Dogs Wag Their Tails to Express Emotions

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Having a furry friend nestles into your lap for a cuddle or wag its tail to show you affection is always amazing. But have you ever wondered why your dog puts their whole body into wagging their tails? Probably they’re happy or excited or anxious. Every dog owner is familiar with the tail wag. Mostly they are associated with excitement and happiness. But there are several factors that may be at play.

We normally communicate through our expressions to let other people understand our feelings. Similarly, dogs use their body movements to indicate their feelings. Here’s a look at reasons why your dog wags their tails and indications about what they’re feeling.

A Tucked Tail

While humans often assume that tail wagging always equates to a welcoming smile, not all tail wagging expresses happiness. Dog wags their tails for a number of reasons and a tucked tail with fast wagging usually indicates nervousness or uneasiness. They tuck their tails to avoid conflict. They reduce the appearance of their size to show other dogs that they are not a threat. The dogs are clever enough to understand whether the gestures are more submissive, threatening or dominant.

A Stiff Tail

A stiff tail is a sign of alertness that your dog might soon run after something. This position is for sure not expressing happiness or fear. Like whether it’s a lizard they spot in your yard or another dog. It signals that they see or hear something they are interested in. Besides that, you can also consider it as a dog’s confidence to positively approach another animal or human.

A Rigid Tail

Seeing your dog moving its tail slowly back and forth is a sign of aggressiveness. This movement is known as flagging, which indicates that your dog is not in a calm state of mind. So, those who don’t understand the tail wags might think they’re showing happiness but here, you need to always approach with caution and ask the owner if you can pet their dogs. Other signs of aggressiveness can be an arched back, a low growl or a still body.

There are complex emotions that dogs express by wagging their tails. It can be happiness, fear, anxiety or aggression. It’s not always happiness or friendliness, there’s more to it. So, paying attention to their tail positions, speed and direction of their wag are important. This will make it easy for you to understand what your dog may be feeling.

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