Why Dogs Wag Their Tails

Dog Behavior & Training > Normal Dog Behavior > Bonding With Your Dog >





Does A Wagging Tail Mean That Your Dog Is Happy?

Some people think that dog tail wagging automatically signals that your dog is happy. That’s not necessarily true. A vertical tail can mean that the dog is trying to show dominance or threaten you. If your dog’s tail is vibrating, he’s probably telling you that he’s ready to take action. He may be going into fight-or-flight mode.

The direction to which your dog’s tail moves is important. This Washington Post article explains that different brain hemispheres may be activated when your dog wags its tail to the right verses to the left. When the tail veers to the right, the left hemisphere is working. This side of the brain is responsible for happy, relaxed emotions. When the dog’s tail goes to the left, the right hemisphere is activated. This part of the brain governs negative and withdrawal emotions.

Other dogs can read this “lingo.” One study showed that when dogs watched canines wagging their tails to the right, they were also relaxed. Their hearts started beating faster when they saw dogs wagging their tails to the left. In what direction does your pet wag its tail?

Your Dog’s Tail Wags For You

Psychology Today says that dogs only wag their tails when another animal or human is around. Just like people don’t talk to themselves very often, dogs don’t wag their tails very much when they’re alone. Your pet is waiting for you to walk through the room so that he can tell you about his day. You can respond by scratching him behind the ears or rubbing his belly.






Pg 2 of 2