Although tail chasing in dogs can be harmless, if your dog consistently runs in circles, his behavior might be compulsive. Getting to the source of the problem is essential, because compulsively chasing his tail can interfere with his quality of life and also trigger injuries. Learn various things you can do to stop your dog’s obsessive behavior.
Visit the Veterinarian
A visit to a veterinarian can rule out various medical conditions that might trigger his tail chasing. A veterinarian can examine your pet companion and determine whether a skin condition, allergies, viral infections, parasites, head injuries or other factors are to blame for your dog’s behavior. After making a diagnosis, he can recommend proper treatment to stop your dog’s spinning behavior.
Ignore Your Dog
Believe it or not, but your furry pal might just spin in circles because he enjoys the attention you give him when he does. Even negative attention, such as yelling at him, is better than getting no attention. The best way to deal with your dog’s tail chasing is to just ignore him. Walk out of the room when he starts spinning. When he stops spinning, walk back in and lavish him with attention. By doing this, he’ll realize that you disappear each time he runs in circles. He’ll also notice that he gets attention when he’s not spinning. Eventually, he might just stop spinning, because he notices that it’s ineffective.
Correct and Redirect
Whether your dog is a puppy who’s fascinated with his tail, or whether he just started spinning, stopping the behavior early on can keep it from becoming a bad habit or obsession. When your dog starts tail chasing, shake a can of coins or make another loud noise. You want to startle and stop him in his tracks. When he stops, show him a dog toy to redirect his attention away from spinning. When he shows interest in the toy, praise and pet him to reinforce the good behavior. With consistency, he’ll stop spinning to prevent the startling unpleasant noise.
Exercise Your Dog
Stopping your dog’s tail-chasing behavior can be as simple as increasing the amount of exercise he’s getting. Take him for frequent walks, play games with him, practice obedience training and allow him to meet other people and dogs. This enriches his life, and most importantly, it allows him to release pent-up energy and prevents boredom, which might otherwise trigger undesired behaviors. When home alone, ensure your dog has plenty of toys to play with including puzzle toys, such as treat-filled dog toys, to stimulate him mentally.
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