Sparkle the amazing spinning springer spaniel dog VIDEO
But consider a dog doing it when it has not typically been mistreated, and it is doing it to achieve something like get the attention of their owner or a ball that the owner is holding.
Typically any repetitive behaviour that we would find a human doing, we as humans tend to label as being bad for a dog to do. But this is not always the case.
In this case (see video), this is a young very high energy, healthy, Springer spaniel. These guys have great endurance when hunting and retrieving game so in most domestic situations they are never going to burn off enough energy to completely relax.
If you are in any doubt at to whether this form of play is good for Sparkle, here is a direct quote from Sparkles owners: "Aw what a lovely surprise to see Sparkle in action lol, she looks so happy and contented, her coat is in lovely condition. I think she your best friend now, especially playing ball. Really nice to see her enjoying her self with you."
In sparkles case, we were playing chase ball for nearly an hour, and the video clip shown on this page is only three minutes out of that entire time. I have written a previous article that described how continual ball fetching for intelligent dogs can lead to high stress levels and cortisone levels that can take up to a week to subside. In that article it suggests that such repetitive activities such as ball throwing should be restricted when played with a very intelligent or ball obsessive dog to keep stress levels, or excitement levels at a reasonable level.
In Sparkles case, she absolutely loves chasing tennis balls and retrieving them, but this was interspersed with pats, food rewards, and explore time without the ball. This allowed us to keep in control of her excitement level, while still having fun.
The only time that rapid repetitive circle turning becomes a problem is when a dog is getting agitated or aggressive (working itself up too much) and it can't settle down afterwards. Another problem can occur when a dog does it when there is no stimulus around such as the excitement of ball throwing.
Doing rapid circle work for no apparent reason besides boredom can manifest itself in obsessive compulsive disorder that can create long term changes to a dogs brain and behaviour. In the case of boredom and circle turning, behaviour modification techniques may need to be employed.
In sparkles case, she is just having a REALLY good time, and it's an expression of that excitement, much the same as barking or jumping up on a person would be. However for most people, this is a preferred manifestation of that excitement compared to the much noisier or aggressive alternatives.
Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to http://www.dogwalkersmelbourne.com.au
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