Animal Behavior Clinic

Tufts Animal Behavior Research Studies

Genetics of Canine and Feline Compulsive Behavior

Does your Bull Terrier chase his tail repetitively?

Does your German Shepherd spin around in circles a lot?

Does your Border Collie track down lights, reflections or shadows?

These behaviors may be a canine form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic is currently engaging in a research project to determine the genetic basis of Canine and Feline Compulsive Disorder in Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Border Collies. Enrollment is also open to purebred Birman and Siamese cats who repetitively suck or chew inedible objects, so called "wool suckers".

Currently, we are enrolling the following purebreeds:

  • Bull Terriers
  • Border Collies
  • German Shepherds
  • Birman cats
  • Siamese cats

Both affected and unaffected pets of these breeds are needed.

Participants are required to fill out a behavioral survey and submit a blood or saliva sample from their pet, which can be obtained via a local veterinary office. A visit to Tufts is not required for participation. Reimbursement for any costs associated with obtaining and shipping a blood or saliva sample to Tufts is available for owners and veterinarians. Owners of affected participants are provided with written treatment information for Compulsive Disorder free-of-charge.

For more information about our studies or to see if your cat qualifies, please contact Nicole Cottam at 508-887-4802 or by email at