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Which Way Does Your Dog's Tail Wag? (It Means Something.)

Which Way Does Your Dog's Tail Wag? (It Means Something.)

Most people associate wagging tails with happy dogs, but I'm betting not many pay attention to which direction that tail moves. Now, obviously while wagging, it goes back and forth but according to this study, the "striking asymmetries in the control of tail movements" can tell how the right and left halves of the brain control different emotions.

Next time you see this, check which direction the bias is – the wagging should be more pronounced in one direction like bouncing an eraser-topped pencil on a table. Tails wag to the right when dogs are happy and see something they want to approach, and to the left when they are frightened and confronted with something they want to run away from.

Go forth and find waggy tails and lemme hear all about your findings in the comments below.


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amiedelanoche amiedelanoche 8 years
how intersante I can't wait to follow some dogs around
Aphrosette Aphrosette 8 years
too bad my dogs have nubbens for would be impossible to tell!
Susanna Susanna 8 years
Other tail signs: circular wagging (at least in 4-footed dogs) usually indicates the dog is unsure of a situation, and huge wags that move the dog's hips indicate submission.
Angelica Angelica 8 years
That is incredible and makes total sense. I will now be following animals around to see which way their tails are wagging.
just_kelly just_kelly 8 years
Mine wags in circles but that's because he's trying to balance (he's missing a back leg).
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
The same thing applies to cats.
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