We as human beings ordinarily have six senses which help us to evaluate and elaborate things happening around us. We cry when we are sad and laugh it out when things are bright and happy. So it thus, we are able to differentiate between our changing emotions and express them when necessary. This even makes the communication process easy and smooth. Not only this, but also we can talk out our queries and problems to other people. Thus, vocal communication again makes our living easier.
However, have you ever thought, how can one communicate without the vocal chords. Or how can they express what they want, have an issue when they cannot speak?
Well, animals in general usually face this problem. Especially the pets and their owners. Wild animals are free to move anywhere they prefer, but so is not the case of pets. They need to follow certain set of rules and regulations with respect to their owner’s lifestyle. They cannot go on running errands. Hence, it becomes necessary for the owner and the pet to understand each other. This is where the main commitment lies of either of one.
Every species of pet have their own way of communicating with their particular signs, symbols and habits. However, what is meant what is the tough job to be handled. Sometimes, the owners misinterpret the pets saying and thus may lead to having difficulty in coping with him. Instead if you do a proper study on your pet before getting one home, it’s all a happy journey thereafter for both of them.
Have you ever noticed how dog keeps wagging his tail every time when something happens around him? And how the intensity of the wagging changes as per the events. Like when a dog is continuously wagging its tail and we pat him to appreciate and instead of being happy they growl back at us. We be amazed and question exactly what went wrong? This is something very natural but not a habit. It is their way of expressing themselves and communicating with us. Most often this wagging is considered as the dog being happy. People believe that if a dog wags his tail it is majorly because he is happy and pleased about something going around him. Although this is just a myth like many others, related to dogs and their behaviours.
Dogs preferably wag their tails as a response to stimuli or a reflex action. It is their way of communicating with us. Though it not always necessarily means that they need your help or be petted by someone. Dogs have a language of communication. It mainly depends on the position as well as the stiffness of their tails. The tail reveals the tale of the dog’s emotions. The same as we deal with words and letters.
The dog is considered to be relaxed when his tail is in its natural position. Although, this so called natural position is different for different breeds. As every dog varies in size, shape and other features, so does their tails. For example, a pugs’ tail is curled upwards, greyhounds’ tails usually rest in between their legs where as normally any dogs tails hang down near their hocks, or heels. Hence it is important to the natural position of your kind of dog.
When a dog gets docile or panicky his tail lies more below his natural position. On the other hand, when a dog is scared and under confident he curls up his tail below his body to feel protected. This can be observed during festivals like diwali when most of the dogs prefer staying inside their homes. The loud noise of the crackers makes them nervous and scared. A tail held at a higher level than the normal, stretching in the opposite direction and erect indicates that the dog aroused and excited by some activity while a vertically erected tail means he is being aggressive or defensive.
A dog does not only be happy, sad and frightened but he even gets confused and bewildered. And when he does get confused it he holds his tail straight out. The wagging of a dog’s tail speaks about his excitement. The robustly he wags the more excited he is. It is a symptomatic of his changing feelings. Prominently it is observed that if a dog wags his tail to the right it means he is showing positive emotions. Whereas, if he wags his tail to the left he is showing negative emotions. So even the direction plays an important part.
The above explained incident is not a coincidence or sheer observation. It comes with a logical explanation. As per research, the brain’s left hemisphere controls the right side of our body and the right hemisphere controls the right. Studies on the actions of other animals have revealed that the left side of the brain is connected with the positive feelings. The right side of the brain usually deals with the negative and avoidance feelings.
Fascinatingly, a study done in 2013 revealed that dogs not only communicate with their owners with the wagging of their tails. Instead they even understand the asymmetrical wagging of each other. For instance, if a dog wags his tail in right direction it relaxes the other dogs around him; however a dog doing it vice versa may stress them and grow some tension.
These were some basic facts about a dog and his tail. Same kind of behavioural patterns can be observed in other animals that they use to communicate with you and each other. Though the patterns may differ for each animal and at times for a specific breed. So it becomes very crucial for an owner to be observant, careful and sharp while petting a pet. As a tail may not always necessarily tell its tale!