Dogs like tails that wag the right way

Dogs are very expressive animals.  You can tell when they’re happy, you can tell when they’re sad. You can tell when they know that they’ve done something wrong.

There’s a reason that dog’s are called Man’s Best Friend, in part because there is that charade of communication that pet owners have with their dog that goes beyond a mere belly rub.

A dog wags its tail with all its heart
A dog wags its tail with all its heart


To you and us, a tail wag is a tail wag.  A typical sign of dog happiness.

But from one dog to another, a tail wag can mean so much more.  Scientists in Italy have discovered that dogs do have right-oriented tail wags and left-oriented tail wags, and they mean different things.

A right-oriented tail wag makes dogs seem more relaxed and happy.  Wagging one’s tail to the left is more aggressive, and can be a sign to other dogs to “back off”.

Dogs react to the tail wagging as an internal stress.  Less stress when seeing the right, more stress when seeing the left.  There isn’t much more to the communication portion of what tail wagging means between dogs — but there’s definitely a distinction between the two tail wags.

So check out your dog’s tail — which way does it wag when you’re around, and how does it make you feel when you see it?