I always used to think that obsessive licking or fly-catching was purely due to stress.
Recent research has shown in some cases it could be due to a gastrointestinal disorder. We should avoid focusing on behavioral causes only and take a holistic approach, considering also the physiological.
Here is the story of two dogs I worked with a while ago who both compulsively licked the carpet. In this case I believe stess was a component but it may not have been the whole story. A visit to their vet should now determine whether there is more to it.
Theo Stewart, The Dog Lady
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