Dog Obsessive Behavior Chasing Tail

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Dog Obsessive Behavior Chasing Tail

by Rena Murray

Obsessive compulsive dog behavior is actually a Bad Dog Behavior because it is unhealthy and dangerous for the animal's psychological well being, and could also harm him physically. Some of this dog obsessive behavior includes chasing tail, digging dog, and barking dog.

Dog obsessive behavior usually begins innocently enough, with the owner believing that Max's chasing his tail a little more than normal dogs must be his trademark that makes him unique. Sometimes the owner's argument in response to chasing dog tail is that the puppy is just playing, and you don't want to make the dog lose its agility and flexibility. Other times, people are genuinely concerned but wrongly suggest that you cut the tail off, as though that would solve the problem. It would not. The dog would just chase its rear end in circles. The tail is not the problem!

Sometimes, spinning is only a temporary fascination of a pup, because he discovers that he has a tail. Chasing dog tail is only bad when it is becoming frequent ? becoming a pattern ? leading to a preoccupation ? to obsession ? Such is the case when the pup does it only when bored, and almost always when he is bored, or when he is not getting your attention.

This chasing tail problem comes from dog boredom and not feeling useful. The dog "fixes" itself with something to do ? chasing dog tail ? around and around ?.

The prescription for this mental issue is two forty-five walks a day, or one walk plus one twenty-to-thirty-minute run with a bike, rollerblade, skateboard, etc.

I have heard: "I walk them, but it makes no difference." This is because the dog is allowed to be in front of the walk and smell whatever he wants around him. He is getting exercise without mental challenge or discipline.

You can run a dog until he can barely move, and still have him be hyperactive soon thereafter ? or in this case, spinning after his tail. His mind must be made to focus. For 45 minutes on a heel, he needs to have a "job," to feel useful and needed. Obedience with walking at a heel is his "job" and gives him the same sense of pride that we get from working every day.

Okay, so you walk the dog and almost immediately when you bring him home, he starts tail-chasing again. So what do you do then? Simple. Each time you catch him beginning to obsess, you correct him (make him sit or lie down) and redirect his mind. Give him something else to do ? a ball, squeaky toy, chew, favorite toy, or such.

Often it helps to add a dog backpack for high energy dogs. Put one bottle of water on each side to increase the efficiency of the walk. (Weight balance discipline.) If you want to get an idea of what kind of difference this makes, take a couple of light hand weights (e.g., 2 pounds each) on a walk. You will feel it!

Do not turn to drugs if they can be avoided. No amount of medication can treat a dog psychological problem, and in many instances, it can change the dog's personality. Some dogs turn aggressive. You want to help your dog's physical condition, but be careful with dosages and watch carefully. If you observe personality changes that start to turn your dog nasty, consult a veterinarian who understands alternative treatment as well as traditional veterinary medicine and the tradeoffs.

If at any time the dog starts obsessing, then correct the unwanted behavior immediately and redirect his mind. Again, make him sit or lie down (surrender) and then send him to an assigned spot to stay for a while with something else to do.

So if your dog is chasing tail, remember - you must physically and mentally challenge him to avoid or change the obsessive compulsive dog behavior of chasing tail!

GET HELP from Rena Murray at the Dog Obedience Training website. An accomplished Dog Behavior Modification expert, Dog Obedience Trainer, and Platinum Expert Author, Rena provides self-help Articles and free "Best Ezines"-recognized newsletter: PAW PERSUASION POINTERS to help you better understand communication and control of your dogs, debunk dog training myths, explore right and wrong dog training techniques for specific situations, address destructive dog behavior, excessive and obsessive dog behavior, and other canine issues, from new puppy to old dog. Subscribe for free at, visit Rena's BLOG - , find the dog products, crates, and gifts you need at, and Contact Rena for Coaching .

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