Why do dogs chase their tails?

Why do dogs chase their tails? - Barking Heads & Meowing Heads

Why do dogs chase their tails?

At Barking Heads, we're not only passionate about providing premium nutrition for your furry friends but we're also committed to exploring the intriguing aspects of their behaviour.

If you're a proud dog parent, you've likely witnessed the comical sight of your furry companion chasing its own tail. While it may seem like a playful and harmless activity, there's more to it than meets the eye. Dogs engage in tail-chasing for various reasons, and understanding this behavior can deepen our connection with our four-legged friends.

Instinctual Roots:

One of the primary reasons dogs chase their tails can be traced back to their instinctual behaviors. In the wild, canines rely on their tails for balance and communication. Puppies, in particular, may chase their tails as a way of honing their coordination and motor skills. It's an adorable display of their natural instincts at play!

Boredom and Excess Energy:

Just like humans, dogs can get bored, and excess energy needs an outlet. Tail-chasing is a self-stimulating behaviour that can emerge when our furry friends are looking for ways to entertain themselves. If your pup seems to be engaging in this activity excessively, it might be a signal that they need more mental and physical stimulation.


Dogs are social creatures that crave interaction with their human companions. Tail-chasing can be a way for them to seek attention. If your pup realizes that chasing its tail elicits a reaction from you, whether it's laughter or concern, they might continue the behaviour to keep the attention flowing.

Medical Considerations:

While tail-chasing is often harmless, it's essential to rule out any potential medical issues. Itchy skin, allergies, or discomfort in the tail area could prompt a dog to chase its tail as a response to irritation. If you notice persistent tail-chasing or signs of distress, consulting with your vet is crucial to ensure your pet's well-being.

How to Manage Tail-Chasing:

While occasional tail-chasing is generally normal, it's essential to monitor the behavior and intervene if necessary. Here are some tips to manage tail-chasing in your canine companion:

  1. Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation:

    • Engage your dog in regular playtime and exercise to burn off excess energy.
    • Offer puzzle toys and interactive games to stimulate their mind.
  2. Create a Stimulating Environment:

    • Rotate your dog's toys to keep their environment interesting.
    • Consider introducing new scents and textures to engage their senses.
  3. Training and Positive Reinforcement:

    • Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward desirable behaviours.
    • Redirect your dog's attention to a toy or activity when you notice tail-chasing.

Tail-chasing is just one of the many charming aspects of canine life. By understanding the reasons behind this behaviour and taking proactive steps to provide mental and physical stimulation, we can ensure our furry friends lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Barking Heads Journal

Join us on Instagram

Follow us @barkingheads or tag us in your images #barkingheads

Follow in Instagram