Everyone knows that happy dogs wag their tails, but few people realize that the function of tails doesn't stop there. Dogs use their tails for all sorts of essential things that go far beyond merely conveying happiness. Why do dogs wag and chase their tails, though? Each situation and each dog is unique, but there are some general guidelines that can help you better understand how your dog is feeling and why that tail is wagging.
The main reason that dogs wag their tails is to communicate with other dogs and people. A dog's vision is highly sensitive to motion, so moving things get their attention right away. That makes a moving tail one of the clearest ways for dogs to convey their comfort and emotional state to other dogs in the area. Unfortunately, people aren't always as good at reading those cues.
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