I have always assumed that a wagging tail means a happy dog. An article I just read by Joseph Castro in Live Science explains how to interpret a dog’s emotion by the way he wags his tail.
The brain’s left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. Some research shows that whether a dog approaches or avoids has something to do with with the hemispheres. The left hemisphere is associated with positive-approach feelings, and the right hemisphere is associated with negative-avoidance feelings. So a tail that’s wagging to the right side means positive emotions, and a tail wagging to the left side means negative emotions.
Dogs understand this language. So when they see a right wagging tail, they feel relaxed. And when they see a left wagging tail, they feel stressed.
Handy information when you are walking your dog, right?
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
When a dog is relaxed, its tail will be in its “natural” position, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
This natural position differs between breeds. The tails of most dogs, for example, hang down near their hocks, or heels. But pugs have tails that curl upward, and greyhounds have tails that rest slightly between their legs.
A tail held straight out means the dog is curious about something.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: Live Science
Image source: Taro the Shiba Inu on Flickr.com