Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails and What Do They Want to Say?
Researchers are still investigating why dogs wag their tails. Leonetti, who is currently working at the University of Turin (Italy), has compiled and researched documents on this subject from a variety of scientific groups.
Leonetti believes that the primary function of a dog’s tail is communication. This differs from fish tails, which are primarily used for navigation; horse and buffalo tails to ward off insects; and bird, cat, and monkey tails to maintain balance.
So, what do dogs want to convey? Emily Bray, an animal cognition expert at the University of Arizona (USA), stated that many people believe that a dog wags its tail to indicate that it is happy or cheerful. The dog’s tail’s position and angle while it is wagging, however, have an impact on the complexity of the message.
For example, when the dog’s tail wags to the right, it usually indicates interest in a stimulus or a desire to approach something. By wagging more to the left, the dog indicates uncertainty or a desire to flee. The dog shows submission by waving low and close to its feet.
Research demonstrates the extent to which a dog’s tail wagging is under conscious control. Furthermore, Leonetti stated that dogs more closely related to domestic dogs wag their tails more frequently than those more closely related to wolves.
Leonetti and his colleagues believe that the tail-wagging habit of dogs evolved gradually from the early days of domesticating wolves into domestic dogs. The human brain responds positively to rhythmic objects, and tail wagging in dogs is frequently very rhythmic.
As a result, it is possible that dogs have developed the habit of wagging their tails, though it is unclear whether this is unconscious or conscious.
According to Leonetti, decoding the tail-wagging habit in dogs remains one of the most difficult problems in an animal so close to humans. The study is taking a multidisciplinary approach that includes neuroscience, cognitive science, and physiology. Because this is not only a natural evolutionary process in animals, but it also has an impact on humans.
Leonetti believes that once a thorough understanding of dogs’ tail-wagging behavior is achieved, research will reveal the secrets of how humans domesticated animals thousands of years ago.
People often believe that dogs wag their tails to express contentment and friendliness, but this is not the case.
Dogs use language in their own unique way. They use their tails to communicate. We can determine the emotional state by looking at the position and movement of the tail.
According to research from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when a dog is in a good mood, its tail is in a “natural” position.
Different dog breeds have distinct natural positions. Typically, the dog’s most natural position is to hang down near the ankles or heels. However, the Pug dog breed, which originated in China, has tails that are always curled up towards the back. The most natural and comfortable position for Greyhound breeds is with their tails hanging loosely between their legs.
When dogs are nervous, they hold their tail lower than normal and hide it underneath their body.
The tail is held higher than usual, indicating that something appeals to him. If the dog’s tail stands up, it indicates that it is ready to attack.
A dog’s tail wagging indicates its level of excitement; the stronger the wagging, the more excited the dog.
Since 2007, scientists have discovered that the way a dog wags its tail reveals information about how it feels. Specifically, wagging the tail to the right represents positive emotions, while wagging the tail to the left indicates negative emotions.
This phenomenon is simple to understand because the left hemisphere of the brain governs the right side of the body and vice versa. Behavioral studies on various animal species have shown that the left hemisphere of the brain is associated with positive emotions while the right hemisphere is associated with negative ones.
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