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July 28, 2015

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
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?

Comments for Tail Tale Signs

  1. Your kiddos have such great tail (and tale) action! Sam’s tail is like a Swiffer duster-now if only he’d dust the coffee table. 😉

  2. I so agree for the phantom wag… we sometimes know it even when we can’t see it. Easy prefers En Garde! and then he starts the fencing bout with his dangerous tail-epee:o)

  3. Connie Taylor says:

    We had a Rotti/Chow mix whose tail was so tightly coiled and at the tip it turned backwards, that it was hard sometimes to see it moving when he wagged it. But we could see how he felt by the look in his eyes.

  4. Kismet says:

    When Kaci needs out, she starts slapping something with her tail. It doesn’t matter what but the most effective is when she slaps a peep in the face.

  5. Ohhhh yesssss! Dakota’s tail wags a mile a minute and then he flashes that Sheltie smile!!!! I turn to mush EVERY time!

  6. Victoria says:

    the clear the table of contents wag – i get that a lot – dont’ have a lot of things on anything at tail height (which is almost all the surfaces of the house) but when she gets excited and you hear things hitting the floor you know her tail is wagging in happy cadence!

  7. Mindy Cromwell & The Merry Band Of Hooligans says:

    Our most favorite tail wags from all of the Hooligans is the one that is so awesome their whole butt wiggles!!

  8. Tails definitely have their own language……..I know when Sam’s happy or sad, hungry or ready to use the litterbox………it’s all in the tail – curl or no curl, up or down…..amazingly communicative are tails!

    Pam

  9. LifeLoofah says:

    Love this, and so true! When our dog, Harlowe, is in a playful mood and she’s pouncing around after her toy, sometimes her tail will curve straight up and then just the white tip of it will twitch back and forth. So cute!

  10. Ellen Quilty says:

    When Nikki is super glad to see a favorite person she wags her tail in a circle starting at the base.Around and around it goes-we call it the spiral tail.While not tail wags she also has tail positions that are a barometer of her mood.The scimitar tail position is used when she is investigating something very interesting-tail stiff and straight out with a sharp upward curve at the end.The tail wrapped around alongside her back leg cat-like when seated in the car to protect it from being slammed in the door like Mommy did once.There are many more and they all all crack me up!

  11. Eve says:

    Juley’s tail wag that get us to laughing is when she is trying to be pitiful but the little tip of her tail can’t be still and moves anyways. We always get a chuckle out of that one!

  12. Joan says:

    Sadie, my lab, has a “thumper” tail. She’ll sit and thump her tail like Thumper the bunny in Bambi.

  13. Emmadog says:

    We all wag our tails, but Bailie is the chief tail wagger. She wags it along with her butt all the time. She can’t even sneak up on people because of all the thumping.

  14. Cupcake says:

    Usually when Mom is eating something delicious (today, it was watermelon), my tail is just a blur. A pleading, begging, hopeful blur. And YES she shared!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  15. I agree – I’ve always read Daisy’s emotions by her tail gestures. When her little curly tail goes down, we know she’s either very tired, too hot, or not feeling well. But for a small dog, when she’s lying on the floor and starts wagging that tail, it’s a thump heard round the world! 😀

  16. harrispen says:

    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.

  17. fredrieka says:

    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

  18. Shalini says:

    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.

  19. Me says:

    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! 😀

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