What is your dog feeling

My husband is in college and has been tasked with writing a research paper. He decided with all the dog books in my library to do something on dogs. His big idea, what does a dogs tail tell us? I said, not much – you have to look at the rest of the dog. Well, for the first time in our marriage, I was wrong. OK maybe not the first.


Apparently there have been numerous studies on what a dogs tail means. One study showed dogs pleasant stimuli and unpleasant stimuli. When the dogs saw something pleasant, the tail wagged far to the right. When it was unpleasant it went far to the left.

As I have been out walking Nitro I have been paying attention to his tail wag. We saw a lady with a flashlight in the dark, and his tail went to the left, and wagged quickly. His hair then stood up – he was scared. When he realized it was a person, he got excited and it switched to the right.

How is this useful? Watch your dogs tail and you will know when to slow down, redirect and help him get comfortable with things he might be scared about. This is probably very useful when socializing puppies too! Watch your dogs tail, what is he telling you?

Author: Amy Dunphy

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