What a Dog’s Tail Tells You

Dogs have their language, too. They are just like humans. However, their body language is different. Your gesture and other bodily actions that you interpret may mean differently to your dogs.

Therefore, a better understanding of your dogs’ actions is essential.Dogs use their tails in communicating with others. Aside from the tail, they use their body as their language, such as shifting their eyes or moving their ears.

Tail wagging is a very common way to communicate with other dogs and humans. Dog’s tail has different interpretations depending on its position. The wagging of a dog’s tail means different things depending on its breed. 

Understanding the body language of dogs is necessary if you are communicating with them. You should be aware of their posture, facial expressions, and other body languages for you to communicate with them properly.

Even the sounds they produce means a lot. However, tail wagging is an obvious way of their communication. Dog’s speed in wagging may give an idea about his mood. If you are a dog owner, understanding their language is very important for you to better care for them.


Reason for dog tail wagging

Since dogs can not speak like humans, they use their tails to do so. Dogs do not just communicate with themselves but also people.

They wag their tails if they want to say something or let you feel about what they feel. They also wag if they are happy, excited, or frustrated.

However, they don’t wag their tails if they are alone.

In most cases, if dog owners are about to come home, dogs suddenly became lively, start to move their tails speedily, and even raise their paws as they stretch their feet towards the owner. 

Variations of Dog’s Tail Positions

As pet lovers, it is good to know the different variations of the dog’s tail positions so that you can have an idea of what they want to convey through body language.

Here are some variations that you may know about the dog’s tail positions:

  • Full Body Wag: When you come home, you will notice this full-body wag in your dog. It welcomes you in that way. The more it sways and wiggles, the happier your dog is. It is also done together with a soft opening of its mouth. It swishes back and forth when it is relaxed or happy.
  • Fast and Shaky –Whenever you saw a fast and almost shaking of tails, it means tension. This dog’s tail position should be avoided. It could act any at the moment.
  • Slow wag: It means that the dog is not friendly so take extra care. You need to be cautious as well since it is maybe in a bad mood. 
  • High and Stiff – It indicates the dog is aroused and alert. It shows being dominant if other dogs are near. They become very lively and want to run and move around the place. 
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Meaning of Different Dog Tail Positions

Dog's Tail Tells

Dog’s tail position means differently. It may means preparedness, aggression, submission, happiness, curiosity, or negotiation.

It is important to know the meaning of the dog’s tail position to know what to do to take extra care of your pets.

Below are some things that you should know about the accusations of your dogs:

  • Preparedness: When they are active and alert, they stand showing their ears up. Their tail is also raised. This means that they are watching and waiting for your attention. Try to attend to them for a while to not feel lonely, especially when you are just there nearby. 
  • Aggression: If the dog’s tail is up, it shows aggressiveness. The higher its tail, the more it is threatening. This dog tail position usually occurs when there are some strangers nearby. Dogs are just defensive; so, they became alert and attentive to anyone that might come to your place.
  • Submission: Dog’s tail in a lower position means being submissive and not threatening. It also means that they can be touched since they also offer friendly gestures to you. Try not to ignore them if their tails are in a lower position because they also want your love and attention. 
  • Happiness: You will see that the dog is happy when it holds its tail in a slightly raised position and continue wagging. As the dogs wag their tails faster and faster, the happier they can feel. This can be usually observed when dog owners and friends are coming nearby. Dogs would like to be recognized first once you came into your house. 
  • Curiosity: When the dog’s tail is straight out, showing a horizontal position, maybe it is curious about something near him, just like the traditional dog breeds used for hunting. The dogs may be sometimes attentive or alert when they are curious. 
  • Negotiation: When it stops wagging and freezes, it does not want to deal like strangers. You can just need to ignore them if they don’t feel that good. It is because they may bite or threaten you. 
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The moods and feelings of all dogs differ from one another. In most cases, they are happy, alert, and playful when their owners and families are there beside them.

They may also feel gloomy when they are alone. Most of the time, dogs are waiting for you when you left your house.

There’s no such time that they are not looking for their dog owners.

When they feel or smell their owner’s presence, they usually waiting at the door and would give you a surprise welcome.

This is only an indication that they are happy to see you back again. 

Meaning of Speed and Direction of Wagging

dog tail positions

The speed and direction of the dog tail’s wagging may also provide meaning to the people.

As dog lovers, it is important to know the meaning behind this movement so that you can easily interpret what they want to imply. 

  • Fast: The faster the dog’s wag, the more it is aroused.
  • Long, slow, side-to-side tail sweeps: It means greetings. This shows that the dog feels relaxed. It also means that they welcome you and want you to draw your attention to them.
  • Faster twitch-like wag: This means a high level of arousal. The dog is alert in this situation. This may mean negatively. Always be wary when you see this speed and direction of its wagging. This actuation may not threaten dog owners since dogs recognize them. However, if there are some strangers in your place, see to it that you monitor your dogs because they might give a sudden attack to strangers.
  • Wagging more to the right: This shows that the dog feels positive about something. Maybe the dog is communicating with the owner.
  • Wagging more to the left: Dogs faced something not good in this case. They may not feel comfortable when this actuation occurs. 
  • Helicopter tail wag: This is when the dog’s tailspins in a circular movement. It is happy. You will notice this kind of wag if it sees or greets a person it dearly loves. Dogs with this actuation are in a good mood. 
  • Dog’s tail relative to the ground: This refers to the dog’s emotional status. If the tail is high, it shows being assertive. On the other hand, if the tail is in the lower position, dogs are submissive and want your attention.
  • Tail between legs: It means that they are anxious, afraid, or scared. They usually put their tail between their legs if there is an unknown environment or even meeting an unknown person or other pets. They don’t feel comfortable when their tail is in between their legs. You can attend to them if you think that they are scared of something or someone. 
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Dog’s tail has a different appearance. There are dogs with small, short, or no tails at all.

It is more difficult for them to communicate with other dogs and also with humans.

Here comes the language barrier of dogs. Having a better understanding of what a dog’s tail tells you will help you know your dog’s feelings.  

How to Understand Dog’s Tail Language

dog tail positions means

Interpreting Dog’s language is not right without understanding it from the right perspective. You should also consider the dog signals.

It is not just about barking. It includes their whole body as the language, which includes the tail.

They are very expressive, whether it is verbal or non-verbal way.

If you intend to learn more about what a dog’s tail tells you, try to understand the following aspects:

  1. Meaning of body language
  2. Kinds of the canine non-verbal way of communication especially for combined body languages
  3. How the dog’s tail and ears used for communicating emotions
  4. Reading Body Language Chart of dogs
  5. Translation of woofs into words
  6. Science of Speaking Canine

You can try to conduct self-researches about what a dog’s tail tells you through the internet.

You can check some available videos on YouTube and other related sites for more information about expressing your pets’ thoughts through body language.

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