Tail Wagging, meaning? - Page 2 - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:29 AM
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Millers tail is very tightly curled to his back so it is harder for him to wag his tail, but when he does its a full body motion totally wiggles his entire body

Brittany and Miller
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:42 AM
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This tail wagging conversation reminded me of the sweetest thing that happened on Monday. I stayed home to Cybershop and Charlie was asleep on the other couch opposite me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his tail wag. He was totally asleep yet he was wagging his tail. I was so happy, thinking that he was having happy dreams; now I'm not quite sure after reading Dave's post. I guess I should have watched more closely.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:43 AM
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Of course, with most Havs, their tails are held naturally high, so no particular significance can be attached to that part of it. Kodi's tail only goes down if he is scared or upset. (like in the vet's office!). Interestingly, he NEVER wags his tail in a low position, as I've seen many large dogs do when they are unsure. (often accompanied by head-ducking, ears pulled back, and sometimes dropping a shoulder to the ground or even rolling over) I don't know if this is a physical limitatin or not... Maybe he CAN'T wag his tail in a low position.

When excited about meeting another dog, he often holds his tail stiff, with the vibrating type of wagging, though he alway does other pro-social behaviors that seem to let the other dog know he's friendly.

With people, if he's excited, he wags with his tail up, and somewhat fast. We can also elicit this type of wagging by TELLING him to wag his tail, talking to him in an excited voice, asking if he wants to go for a ride or a walk, and/or "wagging" our own butts, which is pretty funny! My FAVORITE wagging is what we call "waggy flaggy tail" where, although his tail is still up, he loosens the curl, and wags it in a broad sweep, as far as it can go in both directions. He is CLEARLY happy when he does this... often when he is pleased with himself because he knows he has done something that we like.

Interestingly, we can elicit this one, too, if he's a little unsure, and we praise him and ask, "Where is that waggy flaggy tail?". I think if he's just a bit unsure, and we talk to him this way, it settles him and makes him feel better, which leads to that relaxed tail wag. And, of course, he has learned that these responses get a positive response from us (though we have never purposely "trained" them, just encouraged his natural behavior because it's cute) which makes him more likely to repeat them.

But I DO think that being able to ASK for the "waggy flaggy tail" helps him to settle and put himself in a calm, happy frame of mind when he's a bit unsure. It helps us let him know that everything is OK, sort of like getting a child to take a deep breath and relax when they are getting themselves unnecessarily worked up.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 10:59 PM
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I read an article that said when it wags to their right, it's a happy wag/ The left, not so much. The study was something like they had a friendly human, a cat, and a mean dog meet the subject, and in the happy situations, and even the not so sure, they wagged to the right. And the not so happy ones, to the left. They also talked about the whole right side of the brain vs left side of the brain and what sides of the body they involve. But I don't remember the details. Will see if I can find the link. And who's to say that a dog could be wired backwards...afterall, humans aren't always right handed.

And then when there's a play bow, then a wag is a happy thing.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 09:52 AM
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I guess this begs the question when saying that the tail is wagging to the right or left. Whose right or left? If I'm looking straight on or from behind? Inquiring minds want to know!

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Momo means Peach View Post
I guess this begs the question when saying that the tail is wagging to the right or left. Whose right or left? If I'm looking straight on or from behind? Inquiring minds want to know!
Great question! I have been watching tails all day...now need to know the answer to the above question.
Thanks to all for the interesting responses. I always thought it was just a happynwag...a lot more involved.
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