Tail-Chasing Could Be Sign of OCD in Canines

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A dog chasing its tail may be more heartbreaking than cute, based on a new study. According to Geekosystem, a recent article in the journal PLoS One suggests that tail-chasing in dogs could be a reaction to canine obsessive-compulsive disorder.



The behavior, which usually is thought to be a harmless canine quirk, is just now becoming the subject of research. Scientists have found that the meaning of tail-chasing has probably been underestimated.

The University of Helsinki research team who helped conduct the published study found that tail chasing shares many traits with human OCD behaviors. Like the traits of turning the lights on and off or repeatedly washing hands in humans, tail chasing is a behavior that usually starts at a young age in dogs. This action is affected by various factors like genetics, nutrition and environment.

RELATED: Does Your Dog Have ADD or ADHD?

Certain dog breeds, like German Shepherds and Bull Terriers, are more prone to develop problematic and daily tail-chasing behaviors. Additionally, canines that have issues with tail chasing are more likely to show other OCD traits, such as compulsive licking.

Researchers hope that unlocking the causes behind less complex cases of OCD in animals will help make breakthroughs in treating the human disorder. Specifically, scientists hope to pinpoint the gene regions that cause OCD in animals, along with determining influential environmental factors.

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davidhowe7

When our dog Max chases his tail, he is signalling he needs too poop. This is 100% reliable for Max.

August 21 2012 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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