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Curious about dogs body language

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  • 28-08-2017 10:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭


    In the two years since we got our dog I'd like to think I've learned a decent bit about reading a dogs body language, e.g. figuring out if an approaching strange dog is friendly, aggressive, iffy etc.
    Our dogs always friendly to bigger dogs (a bit indifferent to smaller dogs) if the other dog looks stressed or fearful she'll even lie down or go onto her back and try to get them to play.
    Yesterday though she twice did something curious.
    My wife was walking her when they met a man walking a boxer that started snarling and lunging at our dog, clearly having bad intentions yet our dog just stood there not a bother and wagged her tail (a soft wag, not the stiff poker tail) apparently quite happy.
    Then last night when she heard a noise outside she came bounding down stairs (around the house she's v v territorial and not friendly at all)
    When she stood at the door checking things out she was doing what looked like the happy wag again.
    Is it possible she might enjoy these situations or that not all dogs do the stiff tense tail wag thing?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,042 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    Are you sure it's a happy wag? My boy will do a stiff/fast wag when he's extremely alert/stressed out and at his highest threshold and about to bark or if it was for handling him he's about snap so back off - for example after his last surgery he was a bit traumatised by how he was handled... he didn't want to be lifted out of the car but my dad persisted because 'he'a wagging his tail' only that I knew what the wag meant my dad would have been bitten. The best way to describe it for Bailey is that he's wagging his tail but his bum isn't moving lol.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭deadlybuzzman


    tk123 wrote: »
    Are you sure it's a happy wag? My boy will do a stiff/fast wag when he's extremely alert/stressed out and at his highest threshold and about to bark or if it was for handling him he's about snap so back off - for example after his last surgery he was a bit traumatised by how he was handled... he didn't want to be lifted out of the car but my dad persisted because 'he'a wagging his tail' only that I knew what the wag meant my dad would have been bitten. The best way to describe it for Bailey is that he's wagging his tail but his bum isn't moving lol.

    I know what you mean as I've seen the stiff tail wag in the neighbour's dogs.
    I read up a bit more on it since my initial post and what I read said that when the tails curling upwards while wagging its not the same thing as a normal wag and for the second incident her tail was definitely up


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