Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

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Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Most people wonder why does dog chase his tails. This playful behavior can surely evoke laughter in people. Chasing tail is termed as whirling, it is a natural behavior among dogs, however, some consider it as a silly behavior and some as a serious issue.

Sometimes, small puppies act like they don’t know that the tail is an extended part of their body but just a snap is enough to make them realize that it is actually attached to their own body, this type of behavior can be labeled as silly behavior. However, some dogs tend to chase their tail repetitively which can result in interrupting his daily functioning such behavior is an indication of underlying serious issues.

Let’s find out the possible reason behind your furry companion’s frantic circles to catch the tail.


The most common reason that your furry companion is whirling is boredom. When a dog doesn’t get enough outlet for physical and mental stimulation then he finds different ways to release all his surplus energy. By spinning or whirling, he releases all his excess energy and spends his time playing with his tail. When a dog whirls out of boredom, he perceives his tail as a toy.

All you need to do is release all his pent-up energy by providing him an adequate amount of exercise. Lack of physical and mental exercise can make your furry companion stressed and bored so deal with it, he keeps himself busy in chasing his tail. The dog owner needs to make sure that his furry companion is getting enough mental and physical stimulation.

Attention-seeking behavior

Sometimes, dogs chase their tails just to seek the attention of their owners. We all have so much fun watching our furry friend engaging in such silly behavior. Some dog tries to gain attention from their owner and once they get their attention than in order to gain more attention, they keep on doing it.

All you need to do is stop rewarding such behavior and try to ignore him as much as possible. You need to make him understand that he can’t earn your attention by whirling then he will surely stop doing it.


This tail-chasing behavior can also occur in various breeds of dog due to genetics. Breeds like German shepherds and terriers are more prone to this behavioral issue. Generally, this behavior is a common sight in young puppies but in the shepherd and terrier breeds, even grown up adults are seen chasing their tail.

Compulsive Disorder

Just like humans, dogs can also experience a compulsive disorder. Tail-chasing is one of the common obsessive behavior seen in dogs. By doing such obsessive behavior in repetition, his body will release a hormone that soothes his mind.

On noticing such obsessive behavior the dog owner must consult a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will find out the reason behind this compulsive disorder and will surely get him some help.

Fleas or Worms

The next possible reason of tail-chasing can be fleas or worm. By whirling, maybe your is just inspecting his tail. Fleas and worms can make your dog’s skin itchy and, it can end up irritating him so if you notice any such possibility then you must consider taking necessary steps to get rid of all the fleas or worms.


The next possible reason of tail-chasing can be an injury. If your dog has an injury on his tail then he may try to ease the pain by chasing his tail. If your dog is displaying any sign of pain or discomfort and chasing his tail then you must take him to a veterinarian to check if there is an injury

Tips to stop this behavior

No matter what the reason is behind your dog’s tail-chasing behavior, one must potential measures to help him stop this behavior.

  • Ensure that your furry companion is getting enough mental and physical stimulation. Lack of exercise can result in making your dog’s energy bottled-up.
  • Dogs crave the attention of their owners so once you give them attention then they will do that thing again and again so when you notice your dog whirling then just ignore him.
  • Make sure to provide him regular grooming sessions so that there will be no chance of fleas and worms or any other skin issues.

So, these are a few tips that one needs to consider to stop this behavior in your furry companion.

Here is an infograph to better understand it.

April 10, 2018|Dog Care

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