If you have a golden retriever, there’s a good chance that they will bite their tails from time to time.
In addition to being cute and energetic, dogs are great companions.
They keep us company no matter where we go.
But for some dogs, biting their own tails is not just an occasional behavior but something that happens repeatedly.
It’s called “tail-biting” or “compulsive tail-biting” and it is one of the most common behavioral problems in dogs.
It’s hard to say exactly why dogs do this, but here are some possible causes:
- Boredom – Dogs like to play with toys, so if they don’t get enough stimulation, they may resort to biting their tails instead.
- Anxiety – Tail-biting has been known to happen when a dog is anxious or stressed out.
- Overgrooming – This could be due to over grooming by humans. Overgrooming is when a pet owner puts too much attention on his/her dog’s appearance.
- Dietary needs – Some dogs tend to chew on their tails when they are bored or hungry. You might want to take a look at your dog’s diet to see if they need more food or vitamins.
- Fear – Sometimes animals exhibit fearful behaviors as a way of protecting themselves. For example, if a dog is afraid of thunderstorms, he may bite his tail when the storm approaches – to calm himself down.
- Pain relief – Some dogs bite their tails because they are feeling pain. A dog’s tail can become infected when it is bitten and then chewed on, which can lead to discomfort or even abscesses. So if your dog bites his tail, make sure it isn’t infected before you start treating him.
- Illness – Some illnesses can cause tail-biting, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Other health issues – In rare cases, a dog may bite his tail because of underlying medical conditions. This includes allergies, ear infections, dental problems, and gastrointestinal disorders.
The History of Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are believed to be descended from English mastiffs and were originally bred as hunting dogs.
They were used for retrieving game, particularly waterfowl, but were also very good hunters of rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, and other small game.
The breed was first recognized in England in 1874 by the Kennel Club and has since become one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world.
Today, golden retrievers are known for being loyal, friendly, affectionate, and intelligent.
They are also highly trainable and are great with children.
In fact, golden retrievers have become such an integral part of American culture that they are often referred to as “America’s Dog.”
In addition to their many qualities, golden retrievers are also very versatile.
They make wonderful family pets, and are equally at home on a city street or roaming through the woods.
Because of this, they are often found working alongside police officers, soldiers, and even border agents.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Bite Their Tail?
Golden Retrievers are bred for hunting and retrieving.
They excel at this task because they are highly intelligent and trainable dogs.
The breed was created in England, where they were used to retrieve game birds such as partridges and pheasants.
As with other breeds, the golden retrievers have been selectively bred for many generations to exhibit certain traits.
As a result, most golden retrievers are not only beautiful but also very loyal and affectionate animals.
However, some golden retrievers do display a variety of behaviors that are less than desirable.
Among them is a tendency to bite their own tail.
It’s not uncommon for golden retrievers to bite their tails on occasion.
There are several reasons why a golden retriever might bite its tail.
One reason could be due to stress.
Stressful situations can cause an animal to exhibit various behaviors.
For example, if your dog has been left alone in a house all day while you were away, it could chew on its tail to release pent up energy.
Another possibility is that your dog may be bored.
If he is, he may decide to bite his tail to pass the time.
Another possible reason for biting your dog’s tail is that he may be exhibiting signs of compulsive behavior.
In addition, it could be a sign of underlying health problems.
If your dog bites his tail constantly and does so without provocation, you should consult your vet immediately.
The Different Types of Tail Biting
There are many reasons why dogs might bite their tails.
Some owners think it’s cute and that it is just a way for them to express themselves, but others find it annoying and even harmful.
It can be an expression of stress, frustration, anxiety, fear, boredom, and aggression.
It is important to understand what types of tail biting are happening in order to help your dog stop this behavior.
There are three main types of tail biting and each one has its own causes, symptoms, and consequences.
When biting the tail, the dog is expressing playfulness and excitement.
They are usually doing so when they are puppies or very young dogs.
1. Boredom biting
The dog is bored and wants to do something more exciting than just lying around.
This is considered milder form of tail biting than the other two types.
Dogs who bite their tails when they are bored often do not show any signs of discomfort.
2. Aggression biting
Aggressive dogs tend to bite their tail when they feel frustrated or angry.
As with all forms of aggression, this is typically accompanied by some type of growling or barking at people or animals nearby.
3. Compulsive biting
Compulsive tail biting occurs when the dog bites their tail without warning or provocation.
This is the most serious type of tail biting because it can cause damage to the skin or fur of the tail, which could lead to infection, bleeding, and scarring.
The Consequences of Tail Biting
Tail biting is not only annoying and uncomfortable for dogs, it is also potentially dangerous.
There are several types of tail biting, including “hard” tail biting, which is when the dog bites through the skin, and “soft” tail biting, where the dog pulls on the fur without puncturing the skin.
Both hard and soft tail biting can lead to infections and other health issues.
How to Prevent Your Golden Retriever From Biting Its Tail
A common misconception is that if your dog bites its tail, it means something is wrong with them.
However, this isn’t always true.
There are many reasons why dogs might bite their tails including:
- They like biting things in general.
- They are bored and need an outlet for aggression.
- Their owner doesn’t understand how to train them properly.
- It’s just part of their personality.
Preventing Your Dog From Biting Their Tail
Although it’s normal for your dog to occasionally bite their tail, it’s important to know what causes them to do so in order to prevent further incidents.
Here are some ways to help keep your dog from biting their tail:
- Train your dog not to bite their tail.
- Teach your dog to sit still while waiting for treats.
- Teach your dog to use a leash properly.
- Remove any objects that could cause your dog stress.
- Teach your dog to play fetch properly.
- Teach your dog to walk on a loose lead.
- Teach your dog to walk calmly around other people.
For more information about preventing your dog from biting their tail, check out these articles:
Tail-Biting Is Not A Sign Of Aggression
Golden Retrievers Are Less Likely To Be Aggressive Than Other Breeds
Golden Retrievers Often Have Trouble With Leash Pulling
While it is true that some dogs do this as a way to release tension, it can also be a sign of an underlying health problem.
You should take your dog to the vet if the behavior does not stop after a few days and persists for weeks at a time.
The following are some reasons why your dog might bite its tail:
- Boredom – This is one of the most common reasons why dogs bite their tails. They bite their tails when they are bored, anxious, or just want to feel something different. It can also serve as a form of self-stimulation to help them relax.
- Anxiety – There are several ways in which dogs express anxiety. One of these methods is biting their tails. When they bite their tails, it serves as a form of relief for the anxiety they feel.
- Underlying Health Problem – A dog who bites its tail often has an underlying health issue. The most common reason is hyperthyroidism. Other causes include liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes.
For more information on how to prevent your pet from biting his tail, read on below!