Want to lift your mood after a bad day at work or school? The answer here can be a cute little pup chasing his tail. Watching a dog chase their tail can bring a smile to anyone’s face and make you fall into fists of laughter. Those who have a dog as their pet, especially since it was a pup, must have come across this funny experience many times.
But have you wondered why they do so? Is it something serious? Should you consider taking him to a vet? Don’t worry!
7 Reasons Why Dogs Chase Their Tails
1. Out of boredom
The most common reason for a dog to chase its tail is out of boredom. They chase their tail for fun or just because they are idle and bored. Being left alone most of the time and not finding anything to pass their time with, they start to chase their tails. This also helps them to build up some energy and kills their boredom. If this is the reason, then we can fix this effortlessly.
You need to try and increase their daily activity, such as more regular walks. Involving other physical and mental games will also help. One can play more fetch games or brain puzzles to keep your pup engaged and challenge their brain.
2. Do they want attention?
Who doesn’t love attention? Everyone does, and so do dogs. They start doing antics like chasing their tails when they notice they are not receiving enough attention. They continue to chase their tails even if you scold them because, for them, they receive a response from your end. It is observed that if a pup notices that his particular antics make you laugh or play with them, it will usually do it to grab your attention.
3. Fleas and ticks bothering.
If you notice your dog chasing after his tail for too long, you should probably visit a veterinarian, as it may be due to fleas and ticks. These ticks or fleas make their tail itchy and make them want to chase and bite it to relieve some of the itching.
If you feel that your dog is doing something similar to this, then you should probably check its tail to see if there are any small, dark brown to black specks in its coat (flea feces); you might also end up finding some bald patches caused due to excessive licking or scratching. It’s always better to take your dog to the vet to get him free of ticks or fleas before it becomes severe.
Chasing their tail repeatedly can also be a sign of anxiety. If chasing their tail or biting them has served as a stress reliever, dogs may tend to do it again whenever they feel nervous. Small living areas like a crate, fewer chances to socialize, past frightening experiences, aggression from another pet, or physical or emotional abuse at home can be the reasons for anxiety. If you suspect that one of these shared reasons is why your dog has been chasing its tail, then you should get in touch with a behaviorist to find a way to help your dog.
Dog breeds like German Shepherds and terriers tend to bite their tails even when they grow up; the reasons are still unknown. But a few believe that it may be because they are left indoors alone. There’s not much you can do as there’s no specific reason for the same. One can get them involved in more mental and physical games.
Age can also be one of the factors why dog chases their tails. Young puppies find tail-chasing fun. They find it fascinating to watch there are tails behind them. For them, it’s just something following them, and their baby hearts want to chase and grab it. When they are young, they have just started to learn and know about their body and ways to use and start chasing their tails, wanting to know more about their use. In their old age, due to diminishing mental acuity, they tend to have repetitive behavior like chasing tails. It can also require behavior modification medication if it appears as a cognitive disorder.
7. Compulsive Behavior
Just like people, dogs also suffer from OCD. This OCD can turn worse if not treated on time, as it may result in your dog biting his tail continuously, leading to self-harm. It’s always best to get your dog checked by a vet if this cute behavior turns aggressive and obsessive, as this may lead to hurting him.
These are a few reasons why a dog could be chasing their tail. If it’s something serious, then you should visit a veterinarian or a behaviorist at the earliest, but if not, then you can be relieved you have just got yourself a playful dog that wants attention, have fun.