All this time, I thought the wag of a tail only meant a happy safe dog .Out of the tail and a fascinating new study on man’s/woman’s best friend. What turns out — tail — means a lot more than just a happy puppy. We now have a lot of clearer answers, here as a dog owner I know when mine — are happy.
A wag of a tail is contagious, tail wags are created equally. Did you know that the dogs wags their tail can be — telltale sign of how your furry friend is according to a group of Italian researchers discovered dogs can read how another dog feels. Just from the wagging up its — became even beat contagious.
Perhaps the most common misinterpretation of dogs is the myth that a dog wagging its tail is happy and friendly. While some wags are indeed associated with happiness, others can mean fear, insecurity, a social challenge or even a warning that if you approach, you are apt to be bitten.
In some ways, tail wagging serves the same communication functions as a human smile, a polite greeting or a nod of recognition. The tail’s position-specifically, the height at which it is held-can be considered a sort of emotional meter. A middle height suggests the dog is relaxed. If the tail is held horizontally, the dog is attentive and alert. As the tail position moves further up, it is a sign the dog is becoming more threatening, with a vertical tail being a clearly dominant signal meaning, “I’m boss around here,” or even a warning, “Back off or suffer the consequences.”
As the tail position drops lower, it is a sign the dog is becoming more submissive, is worried or feels poorly. The extreme expression is the tail tucked under the body, which is a sign of fear, meaning, “Please don’t hurt me.”
Just as there are different dialects to a human language, such as a southern drawl or a New England twang, there are also dialects in dogs’ tail language. Different breeds carry their tails at different heights, from the natural nearly vertical position common to Beagles and many Terriers to the low-slung tails of Greyhounds and Whippets. All positions should be read relative to the average position where the individual dog normally holds it tail.
Movements give additional meaning to the signals. The speed of the wag indicates how excited the dog is. Meanwhile, the breadth of each tail sweep reveals whether the dog’s emotional state is positive or negative, independent from the level of excitement.
As a result, there are many combinations, including the following common tail movements:
● A slight wag-with each swing of only small breadth-is usually seen during greetings as a tentative “Hello there,” or a hopeful “I’m here.”
● A broad wag is friendly; “I am not challenging or threatening you.” This can also mean, “I’m pleased,” which is the closest to the popular concept of the happiness wag, especially if the tail seems to drag the hips with it.
● A slow wag with tail at ‘half-mast’ is less social than most other tail signals. Generally speaking, slow wags with the tail in neither a particularly dominant (high) nor a submissive (low) position are signs of insecurity.
● Tiny, high-speed movements that give the impression of the tail vibrating are signs the dog is about to do something-usually run or fight usually. If the tail is held high while vibrating, it is most likely an active threat.
We can now add another newly discovered, feature of dog tail language that may surprise attentive pet owners as much as it surprised scientists like me. It now appears that when dogs feel generally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rear ends, and when they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.
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