Dogs can sometimes have funny body language: They sleep upside down, squint their eyes in the sun, fall asleep sitting up on their hind legs, and turn their heads in the cutest way when we talk to them. However, there are some dog behaviors that we find more amusing than others, and I think that chasing their tails is one of our favorites. Yet, there is a reason behind it. Why do dogs chase their tails?
Chasing tails: a dog’s common behavior
Dogs who have this behavior, often run in circles previous to tail chasing. But, what does this ritual mean?
There are several reasons why dogs chase their tails:
According to Cesar Millan, the so-called dog whisperer, dogs can chase and chew their tails for different reasons:
- Boredom/Anxiety: Tail chasing can be a sign of boredom or anxiety. Dogs need constant physical and mental stimulation in order to be fulfilled and release all their stocked energy. If they don’t get the right incentive, they will create it themselves. Dogs find chasing their tails amusing and entertaining, and use it as a way to relieve anxiety.
- Attention seeking: When a dog is eager to play, he will do anything to catch your attention. Chasing their tails can be a clear indicator of playfulness and attention-seeking.
- Unawareness: When puppies start growing up and discovering their tails, they don’t realize that those furry rods are part of their bodies. So, they truly chase their tails in order to catch them, as if they were a stick to chew. (Yes, I know, it’s super cute)
- Itchiness: Sometimes, tail chasing can be a sign of itchiness due to the presence of ticks and fleas. Your dog might be trying to grab his tail just to scratch it. If you notice your dog scratches and chews his tail excessively, you should consider tick control prevention treatment.
- Medical condition: Rarely, excessive tail-chasing behavior can be a symptom of a mental compulsive disorder or a medical condition (seizures, infections, a spine condition, chronic diseases, etc.).
Even though tail chasing is usually not a dangerous behavior, sometimes, if done excessively, dogs can end up hurting themselves when biting their tails. If this is your dog’s case, your pup is probably suffering from severe anxiety, so you can help him by providing hemp calming support for dogs. This way, you will reduce his stress and relief his anxiety.