Why do Dogs Chase their Tails and how to Stop them

Dogs are undoubtedly the most playful and loyal companions of humans that are always ready to impress and please their owners.

If you find your dog doing funny things in front of you, it is more likely to trying to grab your attention, so, try to respond to them and give them belly rubs and ear massages and whatever it likes.

Likewise, they also chase their tails sometimes while playing which shows you the funny image of your dog, right?

But wait, it may not be funny. In fact, if your dog is chasing its tail more frequently, and during the chase, he spins like a tornado, it’s a SERIOUS issue rather than funny.

Why does your dog try to catch his tail?
What are the disadvantages or harms of this?
How can you stop your dog from chasing/catching his tail?

To understand more about a dog’s tail chase, check this video below.

If you are trying to find answers to these questions, you have just landed in the right place. In this post, you’ll find everything about this tail-chasing behavior of your dog.

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Why do dogs chase their tails?

The dogs may chase their tails due to several reasons and the most common are listed below.

To Grab the Owner’s Attention

If your dog has chased his tail at some time and it found you enjoying this act, then it may do it again and again to catch your attention. Your dog wants you to enjoy and praise its acts and it wants you to play with him; therefore, it chases its tail.


If you find your younger puppy chasing his tail, it’s normal. Usually, they don’t know that their tail is a part of their body; therefore, they try to chase and catch it. With the passage of time, they get rid of this habit by themselves. Looks sweet, right? Still, don’t encourage this behavior.

Boredom and anxiety

Dogs are like an small powerhouses and they usually get bored when they don’t engage in tiring activities like exercises or walks, etc. This boredom sometimes leads to tail-chasing while in extreme conditions, the dog may develop separation anxiety or destructive chewing.

Worms, Fleas, Medical conditions

Sometimes, the dogs have worms, fleas, allergies, or any other health issue that lead them to chase their tails. So, if you find your dog’s condition severe while chasing his tail and doing it more often, you MUST visit the vet at your earliest.

Genetic Problem

Some dog breeds are prone to tail-chasing for unknown reasons. Bull Terriers and German Shepherds are among these breeds. Early-age training may prevent this issue in dogs in adulthood.

Compulsive Disorder

Past life of dogs may be a major reason for their tail-chasing behavior such as physical abuse, injury, confinement, or separation anxiety, especially if you have adopted this dog from a shelter. So, in either case, it should be discussed with the vet and treated timely.

Is it harmful to Your Dog?

Yes, it may be harmful to your dog if it somehow manages to catch its tail. It can chew and bite his tail that may cause injury and hair loss on his tail.

How to treat tail-chasing in your dog?

  • If you feel that your dog’s condition is not much severe and it’s just trying to catch your attention, try to divert its attention to other activities or its toys. Give your dog plenty of exercises daily, at least 30 minutes is good or whatever is your dog’s requirement. Moreover, take your dog for a walk daily and play fun games with it.
  • If your dog is doing it frequently, make sure you don’t punish it for this behavior, instead, distract it with a toy or treats. Try to teach it some commands when it isn’t stressed, so whenever you find it chasing his tail, you can use these commands to distract it easily.
  • Do not praise and pet it if you find it chasing its tail. Your appreciation will let it think that it’s something silly that pleases you and it will do it again and again.
  • Visit the vet at your earliest. Your dog may be chasing its tail due to medical or behavioral conditions so you shouldn’t take any risk on its health and visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts:

Remember, tail-chasing isn’t funny at all. If he is chasing his tail to get your attention, you need to retrain him, and if, he is doing it because of an illness, it needs to be treated by a vet.

Recommended read: List of Human Foods for Dogs

Image credit: timekin

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