A dog tail position is a vital indicator of social standing and a dog's mental well being. There are some variations, depending on the tail position of the dog. For example, a West Highland white terrier will bring its carrot-shaped tail higher than a golden retriever's feathery tail and a greyhound's relaxed tail position is lower.
Almost parallel, pointing away from the dog but not rigid is simply a sign that he wants attention. It means: “Something interesting might be happening.”
A horizontal tail that points away from the dog is part of a challenge when meeting a stranger or even an intruder. It means: “Let's determine whose boss here.”
When a dog's tail is in an upward position, between the horizontal and vertical position, this is a sign of dominance, or a dog that is declaring dominance. This means: “I'm the boss.”
A tail that is up and slightly curved over the back means: “I'm top dog.” This is an expression of a confidence. This dominant dog feels that he is in control.
A dog tail that's held lower than the horizontal but a distance from the legs means: “I'm calm.” “Everything is okay.”
A dog tail that's down, near hind legs is the posture of the dog. If his legs are left in a straight position and the tail brushes back and forth slightly, this means: “I'm under the weather” or “I'm sad.” If a dog's legs are bent a little inward with a slight downward slope to the back, this means: “I'm feeling a little insecure,” this is very common when a dog is in an unknown situation.
A dog tail that's tucked between his legs means: “I'm scared!” or “Please don't hurt me!” This usually happens in the presence of a dominant dog or human, this can also mean, “I accept my humble role in the pack, and I'm not trying to confront you.
A tail with bristling hair: this is clearly a sign of aggression. It may adapt to any tail position. Therefore, this means: “I'm ready to fight if you are!” and with the dog tail slightly upward or over the back it means: “I'm not scared of you and will fight to prove
I'm the leader in this pack.”
A sharp bend in a dog tail (when held high) is a characteristic of a dog that looks like a wolf such as German shepherds. This means exactly the same as the tail bristling. It is the will lead to possible aggression.
A dog that has a broad tail wag means: “I like you.” This is usually displayed during play, when one dog seems to be aggressive to the other, jumping, growling, and barking. The wagging tail is a reassurance that this is all in fun. It also means “I'm happy” in many situations. A dog that has a slow tail wag, with tail at half-mast me during dog training, means: “I'm trying to comprehend. I want to know what you are insinuating, but I just don't quite understand.” A dog that finally solves a problem, the speed and size of that his tail wags will noticeably increase.
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check out our specials on dog dresses online.
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