Canine Corner

The human-animal bond

What a Dog’s Tail Wags Really Mean: Some New Scientific Data

New data shows that we must consider not only how quickly a dog’s tail is moving, and the height he is carrying it, but also whether tail wags are biased to the right or left side if we want to understand a dog’s emotional state. Read More

That dog's tail sounds like...

...my bi-polar mood scale disorder! The illustration looks like a pendulum movement diagram. I enjoyed this article.

A wonderful article and an

A wonderful article and an in-depth lesson to learn from our paws friends. Thank you.

I think their entire body is

I think their entire body is changing once they are growing up and this certainly is something that it is natural to happen and I can say that they are cutest when are bigger.

can i use this for my

can i use this for my research ?

can i use this for my

can i use this for my research ?

can i use this for my

can i use this for my research ?

Substantiate please

Why are there almost no substantiating links or research reference to the material presented? The word dominance has at least 13 definitions. How is a reader supposed to know which definition is being reference or how the research was done and whether it was peer reviewed or discredited? There are no citations at the bottom of the article.
Posting one study toward the end doesn't absolve the absence of substantiation of the first half of the article.
Please link to substantiation on statements claiming to be facts.

My Q was why does a dog wag

My Q was why does a dog wag side to side and then in a circle ?

circular wags?

What does it mean when their tails wag in a full circle ?...my thoughts are when they are really happy to see you they do it...?? my boxer ( who has his tail ) thank God, does the big full circle often...its really lovely that he has his tail :)

Dog tail wagging

My rescue dog has a tail that is always bent to the left. She always seems to be grateful and happy. She is also left pawed and has a tendency to urinate when happy. This emotional urination is getting better since we approach her without eye contact and a lower pitched voice. Shes also jumps and turns full circle before reaching the ground. I hate to think she's unhappy since she has all she needs and lots of love just because she's a lefty dog. Any insights?

Quick short tail wag

When I come home from work and I catch my bichon frise in mid-sleep, he will be half awake and his tail will swing quickly on the right side of his body, stopping pretty much dead center to quickly swing back to the right.

Although his facial expression already tells me that he is super excited (actually smiles and shows his teeth), Now I understand what the quick tail flick mean.

Dogs 'evolved'? Really, Mr. Coren.

As a measure of Mr. Coren's general credibility, consider his statement that, "Evolution has made tails even more visible, such as tails with a light or dark tip, a lighter underside or a bushy shape."

'Evolution' in this context means changes based on natural selection and other natural factors. In fact, the change (or changes) in appearance of tails and other body parts from wolves to the dogs of today did not result from the interactions of dogs in a wild environment (i.e., of wolves) but from very careful breeding over thousands of years by dogs' human partners. Dog appearance and dog behavior are a result of the transformation of naturally evolved wolves and their dog descendants by those breeders, who, during most of the history of dog-human interaction, had work-oriented goals. Dogs are a social construct, as much as is possible with living beings.

do you really think the only

do you really think the only dogs in the world are domesticated?

african wild dog: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/Lycaon_pictus_(Temminck,_1820).jpg

dhole: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Cuon.alpinus-cut.jpg

raccoon dog: http://photos.zoochat.com/large/img_4352_raccoon_dog-222901.jpg

When people give common names

When people give common names to animals, they are often naming it before the animal's biology is well-understood, or else the name is given without any regard to biology, so you should not make assumptions about an animal's biology based on its common name. Just because it's got "dog" somewhere in the name doesn't mean it's a dog. Not one of those animals you listed are even in the genus of canis! In zoology, actual dogs are a subspecies of canis lupus.

the university of michigan

the university of michigan begs to differ:

Racoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides): http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Nyctereutes_procyonoides/

"They also are able to swim or dive for food. Nyctereutes procyonoides relies on its sense of smell while hunting and foraging because it has relatively poor vision for a member of the family Canidae."

African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus):
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Lycaon_pictus/

Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae <-----
coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals, and wolves
Genus Lycaon
Species Lycaon pictus

Dhole (Cuon alpinus):

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Cuon_alpinus/

"The dhole is an average size canine with head/body length 90cm (35"), tail length 40-45cm (16"-18"), and shoulder height 50cm (20"). The dhole is set apart from other canids in that it has an unusually thick muzzle and one less molar tooth on each side of its lower jaw."

My dog needs to read this....

My dog needs to read this.... she wags her tail in a circle. Always. She looks like a windmill. I love it :D

Circular wagging!

I actually Googled tail wagging because I wanted to know if it is a common trait for dogs to wag their tails in circular motion. I notice that when my female American Bulldog is happy excited, she wags quite enthusiastically side-to-side. But when she is making eye contact with me & (perhaps) feeling mischievous, she wags in a circular motion.

question about a boxer's "C" shaped body twirl

there is a boxer lives up the road from me - i adore her to pieces. her name is lily and she's always running loose. she's a very nervous, timid, and insecure dog (don't get me started on why that is) but whenever she sees me and my dog, she comes charging up.

now, i've always thought she was THAT happy to see us and that's why she'd come running but if she had her tail, it would basically be fanning the entire left side of her body: her whole body bends in a tight c-shape with the open side to the left.

even though she's leaning up against me and rubbing up and licking like mad, it would break my heart to think she's only doing this because she's frightened or insecure or feels she "must" do it. i've never been mean to her - i've never raised my voice or even been annoyed except the one time she stuck her tongue *right up* my nose and even then all i said was "eugh!!!!" and i stood up (she sat on my foot).

Tail wagging

Since I learnt about tail wagging, I watch my German Shepherd, Max with more interest! He knows that mouthing at clothing is not acceptable. Please watch the following - he is mostly having a great time and his wagging tail has a bias to the right. But when he does mouth at my coat,there is more of a left bias. It's a silly and fun video - basically I've been trying to invent ideas to tire Max due to our recent awful weather!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXnuf_y8UAI

Similar to previous comments

Similar to previous comments both my Lab and my Chihuahua will wag their tails in a circular motion at times. I too ended up on this page as a result of searching for the meaning of that motion. The search for that meaning continues, perhaps simply paying closer attention to them would yield an answer.

Second, are dogs left or right pawed the way humans are left and right handed? And if so does that effect the meaning of the left or right tail wag bias. I have certainly seen this biased tail wag both dogs and both are left pawed.

Finally, just as common courtesy it is Dr. Coren rather than Mr. Coren. Whether or not you agree with his point of view, courtesy should prevail. Sharing your life with a dog would teach you that.

Are there any other sources

Are there any other sources or studies that are in this article that I have missed? I really need sources for my Science Fair Project :(. Please post them or give me suggestions for any studies that are related to this...

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Stanley Coren, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.

more...

Subscribe to Canine Corner

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?