Human body language contains all kinds of subtle differences in posture and movement. It turns out that dogs also have more nuance in this than thought.
Dogs can show all kinds of emotions. It may have been partially filled in by us, but there are certainly differences in behavior that can be explained as such. For example, the position of the tail can tell us all kinds of things: the droop, or between the legs often has to do with fear or submission, and the upright position usually means excitement or dominance.
A wagging tail usually indicates enthusiasm or happiness, but this wagging is more subtle than you might think. Italian researchers found that both speed and direction matter.
When dogs look at something they would like to be near, such as a friendly owner, the tail usually wagging to the right. If they see something they’d prefer to stay away from, such as another aggressive dog, they will usually wobble the tail to the left.
In the positive vibration response, they also saw – not unexpectedly – that the dogs moved the tail faster. Can a dog get tired of shaking too much? you may. On a very positive day, a dog’s tail can contort from laughter.
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