If you are a dog owner, you may have seen your dog chase his tail. Sometimes it can be just a normal act and will finish quickly, it is harmless behavior. However, if the action repeats frequently and even is harmful to your dog, there could be an underlying health or behavior problem.
There are many reasons why your dog might chase their tail, from mischief, boredom or something more serious like trauma. In this post, we will list six most common reasons they exhibit this behavior:
Sometimes dogs chase the tail because of boredom. This may be that they are left alone for most of the day or not getting enough mental or physical stimulation. Chasing tails provide a way to entertain – at least for a short while – and also allow them to release some of that accumulated energy.
2. Medical conditions
If your dog appears to be obsessive chasing its tail, it could be due to an underlying health condition, such as a neurological condition that leads to some kind of epilepsy. It can also be a sign of orthopedic disorder or muscle pain.
Another possible reason behind why dogs chase their tails could be due to a flea. Sometimes, their tails can become really itchy due to an infection or an allergy to flea bites, and they may chase their tails trying to bite and bite to alleviate the condition. If you think the behavior may be caused by a flea, examine their skin for evidence – you may notice small, dark brown to black spots on their coat (flea droppings). In some cases, bald patches may be present from excessive licking or scratching.
4. Your puppy’s playfulness
Just like with human children, puppies love to discover more about their world with their mouths. So the viable answer to why a dog is chasing a tail could be simply because they’re a puppy!
As they grow up, they learn new things about themselves. Also, puppies are extremely mischievous, so they may just see their tail as a fun toy to chase and potentially grow from this behavior.
5. Seek attention
Your dog also can use his tail to attract attention. If they feel ignored, your dog may have figured out what behavior will get a response from you. Dogs often like owners taking care of them and spending time with them. Therefore when it has been a long time you didn’t notice them, they can continue this behavior. Our four-legged friends are sociable creatures and love to play and interact!
Tail chasing can be a symptom of anxiety. And licking tail around will bring comfort for them, specially, when it’s taken as a one-time stress reliever, they can start doing it whenever they feel anxious.
Some typical causes of anxiety in dogs can include:
Fear of loud noises like fireworks
Be afraid of new experiences, including new walks or meeting strangers
Small living areas (such as cribs or crates)
Complex social interactions with another pet
Lack of opportunities to communicate
Scary experiences before
Age-related anxiety caused by disorientation