What does my dog’s tail wag mean?

Did you know that the direction of a tail wag can indicate the feelings of your dog?

A tail wag more to the right is an indication of happiness and relaxation.

A tail wag more to the left is an indication of uncertainty or even fear.

But why does this happen?

This has been shown to happen due to the regional brain hemispheres. The right side is used when calculating novel stimuli or difficult tasks and the left side is used for creativity and familiar routines. We then get a cross over of interpretation, leading to the opposite tail wag, to the side of the brain hemisphere which is most active.

So if the left side of the brain is more active, your dogs tail wags more to the right.

Interesting, it has been shown that dogs can read the direction of tail wags from other dogs. They often then change their body language and tail wags to match. Your happy, so I am happy or your unsure, so I am unsure. Therefore this can be a subtle body language cue used for dog-dog communication.

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Forrest Animal Behaviour