Repetitive Behaviours. What Are They?
Repetitive, compulsive behaviours are behaviours that occur out of context and serve no apparent purpose. They can happen often and can be frustrating for you and your dog and can be exaggerated and sustained. Once they start they grow rapidly.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviours which are performed in order to prevent or reduce distress.
Common behaviours seen in dogs are tail chasing, biting their tails, sometimes until it bleeds, snapping and biting thin air, chasing lights, reflections and shadows staring at something and licking and biting their paws and spinning.
There are many reasons why the behaviours begin and manifest.
- Repetitive behaviours can be genetic.
- The behaviour performed can grow because it is self-reinforced because they have value.
- It can be a response to stress and conflict situations.
- A high number of behaviours are linked to gut issues and medical issues, including pain
- A lack of the ability to stop the behaviour reinforces it.
Before engaging in behaviour work, a full vet check is advised to rule out medical issues. But this does not mean that this will solve the issue. The vet check and behaviour assessment go hand in hand, without identifying medical issues the behaviour won’t stop, the dog’s brain can be wired to continue performing the behaviour because it has worked previously but identifying and treating the condition and treating the need for the behaviour will have an impact on stopping the behaviour.
If you are struggling with any of the behaviours mentioned, book your discovery call and vet check right away.