dog

Your Dog’s Tail Relays Secret Information — So Glad I Know This Now!

by Elyse Wanshel
Elyse is a Senior Writer at LittleThings.com. She enjoys tacos, kickboxing, and naming animals. In fact, she named two of her mother’s six cockatiels Mr. and Mrs. Featherbottom.

We know our pups. We know their favorite toys, places to walks, brands of treats, and spots to be scratched.

But we don’t know our dogs the way other dogs know our dogs, like these two pooches that thinks the other is as rad as a rawhide bone.

When two canines meet, they get to know each other in a very distinctive way — and we’re not talking about the butt sniffing, either. According to Psychology Today, they instinctively pick up on very minute details in body language that us humans have a hard time perceiving, especially in regards to their tails.

For instance, did you know when a dog wags its tail, it can mean something other than happiness and excitement? The speed and direction the tail is wagging can also indicate important warning signs every pet owner should be aware of.

Yet, don’t fret! Picking up tail talk is actually much easier than you might think…

Tail talk is hard for us to decipher, but here’s a quick rundown of a few important basics.

Tail talk is hard for us to decipher, but here’s a quick rundown of a few important basics.
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If a dog looks like this, looking straight ahead with its tail perked up, while encountering a new dog, (s)he is merely showing off his confidence by displaying dominance. Or, in tail talk: “Hi buddy! By the way, I’m the boss here!”

If a dog looks like this, looking straight ahead with its tail perked up, while encountering a new dog, (s)he is merely showing off his confidence by displaying dominance. Or, in tail talk: “Hi buddy! By the way, I’m the boss here!”
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If a dog’s tail juts straight out, (s)he feels threatened.

If a dog’s tail juts straight out, (s)he feels threatened.
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

When a dog is in this position and his or her tail is also wagging back and forth, (s)he’s just trying to impress you.

When a dog is in this position and his or her tail is also wagging back and forth, (s)he’s just trying to impress you.
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If none of his or her limbs are tightened and (s)he seems completely relaxed, the pup is completely unconcerned.

If none of his or her limbs are tightened and (s)he seems completely relaxed, the pup is completely unconcerned.
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

This body language, with his or her tail curled up and mouth open, means there’s an uncertain threat.

This body language, with his or her tail curled up and mouth open, means there’s an uncertain threat.
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If your dog adopts this posture, (s)he’s saying, “Feed me!”

If your dog adopts this posture, (s)he’s saying, “Feed me!”
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

This position can be a bit worrisome depending on the pooch. It’s a subordinate position they take when they are around a dog of superior rank. It is the canine way of saying, “Woah, buddy. You’re cooler than me, do what you will.”

This position can be a bit worrisome depending on the pooch. It’s a subordinate position they take when they are around a dog of superior rank. It is the canine way of saying, “Woah, buddy. You’re cooler than me, do what you will.”
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Of course, that’s just the start. The direction and speed at which your dog wags its tail also communicates some very important information. Continue reading about tail-wagging information on page 2.