If you have ever wondered just why your dog will not stop barking, even when you see nothing to bark about, your dog could very well be suffering from OCD tendencies. Contrary to what was once believed, canines do suffer from forms of OCD disorders. The most common include excessive barking and compulsive uncontrolled licking and it most commonly occurs in larger breed dogs. Dogs that have OCD tendencies have both a genetic predisposition and environmental stresses that trigger the behavior. This article will explore the OCD tendencies of canines and how humans can help their animals cope.
OCD behaviors in canines resembles that of humans in that dogs demonstrate repetitive behaviors, apparently without being able to control it. The onset can be both gradual and sudden, depending on what triggered the behavior. Moreover, what behaviors are demonstrated depends on what type of breed the dog is. It is most common for longhaired dogs to over groom themselves. Dogs raised for herding may chase and hoard all of the time and predatory breeds such as a Doberman or rot may bite.
Although most of these behaviors are normal canine behaviors, they can be seen as compulsive because the behavior is performed over and over again, without even thinking and for no apparent reason. Canines with these compulsive behaviors are anxious and sensitive. Many pet owners struggle because their animal just seems high strung all of the time. Of course, this is no different than for humans. The compulsive tendencies that humans show with OCD may be common, such as hand washing or grooming, but it gets out of control when it is repeated several hundreds times a day for example. Furthermore, humans with these disorders appear to be teeter tottering sanity many times because they are anxious about everything and extremely uptight.
Have you ever seen a dog chase its tail repeatedly? Or better yet, dig compulsively no matter how many times the dog has been scolded to stop doing so? These are further examples of the extremes this disorder can have on canines. It is best in these situations to take your dog to a behavioral specialist to get help with the situation. You will never be able to get rid of the instinctive behavior, but you can minimize the damage done. For example, if your dog bites out of instinct, you will have to act quickly to avoid injuries and a possible lawsuit. For the digging dog, you will want to get it under control so that you can keep your yard or garden in good shape.
At the current time, obsessive compulsive disorder has only been studied on canines, as it relates to animals. However, the research is interesting. It has been shown that like humans, canines brains respond to outside influences and stresses much like that of humans. If you live in a home full of chaos, your chances are much higher of dealing with a dog with compulsive tendencies, possibly out of a sheer survival of the fittest mentality.