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Why dogs have tails....???

11 Jul 2011 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

Have you ever wondered why dogs have tails? Although they may be good at it, it is not because they need them to clear off your coffee table.

Tails actually serve a number of purposes. Tails play an important role in the animal’s social and physical needs. It is a means of communication and helps with balance. Tails are used for swimming, warmth and to keep insects away.

Dogs use their tails to signal its social status and emotions. It can make these signals by repositioning the tail and changing the “wagging speed.” Humans and other dogs can tell whether a dog is approachable by the position of its tail.

If you watch your dog closely, you will see that the position of his or her tail tells you a lot about the mood they are in. If you offer a tasty treat, the dog will most likely wag his or her tail in wide arcs. They may do the same when you return home. If a stranger comes to your door, the tail may still wag, but it will most likely do so in a manner different from what the dog uses to greet you.

Dogs have their own language and the tail is commonly used to display the emotions. A dog that holds his or her tail high is claiming dominance over the other dogs. Dogs who crouch with their tail between their legs are showing that they understand that they are not the dominant one. They are showing that they are not threatening the dog that is boss.

The wagging of the tail causes the release of pheromones from the dog’s anal glands, providing more information about a dog’s social status and sex. Each dog has its own unique scent that is released when the anal glands, also known as anal sacs, empty.

Physically, dog tails are really an extension of the spinal column and are used for balance. The tails keep the dogs from falling over when they make an abrupt turn or navigate narrow mountain pathways. You can relate it to the balance bar that a tightrope walker uses.

When swimming, the dog’s tail serves as a rudder and is very useful in helping the dog to change directions.

Most dogs’ tails are sickle shaped and curve over their backs. Long-haired tails are especially suitable for helping to keep the dog’s face warm. This is evident if you look at the tails of Siberian huskies,malamutes or Norwegian elkhounds.

Dogs use their tails to chase insects such as flies from landing on them and biting. This is important because a dog that cannot swish flies away can be in deep trouble.

Dogs were born with tails for a reason. That’s why many breeders and kennel clubs are finally getting away from the tradition of docking tails.

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