2. Question: Does my dog need drugs for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
I was watching the news and it said if a dog chases its tail, runs in circles, bites at himself and/or in the air, and/or whines, etc., that it probably has OCD just like humans and needs medication such as Prozac or Zoloft. My dog tends to spaz out like this. Do you think I need to put him on medication?
No, absolutely not. Putting a dog that has OCD-like symptoms on medication is just covering up the problem rather than addressing the real issue. We need to look at the WHY. For the record, it is NOT genetic and certain dog breeds are NOT predisposed to it, however certain high-energy dogs are more likely to be lacking what they need as canines. We humans take these animals and live with them. A lot of us tend to treat them like humans, ignoring the fact that they are animals. We do not give them what they instinctually need and it literally drives them nuts.
Dogs need clear leadership and direction. Their minds need to be challenged. They need daily consistent exercise where the dog is FOLLOWING the human, not the other way around, to satisfy their migration instinct. If you walk your dog every day, but fail to make your dog heel, you are not getting the most out of your walk. To keep a dog inside our nice fenced yards day after day is like putting a human in a padded cell and feeding them, but not giving them any type of challenge, and never letting them see the light of day. After a while, you guessed it, the human would begin to go cookoo. Before you put your dog on drugs try giving your dog what he is crying out for: exercise, leadership and direction. Take your dog for a long daily walk where he walks beside or behind you. Never in front, as the pack leader goes first. Set rules within your home and firmly stick to them. Be your dog’s strong leader so he can feel secure within himself. Dogs look for direction and authority. They crave it. They need to migrate DAILY. It's in their blood. In addition, if your dog is a working-type challenge her with a game so she can use what she was bred for.
If your dog displays any behavior that could be considered an OCD symptom you are failing your dog as an owner. Treat your dog like a dog giving him what HE needs as an animal and you will start to see these OCD symptoms disappear.