Issue 11: November 09
dhn_askmax2Dear Max,

My wife and I noticed in the last couple of weeks that our dog Connor has been chasing his tail a lot. At first we thought he was just having some fun, but now we're worried that he's doing it out of frustration. We spend a lot of time with him when we're home, and walk him frequently, though he is by himself for several hours each day while we're at work.

–Chasing Solutions

Dear Chasing Solutions,

Tail-chasing can be innocent, even cute behavior in young puppies discovering their tails—I used to do it myself every now and then—but in most other cases it is symptomatic of an underlying physical or emotional problem.

Arrange to have your veterinarian thoroughly check out Connor to rule out physical causes for the tail-chasing, and then, as necessary, work with you to determine any psychological factors. Possibly something subtle (to you, not to Connor) is bothering Connor. For instance, you know how humans sometimes say "I feel like I'm going in circles" when they can't resolve an issue that won't go away? Well, dogs can feel that way too!

Solutions are dependent on the diagnosis, and can include lifestyle adjustments, gentle training programs, and, in some cases, prescribed medication. With Connor's dedicated team of humans, I'm sure he'll be wagging instead of chasing his tail before you know it.

This article provides lots of useful information on the various causes and treatments for tail-chasing, and may help you in advance of bringing Connor to the vet: WHY DOGS CHASE TAILS

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