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Hi, I have a 2 year old german shepherd named Ozzy. He is very well behaved, and very disciplined (almost neuroticaly). He has a bit of a quirk about him, ever since he was very little he chases his tail. At first it was pretty normal, since a lot of puppies do that, but as he started growing it became pretty strange, his tail now is practicaly bald, and a lot of times he bites and pulls so hard he causes it to bleed. We have to go aroud putting desinfecting the wound, not to mention its permanently wet with drool. We used to think it was lack of excercize, so we started taking him for walks more often but that didn't make it stop, in fact he chases after his tail even more after he goes out.

Anyways I was wondering if you guys know about another German shepherd obsessed with its tail, and maybe a way to make Ozzy stop.
 

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well, unfortunately we were too late with our dog Rocky and it got to the point that EVERYTHING caused him to chase his tail - if he was angry, excited, happy, sad, etc. we eventually had to separate him from the other dogs because of the stress. and it was the same as you mentioned, to the point of bleeding. one afternoon we came home to find him sitting in a pool of blood and he had chewed his tail off. we took him immediately to the vet at that point and they had to amputate what was left of the tail because of nerve damage and fear that it could effect his spine & mobilization. anyway - he was put on a doggie anti depressant and remained on it for the rest of his life. if you decide to go that route - make sure to give it a couple weeks - it took awhile before we noticed a change with rocky, except of course that he didnt have a tail to chase. but he still circled for about 3-4 weeks.

i also assume that you've googled it by now?
 

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I am a volunteer with an animal sanctuary in SC. We have a gsd there who does the same thing. The tail has even been shortened due to the constant biting. For about a year this dog was in foster care where the foster gave the dog a job (backpack). The foster could no longer keep him so he will live out his days at the sanctuary until the absolute right home is found for him.

In observation tho, it appears he does it to get attention because if you ignore him he stops. If you say something to him, etc., he starts the chasing immediately. I have not been out there in two weeks so don't know what progress the behavorist is having with him.

Maybe I can get some ideas to take back with me as well.
 

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My gsd didn't chase his tail but bit at it and caused his whole back end to go bald, the vet said allergies but benadryl didn't help. We somehow got the number of heidelberg kennels in spring tx and they said it was tapeworms and sold us the medicine and it cured it. Never would have guessed that ever.

Maybe have him tested for tapeworms? Just a thought. Although yours sounds more obsessive than medical but worth a shot.
 

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I have an 18 mth old male that chases his tail, he don't do it as often like he is growing out of it, yesterday was the first time he has done that in a while, it is funny seeing a big dog do that he just goes in circles but he don't bite at it or anything I think he just likes going around and around..lol
 

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mmm... tape worm... I'll have him checked for that, we did check for allergies, and it wasnt that.

Also, it could be the atention thing, he does seem to like atention.

Thanks everybody!
 

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I had a foster who chased his tail to the point where the tip was a bloody mess when we got him from the shelter. By the time he was in my house, he had been in 3 homes and 2 shelters by the age of 5...all through no fault of his. He was a really great dog who had had some tough breaks.

I would always try to redirect him as soon as he started doing his spinning/chasing routine. When he was adopted the family's female GSD who was bigger than he was, body blocked him when he started to spin which cut down on that behavior.
 
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