Why do Dogs Wag Their Tails

Why do Dogs Wag their Tails?


Why do Dogs Wag their Tails – Scientists still do not have a definitive answer to that question, but experts assume that by doing so, the dog is spreading its pheromones (aromatic hormones with which animals communicate), which are exhaled by the region of the anus. “We believe that the animal releases a pheromone approach, implying that that person or dog is accepted by him,” says psychobiologist Sylvia Helena Cardoso, State University of Campinas (Unicamp). But, contrary to what many people think, dogs do not make this gesture just to express joy. “There is a tail wag that is seen in dominant dogs and expresses tension and threat. It is done with the tail upright, folded backward and with short, quick movements, “says psychologist César Ades, from USP, an animal behavior specialist.

The most common fan, the friendly, is made with wide open tail movements, which swings at the height of the rear.

Why do Dogs Wag their Tails
Why do Dogs Wag their Tails?


I believe the most common answer is: because he is happy!

But this is not always so … the position and movements of the tail of dogs are part of a complex system of body language.

A dog wagging its tail is exhibiting excitement and agitation.

This behavior can be friendly, an invitation to jokes or a warning: getaway!

It depends on a lot on the body language exhibited by the dog as a whole.

It is common to observe dogs that, while they growl, shake their tail.

It is necessary to observe the position of the ears, the facial expression, the whole body before making sure he is happy.

Why do Dogs Wag their Tails? Tail movements can give us a lot of information about a dog’s emotional state:

  • When the tail is up and moving backward – usually the dog is feeling very well
  • When the tail is horizontal to the ground – indicates that the dog is very interested in something (like the classic hunter’s position, an arrowhead!)
  • When the tail is low, almost folded -indicates that the dog is afraid or submissive
  • If it is low and waving – indicates insecurity and concern (move away, leave it alone)
    a stiff tail, moving from the horizontal to the vertical position – indicates that he is feeling threatened or challenged
  • The tail also plays an important role in communication between dogs.

Every time your dog wags its tail, it functions as a blower, spreading the natural scent of this dog, around it.


We humans are not able to detect this scent as dogs detect.

The adalais glands (next to the anus) secrete a (VERY stinky) secretion that works like our fingerprint – every dog has its scent!

Powerful, dominant dogs usually leave their tails high enough for their scent to spread and reach all the other dogs around them. While the shy and frightened dogs usually keep their tails between their legs, so that no one can smell them or pay attention to them.

The tail also acts as a counterweight to help balance when the dog is jumping, climbing or running in narrow, difficult-to-reach places.

Swim dogs also use the tail as a rudder, facilitating the movement of the bends.

Breeds that live in cold places, usually have very hairy tails for when they lie down, protect the face from the cold.

A curiosity: the tail is for communication, so it is not used when the dog is alone!

Studies show that if a dog receives a plate of food from a person, it will wag its tail, but if it finds the same dish with no one around, it does not wag its tail! – Why do Dogs Wag their Tails?

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