New research indicates that common ‘naughty’ dog behaviors, like tail chasing could be a symptom of OCD.
‘Terrible!’ you say. ‘I always knew my dog was off the rails.’
Well, not quiet. Before we start panicking, let’s remember what OCD is – it’s an anxiety-redirecting stress relieving behavior. So if your dog digs incessantly, barks into space and yes, tail chases – all that could technically be called OCD. But it doesn’t mean that your dog is damaged goods. The way to address this (as I never fail to remind the readers of this blog) is desensitization and counter conditioning.
You slowly introduce the dog to the noxious object or situation (desensitization) while simultaneously teaching the dog to engage in a different behavior (counter conditioning). Everything you have ever seen dog trainers do all comes down to that. Plus a bit of obedience work never hurts. But that’s another story.
So no, your dog doesn’t need a therapist just because she chaises her tail. But if the problem gets out of control, some (careful) medical intervention can go a long way.