Archives for the day Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Why dogs chase their tails?

 Dogs are very interesting animals with quirks, and big personality. When you look at your dogs, I would imagine you would have a couple of ” Why does he/she do that?” questions.

 Why do dogs put biggest smiles on their face when they roll on stinky things ? Why do dogs adore cat poop? Why dogs twitch their legs,eyes,ears while sleeping,are they dreaming? Why dogs take time to find their perfect spot for potty and do circling dance? Why dogs lick human?  Why dogs nose are wet? List goes on.

 My some of “Why” questions that remain for our own dog “Palette” are ..

1. When I cook food for family, usually Palette is resting on her bed or playing in other room. Strange thing is that, when food is ready to serve in a min or two, she quits whatever she was doing and lie down like sphinx right behind my legs,staring at pots and pans as if she KNOWS it’s almost done and ready to be served. How she knows that when I am not pulling out any plates to serve on?

2. When we pick up telephone, Palette perks up if she were resting on bed,and dash towards her squeaky toys and start squeaking. When we off from phone, she stops squeaking. I have no idea why she does that.I do not remember handing out toys when I am on the phone before, and question remains. She maybe wants to be included in our conversation on the phone?

 Now,have you ever wondered “why dogs chase their own tail? “

 Palette is Pembroke Welsh Corgi and she has no tail like German shepherd, for example. So, she has nothing to chase for long time, but I have seen dogs chase their own tail for some time without slowing down the speed.

 Palette can spin on command and when she spins,she spins pretty fast and she probably can spin faster and more number of spins than I can.

 According to petplace website, there are some theories.

1. Environmental stress

ex: crated too long, not enough socialization, not enough ways to out pent-up energy

2. Anxiety,lack of stimulus

 From helium website, theories are as followings

1. Tail chasing was formally form of play but,it became habit of behavior

2. dogs chase their tail to entertain themselves because they are bored

3. flea bite near rear area

4. dogs do tail chasing because when they did,human laughed (gave attentions) and dogs felt their behavior was rewarded and continue tail chasing

 So, what can you do to help curb the behavior??

 According to petplace website, you can try some of the followings to curb the behavior

1. Increase exercise

2. Increase opportunity for dogs to do dog specific behavior such as chasing, catching

ex; fly ball, Frisbee, fetch ball, agility

According to helium website, you can try some of the followings to curb the behavior

1. Never let your dogs feel rewarded. That means, no laughing, no praising, no nothing.

2. Ignore the behavior and leave the room.

Dogs would think that tail chasing causes you to leave and get no attention from you

3. Give dogs mental exercise

Interactive toys, do “find it” game etc..

4.Increase exercise to let out pent-up energy

5. check rear area to make sure no tick or flea is not at presence.

The Helium site mentions about bitter apple spray for stopping tail chasing but,I personally feel it is not good idea. If we must interrupt tail chewing behavior, I would feel more comfortable giving dog soft Elizabeth collar such as Comfy cone, rather than applying anything topical on the dogs’ skin to avoid them biting or chewing it

6. Consult behaviorist/vet

 I see both website suggests exercise to curb the behavior.

 No matter what breed of dogs you have,exercise (mental or physical) is a must. Exercise is not just to curb unwanted behavior. Dogs can learn many things during exercise too such as “nice walk” or “greeting with other dogs or people on walk” etc for walking, “give” for fetch play etc and they can spend quality time with you and your bond with them get stronger, and ultimately, it is fun for both of you. And good for both of your health.

 So,what theories above do you think is most “make sense” theories to you??  Do you have any other thoughts on this?

 What are your dogs’ quirk? Anything they do that makes you think why they do what they do?

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Oct 29, 2009 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)