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8 Puppy Tail Wags and What They Mean For You

dog tails, tails wagging, dogs moods, dogs signs of happiness, dogs aggression

We're presuming this cute pup's tail is turned downward since we can't see it. Combine that with with the look on his face, and he looks a little sad or submissive.

Dogs are expressive, and that’s partly why they make such wonderful companions. From the way they bark, growl or hold their heads, you can pretty much judge how they are feeling or even sometimes, what mood they are in. But sometimes we can learn even more just from the state of their tails.

A dog’s tail is an appendage of the vertebral column, and they typically contain between six and 23 mobile vertebrae. How they move and hold their tails can say a lot.

Here are some common puppy emotions (complete with tail wags) and what they mean for their owners:

Happy: waving back and forth, or curled up high

Ashamed: tail is down as far as it can go without curling

Scared: tail curls between their legs

In Love: waves back so excitedly, you can barely get a full glimpse because it goes that fast. I witnessed this last week with my own pup who fell head over heels for Henry, the Golden Retriever on our corner.

Relaxed: Just laying out, not placed on any side purposely,otherwise known as go with the flow tail

Alert: Straight up

Interested: Horizontal to the ground.

Beware of the tail wag that is a little too excited because many dogs have been known to bite while wagging their tails. It’s best to pay attention to the complete body language and not just the tail. If their ears are back and teeth are showing, they are probably exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Can you tell how your dog feels by their tail wag?

Image: Flickr

Follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest (where she maintains an ‘Adorable Pups’ board), or find her at her blog, Just Write Mom and Babble’s Strollerderby.

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