distinction is made between compulsive movement and compulsive noise
making. The behavior is kept up over a long time period and/or repeated
in the same manner without there being an obvious reason for it. For
example running in a figure of eight, running around in circles, chasing
his own tail, monotonous barking and excessive licking are observed.
tail-chasing, head-pressing, or in extreme cases, self-mutilation.
Stereotyped behaviors cause the release of endorphins, perpetuating
their repetition, and in a sense, the dog becomes drugged and hooked on
mindless, repetitive activity. Stereotyped behaviors are like behavioral
cancers; they progressively increase in frequency and squeeze most
useful and adaptive responses from the dog's behavior repertoire until
eventually the “brain-dead” dog spends hours on end barking, pacing,
chewing himself, or simply staring into space.
vital facet of your puppy's early education is to teach him how to
peacefully pass the time of day. Feeding your puppy's kibble only from
hollow chewtoys — Kongs, Biscuit Balls, and sterilized bones — keeps
your puppy happily occupied and content for hours on end. It allows the
puppy to focus on an enjoyable activity so that he doesn't dwell on his loneliness.
dog is conflicted so neither approaches nor avoids, but chases his tail
instead. If the frustration or conflicts are chronic enough, the
behavior becomes more entrenched and at a certain frequency gets dubbed a
compulsive disorder. Once it’s at this stage, it’ll happen whenever the
dog feels stressed or is bored and, in the most severe cases, virtually
all the time the dog is not otherwise occupied.
intent of this type of active behavior mod is to help teach the animals
that when they are rewarded for the physical signs that correlate with
changes in underlying physiological state, they will feel not just the
pleasure of the reward, but relief from the condition. This is a form of
biofeedback for dogs and cats. If done correctly and consistently, the
dogs and cats will learn that when they become distressed, they can
alleviate that distress by exhibiting these competitive and relaxing behaviors.
you are able to successfully interrupt the problem behaviors, you can
start active behavior modification. Active behavior modification for OCD
involves teaching the animal behaviors that actually encourage
relaxation and that prohibit the animal from engaging in the OCD-related
behavior. For some dogs who want to chase their tails, this may mean
that they are encouraged to lie down completely flush with the ground
with their head and neck stretched out. When the dog stretches out and
takes a deep breath he gets a terrific food treat.
and bite herself in the region around the base of the tail, as if she
had fleas or the anal scent glands were full. The vet’s examination
didn’t find anything wrong and nobody seemed to be able explain why she
did what she did. Eventually, the woman changed dog schools and the new
trainer found the cause of the behavior. The dog was stressed out by the
tension at home between the owner and her partner due to the woman’s
decision to get a dog. There were constant arguments and the man made
the dog fully aware that her presence was not appreciated. The dog soon
started to swallow any...
herding dogs spin or chase their tails when stressed or when affected
by OCD. Not all cases of OCD are endogenous. Some, such as this case,
are profoundly affected by kenneling and social conditions.
flea bite allergies over the back and in front of the tail will be the
most affected area. Eczemas of various types can be considered under
this heading although not all forms of eczema are allergic in origin.
They may be acute or chronic, wet or dry with clinical signs and
symptoms similar to those outlined
behavior problems associated with spinal subluxation have been
self-mutilation and lick granuloma, scratching, tail chasing, biting
(apparently due to hyperesthesia), mis-diagnosed sympathy lameness.
single, nonfunctional behavior repeated over and over again. Animals
kept in sterile environments, where they can’t meet their basic
behavioral needs, commonly develop stereotypies.... Stereotypies can
change the animal’s brain chemistry, and they don’t necessarily
evaporate when the animal enters a richer, more appropriate
your dog licks or performs any other behavior more often than seems
normal, get help right away—that gives you and your dog the best chance
of success. Treatment for compulsive disorder generally combines
medication, stress reduction, and a full, interesting life with plenty
of mental and physical exercise. You can also learn to spot your dog’s
triggers so as to derail compulsive incidents before they start.
when should you worry? First, if your dog humps to the exclusion of
other activities or constantly licks at or rubs her genitals, you might
be looking at canine compulsive disorder or a medical problem.
Canine compulsive disorder commonly takes the form of spinning. Don’t
teach your dog this trick if she already has a diagnosis of CCD or even
if you think she might; also stay away from it if your dog is a Bull
Terrier, like Spuds MacKenzie, because this breed is prone to CCD and,
specifically, to spinning as a symptom.
Some of the authors listed above also provide information for further reading:
Andrew Luescher, “Compulsive Behaviour,” in BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline
Behavioural Medicine, ed. Debra F. Horwitz, Daniel Mills, and Sarah Heath
(British Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2002), 229–36. 2. G.
Landsberg, W. Hunthausen, and L. Ackerman, “Stereotypic and Compulsive
Disorders,” in Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, 2nd ed.
(Saunders, 2003), 195–225.
Here is some information from the Whole Dog Journal
Note: I do not recommend any type of punishment for a dog displaying compulsive behaviors. That includes walking off and leaving a dog alone. Instead i would suggest trying to positively redirect the behavior before it starts.
Do your pets have any concerning habits? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Email general questions or comments to email@example.com Replies might be shared on this blog but names will be changed or left out. To get notified of future posts, click here