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Sunday, March 06, 2016

Why Is Your Dog's Tail Wagging?

Can you see the blur of my tail wagging in this photo? Parental Unit was just trying to take my picture, but I thought we were playing!

It may not be what you think! Most of us  generally believe that a doggie with a wagging tail means a happy, eager-to-play dog, but...a wagging tail doesn't always indicate happiness and can be a sign of other emotions, too. This article from Cesar's Way does a great job explaining the various tail positions and wags and what they all mean—so you can learn to better discern your dogs' state of mind.

Just a few examples: a slowly wagging tail going mostly to the right indicates a curious, approachable dog, whereas a tail that is higher than normal, wagging very fast and predominately to the left  usually indicates negative emotions like anxiety, fear or aggression.

The main takeaway is that just because you see a dog's tail moving, don't automatically assume they're "happy and friendly". You have pay closer attention to the tail position and direction of the wag, then take into account the entire situation before you can make an accurate assumption about any dog's state of mind.

Let us know if you pay attention to your dog's "body language", including their tail wagging, and what you've learned about your pooch and his or her interactions with other dogs and humans. We'd love to hear about your experiences!


Duke said...

Molly's tail is always down on walkies when we walk past houses where dogs live that make her nervous but most other times, it's held high and she's happy.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Mommy knows me like a book. She knows exactly why I wag my .5" tail
Lily (& Edward)

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