The Reasons Why Dogs Chase Their Tails You Didn’t Know

No, when dogs chase their tails it isn’t really a good thing, picture this: 

It’s a summer afternoon, you’re about to take your Terrier for a walk through the woods, but he starts to chase his tail compulsively, spinning faster than a fidget spinner on the hands of a 6 years old who ate too much sugar. You try to stop him but it’s so strong that pushes you away.

Then it starts to create a tornado, attracting in that wind spiral, trees, cars, even your whole house and others in the neighborhood are engulfed in the unstoppable force of your spinning dog.

Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe, and I’m going to tell you today why dogs chase their tails.

Reasons Why Dogs Chase Their Tails

Chocolate lab chasing his tail

Chocolate mixup

Our beloved 4-legged friends are active (well, most of them) and playful animals by nature, and it’s perfectly normal for them to chase their tails from time to time even when this behavior is more common in puppies or young dogs.

But if this becomes a compulsive thing, when they finally catch their tails they’ll probably bite it and unconsciously self-harm themselves. That’s why we need to keep an eye on this!


#1. – They’re bored and you should do something about that

Bored shibe with human eyes

It took me a while to realize that the eyes are photoshopped.

Most dogs aren’t meant to be left in a backyard, even when you may have them to guard and protect your property, daily walks are necessary. A dog who doesn’t receive enough exercise could end up doing a lot of different things to drain out that energy, tail chasing is only one of them!


#2. – Lack of Attention

Why do dogs chase their tails

That yellow collar looks pretty, that’s not a very common color for a dog collar, interesting.

This is one of the main reasons why dogs chase their tail, especially young doggos. If you just read what I said above with some guilt because your dog remains inside your house or apartment instead of a backyard or an outdoor place, yes, you should be guilty about this.

Dogs are social animals, and so are we, that’s why being alone for long periods of time could make them feel anxious and depressed. If your dog feels that chasing his tail will get your attention, he’ll do it every day.


#3. – Breed and age

Old dog with puppy

Why r u so smol, dont chase ur tail

Usually, dogs chase their tails a lot when they’re puppies, way more than adults, they don’t get that the tail is actually a part of the body. My dog used to chase her tail when she was younger, I’d say 1-3 years old, after that she just stopped.

This may be your case, or is it your dog’s breed the reason of that tail-chasing? Science doesn’t have an answer for this yet, but some dog breeds tend to chase their tail more than others, like Beagles, German Shepherds, Terriers, and Schnauzers.


#4. – Something Hurts

doge at the vet

Wow. Much Shot. Such Vet.

If your doggo is adult or even old and suddenly starts to chase his tail, a vet visit wouldn’t be a bad idea. Since this behavior isn’t common at that age, noticing that your dog tries to catch his tail to chew on it could be a symptom of fleas, ticks or other injuries.

If there are no physical problems, then your dog is probably feeling very anxious and you need to help him as soon as possible if you don’t want an insane dog.


How to Stop Your Dog From Chasing Its Tail

Dog finally caught his tail

Knowing the reasons should be enough to identify your case, but there you have some tips to deal with the chasing-tail habit:

  • Make sure your dog gets enough exercise, usually smaller breeds are more active, but I’d recommend two short walks, one in the morning and other in the late afternoon should be enough if you’re too busy.
  • Some dogs chase their tails as a result of faulty training and excess energy, make sure to provide proper training from the very early pupperhood.
  • Don’t lock your dog in an apartment or house during all the day, and if you need to do so, give him the attention that any doggo deserves, including the two walks that I mentioned before.
  • Pay attention to what triggers the tail-chasing behavior, that way you’ll be able to easily solve the issue.
  • If your dog feels anxiety, depression or isolation, he’ll try to get rid of those terrible feeling in several ways. Remember, dogs need love, your love.

What We Learned Today | Why Dogs Chase Their Tails

Pug dramatically looking at the camera

  • Tail chasing is a normal thing in puppies and young dogs.
  • Some breeds like Schnauzers, Terriers and German Shepherds are more prone to chase their tails.
  • Dogs chase their tails because of many reasons, and health problems are one of them, make sure your dog is perfectly healthy before trying other solutions.
  • Most of the time you can prevent your dog from doing this by just exercising with him on a daily basis, this could be in many ways, but two walks per day should be enough.