Now that my dogs are older, they’re a lot more relaxed than they were in their youth. A lot of canine snoozing happens around here. This morning I was thinking about how tail chasing is basically a young dog phenomenon and it’s been ages since one of my dogs has chased his or her tail.
I kind of miss it because tail chasing is hilarious. Your dog is generally standing around minding his own business, when out of the corner of his eye, he sees…that *thing* attached to his rear end. Sometimes, the dog will even do a double-take, like "egad, what is THAT?!" Then he’s off after that offending tail. Around and around he goes, until (I guess) he gets dizzy and falls over.
In the human world, "chasing your tail" implies some type of futile activity. But in the canine world, tail chasing often nets results. Dogs with long tails can get really good at catching the offending tail as it flies by. (A dog spinning around with a tail in his mouth looks even more dopey than a dog just chasing his tail.)
When I was growing up, one of our dogs got so into chasing his tail that by about 8 months old, his lovely Golden Retriever tail looked like nothing more than a spindly drool-encrusted stick. We realized that for the sake of his tail, we really needed to start discouraging the practice, even though it was fun to watch.
Our more mature dogs rarely chase their tails anymore. But just when I start thinking that it’s sort of sad that puppy hood is definitely over, one of our dogs will get that look in her eye ("Egad, what is THAT?!") And she’s off! Apparently, even mature dogs need to embrace their inner puppy sometimes ;-).