In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
A Dog's Tail Tells his Tale

If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It’s in His Tail

Every dog lover knows how a pooch expresses its feelings.

Ears close to the head, tense posture, and tail straight out from the body means “don’t mess with me.” Ears perked up, wriggly body and vigorously wagging tail means “I am sooo happy to see you!”

But there is another, newly discovered, feature of dog body language that may surprise attentive pet owners and experts in canine behavior. When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.

A study describing the phenomenon, “Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli,” appeared in the March 20 issue of Current Biology. The authors are Giorgio Vallortigara, a neuroscientist at the University of Trieste in Italy, and two veterinarians, Angelo Quaranta and Marcello Siniscalchi, at the University of Bari, also in Italy.

To read more
and reference
an interactive video,
go the New York Times


MadMike said...

How interesting. Thanks LB. I will now most carefully observe my dog's tail:-)

LittleBill said...

I can't take credit for the post, MadMike. It was posted by Yellow Dog.

However, it has absolutely ruined my day, as I have to spend a great deal of time following Watson around the house or taking him for repeated walks in order to carefully observe his tail.

pekka said...

Never mind that, Yellow, when you yourself seem to have much more burning issues to take care of! Several weeks now, and you still haven't found your fire hydrant! Hey, you just must stop looking around and let it flow!

Yellow Dog said...

Agent provocateur.