Tail Chasing and OCD: The Canine ConnectionDanielle Sullivan
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?
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