Jackie Murphy G.Dip ABM / A.Dip CBM / MISAP (beh) / MEST (QTLS) / TCBTS, Ambassador of Great Britain for International Society of Animal Professionals once again gives us her very helpful tips and knowkedge in the dog world. This time she will be telling us why dogs chase its tails and the best way to stop this happening if its constant.
There are actually many reasons why a dog would chase its tail. The most simple explanation is that it is a fun thing to do! The first time the dog had a chase, it may also have drawn lots of laughter and attention. For a dog, this means it is a great thing to do. If this is something the dog likes to do to get attention, it is important that the behaviour is just ignored.
Avoid physical restraint or any reprimands and just try to do something to distract the dog. Ask for a sit, play a game etc. Try to ignore the unwanted behaviour and focus on something else instead. You can also try to teach the dog to spin on cue! Take a nice treat and put it at the dog’s nose. Move it slowly in a clockwise motion, so the dog follows the treat. As the dog moves in a circle, say ‘spin’. With a little practice, the dog will do this when you ask. This is often a good way of teaching a dog to practice a behaviour only when asked!
If these simple steps do not help, it is advised to get professional help. In this case, the dog seems to be tail chasing constantly and at certain times, such as when being left alone. This would raise additional concerns. Some dogs will repeat actions like tail chasing to reduce their frustration or even anxiety.
Over time, this behaviour may become problematic, as the dog finds the behaviour rewarding and may even cause damage to the tail. It is important to get a professional evaluation and plan by contacting your local member of the Canine Behaviour & Training Society. The Society has Accredited Animal Behaviourists and Animal Behaviour Technicians registered with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. This provides reassurance that you will get knowledgeable and professional help.
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