Ski6 says... My wagging tail? - it's complicated.

The usual advice about what dogs are saying with their tails is that they are happy. A tail wagging dog they say, is a happy dog. But sometimes a dog can be tail wagging at the same time as its body is stiff and its hackles are raised. A dog in this position is usually poised to strike to defend itself and its owner from a real or imagined danger.
barking dog
Jan Fyt - Barking Dog (17th Century)
So what does it mean when a dog wags its tail? Well, it's complicated!

Apparently all you can really say when a dog wags its tail is that he or she is excited. This could be the happy kind of excitement when dinner is being served. But it could equally mean the dog is afraid and is feeling excited because of the adrenaline flowing through its veins.

When Ski6 is wagging his tail it almost always means he is happy and feeling frisky. But we also know that when he is also straining at the leash and starting to growl, we have to hold on tight to prevent him from making a dash at another dog he thinks might be a danger to his mom or dad. At other times he can be wagging his tail frantically and pulling at the leash because he wants to play with another dog he likes. Yes, it's complicated alright! Life with a dog keeps your senses sharp and your brain working all the time.


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