Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails ?

I miss the Wagging little tail,
I miss the plaintive, pleading wail;
I miss the wistful, loving glance;
I miss the circling, welcome dance!

Henry Willet, Author

A Whole Lotta Waggin’ Going On!

Have you ever wondered what all the tail wagging is all about with your dog? Is it some kind of barometer? Does it mean that your dog is happy and excited about some fun stuff?

I have 2 Cocker Spaniels who wag their tails when they’re happy, but also if they’re barking alot at strangers. There can also be alot of waggin’ goin on when they’re showing their teeth to each other in play. Smiling I should say! One of them does a very fast wag, but the other one is slow and steady. Similar to a slow metronome at the piano. (Do piano students still use them?)

One of my Yorkies continuously wags his tail as he’s barking at strangers. If he’s playing or being obnoxious with the other dogs, he also gets a little wag in.

A Tail Waggin’ Study From Italy

I recently read in a news publication, an article about a tail wagging study that was done by researchers in Italy. In this Italian study, they decided that when dogs are happy they show it by wagging their tails to the right. If they’re confused, then they wag their tails to the left. I didn’t realize that my dogs knew left from right!

These Italian researchers think that this could be related to differences that are found in the right and left sides of the brain just like in humans.

They conducted this study by placing 30 mixed breed dogs in individual cages and then exposing them to different images, like a cat or their owner, for example. Either of those should get some tails waggin’!

Anyway, this test was done over a period of 25 days, during which time the dogs had 10 sessions a day. Turns out the dogs responses were consistent throughout the study.

So, the next time you see your dog’s tail waggin’ away, see if you can tell if he’s going left or right!

I just wonder what those Italian researchers are studying today!