Dogs do a lot of communication through body language. One of the ways that they express themselves and what they’re feeling or thinking is through their tails. They can convey all kinds of emotions with just one wag – or a lack thereof. And below are the different signs and what they mean:
When a dog is feeling perky, his tail is probably feeling it too. And you’ll see it in their tail by a confident stance in their tail. While it’s great for your dog to feel confident, they may be crossing into alpha dog territory and you should watch out for dominant behaviors like intimidation.
If your dog’s tail is sticking straight out behind them then this means they’re feeling a little apprehensive about something. You dog may take this stance when they aren’t sure about someone new, or if they hear a strange noise that they’re unfamiliar with. Whenever you see your dog assume this position, just give them a little space to figure things out. But if you are outside with your dog and their tail begins to do this, grab onto their leash in case they bolt or have a negative reaction.
When a dog’s tail wags slightly it could mean several things. The first could mean that they’re hesitantly giving their approval about something or someone new. Or if they’re meeting a new dog then it could mean that they’re not sure whether they should assume the beta or alpha role. If this is the case, then remove them from the situation until they fully start to wag their tail.
This one is the most obvious one. An actively wagging tail is a clear sign that your dog is happy. And more accurately, they’re happy to see you. And that is always a nice feeling to know that your dog wants you around.
Pointing Straight Up
When your dog’s tail goes up like this, they’re usually trying to convey that they’re mad. This can signify that they’re about to react to whatever it is they’re unhappy with. If you see this stance, you should restrain your dog’s leash or put them in a crate until they have calmed down.
Between Their Legs
When a dog is scared or sad, they will stick their tail between their legs. This could be a stance they take when they’ve done something bad, like peeing in the house, and they’re feeling ashamed. Or if they’ve been scolded they may put their tail between their legs. Dogs will also assume this position when they’re scared about something. When this is the case, just calmly assure them that everything is okay.
Relaxed and Floppy
This is the ultimate sign that your dog is happy and content. They are feeling loved and at peace with their surroundings. As loving pet parents, this is what we want our dogs to look like all the time.
Tail down coupled with their head down could be a sign that they’re feeling either sad or submissive. This stance is a “beta” posture, so it could be them signaling to you that they know you’re the pack leader.
What do you think about these dogs’ signs? How often do you see these different tail positions? Let us know!