May 27, 2024


Dogs chase their tails: Many dog ​​owners think so. But what looks interesting often doesn’t have an interesting background. You can find out why here.

Many dog ​​owners know this: dogs spin in circles and chase their own tails. Often this observation is part of their own enjoyment. However, this dog’s behavior often has a worrying background. You can find out what these are and what you can do about them here.

Further interesting information can be found in our Dog Behavior Guide.

Why puppies chase their tails

When a dog catches his own tail, it can be both playful and problematic.

When a dog catches his own tail, it can be both playful and problematic. © 123RF/Photo U

Puppies are often seen chasing their own tails.

reason:

The little furballs still don’t understand that the weird, wobbly thing is theirs. This behavior is harmless and often playful, as puppies are just beginning to get to know themselves and their bodies.

The situation is different when an adult dog exhibits this behavior.

If your dog frequently chases or even bites his tail, this may indicate compensation for stress or may be an expression of appeasement behavior.

adult dog hunts tail

As soon as the dog chases its tail, people are laughing and watching. This human behavior provides positive feedback for our four-legged friends. That’s why when we get frustrated, stressed, or have expectations, we repeat the same thing over and over again.

So what started out as playtime as a puppy can become a sign of stress as an adult. At worst, this habit can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor your dog’s behavior and consult your veterinarian if necessary.

Young dogs in particular don't really understand that their tails are part of their bodies, but adult dogs do.

Young dogs in particular don’t really understand that their tails are part of their bodies, but adult dogs do. © 123rf/Kuseniares Photo

4 more reasons why dogs chase their tails

Besides play and stress, there are four other reasons why dogs chase their tails.

These include:

  • 1. Genetics: Certain breeds of dogs, such as German Shepherds and Bull Terriers, are prone to compulsive behaviors such as tail chasing. Despite genetics, behavioral training can help minimize tail chasing.
  • 2. Injury: If your dog has a wound on his tail, he may chase or bite the tail. In this case, you are more likely to suffer from pain and itching.
  • 3. The arrival of parasites: The situation is similar if your dog is infested with fleas or parasites. If your dog has an itchy bottom, he will try to relieve the itching by chasing his tail or biting the tail with his teeth.
  • 4. Neurological diseases: Tail-chasing can also be caused by obsessive-compulsive disorder or neurological disorders. This behavior is due to perceived stress or neurological damage.
Tail chasing can be caused by an infestation of parasites that cause your dog to itch.

Tail chasing can be caused by an infestation of parasites that cause your dog to itch. © 123RF/Photovista

There are quite negative reasons for the fact that dogs chase their own tails and should not be taken as just a funny sight.

Things can get even more alarming if your dog bites its own tail. In either case, it is best to see a veterinarian to determine the specific cause.

Bottom line: Dog catching tail – cute, but often a red flag

If your dog chases or bites its tail on a regular basis, it usually doesn’t mean anything good. Puppy play and exploration of their bodies often serve as alarm signals as adults.

There are many reasons and many remedies for this dog’s unfortunate behavior. However, there is one thing you must always keep in mind. If you cannot resolve it yourself, you should consult a dog specialist. This is the only way to properly treat your dog’s mental and physical problems in a species-appropriate manner.



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