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I have a six year old, 10 pound chi-dachshund mix named Hobbles. We adopted her from a shelter in March. She has mange on her back which makes us think that she may have suffered some neglect/malnutrition but she is very friendly so we have no reason to believe that she was ever physically abused. Hobbles has a strange behavior pattern we’ve noticed that I wanted to ask you about. This occurs often when we put her in her crate, but occasionally with no clear antecedent whatsoever. She suddenly begins chasing her tail frantically, as if trying to attack herself, making aggressive noises. We call it her “manic attacks” because that’s the best way to describe it. Usually she does it once or twice for a few seconds at a time, but in severe cases it has occurred off and on for several minutes. What could this be and why do you think she does this?
 

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Here is a website that might help (link).

Given the context I think it might just be nerves. Being put in the crate could be a stressor and it could be that the behaviour is being caused by that. It might be worth your time to take a step back and do some focused crate training with her so that she starts seeing the crate as a safe place. Even if this isn't what's causing the behaviour, it won't be wasted time. We did this with our dog and he actually prefers to sleep in the crate at night.
 
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