Playful by nature, you’ve undoubtedly seen your dog running circles around himself in a futile attempt to finally catch that elusive tail. You may even have paused to wonder why your pup does such a thing. Is he bored? Excited? Or just plain silly?
Also known as ‘whirling’, this sort of excitable behaviour could well be just be a normal way for young pups to indulge their playful side. But what if you suspect there might be more than meets the eye?
Well, it turns out there could be a whole host of possibilities as to why whirling has become the new No.1 obsession for Fido. Here are 5 reasons as to why that tail seems to be so appealing to your four-legged friend.
If your doggy seems to love driving himself dizzy, it could be down to pure and simple boredom. If a dog doesn’t get enough stimulation, whether indoors or out on his walkies, trying to catch his tail could well be a way of expelling some pent up energy.
If your dog is still a little pup, then this sort of energy release could fade as he gets older. But there’s no doubt about it, your pooch loves to play, prance, and pant as often as he possibly can. So if the pup years have well and truly gone, and he’s not spending a good chunk of time in, or out and about, the circle chase will keep coming out.
- Craving Attention
Watching your dog circle the carpet for seemingly hours on end can of course be super adorable, but if he’s simply just trying to get your attention by doing so, it’s best not to indulge him as it will only encourage more of the same.
Dogs responds to any kind of attention, whether positive or negative, so the next time you see that pesky little tail becoming the object of his affection, ignore it and it’s likely that it will stop.
It’s still super important to get one on one time with your playful pup though, so keep up the belly rubs, tennis ball toss, and ear scratching to show him who’s a good boy!
- Injury or Irritation
Chasing that tail may not always be as cute as it first appears. If your pooch is of a slightly older age and seems to be taking up this activity more often, something slightly more sinister may be lurking underneath. Yep, those dreaded fleas and worms could well be the culprit.
It could also be the case that your pup has experienced some form of injury to the tail. A common cause of this being a tail trapped in a doorframe.
If this is the case, your poorly pup might be chasing his tail as a means of trying to make himself feel more comfortable. If this behaviour seems a little out of the norm or more excessive than usual, it might be time to consult the vet to dig a little deeper.
Certain dogs are more prone to attacking their tails. Breeds such as Bull Terriers spin around more so than others, whilst German Shepherds tend to spend more of their spare time whirling.
On occasion, they can also go a little further than the chase, and end up biting or chewing on their tails. This can result in injury or hair loss, so even if you believe your breed to be more predisposed to this activity, it’s always best to keep an eye on them during this sort of playtime.
If your dog has started free-wheeling a little more than usual, it could be down to obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. That’s right, in the same way that that some humans suffer from OCD in the form of excessive hand-washing or constant item arrangement, some dogs can also exhibit signs. Tail chasing is one way in which this disorder can present itself.
A pup with OCD may end up chasing their tail so uncontrollably that they cause injury to the area. So, if you do notice your dog chasing its tail more frequently, speak to your veterinarian or animal behaviour specialist to look at behaviour modification techniques and a possible treatment plan.