Tail wagging is an instinctive behaviour that develops in puppies once they reach three or four weeks of age. This extension of the backbone is used to communicate with other animals and hoomans, and varies between breeds in degree of curl, length, size, and how expressive its owner is with it. Early introductions to a diverse range of canines are extremely useful in increasing confidence and social interaction skills, but what does tail position tell us about how our furry friend is feeling?
A tail clamped firmly between a dog’s legs indicates fear and the need to protect himself, whereas if it is tucked or low with a slight wag, this implies he is uncertain about the situation, and possibly in a state of submission to others present. A rapid swish from side to side can be expected if your pup is focused on a sight or scent, as this is a sign of extreme interest and concentration. Research suggests that a wagging tail with a bias towards the right-hand side denotes recognition of a familiar environment or person, and a broad smooth sweep that is neither tucked nor high lets you know that your pooch is feeling comfortable and relaxed. The opposite to this is the fast, high tail wag of arousal and excitement. However, if you experience the ‘helicopter’ tail accompanied by the full body wiggle then you are truly honoured; this wag is reserved for his favourite hooman and furry friends, showing he is enthusiastic and absolutely thrilled by the social antics that are sure to follow! ❤
~ Tania Marie de Saram