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The Tale of a Dog’s Tail – Why a Dog’s Tail is Important

Dogs are one of the tailed members of the animal kingdom. The tail can be short stumps, well feathered, long or short – all the same, this extension of the spine has many purposes for a dog. Dog tails, no doubt makes a dog more beautiful. Japanese Spitz and American Eskimo Dogs are two breeds most admired for their beautiful tails. However, enhancing the appearance is not the only purpose of a dog’s tail

The tail is used by a dog as an important balancing tool. Speed is an all important asset of a hunting dog. Agility is an important quality that enables hunting dog to catch their prey. Tightrope walkers use balancing bars, dogs use their tails when trailing their prey on narrow ledges. The tail serves as a counter balance that prevents the dog from toppling over when they need to make a sharp turn. Water retrievers make use of the tail as a swimming aid.

Dogs can’t talk but their tails can speak volumes. Dogs have an efficient tool in communicating with humans and other animals – the tail. It is a common knowledge that a loosely wagging tail is a sign that the dog is friendly. Be wary with a dog that bares its teeth and holds te stiff tail high as it is likely to attack.

The tail is an important body part that allows dogs to understand each other. Moreover, the tail is the dog’s distinctive identification card. When the tail is raised, a small amount of anal gland secretion is released. This scent that is unique to every dog is used by dogs to identify each other. The rank of a dog in the pack can easily be distinguished by observing the way the tail is held. It is customary for alpha dogs to stiffly and widely wag a tail that is held high. Dogs lower in rank slowly wag tails that are held low to signify submission.

The tail is used for comfort as well. Similar to a cow’s tail, a dog’s tail is used as a swatter that will drive pesky flies and other insects away. A tail, acting as a muffler allows a dog to brave extremely cold weather. A bushy tail that is draped on the face allows Northern dogs to sleep comfortably in the snow.

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