tail docking

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

Are you or are you not in favor of docking dogs? Doberman Pinchers, Rottweiler, German Short Haired Pointers are some of the breeds with docked tails. Tail docking is commonly done in accordance with a kennel club standard. Docking is a procedure usually done to working dogs for the purpose of protecting the tail from possible injuries. If you know why a dog wags its tail, you probably would think twice about having the tail of the pet docked. Do you know the reasons why dogs wag their tails?

Dogs are not the only animals with tails but tail wagging is usually manifested by dogs. Dogs use the tail in many ways. A well feathered tail is an asset that gets the dog lots of attention. The tail though is a very important appendage for a dog. The tail becomes a rudder for retrievers, a balancing tool that allows dogs to negotiate sharp curves and steep cliffs and ravines. The most important function of a tail is as an effective communication tool.

Dogs’ ability to communicate is limited, nevertheless, they can still convey what they feel to humans and animals by using the tail as well as other body parts. Dogs can convey their intentions and make humans understand what they feel by using the movements of the eyes, the ears as well as the wagging of the tail .

The dog’s tail wagging is the counterpart of human’s smile and handshake. Because of a smile, people can gain friends. Dogs are the most popular choice for a pet because of their friendly nature. To gain friends; the dog’s tail will do the talking. A dog with a happily wagging tail will get lots of human friends. An observant owner will be able to understand what the pet is feeling.

Fast wagging is indicative of excitement. A dog meeting the master at the gate with a happily wagging tail may be looking forward to a walk or to receiving a treat. Apart from being social animals, dogs are pack oriented thus they would need to have well defined hierarchy. Tail wagging specifies the dog’s rank in the pack. A dominant dog will hold the tail high and wag it stiffly. Lower ranked dogs wag tails that hare held lower slowly. Wagging the tail has another important function for a dog – identification. Every time the tail is wagged, the odor that identifies the dog from other dogs is released by the glands. This secretion that is released by the glands are pheromones that identify the dog.

Learn more about why dogs wag their tails and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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