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Thread: Won't stop tail chasing. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-05-2014 08:32 AM
Harry and Lola I remember Harry starting to chase his tail when he was young, it was as though he zoned out while doing it too. Spoke to my Vet, she wanted me to keep an eye on him and to stop/distract him as severe tail chasing can be linked to epilepsy and be related to seizure related symptom.

Dogs chase their tails for different reasons, can be wanting attention, they might have too much excessive energy, anxiety, might have an injury to the tail or medical issues like epilepsy.

They say not to give any attention - positive or negative and that ignoring is best but I found this contradictory, so whenever I saw him start I would go over to him and gently take him by the collar and tell him to 'leave it' in a firm voice then I would go on with what ever I was doing. I also made sure he had enough exercise, both physically and mentally such as using food puzzles etc. This worked for me and he has grown out of it now.
05-05-2014 08:17 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN First, a trip to the vet to rule out a couple things (or more - these are off the top of my head):

anal gland issues -
Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs | petMD

neuro issues -
Behavioral Problems of Dogs: Normal Social Behavior and Behavioral Problems of Domestic Animals: Merck Veterinary Manual

be sure to check the table as well...

If things check out as okay in those areas, I would contact Tufts: About Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine I don't see their PetFax service anymore, so it seems as if you would have to do it as VetFax, but I would get in touch with them. They are studying - scientifically - OCD behaviors in GSDs.

If you are doing any laser light chasing, stop that now.

Ruling out medical issues, working with someone like Tuft's could get this problem in hand.
05-05-2014 07:41 AM
Baillif Also punishment by definition can't be reinforcing or it wouldn't be punishment so there is that too
05-05-2014 07:18 AM
Baillif It specifically said attention it never said anything about punishment or corrections.

Punishment in terms of operant conditioning is key to making that behavior go extinct. That's actual physical punishment. Not yelling no with no consequences, not giving an evil eye, and certainly not following some insanely silly counter conditioning protocol which i guarantee you is 100% unproven and has never yielded perfect results in anything but the most mild cases.
05-05-2014 01:46 AM
BowWowMeow Tail chasing is an OCD behavior. Gsds are prone to them. Corrections/punishment (negative attention) reinforce the behavior and may make it worse.

This article lays out OCD in dogs and steps to eradicate the behavior.
Help for OCD Dogs - Whole Dog Journal Article
05-05-2014 12:08 AM
Liz&Anna
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakarot View Post
When I tell him no, he stops.. for a few minutes. I'm not sure how to 'punish' a dog. If I put him in the crate for a few minutes, he'll chase his tail in there. I've seent it, I've seent it. He's a stubborn butthole who likes to chase his tail.

Is spraying that icky tasting stuff on his tail an option? Hahah. I don't want to think about chopping his tail off. GSD's have awesome tails, so..
How old is your dog? I didn't start really correcting Anna until she was 5 months BUT Anna is no normal dog.... On a normal dog I.. I dunno I wouldn't be to harsh on a pup, but if it were my dog (knowing that my dog knows down and knows stay or "place" ) I would keep the dog leashed while inside or while I was home with a pinch collar and if he or she chased its tail I would pop with the collar and put the dog in "place". if the dog can't handle "free time" then start adding something constructive to what it's doing by giving it a mark and ha if it stay, maybe give an awesome bone to chew while in this designated spot?


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05-05-2014 12:07 AM
Baillif One of these days I'm going to open a school that teaches nothing but how to positive punish dogs. Throw a pillow at him, hit him with a flip flop, or give him a little kick. A no isn't a no without an unpleasant consequence.
05-04-2014 11:57 PM
kakarot When I tell him no, he stops.. for a few minutes. I'm not sure how to 'punish' a dog. If I put him in the crate for a few minutes, he'll chase his tail in there. I've seent it, I've seent it. He's a stubborn butthole who likes to chase his tail.

Is spraying that icky tasting stuff on his tail an option? Hahah. I don't want to think about chopping his tail off. GSD's have awesome tails, so..
05-04-2014 11:40 PM
Baillif Which probably easily could have been averted if they just punished it before it came to that.
05-04-2014 11:34 PM
Liz&Anna Man- he could be doing it because he's bored and its getting tour attention, I second adding the correction, how old is your dog though? I know someone who has a working line shepherd that actually had to have the tail docked because of obsessive tail chasing :/


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