Tail Tale Signs

Tails never cease to amaze me with how much they can communicate. Even without looking at the rest of a dog you can almost immediately pinpoint their mood by checking out their tail. A tail is pretty much the same thing as a thought-bubble in comic strips.

We all know the common tail wags like “big and happy!” and “tucked and worried.” But today I want to share some of my favorite tails which are just a bit more subtle.

“Brace yourself”

In gusty weather or when making deep turns the pups use their tails as a brace/anchor. It always cracks me up to see their tails flapping against the wind like a flag

“Gimme a minute”

While scheming, Penny gets this distinctive side-to-side tail wag that’s the equivalent of the hour-glass icon on your computer. It means she hasn’t quite figured out what to do, but she’s working on it. In the above case, she was (unsuccessfully) trying to figure out how to catch that bird.

“The (Almost) Statue”

Asking an excited pup to sit down is like putting on a kettle on the stove. Still on the outside, bubbling to a boil on the inside. I know Penny is extra excited when she sits still but can’t stop the very tip of her tail from wiggling like mad.

“I never got the memo”

 A tail has a mind of its own. Especially since it often doesn’t respond to the same information as the rest of the body. I can’t count how many times Penny or Eko has been shocked at accidentally smacking themselves with their own tails.

“Phantom Wag”

Sometimes you just know your pup is wagging their tail. You can’t see it, and you don’t quite hear it. You just feel it. You see their face above your bed, or around a corner and you know there’s a wagging tail attached to it

“I love you. I swear.”

My favorite tail wag of all is when I come home expecting a big welcome and neither pup leaves the couch. Whether they’re too tired or too comfy, there’s just no way they can move. They still want me to know I’m loved so they’ll frantically wag their tails like “Hey, check it out, we’re excited. Promise.”

There’s no shortage of unique feelings so there’s no shortage of unique tail wags. Do you have any personal favorites with your pets?

35 Comments

I love the Penny photo between the buffets 😀 (oooh, my partner spotted that just in time, buffet is a Yorkshire word for stool! I never knew it was a Yorkshire-ism until uni and nobody knew what I was talking about XD )

I have two favourite tail wags…

1. Kasper’s “hey, I am here” wag – this happens when I’m on the laptop, and I glance in kasper’s vague direction (he’s usually next to me on the couch). He gets excited in case I am paying him attention, but doesn’t move other than to wag his tail ecstatically…which always works, and he gets fuss and often play 🙂

2. Zoey’s “please no” wag – you can usually see this wag on all the supposedly “guilty” dog videos. You know where just the tip moves, really frantically, and the dog looks utterly miserable?! Zoey does this when she thinks it’s harness time…breaks our heart, and she gets lots of reassurance and treats! 😀

Good call by your partner, I know my anglo-isms pretty well but that one would have left me confused. Penny would never be between buffets, she’d be diving into them!

Hahaha! It seems to leave everyone outside of Yorkshire confused – I couldn’t believe all the weird looks I got at 18 the first time I called a stool a buffet! 😀

my gosh! THANK you for writing this paragraph “My favorite tail wag of all is when I come home expecting a big welcome and neither pup leaves the couch. Whether they’re too tired or too comfy, there’s just no way they can move. They still want me to know I’m loved so they’ll frantically wag their tails like “Hey, check it out, we’re excited. Promise.””

Because I thought I was alone in this, and that my Kahlua was turning into a cat.

no that I am the only furr baby, the cat bugs me by constantly rubbing and makes a weird motor noise.. I lick it so she will go away

I always think it’s funny when one dog is stand behind the other and getting whacked in the face with a tail and doesn’t move. Both our pups do it to each other.

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