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Tail Chasing and OCD: The Canine Connection

By Danielle Sullivan |

Tail Chasing and OCD: The Canine Connection via Babble

Could your pup have OCD?

If your dog exhibits incessant tail chasing, he just might suffer from what would be considered OCD in humans.

MSNBC reports that Finnish researchers, led by Katriina Tiira of the University of Helsinki and The Folkhälsan Research Center, found that dogs with anxious behavior such as tail chasing and humans with obsessive-compulsive disorder may exhibit similar behavior for similar reasons.

Whereas humans with OCD tend to wash and rewash their hands and check that appliances are turned off, dogs with this condition chase their tails, bites their hinds legs, pace back and forth, or nip at invisible flies.

Interestingly enough, in humans, stress and childhood trauma seems to play a role in acquiring OCD and in dogs, being taken away from their mother at a very young age is a factor. Tail chasers also tended to be less aggressive and more shy than non-tail chasing dogs; people with OCD also tend to suffer from being more inhibited than most.

On the positive side, the study noted that dogs who “received nutritional supplements, particularly vitamins and minerals, chased their tails less than other dogs.” Likewise, a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals also seems to be a therapy in human patients.

Does your dog chase his tail? Do you think he might have OCD?

Image: Flickr/emilyperkins97


Follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest (where she maintains an ‘Adorable Pups’ board), or find her at her blog, Just Write Mom and Babble’s Strollerderby.



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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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