One of the most useful aids to training a pooch effectively is being able to read him. Having the ability to figure out Fido’s body language and expression, and then applying this understanding to the present training situation will let you avoid the usual mistakes in judgment during the training process. Because a dog can’t say aloud if he is confused or he needs a break, it is vital that you are able to read him correctly. Aside from his head position, eyes, ears, and body position, it is important also that you pay attention to his tail.
Tips in Understanding Fido’s Tail Language
The Wagging Tail –Most people assume that a fully throttled wag suggests that their pooch is happy. However, tail wagging can’t always be interpreted as something positive since some aggressive dogs also wag their tails when they are about to attack. By looking at your dog’s wagging tail very closely, you will know what exactly he’s trying to tell you.
· “It’s nice to see you.” Low and slow wags accompanied by large sweeps, and sometimes, even a wiggling butt as well is the kind of waggle that often suggests greeting or a positive canine disposition. If your pooch is shaking his tail this way, you can assume that he’s delighted to see you and is excited about playing with you.
· “I’m not a threat”. Low, fast wags with short sweeps, however, implies that the dog wants to express that he is no threat. This often happens when a normally meek pooch is approached by a dominant one. Fearful or submissive dogs usually respond to confident ones by trying to hold their own tails low and then slightly wagging them.
· “I’m the boss”. More often than not, high, stiff wags indicate assertiveness in dogs. Although this does not necessarily mean that Fido feels aggressive and will attack, a high, stiff, wagging tail is usually the symbol of a dominant canine.
The Tucked Tail – The tucked tail- tail wrapped in between his hind legs along with sad, seemingly begging eyes is another tail position that is frequently misunderstood. Most people think that a tucked tail means cowering or being frightened, when in fact, it generally means a shy dog which could either be man-made or genetic.
· “Leave me alone”. If you have not given your pooch a reason to fear you, then his tucked tail must no longer be a mere act. This means that your dog is making use of the “pack” language to tell you that he doesn’t want to obey you, but is not eager to hash out about it either. A pooch that is willing to disagree will take a more aggressive stance. That’s why, never buy into this kind of act since dogs can learn easily how to get their way instantly by playing that “poor pitiful me” image.
In addition to their tail, your dog’s body language, facial expressions, and stance can also indicate his mood or attitude!