While Elka is certainly not OCD, there are certain behaviors I see in her that could have (but did not) worsen. She can get pretty fixated on licking (as in, there will be a wet patch on the bed or couch), and some dogs lick until their fur is missing in patches, and then keep licking even after they're bloody. With Elka, we can say "enough" and she's done. Some Dobermans engage in what's referred to as "flank sucking", which is fairly self explanatory.
The article by Dr. Nicholas Dodman states:
After questioning almost a hundred owners of flank-sucking Dobermans and an equal number of Doberman owners whose dogs do not engage in the behavior, we found that flank suckers also have a strong penchant for gathering, mouthing and ingesting non-food substances.
I frequently say, with varying levels of humor in mind, that Elka is practically human. She isn't my "furbaby" (I think I've been over this), but her level of interaction with us and personality make her more than "just a dog" as well. Apparently Dobermans are rather like people even when it comes to their MRI's:
MRI brain scans of Dobermans conducted at McLean Hospital, in Belmont, Mass., under the direction of Marc Kaufman, head of translational imaging there, were revealing. They showed that in dogs prone to shopping and flank sucking, the gray matter in certain brain regions governing emotional, cognitive and sensory and motor functions was significantly less dense. We have also perceived significant differences in a region connecting the two sides of the brain.National Geographic wrote about the study itself in more detail. The study I participated in with Elka was through the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan; this one was at the Purdue University of Veterinary Medicine, in Indiana, by Dr. Niwaka Ogata. According to the Nat Geo article, 28 percent of U.S. Dobermans have symptoms of OCD (I mean, that's 28% of U.S. Dobermans surveyed. Statistics can be funny like that.)
As it happens, similar anomalies are found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, particularly those who engage in hoarding. This leads us to think that Dobermans make a good model of OCD in general and hoarding in particular.
One thing the National Geographic's interviewed behaviorist warns against (when preventing obsessive behaviors in dogs) is using laser pointers for the dog to chase. I've heard this before, and I can see the point. Chasing the little red dot is ultimately unrewarded; even when "caught" there is nothing tangible for the dog to have. With Elka, we have played with the laser pointer, but with clear boundaries. She knows "all done" means the game is done, that the red dot is not hiding anywhere to leap out and tease her. Again, she isn't actually obsessive, so perhaps precautions of that nature were unnecessary. But, better safe than sorry!