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really didn't want it to become a habit like some dogs get into with tail chasing
The problem they cvan both be more than a habit but rather a manifestation of a disease. CCD (Canine Compulsion Disorder) that is OCD in humans. It is not something that gets better overtime quite the contrary it gets worse. You should discuss the possibilities with your vet

Canine Compulsive Disorder Gene Identified in Dogs

A canine chromosome 7 locus that confers a high risk of compulsive disorder susceptibility has been identified through a collaboration between the Behavior Service at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Program in Medical Genetics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The findings are published in the January 2010 edition of Molecular Psychiatry.
Canine compulsive disorder (CCD) in dogs
Some dogs like to chase their tails. Others like to lick the carpet or their paws for an hours at a time. Others chew their legs, attack their food bowls, or try to eat rocks. These and other strange, out-of-context canine behaviors might appear to have little in common – but they're actually all signs of the same syndrome. They're symptoms of what experts call canine compulsive disorder, or CCD.
Compulsive Behavior in Dogs

A lot depends on the degree and the harm the behavior causes the dog, but you also have to keep in mind that it is easier to treat the earlier the intervention.
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