Silly or Serious: Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

why do dogs chase their tails

Have you ever wondered why do dogs chase their tails? Every dog owner has probably owned at least one furry friend who enjoys going around in circles, trying to catch their tail. But, why do they do that? And is it really just fun and games?

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Understanding your dog’s behavior is no walk in the park. As animals, their only method of communication is through non-verbal actions. Animal behaviorists and veterinarians state that the answer to the question, why do dogs chase their tails? can have both psychological and medical reasons.

Puppies Chasing Tails: Sometimes It’s All Fun and Games!

If you’ve got a puppy dog, then tail chasing may be part of their normal behavior. Most young dogs between the ages of 6 weeks to 1 year have a naturally curious personality. So if they chase their tail every so often, then it is nothing much to worry about.

The Dog Chasing Tail Game Can Be Very Entertaining!

Have you ever wondered why do dogs chase their tails for entertainment? It comes with no surprise that most dogs—at some point in their life—have discovered the joy in chasing their tails. For many dog owners, we wonder how such a simple task can be so amusing. The reality of the matter is that dogs chase their tail to not only alleviate boredom in their lives but to also get your attention.

You will find that a dog with separation anxiety may chase their tails in an attempt to acquire their owner’s attention. In addition to chasing their tails, a dog with this form of a behavioral issue may also display obsessive or destructive behaviors.

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tail When They’re Bored or Stressed?

dog chasing its tail in the grass

Now have you ever wondered why do dogs chase their tails when they are bored? Adult dogs and older dogs may chase their tail in an attempt to alleviate boredom. Boredom in dogs often occurs as a result of poor mental stimulation and inadequate physical activity.

Boredom in adult dogs can lead to psychological behaviors such as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this case, if a dog is bored and chooses to chase their tail constantly, then the act of tail biting and chasing becomes a compulsive disorder.

A Dog Biting Tail Could Mean Fido isn’t Happy

As we mentioned earlier on, one of the main reasons for answering why do dogs chase their tails, has to do with their lifestyle. Boredom due to a lack of mental stimulation can lead to tail chasing behavior. If the boredom is not dealt with quickly, then the tail chasing behavior can manifest into compulsive behavior.

Keep Fido Fit and Happy: Mental Stimulation is a Must!

It’s important to remember that some dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd are naturally inclined to develop behavioral problems. So, the easiest way to prevent boredom and any canine compulsive disorder is to mentally stimulate your dog.

A few things you can do to help keep your furry pal healthy and happy is to:

  • Take them out for hikes in different places
  • Take your furry pal on long runs
  • Take them on doggy dates, where they can receive entertainment by playing with other dogs
  • Playing new dog games with them
  • Constantly training them and teach them new tricks.

Potential Health Issues that Cause Dogs to Chase Their Tails

dog chasing its tail

Answering the question, why do dogs chase their tails isn’t easy for most veterinarians. Tail-chasing is not just an indication of a behavioral problem, but it may also indicate a medical problem.

Pesky Parasites

The main medical concern that leads to a dog constantly chasing their tail is parasites. Both internal and external parasites can play a significant role in influencing the health of your dog. For example, some of the most common parasites that cause tail chasing in dogs include tapeworms as well as ticks or flea.

If you suspect your dog is chasing their tail because of parasites, then consider taking them to the veterinarian.

The Disgusting Danglers

When we talk about why do dogs chase their tails because of parasites, we are referring to those pesky tapeworms. Tapeworms are flat, white worms that can grow as long as 8 inches. Tapeworms are segmented, and you’ll often see them exiting your dog’s anus while they defecate.

If you suspect your dog has tapeworms, then consider speaking to your veterinarian about the medication required to eradicate them.

Annoying Anal Gland Problems

Anal sac disease is quite common in dogs of all ages. All dogs have anal sacs, and when these sacs become impacted a dog may display characteristic signs of anal sac disease.

Typically, a dog with inflamed and clogged anal sacs may scoot on the floors and carpets, they chase their tails, and they may not be able to pass feces. More specifically, a dog with a plugged anal sac will emit a strong and pungent owner, which is very noticeable.

It Might Be More Serious: Keep an Eye on the Tail Chasing Behavior!

If you’ve ever wondered why do dogs chase their tails, worry no more! Many doggos may display tail-chasing behavior at some point in their life.

Animal behaviorists and veterinarians firmly believe that tail chasing behavior can be indicative of both psychological-behavioral concerns as well as medical reasons. That being said, sometimes our dogs may chase their tail, simply because they’re curious about what’s that fluffy little thing behind them.

Common Questions on Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails

What does it mean if my dog chases his tail?

Why does a dog chase and bite his tail?

Why puppies chase their tails?

All product and Company names are Trademarks™ or Registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase CertaPet.com may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

    >