Dogs are one of the most adorable creatures on earth. They made us fall in love with them by their loyalty, great companion, and affection. Their actions like yawning, licking their master, and puppy dog eyes makes us feel that they are communicating with us.
There were couple of studies regarding how does dogs communicate with human. We all have perceived that when a dog starts wagging their tail, they are happy, being friendly and just want to be petted. These misconceptions seem legit because they appear to be so cute when they do it. It is also one of the reasons why children get bitten more often because they cannot differentiate if the dog is friendly or not. But what does it really mean? Are they really happy when then wag their tails?
All of us had wished that our dogs could somehow speak to us, but if you will observe further, you will see that they actually do. Dog’s tail play a very important role when it comes to letting us know how they really feel. They use their tails to tell us of their strong emotions like annoyance, agitation, threat, or anger. They also use their tails to help them balance while walking, guide them while swimming and make turns when running.
According to some research when you see a dog wagging their tail, you need to watch out if which side does the dog wag their tail to because that’s when you will know if it’s safe to approach the dog. A person who read the sign incorrectly can get bitten if they come near it.
A research from University of Trento, Italy stated that when a dog see something that makes them happy like seeing their owner or a treat, they tend to wag their tail to the right. When they feel intimidated or frightened, they wag their tail to the left.
If a dog wags his tail upright (like a squirrel), it means that they are alert, if they wag it high back and forth, can mean a friendly greeting. A lowered tail that is tucked in between legs mean she’s either frightened, being submissive, or worried.
Dogs also uses their tail to spread their natural scent from their anal gland, which is unique for every one of them just like human’s thumbmark. Alpha-dogs usually have their tail raised higher to drive more attention, compared to subordinate dogs who usually hold their tail in between legs. Meaning, dogs are communicating on how they wanted to be detected by the others by wagging their tails and spreading their scent.
Some researchers also observed that other dogs wag their tail the other way around due to past experiences, especially for tailless dogs. Since dog tail is very essential for their communication, most pooches approach a tailless dog with caution to prevent any miscommunication that may end into biting or other acts of aggression.
We can say that tail wagging is both innate and learned. They don’t just wag their tails for no reason, just like when human smiles, nods, and any other body language that we use in different kinds of situations.