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Why You Should Take A Closer Look At Your Dog’s Wagging Tail

As semi-professional scientists, Eko and I like to stay up on the latest in canine research.  I usually have heard of, or at least thought about, most of the the research I see in the paper.  That’s why I was surprised when I read an article that said dogs indicate their mood by which direction their tail wags.

A 2007 study showed that dogs will wag their tail to their right side for positive emotions and to their left for negative emotions.  Of course I immediately had to go back through my photos to take a look at Eko’s tail.

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, adventure, dogs, photos, puppy

I don’t have a lot of puppy Eko photos, but the three I do have where he is wagging his tail?  In all of them he is wagging it to his right

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, adventure, dogs, photos, puppy

I also noticed that before a play pounce, Eko’s tail is generally to the right as well

 

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, adventure, dogs, photos, puppy

And when I mentioned the word “treats” at the beach? A lick of the lips and a tail wag to the right!

 

 
Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, adventure, dogs, photos, puppy

Hm, maybe these scientists are on to something

 

A newer study also suggests that dogs can pick up on what direction other dogs are wagging their tails and therefore know what mood those dogs are in.

I also looked at a couple videos where Eko is happy and in both of them his tail wags from the center to his right.  I have never heard of this phenomenon before so I will have to dig deeper and go through some more video.  I am also going to pay more attention to Eko’s tail next time he is nervous or skittish.  Stay tuned for more science!

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20 Comments

This is interesting. I wonder if it is related to the which side the part of the brain that deals with positive emotions is? If we are going to be all scientific that is!! ^_^

Eko is pretty adorable but I reckon I have met some cutest ever pup competition for him!

~ Amy

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