Often times the face of Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) is that of a dog spinning in circles, or snapping at a fly that isn’t there, and without knowing, we may laugh at these images. But this is a very real disorder that mirrors all too well the human counterpart Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, where the dog obsesses on a behavior for hours ignoring their owners, and their own primary needs of food and water.
“Every species has its own compulsive disorders that are derived from what’s normal for that species,” describes Nicholas Dodman, B.V.M.S., Dipl. ACVA, ACVB, professor of clinical sciences at Cummings
School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Northürafton. Mass. “When you look at what’s normal for a dog, it runs in a pack, grooms itself and chases prey. These normal behaviors can exhibit themselves in compulsive disorders: by spinning, flank sucking, paw licking or fly chasing.”
If a dog seems to have developed CCD or compulsive symptoms you should first take your dog to their veterinarian to check for other illnesses, or neurological disorders that may have caused the behavior. Once a medical condition has been ruled out most experts will recommend a combination of medical treatment, lifestyle and behavior work. Getting your CCD dog on a consistent routine avoiding punishment and using a reward based training can aid in the process.
Once medical conditions have been ruled out, you may be in need of a behavioral trainer.