By Jennifer Blevins, DivineCaroline
Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m one of those people who may very well have an unhealthy obsession with trying to communicate with their dog too much. A large chunk of the time I spend with my miniature schnauzer, Earle, I’m baby talking, repeating new cutesy (and usually totally ridiculous) nicknames (Bubbers, Muffin Head, Little Turkey, etc.), and trying to figure out how he feels by carefully scrutinizing every wink of his eye and tilt of his head. Is he really feeling sad when he watches me leave the house? When he stares intently at me while I’m eating, does that mean he’s starving? And very often during these moments, I can’t help but think, If only he could tell me how he’s feeling.
Actually, animals do use body language to tell us how they’re feeling, and their tails happen to be one of the simplest indicators.
Dogs: Tail Posturing
When a person holds her head high, it usually means she’s feeling confident. The same goes for dogs. A dog whose tail is standing erect and high is assured and ready for what’s coming next, whether it be a walk through the park or a run down the beach. A tail that is high and curling at the end is an added show of his joyous mood.
Between the Legs
We’ve all heard the human expression “caught with his tail between his legs.” This saying, which is generally used to refer to someone caught telling a lie, has a bit of a different meaning in the canine world. A dog holding his tail between his legs is a clear expression of submission and sometimes even fear. If you’ve ever come home and found that Milo chewed your favorite heels to bits, you most likely yelled at him and carried out some (mild) form of punishment. When you did this, you probably noticed that Milo put his head down, lowered his eyes, and slowly walked away with his tail between his legs.