What Is My Dog’s Tail Saying
Ever wonder, “what is my dog’s tail saying?”. Well, you’re not alone. Plenty of dog owners are asking the same thing.
According to the Family Pet Health Center in Mattawan, Michigan, there are quite a few messages that your dog might be sending you (read their full article here).
- What is my dog’s tail saying when he carries his tail practically horizontal, yet not stiff, and pointing away from its body. This lets you know that they are paying close attention to their surroundings.
- Your dog is holding its tail straight out, pointing away from its body, both horizontally and stiff. Watch and you’ll notice that this is part of the process that occurs in any initial challenge whenever they first meet a stranger or an intruder.
- If the dog’s tail is help upward, somewhere between a horizontal and vertical position, realize that this is often the sign of a dog that is dominant, confident and feeling in control. This can also be a display of a dog who is asserting his/her dominance – basically translating into “I’m the boss here. Don’t mess with me.”
- What is my dog’s tail saying when his tail is carried up and slightly curved over its back it means, “I’m the top dog.” A confident and dominant dog who feels that it is in control will often express itself this way.
- If the dogs tail is carried lower than the horizontal position but still has some distance from the legs you can be aware that your dog feels pretty relaxed and that all is well.
- If your dog’s tail is carried downward, closer to its hind legs it can mean several things such as “I’m not feeling good” or “I’m a little depressed.” It could also mean “I feel insecure,” which is especially true of many dogs when they are in an unknown or new setting or situation.
- If the dogs tail is tucked between its legs it often means “I’m frightened!” or “Please don’t hurt me!” This is especially common whenever the dog feels that it is in the presence of a more dominant dog or person. Tail carriage of this type can also mean, “I accept my lowly role in the pack, and I’m not out to challenge you in any way.”
- All right, let’s talk about a few more examples of how a dog carries its tail. If you notice bristling hair down its back or down the dog’s tail this often suggests a sign of aggression. This meaning may also change in intensity if the dog modifies its tail position. So, if the tail is carried straight out from the body it means “I’m ready to fight if you are!” or if it moves the tail slightly up or over its back it means that “I’m not afraid of you and will fight to prove that I’m really the boss.” This is serious – especially if it happens between two dogs that won’t back down.
- What is my dog’s tail saying when he carries his tail with a crick or sharp bend in it while it is carried high? This often means pretty much the same thing as in the tail bristling example. This too can be read as a sign of aggression.
- If the dog has a nice broad tail wag it often means “I like you.” You’ll often see this display during play sessions between dogs – for example, when one dog seems to be fighting the other, pouncing, growling, and barking but with a wagging tail all the while – the wagging tail reminds the other dog that this is all in fun. A broad tail wag can also mean that “I’m pleased.”
- If you happen to notice that your dog is exhibiting a slow tail wag, with its tail carried at half-mast it can often mean “I’m confused.” Later when the dog finally solves the problem that it was confused about you will often notice a dramatic difference in the speed and size of the tail wags which will usually markedly increase as well.
If you’re still wondering, “what is my dog’s tail saying”, you may want to ask your veterinarian. If you just want to brag about your puppy, feel free to give us a call or send us some pics! We’re always happy to hear how they are doing!