injury.

Also the behaviour could become excessive by this I mean that the dog cannot and will not be distracted from chasing its tail and persuaded to do something else.

Tail chasing falls into a stereotypic type of behaviour; this is defined as a repetitive, ritualistic and a constant pattern of movements which really do not seem to serve any function or purpose. If you have ever been to a zoo and observed a lion or tiger simply pacing up and down beside their enclosure’s fence this is an example of a common stereotypic behaviour.

Now your canine friend might have started this behaviour through simply being bored one day and looking for a way to amuse him/herself and then you have come along and laughed and not really thought anymore about it. The following time you witness the same behaviour you might tell your dog to stop. Without knowing it you have just offered your dog what is termed ‘operant conditioning’ basically you have shown your dog attention for the behaviour, good or bad it makes no difference.

Canines are social animals so any attention from their owner is great as far as they are concerned, they soak it all up!

The tail chasing develops into an attention seeking behaviour and the only way to break the circle is to ignore your dog when the behaviour occurs. Better still try some counter-conditioning, this involves you giving your dog attention and praise whenever he/she is not carrying out the behaviour.

There could be an underlying medical cause for the behaviour. If you notice your dog repeatedly chasing its tail then begin noting down when the behaviour occurs and how long it lasts for, you can then take this information along with your dog to the vet if you are concerned.

Your dog could be suffering from a skin irritation or experiencing pain around its tail and that is why its chasing that area so it is always advisable to take your dog along to the vet for a check-up.

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