August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Not-So-Merry-go-RoundDear Dr. Furry,

My four-month-old Bull Terrier, Sadie, can’t stop chasing her own tail! I try to distract her, but she just persists. HELP!

Myron, Anniston, AL

 

Dear Myron,

This is a very circuitous problem!

The answer lies in nature, nurture and/or a combination of both.

Some breeds are genetically wired to chase their own tails; some are not. And, even if they possess the genetic makeup to do so, their environment can often bring it on — or not.

People who indulge in repetitive compulsive behavior, usually react to specific triggers in their environment, whether or not we recognize what they are. The same applies to our beloved pets.

The most effective way to deal with this is to have Sadie assessed by doctors familiar with animal behavioral issues. Sometimes, a change in her immediate atmosphere will derail her need to chase or sometimes medications are given in conjunction with a new kind of training.

In any event, love her and hang on for the ride.