Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

As An Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases At No Extra Cost To You

A wagging tail is typically associated with a cheerful dog, but this isn't usually the truth. A wagging tail sometimes doesn't indicate that a dog is open and friendly, but it can reveal a lot about how a dog is feeling. Although current studies have proven that tail wagging does not solely transmit a dog's enjoyment, we frequently mistake a "tail wagging" for an indication of our pets' enjoyment. For a while now, veterinarians have suspected that a swinging tail isn't necessarily a sign of contentment because frequently at the vet, dogs who are noticeably frightened or protective have a swinging tail. This is frequently misunderstood, which puts owners and vet professionals in a very perilous scenario.


Dogs use their tails to express a variety of feelings, including joy, trepidation, feeling insecure, worry, submission, and enthusiasm. It is believed that a dog's tail would sit in a relaxed state when it is at ease. The posture will change based on the dog's species. Some dogs' tails are inherently curling and wonky, while others may have a bushy tail that hangs loosely behind them. Tail wagging then happens when emotions are generated. The reasons why dogs wag their tails will be discussed in details as you read on.



  • Communicating Emotions
  • Communication To Other Dogs
  • For Balance and Equilibrium
  • DOGS

    Communicating Emotions

    According to studies, the wagging can frequently transmit emotion through its pace and posture. Dogs utilise their tails as a means of communication to convey their feelings to humans and, in certain cases, to their owners. A dog will frequently keep its tail down and might even wag it slightly in between the legs if it is scared or timid. We are all familiar with the picture of the dog being disciplined by his owner and acting very sorry and remorseful. When a dog is attentive or enthusiastic, their tail will be held taller than usual. This tall tail would frequently be swinging rapidly and violently, which indicates that your dog is typically cheerful or aroused. Once more, we frequently witness this while playing with our dogs. They frequently assume a happy posture with their bottoms raised and swing their tails aloft while asking us to toss a ball or playing pursuit. These actions are also displayed when we come home to our pets after a long absence; they are letting us know they miss us and are happy to be seeing us. The same communicative purposes are served by wagging tail as by human smiles, courteous greetings, or nods of acknowledgment. The best approach to understand what your dog is actually trying to communicate to you is to read their nonverbal cues and tails.

    Communication To Other Dogs 

    Recent studies show that a dog's tail orientation could convey conflicting feelings to other dogs. It has been demonstrated that dogs communicate good sentiments to one another by swinging their tails a little to the right by observing the actions of "watch dogs" who were observing another dog wiggle its tail. On the contrary, if a dog wags significantly to the left, stronger negative feelings are being felt. If observing dogs saw pictures or silhouette of canines with their tails moving a little to the right, they were observed to have a lower heartbeat and assume a calmer demeanour. The observation dogs' heart rates would go up and they would take on a more fighting stance if they saw a dog sway its tail slightly to the left. When they noticed a dog wagging more to the left, some of the watchdog hounds were even shown to have their body hair spike on edge. Moving tails are a wonderful visual reference to other dogs since dogs' eyes are so receptive to movement.

    For Balance and Equilibrium 

    It's important to keep in mind that dogs don't just communicate with their tails. It is frequently used to support balance and equilibrium. Slow-motion footage of a dog making a sharp turn typically reveals how it employs its tail for equilibrium. If the dog is paddling in water, it also functions as a tiller. It's intriguing to wonder whether these functions of a tail came first, or whether dogs' tails themselves originated as a method of communicating.



    The tail of a dog serves as a mood indicator. Understanding your dog and how to securely engage with other dogs will be made easier if you are familiar with canine tail placements and other nonverbal cues indicators. Many broad motions are the same throughout dog breeds, despite modest variations in tail movements and location. Fear, nervousness, or surrender may be indicated by a tail that is dropped and between the legs. A dog may be uncertain and uneasy about a scenario if its tail wags slowly. While a tail swinging vigorously from side - to - side, particularly when followed by a playful bowing or a few lickings, can be a warm salutation, a tail propped aloft taller than usual may indicate that something has caught your dog's attention and he is vigilant (like a rodent dashing across the lawn). Tail motions are just one aspect of canine nonverbal cues, but there are other things to be aware of. According to a study conducted, a dog's tail-wagging preference may also be a good sign of mood. Dogs with their tails wagging more on their right sides of their bodies are usually more comfortable, whereas dogs with their tails wagging more on their left sides may be more attentive, agitated, or worried. Many of these indications may seem fairly straightforward, but learning to interpret them will improve both your relationship with your dog and your ability to gauge other dogs' emotions.


    The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that a dog's wriggly tail does not really indicate that it's joyful or welcoming. Simply said, a dog engaged with its surroundings is demonstrated by a swinging tail. Before caressing a dog, it's important to talk to the owner because sometimes a tail wagging might be misinterpreted and result in a violent attack. Teenagers are frequently the targets of such misunderstandings, therefore it's imperative that we all take care to make sure they understand that they should only approach a dog if they have been given permission to do so.

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment