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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. My niece just bought a 21 month old in tact female GSD from a breeder.
The dog knows her basic commands and is great with children and adults.

I told her I'd ask on the forum if anyone could help explain this behavior:

The dog goes crazy chasing her tail, once she gets a hold on it she chews the hair and rips it out.

Thank you.
 

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it is considered obsessive compulsive behavior.....she should be stopped and reprimanded at the slightest hint of starting this behavior....it is extremely hard to break, but it can be done...it can get to the point where her tail is damaged and must be amputated

Bored dogs start to do this in kennels.

Good luck.


Lee
 
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It's most likely OCD as Lee described. But on the off chance, have you had her to the vet for radiated pain? My girl ripped the hair out of half of her tail overnight. Something must have hurt her.
 

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OCD is one of the problems I'd find a board-certified vet behaviorist for. There aren't many of them, and it may mean traveling or consulting by phone/Skype. I'd try to find a way to make it work to consult with one.

There are possibly physical (injury/illness), neuro-chemical (brain/nerve), and behaviorial (learned) components, from what I've read. I'd want an expert on the team who can get at it from all three angles to pin down the triggers and come up with a treatment plan.

This Whole Dog Journal article may be helpful:
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Dogs | Whole Dog Journal
 

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it's a serious problem and not to be taken lightly. my sister had a tail chaser once... it went from cute to funny to crazy to scary. he eventually chewed his tail off...about 6-8" if I remember correctly. the remainder was amputated and he was put on drugs that did not help. he ended up being euthanized.

please urge her to get help for this dog. and if there are triggers that she can recognize in the meantime - avoid or eliminate them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. I forwarded your comments to my niece. She is worried about the behavior and called the breeder.

He told her that the dog only chased her tail when she was bored. Apparently he has a ton of land in NH and his dogs have open access during the day.
She is a very well behaved dog. The breeder definitely played fetch with her because she loves to play and drops the ball on command and returns the ball right into a hand and sits to wait for the next throw.

My nephew has the brother of this dog and he has no issues with him.


This Behaviorist is with the MSPCA.and I’ve heard very good things about her:

Terri Bright, Ph.D., BCBA-D.

Dr. Terri Bright earned her Master’s of Science degree and Ph. D. at Simmons College in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an animal specialty, and she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB). She teaches Behavior Analysis at Northeastern University, and lectures nationally on the subject of Applied Animal Behavior Analysis...

I shortened her bio.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OCD is one of the problems I'd find a board-certified vet behaviorist for. There aren't many of them, and it may mean traveling or consulting by phone/Skype. I'd try to find a way to make it work to consult with one.

There are possibly physical (injury/illness), neuro-chemical (brain/nerve), and behaviorial (learned) components, from what I've read. I'd want an expert on the team who can get at it from all three angles to pin down the triggers and come up with a treatment plan.

This Whole Dog Journal article may be helpful:
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Dogs | Whole Dog Journal
Thanks.
The Whole Dog Journal is excellent.
Lots of helpful info.
 

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girardid - it was basically a quality of life decision. he continued to spin and became aggressive during attempts to stop him. my sister had a baby on the way and temporarily rehomed him to our parents ( and myself, I was a teen at the time ) his stress began to affect our other dogs.... I was not privvy to any conversations had but before I knew it - my sister had "met a nice couple with a farm". the whole ordeal took a year of trying to manage him.
 
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