The Science Behind a Dog’s Tail Wag

PJ-BP249_FIXBUR_G_20130708163249The way your dog wags his tail may mean more than you think. Scientists have discovered that the direction of a tail wag can indicate a dog's mood. A tail wagging more to the right (from the dog's perspective) indicates a relaxed, happy dog, while a tail wagging more to the left indicates an anxious or nervous dog.

Beyond that, scientists have concluded that dogs can gauge these subtle differences and respond accordingly. Researchers measured dogs' heart rates and analyzed their behavior when presented with various tail movements. When the dogs saw another dog move its tail to the right, they remained calm and relaxed. But when the dogs saw a tail moving more to the left, their heart rates elevated and they appeared more anxious.

The researchers believe that dogs have evolved over time to be able to recognize these subtle tail differences, and they believe that dogs don't intentionally communicate with each other in this way.

The team  hopes that the findings will help give dog owners and professionals a better insight into a dog's mind and emotions.

Read the full article here. 


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  • Shauna

    I find this very interesting and am anxious to watch out for our dogs tail gestures now:)

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