Spinning & Tail Chasing
Displacement behaviors such as spinning and tail chasing normally occur as an occasional response to a stressful episode. These behaviors become obsessive, however, when they occur in other environments and situations without a particular event that triggers the behavior.
How Can I Stop My Dog from Spinning or Tail Chasing?
- In most cases, an increase in exercise and mental stimulation will decrease the frequency of these behaviors.
- Giving your dog activity toys, puzzles and problem solving games helps relieve stress and re-focus the mind.
- Many dogs that chase their tails have high prey drive. Give your dog an outlet for that behavior by playing fetch or allowing him to run off leash in a fenced-in area.
- Agility is a great sport that encourages your dog to follow your cues and negotiate apparatus that are usually set in a pattern of straight lines. Encouraging your dog to go through pieces of equipment such as a straight tunnel can help redirect his desire to spin.
- In some cases, increasing exercise can actually exacerbate the dog’s desire to spin or tail chase. If this is the case, low activity problem-solving games such as finding a hidden toy with food inside is recommended.
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