The meaning behind a dog’s wagging tail

Dog-wagging-tail

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.

The Golden Rule for successfully training your dog

Successfully training your dog

The “Golden Rule” to successful training with your dog is not a rule, or a guideline, but rather a concept… an understanding of the relationship between man and dog.  When I have explained this to friends who are are having difficulties with training their dog basic commands and/or acceptable social behavior, miracles start occurring.

A dog’s sole purpose is to serve man.  There are a variety of ways in which a dog may serve their man… hunting, herding, guarding, service dog, therapy dog, and, yes, regular ol’ companionship is a form of serving man.  This instinct in dogs started developing thousands of years ago when man began using wolves, then eventually dogs, for hunting.  Thousands of years of instinct just does not disappear.  Use this to your advantage.  All the dog knows now is the desire to serve their man and make them happy.  When the dog knows their man is happy, then the dog is happy.  Then the dog will want to repeat the same behavior which made their man happy.  From the dog’s view, they just successfully served their man, which nature tells them to do.

Very simple.

Here is an example of a train of thought from the mind of a dog that just responded correctly to a new command:

“Oh, my human is happy.  Yay!!!  This is great!  What did I do that made them happy?  Tell me…. [human gives dog the command]  Was it this? [dog responds correctly – human praises]  Yes, that was it!!!  Tell me to do it again, please, please, please!”

Let the miracles begin.  And please remember, the dogs level and speed of learning varies… please be very patient with those who do not seem to catch on as quickly as others.

A tender moment between Mama and her “lethal white” son

Mama kissing Dork 400

My two beautiful children.  Rescued together from a shelter (see “About Me & My Dogs” in the top menu).  He was about 3-4 months old, her age unsure – estimating around 4 yrs old at the time of adoption in 2007.

I, very affectionately, call the son “Dork”… because he’s a dork.  Very happy-go-lucky.  Born completely deaf, and blind in his left eye, he will occasionally run into something, then give it a look as in “whatever” and go on his merry way.

Why dogs chase their tails

animated gif of cartoon dog chasing their tail
Tail chasing is a very common behavior in an active
puppy.  In an older dog, tail chasing may have
different and more serious causes.  Here are some reasons that dogs chase their tails:
 

1.  Because the tail is always there.  Puppies don’t know where their bodies end and the world begins.  So a wiggly little tail is definitely intriguing.  This is especially true when the puppy has been separated from his littermates and has only himself to play with.

2.  Older dogs sometimes chase their tails when they are anxious, bored, or frustrated.

3.  Tail chasing can be a symptom of a physical problem such as the presence of fleas or irritated anal glands.

4.  Tail chasing can also result when a dog is confined and has his movement restricted.

5.  Some breeds such as Bull Terriers, German Shepherd Dogs, and Australian Cattle Dogs are more predisposed to chase their tails, suggesting that this tendency may be an inherited trait.

6.  The dog may have canine compulsive disorder.  This is a rare condition, but it might be the cause of tail chasing.

7.  One good turn deserves another.

______________________________________________________________

Source: Sandra and Harry Choron. Planet Dog, a doglopedia. Houghton Mifflin Co. 2005

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