Why is my dog chasing its tail?

Most of the time, a dog is chasing its tail just to have a good time. You only need to worry about it if it starts getting excessive. Extreme, repetitive tail-chasing can be anything from bad behavior to a symptom of a serious medical problem. In some cases, dogs doing this over and over have been diagnosed with forms of epilepsy - it's essentially a seizure-like symptom in that case. Many other dogs have less serious health problems with their tail or hindquarters - an injury or irritation there can cause the dog to chase its tail. Finally, some dogs just do it because they learn to. Boredom or anxiety can trigger this as a kind of misbehavior.


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If your dog seems to be chasing its tail too frequently for your comfort, take it to the vet first. Make sure there is nothing wrong with the dog healthwise that would be causing it. If there isn't, then you need to train the dog not to do it. This can be done using any normal dog training method - basically, you just punish the dog somehow when it chases its tail. That can be a scolding or a firm "NO." Another way is to use the sit command as a way to "interrupt" the behavior. If you've trained your dog to sit, order it to sit every time it starts to chase its tail. Praise it if it does, scold it if it keeps chasing and ignores you.


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