Dogs can be hilariously goofy, and none of their habits can be as goofy as chasing after their own tails. It’s interesting to watch as a dog goes round and round trying to catch his own tail, and only stopping after he either gets tired or feels dizzy. But why do dogs chase after their tails?
Dogs chase their tails when they are bored. They have probably played with the same toy for long enough to get bored with it, so they look for their own fun by chasing after their own tails. This is more often seen inpuppies than with older dogs.
If something moves, the first instinct in a dog is to chase after it. Chasing their tail is just a prey instinct coming into play, and since it’s inherent, the dog just can’t help but go after the perceived prey.
Whether it’s due to stress or maybe a psychological problem, some dogs just chase tail out of compulsion. They just go round and round for no reason except that the tail is there, and they feel compelled to chase after it just because.
If you see your dog chasing his own tail and you either laugh or scold him, he will keep doing it. He does this to get your attention, and even if that attention is negative, it’s attention all the same. If you notice your dog chases his tail to get your attention, ignoring him might help him quit. This is simply because when a behavior is reinforced, it turns into a habit, but when it is ignored, it eventually dies out.
Sometimes, dogs chase their tails because of discomfort. There may be fleas, or worms in the tail causing discomfort, and these problems need immediate attention. The dog might have been lucky and eventually caught his ‘prey’, bit into it and the bite is causing discomfort.
Other reasons include genetics, where some breeds such as terriers are more prone to tail-chasing, vitamin deficiency, and shyness.
When you notice your dog chasing his tail, have him checked by a vet to rule out physical discomfort. When physical discomfort is ruled out, try ignoring the habit or command your dog to ‘stop’.
Why Dogs Chase their Tails