A dog’s tail serves 2 chief purposes. One reason is to spread their scent and the other of course is to display emotion. We all know that the big back and forth tail wag with a little butt wiggle means “I am Happy”. However, another type of wag may mean something else entirely. Over the years I have had many dog owners tell me “look my dog is wagging his tail he will be fine”, to meet and play with my dog. What the owners fail to realize is depending on the style of wagging their dog may be agitated or worse. If you see a dog with its tail rigid and held high waging side to side in “short arcs” the dog may be about to attack. This type of wag is sometimes referred to as the “flag tail”. This wag may not be accompanied by growling or barking or any other outward appearance of aggression. Frequently when a dog displays this wag they will be standing rigid and motionless with their head held high gazing straight ahead. If you see this wag in conjunction with the after mentioned body language caution should be exercised.
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