PhotobucketAnimals do use body language to tell us how they’re feeling, and their tails happen to be one of the simplest indicators. Specifically, here are the typical meanings behind dog’s wagging tails….

Tail Posturing of Canine Companions

Held High: When a person holds her head high, it usually means she’s feeling confident. The same goes for dogs. A dog whose tail is standing erect and high is assured and ready for what’s coming next, whether it be a walk through the park or a run down the beach. A tail that is high and curling at the end is an added show of his joyous mood.

Between the Legs: We’ve all heard the human expression “caught with his tail between his legs.” This saying, which is generally used to refer to someone caught telling a lie, has a bit of a different meaning in the canine world. A dog holding his tail between his legs is a clear expression of submission and sometimes even fear. If you’ve ever come home and found that Milo chewed your favorite heels to bits, you most likely yelled at him and carried out some (mild) form of punishment. When you did this, you probably noticed that Milo put his head down, lowered his eyes, and slowly walked away with his tail between his legs.

A Wag by Any Other Name

Small, Slow Wags: A slow, sometimes jerky wag of the tail is a hint that the dog is feeling skeptical. He’s still considering the person, environment, or other dog in question, and he’s not quite sure what may happen or what may be expected of him. This type of wag is a distinct sign of feelings of uncertainty.

Large, Fast Wags: A tail that is wagging in large slow or fast sweeps can actually suggest excitement or agitation. The best way to read this tail is to take into account other body language. If Norton’s wags are accompanied by ears that are slightly pulled back, an open mouth, and squinty eyes, then you can probably bet that he’s a cheerful dog who is ready to show affection and play. Strong, happy wags also tend to involve more of the entire backside, rather than just the tail itself, so if his rear end is really swaying from side to side, you know he’s feeling good.