Saturday, 6 February 2010

Why do Dogs wag their tails?

"In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money can not buy...
To wit - the wag of a dog's tail."
- Josh Billings.

You know, dogs always have a thing for postmen.
So does mine. Haha.

My dog, Lolly, always bark fiercely at the postmen.
However, she also wags her super short tail at the same time.
I never understood why. Haha.

Here are the 5 things that you may not know about
dog's tail wagging :

1. Dogs wag their tail as a sign of non-verbal communication or body language to other dogs.
Just like human, we smile as a form of non-verbal communication.

However, when a dog wags its tail, it does not necessarily mean that they are happy.

Tail wagging could mean that the dog is excited or agitated.
To fully interpret its action, we would have to combine with its other verbal cues such as barking, growling, whining etc.

*Or smiling! (Look at the puppy at the most left)*

2. The dog's tail is originally designed to assist a dog in its balance.
When a dog is running and doing sharp turns, it throws the front part of its body in the direction it wants to go while its tail bends.

If this is not done, the dog may topple over as it tries to make a high-speed turn.
(Wah, sound like vroom-vroom-vroom car or something. Haha.)

Besides that, like a circus tightrope walker uses a balance bar, dogs use their tail to balance themselves.

3. Puppies don't wag their tail until certain time.
Research showed that, about half of all puppies only starts to wag their tail at 30 days of age.
The behavior is usually fully established by around 49 days of age.

The reason for such late tail wagging is because the puppies only began to wag their tail when they need to communicate.

Puppies mostly eat and sleep.
They don't interact with others besides curling up together to keep warm.
However, they are actually physically capable of wagging their tails at this time.

4. Dogs wag their tail to dissolve conflicts.

For example, when a puppy wants to drink its mother's milk, it must come very close to its littermates to get its treat.
This puppy is now coming close to the very same individual that might have been chasing his a few minutes earlier.

To indicate that this is a peaceful situation and to avoid any aggressive response from the other puppies, the puppy wag their tail as a truce flag to its littermates.


5. Dogs don't wag their tail when they are alone.

*Wag, tail... Wag!*

A dog may wag its tail for a person, other dogs, a cat, mouse, butterfly etc but it will not wag its tail to lifeless thing.

If you put a bowl of food down, the dog will wag its tail to express its gratitude to you.
In contrast, when a dog walks into a room and find its bowl full, it will approach and eat the food just as happily but it will not wag its tail.

It may be still happy to eat,
but there's no one around to communicate its happiness.

Now you know that even if the dog is wagging its tail, you shouldn't think the dog is friendly. XP

It bites. (Maybe)

Have a great day!



  1. great info... i nanged u n click your ads


  2. Ahahahaha ... Thanks for the info lol . I always had the impression that a dog is friendly and happie when they wag their tails lol =P

    Neways interesting post u have here

    *Love the cute doggie pics >.< They are so CUTEEeeeee =P

  3. All the doggie really really cute^^ hehe~ I love dog so much :) Man's best friend~

  4. Wot bother much with its tails, dogs do bite. Btw thanks for drop by at my blog.

  5. I might as well be your blog's editor. Lol. No offence intended. =) The quote at the starting of the post should read like this:

    "In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money can not buy... to wit - the wag of a dog's tail." - Josh Billings

    According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Billings), this famous quote prefaced the Disney film Lady and the Tramp. Have you watched the movie? It's a really cute dog tale. :)

  6. S : haha. thanks. the error is only the name right? anyway, yes, i got the quote from the movie. watched it the other day. XP i bought the original CD when i was little. was a big fan. =)

  7. The typo also includes the word 'WHOLE'. Haha.

    "In the WHOLE history of the world there is but one thing that money can not buy... to wit - the wag of a dog's tail." - Josh Billings

    The innocence that we had as children...

  8. ahh. thanks! haha. din notice it!

    yup. XP sweet memories.

  9. Opulently I agree but I about the post should have more info then it has.

  10. Opulently I iz no understandzz your Englishzz I iz about to fainted iz because I iz trying to understand what you're trying to say


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