If you’ve spent any time around dogs, you’ve probably noticed one of them running around in circles in a frenzy, frantically chasing after their tail. In most cases, this is an adorable sight for dog parents—but, have you ever wondered why your pup does this? It might surprise you to know that sometimes there’s a reason your dog is spinning in circles! So, if your dog has been chasing their tail more than usual lately, be sure to ask yourself these three questions:
Is your dog bored or seeking attention? For many dogs, a burst of physical activity often means that they’re bored or just need a little attention. To help your pup get their “zoomies” out, try to incorporate more walking, hiking, and visits to your local dog park into their daily routine. Not only do these activities help your dog burn through their seemingly endless supply of energy, but they also provide one-on-one time with mom or dad! If you’re looking to get into some hiking with your pup, you can find our tips for backpacking with your dog here.
Is your dog’s age or breed fueling their tail obsession? Some breeds, such as German Shepherds and certain terriers, have an innate doggie drive to chase after all types of objects—even themselves! On top of that, older dogs will often chase or bite their tails due to decreased physical awareness, and puppies will engage in the activity as a means of exploring their environments and expending all their puppy power! If you’re looking for help with a particularly powerful puppy, you can find some general puppy tips here.
Does their behavior seem compulsive or painful? In some cases, you might notice that your dog’s tail chasing has become much more excessive or aggressive than usual. They may start to bite or chew at their tail, removing hair and irritating their skin. If you notice this type of behavior, you should make an appointment with your vet, as dogs will often bite or chew at a spot that is causing them discomfort. This can be an indication of a more serious issue, or can also be a result of previous trauma or abuse.
Generally speaking, most dogs will chase their tails, and there’s usually no need for concern. It’s an activity designed to expend energy and satisfy their desire to chase—plus, it provides dozens of hours of dog-watching for bored humans. However, if your dog is spinning circles, there might be a reason!
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