Dear Cesar:

We have a ten-year-old lab/pit bull mix. He is house broken and can do a few tricks. The only problem is he LOVES to chase his tail. Whenever someone comes into the house, or even if there is any loud noise, he chases and chases and chases until he catches his tail. He can walk down the hall with it in his mouth and even climb into his chair.

He came from the shelter about eight years ago, and I thought this was a behavior he did there to keep himself occupied. Can you help?

Lois Harvey

Cesar Millan’s answer:
Dear Lois,

For dogs, some habits can be harder to break than others. In my experience, a dog chasing its tail is often a sign of boredom. Sometimes, it can just be a physical reaction to excitement. Based on your description, I’m leaning towards excitement. If this behavior is causing your dog physical health problems, then I suggest you remedy the problem by using a correction method that is both calm-assertive and humane. Remember, timing is everything, which means you have only a few seconds to correct the behavior as soon as its displayed. Otherwise, it may be too late for him to connect his actions with your corrections. Hopefully, with a little practice, he can learn to bite a chew toy as a substitute behavior for possibly harming himself by biting his own tail.

Stay calm and assertive,

Cesar Millan

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