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Discussion Starter #1
I am hopeful that someone can assist. Our Golden is now 17 months old and constantly eats/and or rips off large chunks of the fur off of his tail. Sometimes he vomits large fur balls. We have used bitter apple spray and try to catch him in the act (he will stop), but it is when he is in his crate and we are gone that he does this more.
His tail lacks a lot of fur and we are not certain how to break this habit. There is no infection and/or irritation. We keep him active and we do give him a lot of attention. So much that we are thinking between the constant barking at us and the chewing of his tail when we sit down as a family, that perhaps this is his way of commanding more attention? We do try to ignore/correct both, but at times it becomes frustrating. I watch the dog whisperer often and the "cht" (however spelt) sound he does when he touches a dog, does not work for me. Our dog will bark more until we physically get up. Sometimes he nudges/nibbles at us if barking does not work. (this is after he has even gone outside to eliminate)
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks-
 

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If you haven't consulted a vet, you should, just to rule out anything going on that you don't see.

My Tess (a toy Spaniel) does this and I've never been able to break her of it. I've tried different things on the tail but not consistently enough to actually make a dent in the behavior.

I'll be interested to see what other's recommend. Have you tried a collar or other obstruction to reaching the tail?
 

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Have you taken him to the vet to rule out any possible health issues that you might not be aware off? I would have him checked out first, if the vet comes up empty handed, I would think it is behavioral. Maybe your vet has an idea how to handle this then, if not, you may want to see if you find a dog behaviorist.
Is there anything that causes your dog anxiety?
 

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my first thought is anal glands and/or fleas which tend to congregate at the base of the tail

I would have a vet check and then work on behavior modification but it sounds like something is bothering him
 

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Lucky used to pull his tail and butt hair out in chunk when we yelled at him. I was almost like he felt so hurt he wanted to hurt himself. He did grow out of it though.

Could your pup be anxious in the crate?
 
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Have the anal glands checked. Eleanor was pulling out her tail feathers and our vet discovered her anal glands were impacted. Clearing that up fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of this valuable advice. We do visit the vet for annual shots and check ups and he was always clear, but we have noticed through the holidays this progressing and never have assumed this was something other than behavior. I will for sure make an appointment to rule out something we maybe missing. I never thought to speak to him about behavioral concerns, so this is a good suggestion as well. We keep the door open to his crate when we are home and he seems to always go in there to lay down. Perhaps when we close the door to leave, this may cause anxiety. We will keep you posted on how this goes and once again thanks!
 

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Here's what I wrote in your other thread:

Comet will barber his tail, but he does it mostly when it's dirty or salty from hiking or swimming. I think he's pulling at the tangly feeling, even though it's not visibly tangled. He really doesn't do it once his tail is brushed out properly. We also sometimes use Cowboy Magic as a detangler, and when I brush a teeny bit of that through his tail, he really leaves it alone.

I have no idea if that's why your pup is barbering, but brushing through it with a grooming rake and then a slicker might help.
I also asked some questions about your barking problems in the hopes that I could help with that too.
 

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My Golden is about 7, he has been chewing on his tail. We just moved about 1000 miles for a job and I have been working a lot. I'm guess that has something to do with it? He's never done that before. Help!!
 
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