Have you ever noticed how your dogs (if you have pets at home) always seem to wag their tails?
Let’s be honest. It’s one of the most adorable behaviors of dogs; you can particularly see it when you come home or when your dog spots another furry companion.
But have you ever wondered why they do it?
People often believe dogs wag their tails when they’re happy and excited, while others think it’s their way of showing aggression.
But what’s the truth? I bet you’re curious as well!
Well, read on. I’ll share a few theories from scientists that may describe the true meaning behind a dog’s tail-wagging!
The Reason Behind It
As it turns out, dogs may often wag their tails because humans enjoy the rhythm of the movement.
A group of animal experts from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the University of Rome conducted a study on tail-wagging.
The scientists have two possible theories that could explain this.
One possible hypothesis that may explain why dogs wag their tails is domestication syndrome. This syndrome suggests that humans may have unintentionally picked and bred dogs that wag their tails more often because it was associated with other desirable traits such as tameness or friendliness toward people.
It’s thought that the domestication of dogs began more than 30,000 years ago somewhere in Europe or western Siberia.
Another possible hypothesis is domesticated rhythmic wagging, which suggests humans intentionally bred dogs that wag their tails because we enjoy the rhythm of it.
Additionally, the researchers carefully examined over one hundred studies on the topic and summarized their findings.
The team found that dogs engage in this behavior more frequently than other canines, like wolves.
They also found that dogs seem to wag their tails differently to communicate different messages.
According to scientists, a dog wagging its tail more to the right means it’s curious and eager to approach while wagging to the left is associated with uncertainty.
Moreover, when dogs pin their tails down against their back legs and wag them low, it’s often linked with feelings of insecurity and submission.
However, academics still note that these are merely theories, and specialized research is needed to understand them better.
The team is now urging scientists to investigate all aspects of wagging to study its meaning. This involves investigating whether tail-wagging changes as dogs grow older, how much of it is voluntary, whether dogs are born with this skill or acquire it over time, and genetics’ role in tail-wagging.
They also recommend using advanced and non-invasive technologies to observe individual dogs and their interactions with other dogs and humans. This could offer more insights into the various meanings of tail wagging.