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What Does a Dog's Tail Tell You?

Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

Happy-47816_1280Discover essential information about a dog's tail. Learn what it says about your pet and better understand what to do and how to react in certain situations!

Even though animals are unable to talk, it is possible to interpret their behaviors and thought-process through certain physical aspects. This applies to dogs and cats, but many people are wrong more often than not, making a straightforward assumption. For example, people misinterpret a dog wagging its tail as a sign of friendliness while it is also misunderstood for being happy. However, it is not always the case, since multiple meanings can be conveyed through dog tail signs.

Dog Tail Position and Meaning

A dog can communicate its feeling and thought-process through the position of its tail. There are four common positions.

1. Dog Tail Held High with Wagging

This is a sign of happiness, but it also includes a higher degree of alertness within the animal. Even though a dog in this state is showing cautious excitement, it also has a certain degree of dominance.

2. Dog Tail Held Still and High

This is a sign of dominance while the dog is also super-alert to its surroundings.

3. Dog Tail Between Legs and Pointing Down

This is a sign of submission from the animal, which may also have a fear of its current situation.

4. Dog Tail Held Straight

This is a sign that a pet is in a neutral state, and it is trying to take in as much information from its environment as possible.

One should remember that each breed of dog has its own nature, and tail signs differ from one animal to the other.  Some breeds have curly and stubby tails that may not be able to provide exaggerated expressions as tails in other breeds. Hence, it is important to look very carefully into these tails to understand animals. For example, Chinese Shar-peis or Chow Chows do have a curved rear that is quite high. Greyhounds and whippets have a significantly lower tail.

The 'height tail’ sign is used as an emotional meter. A pet is considered being in a relaxed state when the tail is kept at middle height. When held in a horizontal position, the dog is quite alert and attentive. If it goes up, it is an increasing sign that an animal is being agitated and one can expect a confrontation anytime soon. At the same time, an animal is showing signs of submission if the rear position goes lower. It is also an indication of fear.

However, scientists promise to soon invent an apparatus that will translate animal sounds into human language. It is a pet translator. So, gadgets and electronic reviews can help you in the future.

Additional Aspects of Tail Wagging

Just like there are numerous dialects of human language, different dialects also exist when it comes to a dog's tail. One should not make the mistake of taking certain positions as the reference for every breed. Once this awareness is achieved, it is possible to read more accurately about the feeling and behavior of each animal. Does a wagging tail mean a dog is happy? No, because position alone is not a reference to the pet’s state, as even the speed of wagging can give plenty of detail.

For example, slight wags can indicate the dog's desire to greet or say hello. Only broad wags can be taken as a friendly move, as it gives out signs that the animal will not threaten or challenge at that point. It is the closest movement that is associated with happiness, unlike the common perception. Even if there is wagging in the tail down position, it does not generally signify a happy animal.

A slow wag should not be taken as a sign of happiness. Instead, it is used to signify a neutral state of the animal. It could also denote signs of insecurity – especially when the rear end is not in an unusually high or low position. There are instances when tiny movements are made at high-speed. It is an indication that the animal is about to fight, run, or do something quite active. If the dog manages to hold the rear end quite high while bringing about vibrating action, it is a visible sign of threat intended to scare.

Subtle differences can be observed even with the direction of wagging. There are preferences to the direction in which tail wags. If this direction is on the right side, a pet is having positive thoughts about the situation, and the reverse is true when the wagging happens on the left side.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot more information hiding behind a dog. It is probably the place where the pet has its conversation. The emotional indicators given out by the rear end alone are so subtle, but they can give a massive insight into the animal's communication process. However, it takes a lot of experience to judge the animal accurately. It does not take long to pick up the cues and start assessing a dog well before a situation gets out of hand.

What are your thoughts about dog tails? Let us know in the comments!

Author's bio: Dutch origins. Animal rights advocate. Rachel H.moved to the US at 28 after getting her Teacher Certification in the Netherlands. She decided to move on and start a new life in Los Angeles and start to work on https://besttechexpert.guide. 

Image: Pixabay.com

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