Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

If you are a dog owner, the odds are pretty good that your dog is chasing its tail around right now. Let it be the living room or the park you are taking them out for a walk in; your enthusiastic dog will start chasing its tail around for no reason, which will puzzle you a lot.

There are certain reasons why your dog chases its tail around, and when it is no longer adorable, there is always a way to make them stop doing that. If you want to find out why your dog is chasing its tail and whether they do it for fun or if something makes them do it, then read the article further to know more. 

Top Reasons Why Dogs Chase Their Tails

There are plenty of reasons why your dog would chase its tail around. Some dogs might do that because they are bored and want to have fun, while some start chasing their tail around to burn some extra energy.

There is always the question of whether a dog will feel dizzy after spinning around for so long. Normally, dogs chasing their tail around is natural, but sometimes it can be something that should be looked into. 


The most common cause that your dog is chasing its tail around is because they are bored out of their minds and are looking for mental stimulation. Puppies and young adults chase their tails often to burn excess energy because they think that running around in circles is great fun.

Some dogs don’t even recognize that the tail is a part of their body and start chasing it, which makes it worth chasing for them. Seems like running around in circles doesn’t make them as dizzy as it does humans. 

Medical Conditions

Dogs chasing their tail around can be very normal, but if they do that constantly, it could mean that they are harboring a serious health issue. According to some experts, obsessive chasing in dogs can be a result of brain abnormality or a result of seizure-like activity.

Some veterinarians express that even cancer can make a dog run around in circles, chasing its tail. Sometimes, if thoroughly checked, chasing around their tails can also be a sign of mental illness and a symptom of canine-compulsive disorder.


Sometimes, your dog could be chasing around its tail because it has got an itchy tail from all the parasites as fleas and ticks latched to it. Your dog might start chasing the tail around to make an effort to chew the itchy spot, and when they spin around, they are trying to contort their body so that they can bite their tails.

So, if you ever see your dog running around constantly, trying to chew its tail, you can get it checked by the vet to see if it has any parasites sticking around. 

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

How Does Genetics Play A Role In Making Dogs Chase Their Tails?

  • According to some experts, there might be a connection between the high blood pressure and cholesterol levels of a dog and its compulsive tail chasing. 
  • Some scientists explain that, according to a census, dogs who chase their tails around constantly have a high level of total cholesterol and also high-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared to the other dogs.
  • It has come to light that some breeds chase their tails more than others.
  • Even if genetics play an important role in making your dog chase its tail around constantly, you should always keep an eye on it. 
  • It is always better to know if the breed of dog you own is prone to running around chasing its tail. 
  • If you ever come across your dog chasing its tail around more than often, it is better to give it a closer look.
  • And, if the reason is unrecognizable, you can always take your dog to the vet and get their opinion on it. 

Do Some Breeds Chase Their Tails More Than The Others?

According to some scientists, evidence has been found that certain dog breeds are more prone to spinning around, chasing their tails than other breeds. Breeds like bull terriers, German shepherds, and Anatolian sheepdogs chase their tails around more.

Some pet owners have also registered that specific terrier breeds like Jack Russell terriers and West Highland white terriers also chase their tails often, but there isn’t enough statistical data to confirm it. 


Just like toddlers and human children, dogs like to explore the world with their mouths more, and young dogs and puppies start chasing their tails around just to play. After a while, they start growing and come to know more about their anatomy, and after they grow up, they will start growing out of this behavior. 

Fleas, Ticks, And Seeking Attention

Some dogs start chasing their tails around when they feel the constant itch of fleas and ticks on their tails. You can take your dog to a vet to get them all cleaned up. Sometimes, dogs also chase their tails to grab the attention of their owner.

If you reward your dog with attention every time he chases his tail around, he will keep doing that. 

Anxiety Can Make A Dog Chase Its Tail

  • When your dog starts chasing its tail around, it can also be a symptom of anxiety.
  • When dogs indulge themselves in repetitive behavior, it can be comforting for them. 
  • Once they relieve stress by chasing their tail around, they will do that constantly to get rid of nervousness.
  • Many factors can cause anxiety in dogs.
  • Some typical reasons include small living crates and physical or emotional abuse in the current or previous home.
  • Lack of opportunities to socialize and experiencing aggression from another pet can also cause anxiety in dogs. 
  • If you suspect your dog is chasing its tail because of anxiety, you can contact a behaviorist or vet and seek their help. 

When Does Tail Chasing Stop Becoming Amusing?

When your dog is constantly chasing its tail around, it is better to make sure that it doesn’t injure its tail in some or the other way.

When he frequently chases the tail around, there is a high chance he can injure his tail, and when you feel like your dog is in imminent danger, you can always consult a vet or a behaviorist to make sure there aren’t any medical or behavioral issues causing it. Solving the root cause is the quickest way to recover. 

Methods To Discourage Your Dog From Chasing Its Tail

  • Chasing around their tails can be amusing for you and your dog, but it is very important to keep an eye on them. 
  • Constantly monitor their behavior, and if they don’t exhibit any of the common conditions that make dogs chase their tail around, there is a certain type of risk where the dogs, especially young ones, might catch their tail. 
  • Young dogs are not “tail-aware,” and if they catch their tail, they could break the small bones in their tail.
  • The bones might be damaged or broken if any sort of injury occurs.
  • If your dog thinks of its tail as prey, then it will start chasing it and will eventually bite it.
  • This can harm the tail, and if you ever see them close enough to biting their tail, try to discourage it. 
  • Ensuring that you discourage this behavior is to make sure that they don’t hurt themselves. 


Dogs chase their tail around for various reasons, and the reason can be simply fun and happiness. But, if you suspect that it is something more than that, it is better to make sure they are healthy and fine. If you find anything unusual, you can always seek the help of a behavior specialist or a vet to be thorough. 


What are the medical conditions that can make a dog chase its tail obsessively?

 Multiple medical ailments can make a dog chase its tail, like intestinal parasites that can migrate out of the rectum and also when they are infected with fleas, ticks, or food allergies. 

Can age-related issues make a dog chase its tail around?

While old dogs start chewing their tails because of decreased awareness, younger ones will start chasing their tails just to have fun, and they think of their tails as toys. 

Do dogs chase their tails around while they are being silly and having fun?

Yes, a lot of dogs do. They feel like their tails are toys they chase around, play with and have fun with. Dogs, whatever age they might be, chew their tails naturally. 

Why do dogs chase their tails around when they are bored?

When a dog is bored and doesn’t get enough mental stimulation or physical activity, they start looking for fun in different ways. So, they start chasing their tail around just for fun. 

What are the major reasons that make a dog chew its tail?

Many reasons include age-related reasons, medical reasons, trying to seek attention, compulsive behavior, just playing, and much more. 

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