Canine Compulsive Disorder: What is it? by Jen

Canine Compulsive Disorder

CCD is a mental health disorder that is characterized "by the excessive performance of repetitive behaviors that don't serve any apparent purpose."(Dr. Summerfield, Whole Dog Journal) These behaviors include spinning, tail chasing, licking, chasing lights, fly snapping and a bunch of others. CCD is comparable to OCD in humans.

Some repetitive non functional behaviors such as spinning in circles when excited or retrieving the ball for as long as you can throw it are considered benign for CCD but it crosses a line if it begins to interfere with normal activities like drinking or eating.

My dog Molly has CCD. She repeatedly fly snaps, even when there are no flies around her.

According to the vet, studies have shown that abnormal repetitive behaviors are associated with abnormalities in a particular area of the brain. These areas are called the "cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical (CSTC) loop. Basically it means that the circuits are out of balance and creates a loop effect of the behavior and the animal has a hard time stopping it.

The cause of CCD is still being researched, because the brain is incredibly complex. There are a few theories:

1. Genetics: There are a few breeds that have a higher risk than others.