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What makes dogs wag their tails?

Why do dogs wag their tails? I\'ve heard it\'s because they are happy, but is this true?

4206 day(s) ago

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Although many animals have tails, dogs are most associated with wagging their tails. They seem to do this more than other animals. Scientists are not completely sure why dogs wag their tails, but it is thought to simply be a form of communication. Dogs are social animals. When they are not with people, they naturally live in large groups called packs. Anytime animals live in large groups there is a need to communicate among the group. Audible communication does not work in every situation. Sometimes there is a need for silence. Tail wagging comes in handy at these times.

While some animal behaviorists believe that a dog wags its tail out of submission, this is probably not true. Wolves, for example, wag their tails at other times and for seemingly other reasons. Also, puppies wag their tails when nursing from their mother. This could be seen as submission if not for the fact that the mother also wags her tail at the same time.

One interesting fact is that dogs do not wag their tails when they are alone. They do so only when a person or another animal is present. Some behaviorists have noticed that dogs wag their tails at different angles, but, so far, they have not discovered why they do so, or what difference in meaning this may have. Some large dogs, though, seem to wag their tip of their tail in a high position when they want to show dominance. Dogs wagging their tails in this manner should be approached carefully. When the tail is in a downward position, a dog is indicating submission. When the tail is straight out, it is usually a sign of curiosity.

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