What Can You Tell About Your Dog From His TailAuthor: Robin Kasper
Most people think that if a dog is wagging his tail he is happy. While this can be a sign of happiness it can also mean many other things. Dogs use body language just as people do. A dogs tail can easily be compared to a human smile.
When a dog wags his tail it releases pheromones which are hormones produced by the anal glands. This is one way that dogs communicate their sex and social status to other dogs.
Which is why when two dogs meet they will often wag their tails while sniffing each others hind end. A fast wagging tail indicates that the dog is excited by something while a slower more relaxed wag is a sign that your dog is pleased and relaxed.
The alpha dog of a pack will hold their tails higher then the other dogs. So a good way to determine who is in charge is to see who holds their tail the highest. While a dog who is either fearful or submissive will tuck his tail between his legs and lower his head. This is his way of communicating to the other dogs that he is not a threat.
On the other hand a dog that is showing aggression will have a high, motionless and stiff tail and will hold his head higher, pin his ears and may show his teeth and growl but you will almost always see the first signs of aggression in the tail position. A dog that is alert will also have a motionless and stiffened tail position.
Besides the communication factor, dogs also use their tails for balance. A good example would be the long tail of a greyhound. Greyhounds actually use their tails as a kind of rudder when they are running.
Your dogs tail is as important to them as our voices are to us. If you really want to know what your dog is thinking you must pay attention to these subtle displays and twitches of the tail. While the tail is not the end all to a dogs communication it is always one of the easiest to recognize. Our dogs are always trying to communicate with us but we often times completely ignore or misread what they are saying. Next time you are with your dog pay more attention to his tail and you may learn more about his personality than you ever thought possible.
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Why do dogs wag their tails?
Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?
By Jerry Welsh
Dogs use their tails in pretty much the same way humans use their hands. Both hands and tails are used by humans and dogs respectively to communicate and to express themselves. Of course communicating is easier done by humans. Our furry friends also use other parts of their bodies to impart their message. Apart from tail wagging barking, whining and growling are used by the dog to communicate. Tail wagging however is commonly used. Dogs wag their tails more than any other animals with tails do. Notice how dogs would wag their tails when they meet another dog. This is their way of saying "how are you?" and very similar to the handshake of humans. With the wagging tail dogs can communicate and understand each other even at a distance. Dogs with relatively short tails communicate with the human family, with other dogs and animals by using other parts of the bodies like the head and the ears.
Aside from being a form of communication, tail wagging also conveys the emotional state of the dog. Commonly, a wagging tail signifies happiness and a friendly attitude. The dog would certainly gladly meet the owner with a wagging tail. The wagging tail in this case denotes the good spirit of the dog. The dog may be asking the owner to play with him or entreating the owner to give him a treat. However, a wagging tail is not an ultimate sign that the dog is friendly. Take care in approaching a strange dog even if it is wagging its tail. Many people get bitten by dogs this way.
Dogs are extremely social animals. They rarely wag their tails when they are alone. In the presence of the alpha male, a dog wags its tail as a sign of submission. In this instance the tail is held low and wagged stiffly. A tail that is held high with only the tip wagging is a sign that the dog is aggressive and showing his dominance over other dog in the pack. Dog experts theorize that tail wagging may also mean that the dog is in conflict. The tail that wags from side to side is a sign that the dog is confused whether to go or to stay.
Tail wagging serves another purpose for the dog. Take note of the dogs action when they meet another dog. They sniff each others behinds. When the tail is raised to wag, the anal glands are squeezed, releasing a bit of the anal juice along with the unique scent of the dog. This scent is unique to every dog and serves as the dogs identification very similar to the finger prints of humans.
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