Canine Compulsive Disorder

Dog Barking

Canine Compulsive Disorder or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) in dogs is a repetitive behavior carried to the point of being abnormal and often destructive. It’s possible that the condition is hereditary.

Some of the behaviors that point to CCD are continuous barking, tail-biting, spinning, digging, self-mutilation through chewing or licking, pacing, pica (eating feces, rocks or dirt)and more. Any behavior that is carried out ritually and is destructive to the dog or property needs to be addressed.

Dogs that suffer with CCD are usually very stressed. They often don’t have enough mental or physical stimulation and may be tied or crated for long periods. They may have been neglected or abused at some time in their lives.

Diagnosing CCD can be difficult. A thorough examination which will include blood tests, urinalysis and other involved testing is necessary to rule out any medical problems that may be contributing to the behavior. Your veterinarian will want a complete history of your dog including where s/he came from, age, previous and present environment and of course, the behaviors and so on. You may be asked to tape the dog’s compulsive behavior and/or keep a written account so that your vet has a better idea of your dog’s habits. It’s a good idea to consult with an animal behaviorist as well.

Medication may be prescribed to help with anxiety and a behavior modification program set in motion. Depending on how severe your dog’s CCD or your dog’s response to treatment will determine how long the road to recovery may be.

Patience is the key. Never punish your dog or crate or tie him/her for the behavior. This treatment only exacerbates the condition and will delay recovery.

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