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Why Does My Dog Wag His Tail

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Why does my dog wag his tail?

A happy tail is really relaxed and is moving rather quickly. The rear ends will wiggle as well. You should know your dog’s tail and be able to identify if it is happy or not. Pay close attention to it in different situations. Some wagging tails mean that the dog is upset, sick or uncomfortable. Learn to recognize and read your dog’s tail.


Can a wagging tail on a dog have more than one meaning?

Dog’s communicate a lot of information with their bodies. Their tail is only one of the tools your dog uses to tell you what’s going on. Most people associate a wagging tail with a happy dg ad a tail between their legs as a scared dog. But the tail can say so much more than that.

Tail height, stiffness, and speed all need to be taken into consideration when interpreting what your dog is trying to tell you.  Matt Sonaik in his article on dog wagging behavior states a dog can convey hostility, anxiety, and nervousness as well as fear and happiness. From the article:

Tail Height:

  • A wagging tail held high often signals enthusiasm.
  • A higher tail usually means a dog is confident, while a lower tail indicates a more timid or nervous dog.
  • A tail wag which just involves the tip, with the tail high above the back, or less than 90 degrees from the back indicates high arousal. This dog may want to interact, but not necessarily in a controlled or friendly manner.

Tail Stiffness:

  • Generally, a loose, flowing wag is good.
  • A stiff wag can communicate tension or hostility.

Tail speed:

  • A fast wag is generally good.
  • Aslow wag usually signals that a dog will not be friendly.