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Doggy Body Language – The Tail Wag

Those cute tails our canine buddies have are quite endearing. It’s hard to question how delighted Fido is to see you when you return to your Hutchinson Island home; it’s all over that furry little face, and his wagging tail confirms it. Our canine buddies’ tails are more than happiness alerts, however; tail movement is almost an entire language in itself. Dogs’ tails serve as sort of barometers for their moods. When Fido was wild and lived with the pack, he both sent and received communication through “tail talk.” Here are a few interesting tidbits about Fido’s tail.

  • Dogs don’t just wag their tails when they’re happy. Dogs can also wag their tails when they’re cautiously meeting a new friend. Some dogs even wag their tails when they’re angry.
  • Dogs wag their tails as a means of communication. Therefore, they only wag at living beings, or sometimes things they think are living beings; they won’t normally wag their tails at inanimate objects, such as walls.
  • When your dog is relaxed, or feeling ‘normal’ his tail may be sticking out behind him, fairly even with his body, or, with some dogs, curled up. If your dog’s tail is drooping, this could be an indication that Fido is stressed, sick, or frightened. A dog whose tail is in a more vertical position may actually be in a defensive mode. Frightened dogs will press their tails in close to their bodies. This is where the saying “Tuck tail and run” originated.
  • Dog breeds tend to form ‘accents’ when it comes to tail wagging, just as people from certain regions may develop dialects. Beagles, for instance, normally hold their tails up a bit, while other breeds, such as Greyhounds, may have a lower natural tail position.
  • Wagging speed is also quite telling. The ‘happy wag’ is generally pretty fast, and sometimes the dog will move their hips a bit with it. A slower wag is a more tentative greeting, such as a simple ‘Hello’ to a stranger you aren’t quite sure of yet.
  • Just because a dog isn’t wagging his tail, that doesn’t mean he’s unfriendly. Some dogs simply don’t wag their tails as much as others do.
  • Recent studies have shown that happy dogs tend to wag their tails slightly more to the right, while dogs that are more tentative tend to wag more to the left. There hasn’t been quite enough research done to make definitive rules with this recent discovery, but it may be tied into left-brain/right-brain functions.

Please check our site for more tips and articles on caring for your Hutchinson Island dog.

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