What Does Your Dog’s Tail Say About His Mood?

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What Does Your Dog’s Tail Say About His Mood?

The height and position of a dog’s tail can tell you a lot about his mood. Each tail position signifies something unique

Tail Up: Alert possibly aggressive

When a dog’s tail is up or tense over their back, they are experiencing some kind of alertness. This could either be the dog has seen something off in the distance that he is focusing on, or if he is near another dog, this could also be an effort to make himself appear bigger and intimidate the other dog. An up tail can also mean aggression. If a dog has his tail up and his hair is also up, he is decidedly aroused and possibly showing aggression. Be very wary of approaching a dog who is displaying these behaviors.


Tail Down: normal, or friendly

When a dog’s tail is low, or just hanging out, your dog is likely not really experiencing any emotion. He’s neutral or content. Most dogs spend most of the day with their tail in this position. They are neither aroused nor scared. It’s just business as usual. Most dogs will wag their tail at this height. That seems to be paired with experiencing contentment or happiness, but not extremely aroused happiness.

Tail Between Legs: fearful

As the tail gets lower and lower and starts to go between the dog’s back legs, this indicates fear and submission. Dog’s with their tail fully between their legs are scared. A dog showing this tail position may also decide to get on the ground and roll over showing his sensitive belly. This is the ultimate act of submission on a dog’s part. Another dog could easily kill them if they are in this position. For a dog to tuck his tail and roll over, he is expressive fear and extreme submission.