Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is not something that is usually associated with dogs, but pet experts reveal that there are those who develop OCD-like behavior. Some breeds are more likely to develop compulsive behavior than others. An example would be excessive licking, which is frequently seen in retrievers and Dobermans. Spinning and tail chasing are associated with bull terriers and German shepherds respectively than any other breed. Barking may also be considered a compulsion when the dog does so incessantly and for no apparent reason. Some dogs may fixate on a toy, and display aggression if it is touched or taken away.
The onset of dog OCD may occur gradually and for no apparent reason. Sometimes, trauma can trigger it such as being injured or abandoned. Dogs that experience chronic stress or anxiety in their daily lives may be more vulnerable to developing compulsive behavior. For example, being constantly confined in a small area such as a cage or always being tied up can cause a dog to develop aggression or repetitive activities. The same may apply for dogs that are constantly targeted by aggression from other dogs or are denied association with other dogs and people. Dogs that experience unexpected physical or emotional abuse are also good candidates for OCD.
While chronic stress and anxiety or acute trauma may trigger compulsive behavior, this may persist even if the cause of the stress or anxiety has gone or the injury has healed completely. It would require careful re-training and a lot of patience. It would also be good for the dog to get regular exercise with its owner. However, if time is restricted, a professional dog walker servicing the area is a good alternative. It will give the dog time in outdoor activities and at the same time provide it an opportunity to socialize with other dogs and people.