Why do Dogs Chase their Tails and how to Stop them

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

If you find your dog doing funny things in front of you, most probably, it is trying to grab your attention. So, try to respond to them and give them enough attention, lots of belly rubs and ear massages, and whatever they like.

Along with other funny things, they may also chase their tails sometimes while playing which looks like the funny side of your dog.

But wait, it may not be funny. In fact, if your dog is chasing its tail more frequently, and during the chase, it 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?

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 the tail-chasing behavior of your dog.

Why do dogs chase their tails?

The dogs may chase their tails for several reasons and the most common are:

To Grab the Owner’s Attention

If your dog has chased its tail for some time and found you enjoying this act, then your fur baby may do it again and again to catch your attention. Your dogs want you to enjoy and praise their acts and they want you to play with them; therefore, they chase their tail.


If you find your younger puppy chasing its 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. Over time, they get rid of this habit. Looks sweet, right? Still, don’t encourage this behavior.

Boredom and anxiety

Dogs are like small powerhouses and they usually get bored when they don’t engage in tiring and stimulating 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, skin allergies, or any other health issue that leads them to chase their tails. So, if you find your dog’s condition severe while chasing his tail and doing it more often, it may also be a sign of some sort of medical condition. So, 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 but it doesn’t mean that all the Bull Terriers and German Shepherds will develop this condition. 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 which 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 very severe and it’s just trying to catch your attention, try to divert its attention to other activities or 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 its tail, you can use these commands to distract your dog 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 to its health and visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts:

Remember, tail-chasing isn’t funny at all. If your dog is chasing its tail to get your attention, you need to retrain him, and if, it 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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