For several of us, we have always thought of a dog wagging his or her tail as a sign of happiness. This is definitely the case in some instances, but there are a wide range of emotions a dog’s tail can also be attempting to convey to other dogs or humans with changing its position.
A Horizontal Tail
This simply means a dog is focused, attentive and definitely alert to his or her surroundings.
A Vertical Tail
This usually means a dog is trying to send the message he or she is in charge. This is a dominant signal and used when they want to prove alpha status.
Up High Tail
Similar to a vertical position, a dog with a tail up high means they are sending out the alpha vibes. With a high tail, a dog is also able to release more of his or her specific scent, so others dogs know they have official arrived and are the boss.
A dog with his or her tail at a middle height most likely signals relaxation and that he or she doesn’t feel threatened or at risk of danger from other animals or humans.
The lowered position of a tail can mean a pooch is feeling relaxed, but in most instances, it means a dog is becoming fearful or nervous. The lower the tail gets, the more likely the dog is feeling unsafe and worried about another dog, human or something else near them.
Horizontal to the Ground Tail
With a tail straight out, a dog is usually extremely interested and curious about something. They aren’t quite relaxed, but they aren’t necessarily afraid. He or she is most likely curious about something new.
Down/Between Hind Legs Tail
This position signals the opposite of holding a tail high up in the air. This is normally a sign of submission. The dog is able to tell other dogs it is not a threat and is not there to start any trouble.
Left Side & Right Side Tail Wagging
A number of scientists believe a tail wagging to the right means the dog is feeling happy and secure, as the left brain controls the right side of the body. A tail wagging to left left would suggest the dog is feeling frightened or nervous. This would make sense as the “fight or flight” response is controlled by the right side of the brain, which also controls the body’s left side.
Hopefully this has opened to your eyes to your dog’s tail wagging. Now you can pay closer attention to how your precious pup is feeling on a day-to-day basis!
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