Have you ever wondered why dogs have a wiggling and a moving organ behind their back? Or, what’s the actual purpose of this moving organ?
Are you be able to guess the organ we’re talking about?
Most of you have already guessed that we’re talking about dog tails. A dog tail is associated with many signs and indications of a dog’s life. In this article, we will uncover the reasons behind dogs having a tail and why it’s vital for them.
- Why Do Dogs Have Tails?
- What Is A Dog’s Tail Made Of?
- What Is The Purpose Of A Dog’s Tail?
- 1. Helps In Balancing
- 2. Helps In Mobility
- 3. Helps In Showing Emotions
- 4. Helps In Showing Their Health
- 5. Used As A Communication Signal
- Do Dogs Have Feeling In Their Tails?
- What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tail Is Up In The Air?
- What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tail Is Down?
- Why Do People Cut Dogs Tails? (Tail Docking)
- Final Thoughts
Why Do Dogs Have Tails?
Just like humans have hands and different organs to communicate, dogs do have their tails to serve the same purpose. The primary function of a dog’s tail is to express their emotions and feelings through their waggy tail movement.
To explain it in layman language, a dog’s tail is an indicator of their mood.
Dog tail is a sign of their personality and help them showcase their emotions and strengths to society. They use their tail to communicate with other dog breeds and humans by wagging it in different ways. They also show many emotions using their tails, for instance, while meeting someone after a long time.
As a dog owner, you should know what your dog’s tail is trying to communicate with you and also protect your dog’s tail from any injuries. Before we move on to the purpose and functions of a dog’s tail, let’s first find out what a dog tail is made up of.
What Is A Dog’s Tail Made Of?
While it might seem from the outside that dog tails are made up of fluids that help them wag so frequently. But in reality, dog tails are made of small pieces of bones that are the extended part of their spine.
The small pieces of bones are further covered with a thick layer of muscles, vertebrae, and skin as per the dog’s body structure. The tail also constitutes nerves and tendons, making the tail movement so smoothly and waggy depending on the dog’s mood.
What Is The Purpose Of A Dog’s Tail?
We have already talked about how a dog’s tail is helping them to communicate with other people and animals. But keeping communication aside, what more purpose does a dog’s tail serve?
A dog tail helps your four-legged friend manage mobility, maintain balance, and showcase their different moods. As a knowledgeable dog owner, it’s essential for you to learn the different roles of a dog’s tail.
So, below are the 5 main purposes of a dog’s tail:
1. Helps In Balancing
Dogs love to chase, run, jog and swim. Having a proper balance on all their four legs is necessary to enjoy daily activities like walking, running, etc. A dog’s tail plays a vital role in carrying out all these activities in dogs.
Also, the tail helps them maintain their weight on both sides while they walk. Dogs who are climbers or swimmers love to use their tail as a support to prevent themselves from falling or drowning.
2. Helps In Mobility
Like balancing, a tail serves an excellent purpose for a dog’s mobility. A dog skillfully uses their tail while chasing or running towards things. The tail provides them extra support whenever they lose their balance on changing directions or paths while moving.
3. Helps In Showing Emotions
Every pet owner should understand that each dog breed has a different way of showing emotions using their tails. With a high wagging tail, you can predict that the dog is confident and fearful. With a down curly tail, you can guess that the dog is anxious and struggling with something.
So, a dog’s tail is a useful indicator for understanding your dog’s current behavior and mood.
4. Helps In Showing Their Health
Yes, you’ve read it right. A dog’s tail also helps determine their health and body movements. When dogs are unhealthy or suffer from anxiety, they keep their tail relatively low and curled between their legs. That means they’re not doing much well in terms of their health and need some inspection.
On the other hand, dogs keeping their tail up most of the time shows that their mood is quite good and they’re confident as well as healthy.
5. Used As A Communication Signal
Every dog has its own unique style of giving communication signals. Some like to convey their message by wagging their tails quickly, while some like to wag their tails very slowly.
Many pet owners also question the behavioral relationship associated with the length of the dog’s tail. While it may seem that dogs with smaller tails show low signals of communication when compared to the breeds with long tails, it’s not the actual case.
A tail is a tail, whether it’s small or long. You just have to catch the proper tail movement and observe what’s going on with your dog.
Do Dogs Have Feeling In Their Tails?
Dogs might not talk to you directly, but they do show signs of communication with their body parts. And a dog’s tail is one of the signs of communication that they display the most.
Be it wagging, rolling, or placements, a tail is good enough to show their personality. Also, a dog tail is a nice indicator of anxiety, sadness, happiness, and many other emotions in our dogs.
So, we must say dogs have feelings and emotions attached to their tails.
What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tail Is Up In The Air?
When your dog is holding their tail up in the air, it’s a sign of confidence and dominance. It shows that they’re alert and fearless to face the situation, like mating, running, or swimming. They want to convey that they are prepared for any challenge they see in front of them.
But a high tail wag doesn’t always mean the dog is in a friendly mood. If you see a stranger dog in front of you wagging his tail high in the air, that means the dog is trying to convey their presence and is ready to dominate if required.
What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tail Is Down?
Now that you know the meaning of a high tail wag let’s also read about what a down tail means in a dog.
Opposite to an Up tail, a down tail means the dog is nervous, anxious, and low about the situation. This holds more accurately when they curl their tail between both of their legs. This also means they’re afraid of the presence of people or other animals. If you see any dog with a down tail, it’s better to avoid making movements that might make them more anxious.
Why Do People Cut Dogs Tails? (Tail Docking)
You might have also seen dogs having their tails chipped off. But why do people cut their dog’s tail?
Tail docking, also known as removing dog tails, is associated with ancient history. Romans used to cut their dog’s tail by thinking their action would prevent dogs from catching rabies or any other diseases. However, with modern studies, it has been found that a dog tail has no association with spreading rabies to humans or other pets. So, why does tail docking still continues?
Tail docking is performed on newborn pets who are just 8-12 days old. While the practice has been done on the majority of the breeds earlier, there is a decline observed in the tail docking process, and it’s getting banned in most countries.
Still, some people pluck their dog’s tail for cosmetic purposes or to protect the dog from any injuries.
I hope the above dog’s tail guide will help you understand your canine’s behavior and body language in a better manner. This is to note that every dog breed has a different personality and tail movements. You must take some time to observe their tail-wagging behavior and build a great communication bridge with them.
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