Most pet owners often think that dogs wag their tails when they’re happy. It’s true up to some extent. But it’s not the only reason for tail wagging. Dogs use their tail to express their emotions to their owners and other animals. Some vets suggest that tail wagging isn’t always about happiness; sometimes, dogs do it when they’re defensive or nervous. So, do you want to know why do dogs wag their tails? If yes, stick around with us because we will share different reasons for tail-wagging here. So, let’s start.
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
What Does Dog’s Tail Position and Movement Tell?
You’ll get answers to why do dogs wag their tails here. When you understand your dog’s tail position, you can understand your dog. More importantly, it helps you interact safely with dogs.
Remember, the tail movement and position vary from dog to dog, but overall and general tail movements are the same in all dog breeds.
- A Lowered and Between the Legs Tail
This tail position indicates that your dog is suffering from anxiety, submission, or fear.
- A Slow Wag
When dogs are unsure about a situation and feel insecure, they slowly wag their tail.
- Resting Position
When a dog’s tail is in a resting position, it means your dog is relaxed. But this position depends on the dog’s breed.
- Tail Held Up Higher
When you observe your dog’s tail is held up higher than normal, it means your dog’s interest is piqued by something. Therefore, dogs get alert.
- Tail Wagging from Side to Side
When dogs wag their tails energetically from side to side, it means it’s a sign of a friendly greeting. This type of tail wagging is often accompanied by a few licks or play bow.
- Rapid Tail Wagging from Side to Side
When dogs focus on a scent, they wag their tail rapidly. You can notice it when you ask your dog to track something that has an exciting smell or search for hidden toys. Well. This tail movement is not for communication, and it only shows the concentration of your four-legged friend. When we compare it to humans, we often push our tongues hard when we concentrate on something.
But if you want to learn more about your dog’s body language, you need to pay attention to other factors as well.
Why Do Dos Wag Their Tails? 5 Things They Want to Tell
Your dog’s tail wagging is an indicator that it is trying to tell you something. But for this, you must be able to understand what does this tail position tell? Don’t worry if tail wagging is a new thing for you. In the above section, we have discussed what does dog’s tail position and movement tell. You can go through it again.
Human facial expressions tell different things like they’re happy, sad, or excited. Similarly, a dog’s tail wagging also tells lots of things, such as:
1. Mood Indicator
When dogs wag their tail more on the right side of the body, it shows your dog is relaxed. On the other hand, a wagging tail on the left side of the body means that it is alert and stressed. Remember, we’re not guessing it. A recent study finds it.
2. Convey Emotions
When dogs wag their tail, they’re trying to convey emotions. These emotions can be happiness, threat, anxiety, submission, nervousness, and excitement.
3. To Show Fear and Guilt
When dogs feel submissive or threatened, they wag their tail between their legs and usually hold them down. They do this when they feel guilty or apologetic.
4. To Show Happiness and Excitement
When dogs wag their tail at fact pace and furiously, it means your dog is happy and excited. You’ll often note this when you take your dog to the park or play with them at home. You’ll often notice this behavior when you remain out of home for a long time and when you come back and greet your dog.
5. To Show Aggression
When dogs tuck tails between their legs, it reveals apprehension, fear, and aggression. When you spot this behavior, the best practice is to stop interacting with your dog and move away.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have any confusion about tail wagging, it will get clear after reading the following FAQs.
No, it’s not true. Dogs often use it to get balance and stability. You can notice it when a dog turns at high speed in slow motion.
Moreover, the tail acts as a rudder when a dog swims in water. But it’s also true that dogs use their tails for communication.
In the above discussion, we have learned dogs wag their tails to show emotions, fear, excitement, etc., but why do they do this when they’re sleeping?
So, the answer is that they wag their tails because they’re in deep relaxation.
There is a misconception that dog wags their tails someone is around them. But it’s not true because dog wags their tails even when no one is around.
When something scares or excites them (it can be the sounds of people or animals), you’ll notice their tails wagging.
Whenever you notice that your dog isn’t wagging its tail, it means your dog is threatened. You should take action to respond to this behavior, but be cautious while doing anything.
Why do dogs wag their tails is a most common and frequently asked question. Therefore, we have answered this question in detail. Dogs wag their tail to show different things. These dog cues are simple, and when you understand them, you can communicate with your dog in a better way.
More importantly, it helps you read their moods as well. So, now you can understand what does dog’s tail position indicates and take action accordingly.
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