A dog’s tail and how it is carried is an important indicator of many things, including its current social standing and state of mind. There can be some variations, of course, depending on how the dog naturally carries its tail. for example, a western highland white terrier will normally carry its small carrot-shaped tail in a different way than a golden retriever will carry its flowing, feathery tail or very differently than a greyhound will carry its thin, wiry tail. whip shape.
Keep an eye out for these dog tail positions discussed below in your own dogs and how they carry their tails in various interactions with other dogs and it can help you begin to understand more about how your dog actually feels and sees. the world.
1 – your dog’s tail is practically horizontal, but not stiff, and pointing away from the body. this lets you know that they are paying close attention to their surroundings. 2 – your dog has its tail stretched out, pointing away from its body, both in a horizontal and rigid position. watch and you’ll notice this is part of the process that happens in any initial challenge whenever they first encounter a stranger or intruder. 3 – If the dog’s tail is up, somewhere between a horizontal and vertical position, keep in mind that this is often the sign of a dog that is dominant, confident and feels in control. this can also be a sign of a dog asserting dominance over him, which basically translates to “I’m the boss here.” do not mess with me. 4 – if the dog’s tail is carried up and slightly curved on its back, it means “I am the superior dog”. a confident and dominant dog who feels in control will often express himself in this way. 5 – if the dog’s tail is carried lower than the horizontal position but still has some distance from the legs, you may notice that your dog feels quite relaxed and that everything is fine. 6 – If your dog’s tail is drawn down, closer to the hind legs, it can mean several things, such as “I’m not feeling well” or “I’m a little depressed”. It could also mean “I feel insecure,” which is especially true for many dogs when they find themselves in an unfamiliar or new environment or situation. 7 – if the dog’s tail is tucked between its legs, it often means “I’m scared!” or “please don’t hurt me!” this is especially common when the dog feels that he is in the presence of a more dominant dog or person. this guy’s tail carriage can also mean: “I accept my humble role in the pack, and I do not intend to challenge you in any way.” 8 – okay, let’s talk about a few more examples of how a dog carries its tail. If you notice hair standing on end on the dog’s back or tail, it often suggests a sign of aggression. this meaning can also change in intensity if the dog changes the position of its tail. so if the tail is carried away from the body, it means “I’m ready to fight if you are!” or if he wags his tail slightly up or over his back it means “I’m not afraid of you and I’ll fight to prove that I’m really the boss.” this is serious, especially if it happens between two dogs that won’t back down. 9 – If your dog carries its tail with a snap or a sharp curve while holding it high, this often means more or less the same as the bristling tail example. this can also be read as a sign of aggression. 10 – if the dog has a nice wide tail wag, it often means “I like you.” You will often see this display during dog-to-dog play sessions, for example when one dog appears to be fighting the other, jumping, growling and barking but wagging its tail the whole time, the tail wagging reminds the other dog that this is all in fun. a wide tail wag can also mean “I’m satisfied.” 11 – If you notice your dog exhibiting slow tail wagging, with the tail at half-staff, it can often mean “I’m confused.” later, when the dog finally solves the problem that confused him, he will often notice a dramatic difference in the speed and size of his tail wags, which will usually also increase noticeably.
Dogs don’t talk like us, but they communicate with us and with each other. learn to read the signs. They are keen observers of body language and will often understand how to read you long before you can fully read them. But with a little practice and patience and an intense desire to understand your dog better, these descriptions of generalized gestures above will help you better read your dog in the future.