How to Stop My Bull Terrier From Chasing His Tail

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Is your Bull terrier chasing its tail quite frequently these days? Then you should check our guide on how to stop my Bull terrier from chasing his tail to know more about this issue.

How to Stop My Bull Terrier From Chasing His Tail

Tail chasing in dogs is generally seen as a fun-time pass activity, but there could be some other reason for it. Compulsive Disorder in a dog is often observed as tail chasing, where the dog happens to catch its tail from the corner of its eye and tries to grab it.

Bull Terrier running on grass field

It is not that harmful in general, but if the frequency of the event is very high and happens again and again, then it is undoubtedly a compulsive disorder. This is a behavioral disorder that needs to be addressed carefully with expertise.

So, if your American Pitbull terrier exhibits the same type of symptoms and is restless most of the time, then we highly recommend you to check this guide on how to stop your dog from chasing its tail.

Visit the Vet With Your Dog

Examine your dog’s tail thoroughly; look for scars or marks, if any.

Your Bull terrier may have got his tail hurt by some object or through someone. For instance, if you mistake stepping on his tail and leaving him unattended, you will find him chasing his tail to comfort him.

But, that’s not enough!

You need to find a medical cause for the chasing of the tail if there is no scar. If the issue is an unresolved medical condition, any behavioral instruction will be ineffective.

Epilepsy or another neurological issue, as well as discomfort in the tail area or another physical illness, could be the source of the problem.

The vet can rule out any injuries or medical disorders that may be causing your dog to chase his tail, and he may prescribe anti-anxiety medications to reduce your pet’s tension.

Take your dog to a vet who specializes in tail-chasing habits.

Distract Your Canine Companion

To convince your dog to quit chasing his tail, divert it with a ball, food, or affection as soon as you notice him doing so. Teach your dog commands like sit and lay on the floor when he isn’t in the frantic condition of tail chasing. 

You can also teach a move, such as how to shake. When your dog understands the instructions, you can employ them to stop him from chasing his tail. It’s the goal to get your pet to do something other than chasing his tail.

Bull Terrier on a field of grass

Give Your Dog Something to Do

Dogs that engage in exercising and other mental and physical activities frequently feel exhausted to chase their tails. The following are some activities to think about:

  1. Daily strolls will engage your terrier in one specific task. Moreover, it won’t be having free time to engage in compulsions like tail chasing.
  2. Exercising vigorously, activities like running and swimming will exhaust your pet to sleep.
  3. Games like catch or tug of war will distract its mind.
  4. Walks through the dog park. Socialization will not give a pint of a minute to focus on compulsion.
  5. Food hunting — a game in which you hide food throughout the house for him to find.
  6. Sports that need agility.

All of these activities give your dog good outlets and serve as a replacement for tail chasing.

Retrain Your Canine Companion

You’ll need to retrain your dog if he’s a tail chaser because you once praised him every time he did it. According to The Merck Veterinary Manual, many people are unaware that tail chasing is harmful to dogs.

This compulsive behavior can interfere with a dog’s daily life if it becomes more regular.

Some people may find tail-chasing amusing and will laugh and pay attention to a dog performing it.

They may even offer a reward to encourage the practice. It would be best if you retrain such a dog by doing the exact opposite.

Ignore or leave the room rather than reacting to or rewarding the behavior. Give attention and goodies as soon as the dog stops chasing his tail.

Bull Terrier lying on grass field

Here is a detailed step-by-step methodology on how to encourage your Pitbull terrier not to chase its tail:

Step 1: Don’t Praise Him When He Chases His Tail

Keep an eye on your dog and, as soon as he starts chasing his tail, ring alarm bells or clap loudly to stop him.

Ignore your canine buddy and proceed to walk away. If he follows you, instruct him to settle or lie down and give him a hug or a treat when he does.

If he keeps pursuing your tail now that you’ve caught his attention, make the clap sound again, ignore him, and walk away.

Praise him when he comes to a complete halt and follows you. Keep your cool and continue this routine each time the tail-chasing begins.

Your dog will equate pursuing his tail with being neglected and not following his tail with receiving attention, and he will most likely cease doing so.

Step 2: Don’t Do Things That Triggers His Anxiety

Avoid limiting or isolating your pet friend in a confined area since this may induce anxiety and cause unwanted tail-chasing behavior.

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects certain dogs like Pitbull terriers, just as some people do, but the condition may appear as tail chasing rather than hand washing. A dog with anxiety issues may chase his tail like worried human chews his nails.

Practice out the following methods to calm down your Pitbull terrier:

  • Provide adequate attention to your dog.
  • Don’t abandon him in order to punish him; it will only make things worse.
  • Please don’t push your dog to do something he is afraid of.
  • Maintain hygiene around your dog (especially when he appreciates it).
  • Consult a professional trainer who is an expert in training anxious dogs.

Step 3: Take Him to the Doctor

If nothing of the above works for you, then you should go for therapies and treatments. There are trendy treatments available that can soothe your dog’s anxiety.

SSRIs and antidepressants, with fluoxetine and clomipramine, are sometimes used for dogs with anxiety.

Selegiline, a medication that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome in senior dogs, may be beneficial.

Here is a detailed video on how to stop your dog from tail chasing.


In an experiment to control tail chasing, 15 of the 18 dogs were treated with clomipramine at the approved dosage range. In comparison, three dogs received therapy at a marginally more effective dosage range. After 1 to 12 weeks of treatment, 9 out of 12 dogs (75%) showed a 75 percent or more improvement (decrease) in tail chasing. 

Thus, with correct medications and therapies, the tail-chasing compulsion in dogs can be fixed without any worries.