Tail carriage is just one of the many signs of body language we use to read a dog. As this series continues we will talk about posturing, ears, what they are telling us, vocalization, growling, barking, eyes, hackles or piloerection as it is referred to in the scientific world. Here we will try to avoid that kind of talk and talk in dog people terms.

When you watch your dog he/she says many things with it’s tail. Not all dogs are as easy to read as others because of their natural carriage may differ greatly from breed to breed.

Tail up high, slightly flagging from side to side. Often see in the leader of the pack, Confidence, and often the dominant one. “I run the show here.”

Tail tucked between the legs. Frightened, very submissive. “I’m no threat to anyone here.” Except in the case of a fear biter.

Tail low but not quite touching the back legs. Relaxed, at ease. “Hey, every thing is cool in my world.”

Tail straight out but not absolutely solid stiff. “Well I think what I see is quite interesting to me.”

Tail in a low fast wag with rear directed to the person or other dog. “I really like you, I am no threat and would like to play, have some fun, attention or a good belly rub.”

Very slight tail wag. “I see you looking at me. Are you going to call me over? You’re my best friend, huh?’

Tail with hackles straight out and starting to rise. “Watch out, I am not afraid and am about to put you in your place if you don’t back off and I mean it.”

There are many exceptions to the rules but this is just some general knowledge of the art of reading a dog.

Please let me know if you are getting anything useful and enjoying these blogs. I could go on for years talking dog, and will continue if the interest is there. So please write a comment and let me know.