Facts About Dog Tails!

Facts About Dog Tails!


Facts About Dog’s Tails

Do you know why pooches their tails? You do? Well, did you know there is so much more to your dog’s tail than showing how happy they are? Get your learn on this week with some fun and interesting facts about your dog’s tail!

Speed & Height Show Their Mood. – It’s widely known that a wagging tail means a dog is  happy. But the height and speed of their wag tells us more about their mood.

A broad swishing wag is friendly and unchallenging, while a slight wag when meeting someone new is a tentative "wait and see" greeting.

A slow wag of the tail held at half-mast is neutral, indicating that the dog is neither excited nor anxious, but a high-sitting tail making rapid back and forth motions can be a sign of feeling threatened.

It’s important for dog owners to know the differences between these, and to understand your dog’s body language in general.

Right & Left Mean Different Things. – The left brain controls the right side of the body, and the right brain controls the left side of the body. So positive feelings pull a dog’s tail to the right and negative feelings pull it to the left.

If you’re looking at a dog and her tail is wagging to the right, they’re pleased, relaxed, and/or happy. If and it’s oriented to the left, they’re  nervous, anxious, perhaps threatened.

This nuance can be tricky for us humans to pick up on, but easy for fellow dogs to pick up on.

Tails Share Personal Information. - A dog's tail helps them spread their scent.

Alpha dogs who hold their tails high can release more scent from the anal glands. Scared dogs who hold their tails between their legs are submissively covering their scent glands.

The swoosh of a tail helps fan the scent into the air.

But what happens when your dog wags their tail? The muscles around the dog's rectum contract and press on the anal glands, which triggers the release of small, volatile molecules that are then detected by other dogs.

The molecules provide info about a dog's age, sex, and reproductive status. A bit like an airborne business card!

Wagging is a Learned Behaviour.  – Believe it or not, puppies don’t actually wag their tails as soon as their born. Wagging is a learned behaviour!  Puppies don’t start wagging until they are about a month and a half old. Then, they practice with their first audience: their litter mates and their mother.

This is because most of a puppy's life is spent nursing and sleeping prior to when they become social and aware of their surroundings. As soon as they start socialising, around 49 days old, they will start wagging.

Circle Wagging or “Helicopter Tail” is a sign of Love. – Some dogs are capable of wagging their tail in a circular motion. This is known as a "circle wag." According to dog behaviour. Dogs use this type of tail wag with people they literally adore. Which is SO SWEET!

They’re Used for Balance! - Dogs do not only use their tails for communication, but it is also useful for keeping balance. If you watch a really fast dog run, like a Greyhound or a Whippet, you can see that the tail sticks out straight behind them.

It works as a counterweight and helps the dog to accelerate, break and turn at high speeds.

If you watch a dog walk along a narrow surface, you’re almost sure to see the tail hard at work. The tail helps the dog maintain his balance by putting its weight on the opposite side of the dog’s tilt.

 Dogs that enjoy climbing various surfaces will use their tails to balance on uneven footing, such as rocks or trees.

Please do bear in mind that everything in this post is strictly advisory and has been gathered from various reputable sources from the internet. We’re not vets, and you should always seek professional advice if you ever have concerns.

Thanks for reading. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, then feel free to get in touch with us over on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
Jun 11 2021
by Claire