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Dog Behavior and Dog Tail Wagging

Why do dogs wag their tail, and what does it mean? This is a very common question that many pet owners ask themselves.


While the answer is not always clear, most people generally agree about the four main positions that a dog's tail could be in, and what it can generally tell you about how they are feeling and their rank in the family pack.

There are many subtle signs related to dog body language, and while we may recognize some, we probably don't recognize all of them. But seeing a pet's tail position is one of the easiest signs for us to pick up on.

Here are four common dog tail positions and what is agreed upon to be their general meaning.

Straight Up in the Air

Generally the dog that has its tail straight up in the air is showing a clear sign that it is feeling dominant and confident. By having it straight up in the air it allows other dogs to smell them and thus shows a clear sign of dominance over other dogs.

Down Between the Legs

Obviously if the dog is holding its tail low and tucked in-between its legs, it is a clear sign that the dog is feeling very submissive or is very fearful of a certain situation.

When they are in this position there clearly saying that they are not in charge, and they want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

Curled Over the Top

If it is curled up over your dog's back and your dog is down on its front legs, this is usually called a play bow, and it is a sign that your dog is ready to play.

Wagging Back and Forth

This is the most common position that most people are aware of. When you see this, it generally means the dogs are what we perceive to be as happy and are receptive to meeting new people and new pets.

While it is natural for humans to classify dog tail positions into different categories, it may not be as clear-cut. As humans we are probably not perceptive to all the subtle meanings of dog tail position.

If you would like to learn more about dog training please visit my website where you can also learn about the dog dna breed test.

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