Tail Wagging and it’s real meaning
Analysis of Dog’s tail wagging 🙂
A dog wags it’s tail, and you go like “aww this dog is happy and is friendly”. Please don’t be disillusioned by this, and furthermore it can get dangerous. People have been bitten and scratched by dogs because of this. As a general thumb rule, what i can say is – a dog wagging it’s tail means he’s excited. While being happy is a form of excitement, but excitement can also be anger or fear.
If your intention is to understand if a dog is friendly or not, there are other ways you can interpret rather than just the tail. His body language can tell a lot, here is an article explaining how to approach an unknown dog.
I can recall many situations where two dogs go for a fight, and while they interpret and take a break – they do wag their tails. Hence, we can be sure about the fact that a tail wag does not always mean a happy dog. But, there might be a little more science to it. Some researchers believe that dogs might wag it’s tail differently in different situations.
Following are some general signs –
- If a dog has his tail high up, it means he is alert. A more straight and vertical tail means he is more alert, and is probably on his dominant mode. As a warning, if you see an unknown dog with such a sign – BACKOFF!
- The tail in the middle position usually means that the dog is relaxed, and this is the position where it’s usually safe to touch a dog.
- The tail lower than horizontal usually means the dog is in his submissive mode. He might lie down on the ground if he feels more threatened. It’s his way of showing a sign of surrender.
These points, may apply different to different breeds. For example, an Alaskan Malamute usually has his tail rounded up in his normal state, and the beagles have them vertical. Therefore, the above points are very general.
In addition to the position of the tail, the speed at which the dog wags it’s tail might tell us more. I remember whenever i went out of town and returned home, my dogs used to greet me with such rapid tail wags and excited body language! … it is a very good feeling to see your dog do that, and it makes you feel loved 🙂
Below are some precise points about tail speed –
- Very rapid movement of the tail means the dog is very excited. This might mean happiness, threat or any other emotion. Considering the height and position of the dog’s tail,
- Straight high tail and brisk movement means a very highly excited and dominant behavior.
- Tail between the legs and high movement means that the dog is literally scared to a high extreme.
- Moderate tail wag means just a normal greeting, or a normal emotion. It can be a dog’s way of saying “Hey there, i’m not a threat to you… you wouldn’t be a threat either right?”
- A mild tail wag usually means that Mr. Dog is not really interested at the moment. But he’s kind enough to say a little “Hi” with his tail 🙂 . Don’t worry too much here if he’s not showing too much affection. Maybe he’s tired, or he just wants to relax a bit.
I hope you enjoyed the article! If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below!
Thank you for reading!
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