Animals 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.
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.
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