This is because in wolves from which dogs evolved a genuine threat to life is living alone.
In very few cases does it help for a wolf to be ostracised from the group. This is because lone wolves are treated with deep unease by other wolf packs, who are eager to defend their territories. To stay alive, individuals must fit in. And to fit in, social animals must signal their contentment — their intention not to rock the boat. The more the flag waves, the more everyone knows a dog is happy and content and definitely in no way seeking to overthrow the alpha breeding pair and start a bloody turf war leading to local societal collapse and the canine equivalent of a season of Game of Thrones.
The four-year-old gives me a blank stare when I tell her about bonobo habits, so instead we underline again and again the message that a wagging dog is a happy dog. As with human smiles, not every wag is well-meaning. This kind of wag is a bit hard for most four-year-olds to understand, which makes things a little more troubling. The degree at which the tail is held also tells its own story. An erect wagging tail held high up in the air, for instance, shows that a dog is aroused by something and may be more likely to unpredictable responses.
A tail held firmly backwards and gently wagging may display gentle curiosity. A dog with its tail between its legs doing a nervous little waggle tells its own story.
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Are you keeping up? Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. How We Affect Each Other. Stanley Coren PhD. Follow me on Twitter. Submitted by Kelly Cash on December 5, - pm. A wonderful article and an Submitted by Love on December 6, - pm. A wonderful article and an in-depth lesson to learn from our paws friends.
Why do dogs wag their tails? You asked Google – here’s the answer
Thank you. I think their entire body is Submitted by Oferte Sinaia on December 12, - am. Substantiate please Submitted by Anonymous on December 29, - pm. My Q was why does a dog wag Submitted by Anonymous on January 31, - pm. My Q was why does a dog wag side to side and then in a circle? Submitted by Sally on February 24, - am. My Newfie wags tail circles when she's very, very happy Dog tail wagging Submitted by doggybliss on February 24, - pm.
Quick short tail wag Submitted by Ravi on May 8, - pm. Dogs 'evolved'? Really, Mr. Submitted by Jared Israel on June 10, - am. When people give common names Submitted by Cyllya on September 20, - pm. I understand that this is over a year old, but I am surprised that no one else pointed this out! Submitted by Anonymous on July 18, - pm. Circular wagging! Submitted by Lauren on June 26, - am. Tail wagging Submitted by Peter35 on February 5, - pm. Similar to previous comments Submitted by Doggone on July 14, - am. PhD still know less in these areas Submitted by jacarape on June 11, - pm.
A tail extended straight out may be part of concentration and balance on a narrow crossing. Dogs are different, one dog tail won't translate to another. On the tail tucked, you miss it is as a sign of of possible physical pain. Submitted by Ryan Maw on February 7, - pm. It's like cutting of a person's tongue.
Submitted by Roger Hunt on June 23, - pm. Not only is the methodology seriously flawed, the theoretical assumptions are outdated as well. The dogs with docked tails are much better at poker because they don't have so many tells. Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. All comments. Replies to my comment. Leave this field blank.
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