Why do dogs chase their tails?

domesticbeast:

image

Good question! The answer: Many more reasons than we thought!

It’s totally normal for a dog to chase its own tail – occasionally. (Bull terriers and German shepherds are well known tail-chasers.)

However, if you notice your dog is chasing his tail a lot, there may be more to it than boredom:

  • Your dog may exhibit a repetitive behavior.
  • Your dog may have been taken from his mother too soon.
  • Your dog may have allergies or parasites.
  • Your dog may have a deficiency in vitamins B6 and C.

The moral of the story: If your dog is a compulsive tail-chaser, check with your vet!

Source:

Environmental Effects on Compulsive Tail Chasing in Dogs

CAUTION: Every animal is a unique being in a unique situation and what you see on these webpages is generic and general and may not specifically apply to your animal's situation. Any responses to questions through this website similarly cannot be as precise and informed as is possible in a face-to-face assessment. Accordingly, you should not rely on anything set forth herein as the last word, and you hold Helping Pets Behave harmless from any liability whatsoever based on your reliance on the information you receive through this website.

tail chasing repetitive behavior

neurosciencestuff:

Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits and aggressive behavior
Learning and memory relies on the proper processing of signals that stimulate neuronal cells within the brain. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, together with an international team of scientists, has uncovered an important role for the protein coronin 1 in cognition and behavior. They found that a lack of coronin 1 in mouse and in man is associated with poor memory, defective learning and aggressive behavior. The results, recently published in PLOS Biology, identify a novel risk factor for neurobehavioral dysfunction and reveal a molecular pathway involved in transferring information within neurons.
Organisms must be able to sense signals from the outside and translate these into biochemical cues in order to adequately respond to their environment. This capability is also required to process information that reaches the brain. Within the brain, stimulation of neurons activates genes that are required, for example for learning and memory. In collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary team the research group led by Prof. Jean Pieters from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has now uncovered the role of an evolutionarily conserved protein, called coronin 1, in providing a link between the extracellular stimulus and neuronal activation that ultimately results in efficient learning and memory in both mice and men.
From the immune system to the brainIn earlier work, Pieters’ team discovered the protein coronin 1 as being essential for the proper transduction of signals in immune cells. In mice lacking coronin 1 the researchers further investigated the molecular mechanism. Surprisingly, these mice showed aberrant behavior. In particular, mice lacking coronin 1 appeared to be far more aggressive and display extreme grooming activity, an indication of reduced sociability. An in-depth analysis in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and the University of Bordeaux unveiled profound learning and behavioral problems and severe defects in the ability to activate neurons in the absence of coronin 1.
Activation of a signaling cascadeBut how does coronin 1 ensure proper neurobehavioral functioning? Normally, stimulation of the cell surface results in an activation of an intracellular cascade of reactions and ultimately stimulates the production of the signaling molecule cAMP which then activates a number of processes, including the transcription of gene involved in neurobehavior. “We found that in the absence of coronin 1, cell surface stimulation leads to a defective cAMP production”, explains Pieters. “This in turn affects the signal transduction which is finally responsible for the deficits in learning and memory formation.”
Of mice and menFurthermore, the researchers analyzed the clinical history of a patient lacking coronin 1 due to a mutation: it turned out that this patient showed learning defects and aggressive behavior. With this study, Pieters and his project collaborators not only define a crucial role for coronin 1 in cognition and behavior, but also unravel a coronin 1-dependent signaling pathway that may be explored both for potential risk factors as well as future interventions to modulate neurobehavioral dysfunction.

neurosciencestuff:

Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits and aggressive behavior

Learning and memory relies on the proper processing of signals that stimulate neuronal cells within the brain. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, together with an international team of scientists, has uncovered an important role for the protein coronin 1 in cognition and behavior. They found that a lack of coronin 1 in mouse and in man is associated with poor memory, defective learning and aggressive behavior. The results, recently published in PLOS Biology, identify a novel risk factor for neurobehavioral dysfunction and reveal a molecular pathway involved in transferring information within neurons.

Organisms must be able to sense signals from the outside and translate these into biochemical cues in order to adequately respond to their environment. This capability is also required to process information that reaches the brain. Within the brain, stimulation of neurons activates genes that are required, for example for learning and memory. In collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary team the research group led by Prof. Jean Pieters from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has now uncovered the role of an evolutionarily conserved protein, called coronin 1, in providing a link between the extracellular stimulus and neuronal activation that ultimately results in efficient learning and memory in both mice and men.

From the immune system to the brain
In earlier work, Pieters’ team discovered the protein coronin 1 as being essential for the proper transduction of signals in immune cells. In mice lacking coronin 1 the researchers further investigated the molecular mechanism. Surprisingly, these mice showed aberrant behavior. In particular, mice lacking coronin 1 appeared to be far more aggressive and display extreme grooming activity, an indication of reduced sociability. An in-depth analysis in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and the University of Bordeaux unveiled profound learning and behavioral problems and severe defects in the ability to activate neurons in the absence of coronin 1.

Activation of a signaling cascade
But how does coronin 1 ensure proper neurobehavioral functioning? Normally, stimulation of the cell surface results in an activation of an intracellular cascade of reactions and ultimately stimulates the production of the signaling molecule cAMP which then activates a number of processes, including the transcription of gene involved in neurobehavior. “We found that in the absence of coronin 1, cell surface stimulation leads to a defective cAMP production”, explains Pieters. “This in turn affects the signal transduction which is finally responsible for the deficits in learning and memory formation.”

Of mice and men
Furthermore, the researchers analyzed the clinical history of a patient lacking coronin 1 due to a mutation: it turned out that this patient showed learning defects and aggressive behavior. With this study, Pieters and his project collaborators not only define a crucial role for coronin 1 in cognition and behavior, but also unravel a coronin 1-dependent signaling pathway that may be explored both for potential risk factors as well as future interventions to modulate neurobehavioral dysfunction.

CAUTION: Every animal is a unique being in a unique situation and what you see on these webpages is generic and general and may not specifically apply to your animal's situation. Any responses to questions through this website similarly cannot be as precise and informed as is possible in a face-to-face assessment. Accordingly, you should not rely on anything set forth herein as the last word, and you hold Helping Pets Behave harmless from any liability whatsoever based on your reliance on the information you receive through this website.

neurobiology of aggression

The same processes are at work when dogs drink but can be overridden and dysregulated by water deprivation. Dogs drink when their brains tell them they are dehydrated. When deprived of water due to several hours of crating or in an effort to house train, the brain switches into survival mode and tells the dog to drink all they can when given access as they might have to go without later. As a result, the dog tanks up on water that their bladder can’t possibly retain for long periods of time. As you may have already guessed, this practice can prevent house training and could lead to some serious medical issues. Always provide your dog with access to water. As the study below describes, the brain is amazing at controlling behavior necessary for survival. It’s best to let it do it’s thing. 
neurosciencestuff:

Brain scans show what makes us drink water and what makes us stop drinking
Drinking water when you’re thirsty is a pleasurable experience. Continuing to drink when you’re not, however, can be very unpleasant. To understand why your reaction to water drinking changes as your thirst level changes, Pascal Saker of the University of Melbourne and his colleagues performed fMRI scans on people as they drank water. They found that regions of the brain associated with positive feelings became active when the subjects were thirsty, while regions associated with negative feelings and with controlling and coordinating movement became active after the subjects were satiated. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read more

The same processes are at work when dogs drink but can be overridden and dysregulated by water deprivation. Dogs drink when their brains tell them they are dehydrated. When deprived of water due to several hours of crating or in an effort to house train, the brain switches into survival mode and tells the dog to drink all they can when given access as they might have to go without later. As a result, the dog tanks up on water that their bladder can’t possibly retain for long periods of time. As you may have already guessed, this practice can prevent house training and could lead to some serious medical issues. Always provide your dog with access to water. As the study below describes, the brain is amazing at controlling behavior necessary for survival. It’s best to let it do it’s thing. 

neurosciencestuff:

Brain scans show what makes us drink water and what makes us stop drinking

Drinking water when you’re thirsty is a pleasurable experience. Continuing to drink when you’re not, however, can be very unpleasant. To understand why your reaction to water drinking changes as your thirst level changes, Pascal Saker of the University of Melbourne and his colleagues performed fMRI scans on people as they drank water. They found that regions of the brain associated with positive feelings became active when the subjects were thirsty, while regions associated with negative feelings and with controlling and coordinating movement became active after the subjects were satiated. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more

CAUTION: Every animal is a unique being in a unique situation and what you see on these webpages is generic and general and may not specifically apply to your animal's situation. Any responses to questions through this website similarly cannot be as precise and informed as is possible in a face-to-face assessment. Accordingly, you should not rely on anything set forth herein as the last word, and you hold Helping Pets Behave harmless from any liability whatsoever based on your reliance on the information you receive through this website.

how dogs drink dog drinking behavior why dogs drink

neurosciencestuff:

Overlapping Neural Systems Represent Cognitive Effort and Reward Anticipation
Anticipating a potential benefit and how difficult it will be to obtain it are valuable skills in a constantly changing environment. In the human brain, the anticipation of reward is encoded by the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) and Striatum. Naturally, potential rewards have an incentive quality, resulting in a motivational effect improving performance. Recently it has been proposed that an upcoming task requiring effort induces a similar anticipation mechanism as reward, relying on the same cortico-limbic network. However, this overlapping anticipatory activity for reward and effort has only been investigated in a perceptual task. Whether this generalizes to high-level cognitive tasks remains to be investigated. To this end, an fMRI experiment was designed to investigate anticipation of reward and effort in cognitive tasks. A mental arithmetic task was implemented, manipulating effort (difficulty), reward, and delay in reward delivery to control for temporal confounds. The goal was to test for the motivational effect induced by the expectation of bigger reward and higher effort. The results showed that the activation elicited by an upcoming difficult task overlapped with higher reward prospect in the ACC and in the striatum, thus highlighting a pivotal role of this circuit in sustaining motivated behavior.
Full article

neurosciencestuff:

Overlapping Neural Systems Represent Cognitive Effort and Reward Anticipation

Anticipating a potential benefit and how difficult it will be to obtain it are valuable skills in a constantly changing environment. In the human brain, the anticipation of reward is encoded by the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) and Striatum. Naturally, potential rewards have an incentive quality, resulting in a motivational effect improving performance. Recently it has been proposed that an upcoming task requiring effort induces a similar anticipation mechanism as reward, relying on the same cortico-limbic network. However, this overlapping anticipatory activity for reward and effort has only been investigated in a perceptual task. Whether this generalizes to high-level cognitive tasks remains to be investigated. To this end, an fMRI experiment was designed to investigate anticipation of reward and effort in cognitive tasks. A mental arithmetic task was implemented, manipulating effort (difficulty), reward, and delay in reward delivery to control for temporal confounds. The goal was to test for the motivational effect induced by the expectation of bigger reward and higher effort. The results showed that the activation elicited by an upcoming difficult task overlapped with higher reward prospect in the ACC and in the striatum, thus highlighting a pivotal role of this circuit in sustaining motivated behavior.

Full article

CAUTION: Every animal is a unique being in a unique situation and what you see on these webpages is generic and general and may not specifically apply to your animal's situation. Any responses to questions through this website similarly cannot be as precise and informed as is possible in a face-to-face assessment. Accordingly, you should not rely on anything set forth herein as the last word, and you hold Helping Pets Behave harmless from any liability whatsoever based on your reliance on the information you receive through this website.

reward processing neuroscience behind postive reinforcement training