Toys & Activities

Secrets To Understanding What A Wagging Dog Tail Means

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By Carrie

Just because your dog is wagging his tail does not necessarily mean that he is being friendly.

You can learn a lot by watching how a dog is wagging their tail.

By the way they a dog wag his tail you can tell if he is afraid or happy, or if they are in a aggressive state and ready to attack.


It’s easier to read a dog’s tail if the dog has a longer tail.  Unfortunately, both of my dogs have docked tails and you really have to pay attention to other behavioral signs they are giving to know what kind of mood they are in.

Also, when you are out walking your dog it is natural for your dog’s ears to be perked up.  That’s because he is paying more attention to what is around him when he’s away from his normal environment.  That said, you will want to correct your dog if you find him staring or being obsessed with a object, person, dog, or anything at all.

The following video demonstrates a couple of dog tail wagging signs to watch for, including:

  • Tucked tail – This means your dog is afraid.  It is best not to pet a dog that is afraid, because it will only make him more afraid.
  • Relaxed tail wagging in the middle – This means your dog is happy and ready to be petted.
  • Tail wagging in middle but high – This means your dog is more aggressive and possibly ready to attack.

Now watch the demonstration of each of these signs:

Does your dog wag his tail to the right or to the left?

Here are more tail wagging behaviors you can decode to get an idea about what your dog is thinking.