The Wagging Tail

What does that Wagging tail mean?

During one of our recent ‘Foundation Courses’ the question about the significance of a dog wagging its tail came up again, a signal which can often be misunderstood. The common mistake is assuming that the wagging tail is a sign of a friendly, happy mood, even an invitation to play,

Knowing the truth; that a wagging tail is just an indication of  heightened excitement, will help owners avoid problems in trying to keep their dogs happy and safe when encountering other dogs.  Dogs have been seen wagging their tails just before they fight and in the same way a playing dog can often have its hackles raised, a sign normally seen as aggression. Both signals only indicate heightened emotion, whether good and bad

When walking your dog and meeting others, wagging tails do not necessarily mean all is well. If you are completely happy that your dog is in no danger and is not a danger to others, then all should be fine but, if there is any doubt at all then put your dog on a slip lead. Interpreting body language correctly will help you protect your dog from others and itself.

Watch carefully the signals from dogs when meeting. If the dogs stand side by side, even sniff one another then that is fine but if one of the dogs, even if it is yours, places its head over the other then I suggest that both owners quietly place the dogs back on lead and either walk together, as relaxed as possible or go your separate ways.   Safety first.



“What does it mean?”

More from the blog

Why do dogs cry when their owners come home? Researchers in Japan asked this question and went on to test 22 dogs who produced tears when their owners returned home after they had been separated for various lengths of time. The researchers concluded that the reason dogs become so hysterical is to produce the tears that form a bond with their human companions. This “study” actually made me laugh out loud as, 22 dogs is nowhere near a large enough sample of the canine world to produce a scientific, accurate and reliable result. The study is also based on the understanding that all dogs are hysterical when their human companions return home; that is simply not the case.
I know what I am going to say here will anger some people but I will always say what I believe to be in the best interests of dogs everywhere.