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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This topic may have been on the Forum before but I can't find it. It's probably inside another topic. Sad Any way this is an up-date and also an enquiry.Smile

When Finn arrived age 9 months he chased his tail. I have read that this can be something herding dogs do. Does anyone know why?

Finn does it if he gets very excited e.g. Bonita barks at him and that winds him up! However, it's not something I want him to do nor is it good for dogs to do it. It seems that dogs can grow out of it. Has anyone expereince of this?

I had assumed that Finn developed the habit perhaps if he was bored but most often it's because he's anxious. So what do I do? As you can guess we manage it we haven't cured it -yet. He sucks his tail more than chases it! Fortunately, he doesn't chew it. Smile

Recently, he was doing it a lot and I was worried it would become an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) I most often think the worst! Rolling Eyes So I concentrated on detering him from doing it. I gave him more attention. I sprayed his tail with Bitter Apples. It's expensive but cheaper bought on line and other deterrents don't work. I kept him occupied in addition to his walks - chew toys and good hard bones which he loves and spends ages with. I praised him when he was quiet and calm. I made liver cake so it was an extra reward. If he was out in the garden I would go and look for him. If he was sucking his tail I would go up to him tell him to leave and reward him when he did. Good leave - no tail. He does know this quite well and will stop. Although I can feel cross when I see him doing it - again - I try just to be patient rather than add any anxiety. Smile

Then one day it was as if a light was switched off in his head and he stopped. Well, not completely but it's manageable. Laughing And with me working at it I think we'll get there. Very Happy I realised he had probably been unsettled by the extra attention Nesp'a had over her tail. He also is upset if I have to tell Bonita off - he hates an angry voice. Bonita's bark unsettles him too so when she barks I ignore her and praise Finn for being quiet and I stroke him. Amazingly, Bonita stops barking too 'cos she sees Finn and/or Nesp'a having praise and she copies them! Surprised

Bonita watches Finn chase his tail and gets excited when he does. She then barks and he can be in overdrive Shocked She has also copied him although she very rarely does it. She stops when I tell her Very Happy Relief Rolling Eyes

I have realised that Finn has to know he's an OK dog. He is so keen to please me. When he feels confident he doesn't do it. Very Happy As ever, it seems to be lots of reassurance. I have targeted specific occasions when I know Finn is likely to chase his tail. For example, I know Finn would chase and suck his tail when we left him at home - even with the other dogs for company. So I put peanut butter inside Kongs and a tyre. I don't make a big thing of going out. I just toss a few bits of their kibble on the floor and leave while they are looking for it. Bless! Whether he spends time with the toys or whether one of them takes all 3 I don't know but we can come home now and find his tail dry and no sign of sucking or chasing! Very Happy I do hope however, that he will just stop as he gets older. Any thoughts anyone? Very Happy

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teresa
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have no experience with tail chasing, but you seem do be doing a great job at stopping him. Best wishes Smile
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Louise P
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pauline, I've had a similar thing with Fred. He goes through phases of licking his foreleg. It's always the same spot and I can never see anything wrong with it, but he will worry at it until he actually makes it sore - and it is only then that he stops.

It doesn't seem to be linked with anxiety - as he will sometimes do it at night and doesn't seem to do it more if he is left alone. I wonder if it started with a real sore and then the licking simply became a habit that his isn't really conscious of. If he is distracted or occupied with something else he doesn't seem to give it a thought.

I've tried giving him a sharp 'No', which worked, but only momentarily. Now, if I see him at it I call him over for a tickle or a scratch on the head and this seems to be more effective at taking his mind off it.

I understand your desire to get Finn to stop, if his tail-chewing is anything like Fred's leg-licking, the constant slurping noise is very wearing Rolling Eyes not to mention the worry of the damage that he is doing to himself.
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Louise P
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ah, I've just realised that Finn's problem is tail-CHASING, rather than chewing Embarassed That'll teach me to wear my specs when on the computer Smile
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danni
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

sorry pauline, can not help you on this one Sad Karli, thank god, never done this Very Happy danni and crew
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ani correia
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

HI,
fivos also does that Sad not that often,ussually when we are out and not for long.I don't know why they do it,but read somewhere that it's because they are bored,witch i'm not so sure if it's true,fivos does it when out and in moments he's not bored or stressed.Because he normally does it turning to the left side(his bad leg is the left one)i thougth it was because his leg hurts or causes some disconfort.
May be someone will have a better explanation.
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marthadaw
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Joined: 08 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flecha is still chasing his tail much more than he should. The trainer has recommended that we ignore it in case it is attention-seeking, but he also does it if he is asleep and is startled, and when he is let off the lead on a walk. He just seems to love his very long tail! Hoping he will grow out of it. He never actually chews the tail. Any advice welcome!
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Pauline Martin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think it is related to excitement or anxiety. Finn does it when we come downstairs in the morning it's rather like a greeting - his whirling dirvish dance - and sometimes when he's let out in the garden. I think we may have touched on most aspects of the problem but the way forward seems to be calm distraction,patience and loads of praise when chasing stops or when not chasing tail in a situation where is has happened . For example, Finn would chase his tail when I went upstairs and he had to stay in the hall. He now knows to wait and 'no tail' and I really praise him loads when I come back down and he's waiting patiently with the others. Laughing

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