Doggie OCD Manifests In Ways We Recognize, Like Tail Chasing

Kim LaCapria - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:53 p.m. ET

Doggie OCD is apparently a thing, with scientists observing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-like behavior in canines, manifesting in ways with which we are already quite familiar — tail chasing was mentioned as a symptom of doggie OCD.

Canine OCD differs from human OCD, obviously, since dogs can’t really engage in OCD-like behavior in a manner in which humans do, ruminating over potentially missed tasks or unpleasant possibilities.

Furthermore, doggie OCD also doesn’t encompass behaviors like repeated paw-licking or checking to see if the dog door is closed hundreds of times, but it does exist, researchers say.

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A study published in a late July issue of the journal PLoS ONE examined doggie OCD and how the behaviors are exhibited in man’s best friend. According to the researchers, doggie OCD is characterized by obsessive and compulsive behaviors not totally unlike those of their human companions, and puppyhood trauma as well as biological factors could be to blame.

Researchers also noted how doggie OCD could be ameliorated in more severe cases:

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“Interestingly, there are indications that vitamins and minerals have beneficial effects also in human OCD treatment.”

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The study of nearly 400 dogs revealed a surprising bit of information about the psychological development of dogs and a propensity toward doggie OCD. Dogs that had been separated from their mothers at earlier ages as pups were more likely to develop the condition than their fellow canines weaned and separated at a later age.

In addition, much as humans with OCD are more socially inhibited, pups suffering from doggie OCD are more likely to exhibit shyness and apprehension of other creatures. Have you noticed symptoms of doggie OCD in your pet?


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