Tail Wagging – What Does It Mean?

Of course you’re saying “but my Bulldog doesn’t have a tail”, true true. However I have found tail wagging interpretation extremely helpful when encountering another dog on my walks with Archie.When to beware and when to proceed.

from Dr Becker

Recent research suggests that when dogs feel stress, they tend to wag their tails to the left as a reflection of what’s happening in the brain. Activation of the left-brain causes the tail to wag to the right; activation of the right brain produces a wag to the left.

The research shows that dogs wag to the right side when they encounter something pleasant. When they see something threatening, for example, a strange dog exhibiting dominant behaviors, they wag more to the left side.

These results suggest that dogs notice another dog’s tail wagging and use the information to decide whether the dog with the wagging tail is friend or foe.

What do other tail positions mean (among dogs, at least)?

A tail held high is a sign of dominance. The dog will release more of their scent from their anal glands this way, thus making their presence known

A tail held high and wagging is often a sign of happiness

A tail held horizontal to the ground means your dog is exploring

A low-wagging tail is a sign of worry or insecurity

A tail tucked between the legs is a sign of fear or submission (this position also prevents his scent from being released)

via 10 Amazing Uses of Animal Tails.

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