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Why Does My Dog Chase His Tail?

Chasing one’s own tail is a natural behaviour for dogs, especially pups, as a common form of play for predator animals and if they're feeling bored. Constant repetition of this could be enough reason to contact your vet. Worried that your dog is doing it too often? Here's what you can do: - Contact a trainer in your area that can provide you with a private training session at your home. Before you hire them, please make sure that they take the time to look into the potential reasons why your dog may feel the need to exhibit this behaviour (your dog is not doing it for nothing) and provide you with potential ways to guide your dog to adopt a different, better behaviour instead which can then replace it. During the session, they can hone in on what they think is the actual motive and advise further. Please avoid any recommendations that require harmful tools that provide any kind of correction, such as prong/shock/spray collars, tugging or physically addressing your dog or recommendations that make you feel like you're not taking into account your dog's feelings. Guiding your dog towards solutions that feel good and work for you both, instead of confronting them with corrections and frustration will help avoid a scenario where your dog feels the need to adopt another, different unwanted behaviour to meet an unaddressed need/issue. - Ensure your dog has regular access to both physical and mental enrichment, as well as socialization outlets. The main reason for most common behavioural issues stems from a lack of the above. - Look for the signs that the behaviour is about to take place. Prevention is always best, instead of only managing the undesired behaviour and it will lead to your dog eventually not having the opportunity to practice that behaviour, with the goal that they will then forget it altogether. - Upon spotting the signs and patterns that lead to your dog chasing his tail often, you want to then provide them with a different action to practice. This can vary from dog to dog but some options are to ask your dog to fetch, go for a walk, do some agility exercises, tricks, or perhaps simply lay down on their bed, or even solve a dog food puzzle. All better alternatives, and can be tailored to how your dog is feeling there and then. - Either as you're doing the alternative exercise and/or afterwards when your dog has gone back to relaxing, be sure to let them know that you are happy when they are not chasing their tail. This will help further let your dog know and feel like they don't need to do it, and that there are other and better ways of being, that feel much greater.

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