Dog's Tail Wag Direction...Simple Back and Forth No More!

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I have always been a dog lover, having spent the vast majority of my life with multiple dogs in the house.  It has always been clear to me that there are easy ways to tell when my canine friends were happy...licks, nudging me for pets, and, of course, anytime they were eating.  I also always associated wagging tails as a sign they were happy, perhaps even ready for some playtime! A new study by the Center of Mind/Brain Science in Italy has just completed a study that, while not necessarily proving me wrong, found some important details about the tail wagging, specifically with which direction it is wagging.

Through a study using 43 dogs of various breeds with a custom vest for tracking results, they found there is a clear difference between the emotions of a dog wagging it's tail to the left versus wagging it to the right.  "The pets...(with) left-side tail wagging behaved more anxiously and their heart rate sped up...while the dogs that watched on their peers wag their tail to the right stayed cool, suggesting a signal of companionship," the researchers said

. They further hypothesized that the left and right side of the brain in dogs trigger different emotions, much like human brains! The hope is to use this information to improve canine welfare and keep dogs calmer while visiting the vet.  As a dog-owner that has taken my dogs to the vet many times, I will happily endorse any way to help keep dogs calmer...especially during those dreaded "shot" visits.


1 Comment

It is really interesting to learn that dogs are a lot more complex than I thought. Who knew animals could have such a strong communication system with humans without using words? As a dog owner myself, I know how awful visits to the vet can be, so it's always good to find new ways to keep your pets calm. If you need any more tips, you can find them at

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