What is a Dog’s Wagging Tail Saying?

By Linda Cole

Tail wagging is part of the body language of dogs. Children, as well as adults, have been bitten by dogs who were wagging their tails. The position of a dog’s tail not only shows how he is feeling, mentally and physically, but also signals impending danger to the pack from outside forces or from the dog himself.

A dog uses the tail as a social statement to greet their owners, other dogs, cats and situations they may encounter. Just as we greet a friend or acquaintance with a smile or handshake, so it is with dogs. We may smile as we shake hands with someone we consider to be an adversary and a dog’s wagging tail that we take as a friendly greeting can be the same. It’s important to pay attention to the dog’s entire body language to understand the full meaning of the tail.

Continue reading to find out what specific tail positions mean

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