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10 IMPRESSIVE & AMAZING DOG'S TAIL FACTS This article proudly presented by WWW.PSYCHOLOGY TODAY.COM and WWW.PETPLACE.COM
A dog's tail is just one of his methods of communication, and according to Psychology Today - certain types of wags indicate specific emotions. But a dog's tail has many other uses, too. Here are some fun facts that might help you figure out what your dog is doing or saying with his tail!
Fact #1 A broad swishing wag is friendly and unchallenging, while a slight wag when meeting someone new is a tentative "wait and see" greeting. A slow wag of the tail held at half-mast is neutral, indicating that the dog is neither excited or anxious, but a high-sitting tail making rapid back and forth motions can be a sign of a threat.
Fact #2 The left brain controls the right side of the body, and the right brain controls the left side of the body. So positive feelings pull a dog's tail to the right and negative feelings pull it to the left. Dogs can actually pick up this wagging direction. Right wagging indicates happiness and means they are approachable. Leaning left could indicate anxiety or fear. Lefty waggers should be approached with caution.
Fact #3 Dogs do not wag their tails when they are alone. Research has proven that wagging is behavior they only exhibit when around others.
Fact #4 Dogs chase their own tails for a variety of reasons. It might be curiosity, exercise or just an amusing activity. It could even be part of their natural predatory instinct. If your dog chases his tail excessively, check first for fleas! Some animal experts think that dogs who regularly run in circles chasing their own tails might be suffering from OCD.
Fact #5 Dogs' tails have evolved into appendages that help them with balance. Athletic breeds use the tail as a counter-balance when running, leaping and turning. Even dogs with short or docked tails can be balanced, especially if they have had that shorter tail since puppyhood. If a dog injures or loses part of the tail in adulthood, their athletic skills will change as the animal is thrown off their normal balance. Luckily dogs can adjust and relearn those skills over time.
Fact #6 Tail shaking is an acquired skill puppies learn when they are old enough to start communicating. This usually starts at about the 45 days old mark with "tail talking" practiced with mom and any siblings or companion dogs.
Fact #7 Tails are awesome help to swimming dogs! Some dogs are able to use their tails as a rudder in the water, and Retriever breeds are especially good at this.
Fact #8 A dog's tail helps them spread their scent. Animal Planet says that alpha dogs that hold their tails high can release more scent from the anal glands. Scared dogs that hold their tails between their legs are submissively covering their scent glands. The swoosh of a tail helps fan the scent into the air.
Fact #9 The tail is an extension of the spine, but it is far more flexible. It is also more exposed and active, so there is a greater chance of injury. A dog's tail has its own set of muscles, anchors and discs.
Fact #10 The term "hair of the dog" originally referred to the tail. Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder, born 23 AD, believed that the way to get rid of rabies was to put ashes in the wound, and those ashes were supposed to come from the tail hair of the biting dog! We have no proof that his method was ever tested, but plucking hair from the tail of a rabid animal does not seem like a safe or smart idea.
MORE DOG TAIL FACTS This article proudly presented by WWW.AOL.COM
Tail wagging has long been associated with a pup's mood, but the fascinating and often telling things about the appendage don't stop there. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about dogs' tails:
Number 1: The term "hair of the dog" comes from the tail. Back in the day, Pliny the Elder said that the way to get rid of rabies was to put ashes on the wound. Not just any ashes, though, the remedy dictated that they be made from the tail hair of the dog that bit you.
Number 2: The tail is an extension of the spine. It's much more flexible, however, and has its own set of muscles, anchors and discs. The tail is also more exposed and active than the backbone, so there's a greater chance of injury.
Number 3:They can come in handy when swimming. Some dogs are able to use their tails to navigate in the water, and retrievers tend to be especially good at it.
Number 4: Tail shaking is an acquired skill. Puppies begin to learn the ins and outs of it when they're ready to start communicating. That's usually around the month and a half mark, and they start by "tail talking" with mom and their siblings.
Number 5: Dogs can pick up on the wagging direction noted in No. 6. Canines are able to recognize and interpret the bearing differences. Dogs exhibiting the happy right variety are deemed approachable, while the lefty waggers are not.
Number 6: Rightward wagging communicates happiness. When good moods prevail, the left side of the brain takes over and controls the right side of the body, including the dominant tail movement direction. A leftward leaning indicates that fear and anxiety are the probable emotions ruling the situation.
Number 7: Each wagging direction is governed by its own brain hemisphere. Whether it leans more to the left or the right depends largely on which mood, and thus which side of the brain, is dominant.
Number 8: Tails were originally used as a balancing aid. Historically, they proved particularly useful when dogs were walking along narrow paths. Such an assist isn't needed much any more, but many canines have found other uses for them.
Number 9: Chasing one could be a sign of a deeper issue. Experts say dogs that regularly run around in circles in pursuit of their own tails could be suffering from OCD.
Number 10: They don't wag them when they're alone, not even if they're in the presence of a big, juicy unattended steak and their favorite chew toy. Researchers have found it to be a behavior exclusively exhibited when around others.
What Is the Tail? The tail is the most posterior or caudal terminal appendage of the vertebral column. It extends beyond the trunk or main part of the body.
Where Is the Tail Located? The tail is located at the end of the vertebral column. It is the hind-most part of the backbone.
Not all dogs have a tail. Some dogs are born with short, rudimentary tails. Other dogs have their tails docked short soon after birth. Dogs without tails and those whose tails are commonly docked often belong to the herding and working breeds of dogs. In these breeds, a long tail is considered a disadvantage or a hazard, depending upon the dog's intended usage or line of work.
Which signs and meanings has dog tail wagging? You can tell a lot about what dogs are feeling by watching their tails. Dogs use their tails for communicating. They express happiness, aggression, stress and many other emotions with their tail. By looking at the position and movement of the tail, you can often tell what dogs are thinking. When a dog wags his tail high and wags it back and forth, he's usually feeling pretty good. When he is interested in something, his tail is usually horizontal to the ground. A tucked tail indicates the dog is frightened or submissive. When the tail goes from horizontal to upright and becomes rigid, he is feeling threatened or challenged. A tail that is low and wagging indicates the dog is worried or insecure.
The tail has another vital role in communicating. Every time your dog moves his tail, it acts like a fan and spreads his natural scent around him. One of his most important odors comes from the anal glands, two sacs under the tail that contain a smelly liquid that is as unique among dogs as fingerprints are to us. Every time the dog wags his tail, the muscles around the anus contract and press on the glands, causing a release of the scent. A dominant dog that carries his tail high will release much more scent than a dog that holds his tail lower. Likewise, a frightened dog holds his tail between his legs to keep others from sniffing him, and in that way does not draw attention to himself.
The tail is important as a means of counterbalance when the dog is carrying out complicated movements such as leaping, walking along narrow structures or climbing. Dogs that run at great speeds often have thin tails that are very long in proportion to the rest of their body, and they use their tails as a counterbalance when making turns. Their tails may increase their agility and ability to turn quickly, so they can keep up with their prey. Tail muscles are also important in stabilizing the vertebral column and supporting the action of the extensor muscles of the back, as well as those of the croup and buttocks.
Some dogs use their tails as rudders when swimming. Dogs bred for swimming frequently have tails that are thick, strong and very flexible, which helps them to move easily through the water and make quick turns.
Some dogs use their tails for insulation. Nordic and Arctic breeds have bushy or plumed tails with long dense fur. When lying down they may pull their tails over their faces to keep out the cold. They also use their tails as rudders when pulling a sled across the ice.
With the tail dog demonstrates the following emotions:
Pleasure Fear Friendliness Dominance Playfulness Defend Curiosity Aggression Nervousness Submission
Dog tail wags:
a.Self-confidence, courage at the sight of another dog b.Threat c.Flirting (wagging tail) d. Indifference, lack of interest e.Attempt to frighten f. Posture when feeding g.Subordination h. Uncertainty between the threat and the protection i-j-k. Subordination in the form of another dog, the highest ranking
Seeing asymmetric tail wagging produces different emotional responses in dogs. Left right asymmetries in behavior associated with asymmetries in the brain are widespread in the animal kingdom, and the hypothesis has been put forward that they may be linked to animals' social behavior. Dogs show asymmetric tail wagging responses to different emotive stimuli, the outcome of different activation of left and right brain structures controlling tail movements to the right and left side of the body. A crucial question, however, is whether or not dogs detect this asymmetry.
Here we report that dogs looking at moving video images of conspecifics exhibiting prevalent left or right asymmetric tail wagging showed higher cardiac activity and higher scores of anxious behavior when observing left, rather than right-biased tail wagging. The finding that dogs are sensitive to the asymmetric tail expressions of other dogs supports the hypothesis of a link between brain asymmetry and social behavior and may prove useful to canine animal welfare theory and practice.
A slight wag with each swing of only small breadth-is usually seen during greetings as a tentative "Hello there" or a hopeful "I'm here."
A broad wag is friendly: "I am not challenging or threatening you." This can also mean, "I'm pleased," which is the closest to the popular concept of the happiness wag, especially if the tail seems to drag the hips with it.
A slow wag with tail at "half-mast" is less social than most other tail signals. Generally speaking, slow wags with the tail in neither a particularly dominant (high) nor a submissive (low) position are signs of insecurity.
Tiny, high speed movements that give the impression of the tail vibrating are signs the dog is about to do something usually run or fight usually. If the tail is held high while vibrating, it is most likely an active threat.
That dog with the waggily tail may not be as friendly as you think. While most dogs wag their tails to signal happiness and anticipation, that's not the only emotion that a wagging tail can express, according to E'lise Christenson Bell, a certified veterinary behaviourist. A wagging tail may also indicate that a dog is angry, agitated or annoyed. How can you tell why your dog is wagging his tail? Understanding a little bit about dog anatomy and behaviour can help you interpret the cues that tell you whether you're dog's wagging tail is a friendly greeting or a warning to step back.
HOMEMADE DOG TAIL PROTECTOR This article proudly presented by WWW.PETHELPFUL.COM and Deb Kingsbury
Happy Tail is not an Easy Thing to Heal! What you are looking at is actually a piece of neoprene, which once had been part of a sleeve for a Camelbak drinking tube. We had an extra one and cut off a piece about three inches long. This flexible material is also often used in products like wetsuits, laptop sleeves, and braces for knees, ankles, wrists, etc. and it form-fits itself snuggly but not too tightly around whatever it's on. The neoprene had enough "grab" not to slip off of Remmy's fur, even when he started wagging. And as of this writing, our homemade tail tip protector - which is open at the end, just beyond the tip to allow for air flow but still protect it has been on there for four days, and Remmy hasn't attempted to get it off.
So, we are assuming it's comfortable and not too tight. In the meantime, he's been his usual wagging, nutty self, and periodic tail tip checks have shown that it's still looking good despite whacking it all over the house. This is the same neoprene tubing we found in the house, which you can buy separately. Any piece of neoprene will do, but this is nice because it's already formed into a tube. HOWEVER... we did cut the tubing all the way open along the side. We didn't attempt to shove it over the tip of the tail. Black Hydration Pack Insulated Drink Tube Cover. Medical tape adheres well to the neoprene and is nice and flexible. It's also fairly easy to tear off once you are done wrapping and doesn't peel off easily, making it harder for a dog to nibble off.
Simple Steps to Patch Up a Bleeding Tail
Simple, that is, if you can get your dog to lie still for a few minutes.
Remmy did require being lay upon to get him to calm down and hold still long enough for us to take care of the wound, but even once he was relaxed, canine nurse Jazzy got in on the action. So, next time and w фre pretty sure there will be a next time once we remove this dressing, Jazzy will be removed from the room during this short process.
1. Clean the wound with either warm water and a mild soap or some type of wound cleanser. Even contact lens solution will work, so I've heard.
2. Let the tip of the tail air-dry for a minute, then treat with antibacterial spray and, even better, add some Bag-Balm after that. Cut a piece of neoprene at least three inches long. If it's tubing like we used, I'd cut the tube open rather than try to force it onto the tail over the tip.
3. Place the neoprene around the tail, allowing it to extend roughly half an inch beyond the tip. Use medical tape to wrap and secure the neoprene securely but not too tightly. We found we were able to really get it snug without it seeming to bother our dog. The neoprene provided enough padding that the tape didn't constrict his tail.
4. Don't tape over the open end of the neoprene. Check the tail daily for any sign of infection. If the tail doesn't quickly appear to be healing or if the wound looks "substantial" once you have cleaned it and can get a good look at it & contact your vet. Minor tail wounds can bleed a lot, so clean it well and get a good look at it to determine the extent of the cut or split.
Dogs reveal so much about their mood and intentions by how they hold their tails and how they move them. We can get much more out of our daily interactions with dogs if we take the time to understand the vast amount they're telling us through body language. And that is especially true of tails. Many of us think that a wagging tail means a happy dog, but it's much more complicated than that. In fact, a wagging tail doesn't necessarily mean a dog is being friendly at all. Social context and other factors about the tail come into play to tell the entire story.
It takes a whole body to tell you what's really going on - from ears to eyes, to lips and teeth, to stance and balance, to how the hair is raised - but the tail itself is a significant part of decoding a dog's thoughts.
Of course, not all dogs have tails and some breeds have tails that are not as expressive, like pugs or basenjis. But all dogs do express themselves with tail movement. Here are some guidelines to read a tail for signs of what a dog is thinking.
Tail height How a dog holds its tail speaks volumes. There is a tail held high, in a neutral position level with the spine, held low or tucked under.
A tail held high indicates a very high level of excitement. It could be joy, playfulness, alarm or any number of reasons. Whatever the reason, when your dog's tail is straight up, or even arched over the back, you can be sure your dog is highly stimulated. This is a sign that you'll want to watch your dog carefully because depending on the social situation, the dog can become overaroused and an interaction may move rapidly to a fight.
A tail held in a neutral position indicates a neutral mood. Everything is fine and dandy. Remember that different breeds have different neutral positions. For some dogs, like huskies, a neutral position is still fairly high, above the line of the spine. Yet for other dogs, like greyhounds or Rhodesian ridgebacks, a neutral position looks somewhat tucked under. It's important to know your dog's neutral position in order to get an accurate reading about whether the dog is holding it higher or lower than usual and what that means.
A tail held in a low position indicates nervousness or fear. A dog with a low or tucked tail is showing that he is unsure or afraid of what's going on - and it also indicates that the dog could become defensive and lash out in an effort to protect itself.
Speed of the tail wag How quickly a dog wags its tail also speaks volumes, especially in combination with the tail height.
The faster a tail wags, the more excitement a dog is feeling. When the tail is held high, and is stiffly wagging back and forth at high speed, the dog is showing unfriendly intentions. This is sometimes called "flag tail" and it should be a red flag to an owner. Take this sign seriously as it could mean a fight is about to break out any second if the situation isn't diffused.
When the tail is wagging speedily at a neutral height, a dog is usually showing friendly intentions and is just really excited and happy about what's going on. But this isn't always the case. Some dogs may wag their tails quickly at a neutral height but if they are standing stiffly with a rigid body, the tail wag might not indicate friendliness at all. Take into account how relaxed the rest of the body is to gauge if a dog is definitely being friendly.
When a dog is wagging its tail at high speed while it is held low or tucked under, it is a clear indication that a dog is nervous and probably trying to be submissive, showing that the dog doesn't mean harm and would like to be on the good side of whatever it is the dog is feeling intimidated by.
A slow, steady wag at any height, especially neutral, usually indicates happiness or confidence.
A tail held stiffly, without movement, at any height is usually a sign that a dog is alert and figuring out what's going on. When a tail is held high and still, a dog should be approached carefully since he is very stimulated and is figuring out his next move. Similarly when a dog's tail is tucked and stiff, he is feeling quite fearful and should also be approached with caution since he may feel defensive. When a tail is held straight out and stiff, a dog is usually on alert and paying attention to what's going on, such as if he hears a noise or another dog barking. The dog is on alert but not necessarily feeling threatened.
Direction of the tail wag Studies have shown that dogs wag more on the left or right side of their bodies depending on how they're feeling. A dog that wags his tail with a bias to the right side is showing a positive, happy response to whatever is happening around him. But a dog wagging his tail with a bias to the left side is showing a negative, anxious response to whatever is happening.
Though it might be a bit hard for us humans to spot if there's a bias to the left or right, other dogs see it easily and pick up on the cue. In the study, dogs shown videos of dogs wagging their tails toward the left (or negative emotion) side had increased heart rates and became more anxious. But when watching videos of dogs wagging with a bias to the right, the dogs remained neutral.
So remember, right side means positive emotions, and left side means negative emotions.
All of these pieces of information can be put together in different combinations and reveal different emotional states of a dog. By getting to know the meaning behind the various things a dog says via his tail, you can improve your communication with your dog. Even better, you can use your fluency in dog speak to help your dog navigate social situations, understanding how he's feeling at each moment and helping him through.
DOG EMOTIONAL SENSOR: TAILTALK This article is proudly presented by WWW.NEWS.COM.AU
FINALLY! A tech company has decided to use the internet of things to give the people what they really need. No longer will you be left to hopelessly wonder what your dog might be thinking - this new gadget promises to translate the complex language your pooch is speaking. New York-based firm DogStar has created a device it describes as the "world's first dog emotion sensor". Known as Tailtalk, the product is a Fitbit-esque device placed on your dog's tail to capture and analyse its every emotion. "Tail wagging is asymmetric and includes complex emotional signals that the human eye cannot recognise," the company wrote. Consulting with professors from the College of Veterinary Medicine in Cornell University, the company established the direction a dog wags its tail directly reflected its mood. Dogs wagging their tails to the left were found to be expressing negative emotions such as fear, anxiety and aggression, while dogs with tails wagging to the right were showing positive feelings like happiness, excitement and satisfaction. With this in mind, DogStar created a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope to help monitor and record canine emotions in real-time.
Taking things a step further, the DogStar team created an app, which links to the device. "DogStar products are based on the latest canine neuroscience. Translating the position of the tail and how it's wagging, the Tail Tracker delivers messages straight from the heart of your furry friend to your smartphone". This means owners can examine a dashboard to examine their dog's "happiness overview", "emotional graph" and "emotional diary". Chief operation officer Mike Karp said for the past nine months, the company had been building and testing prototypes of the product. "The testing is going really great," he told Motherboard. Confident in the product it had established, the company launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indigogo to help raise the funds required to get the Tailtalk into mass production. And it appears like DogStar really are giving the people what they want, with the company raising $AU40,000 of its $AU140,000 target in just 24 hours. By contributing, pet owners will be only pay $AU140 for the Tailtalk, which is expected to retail for $AU180. If all goes to plan, the product will be available for purchase from October next year.
Like any other form of language, tail position and movement in dogs has its own grammar and vocabulary that can be learned by humans as a means to better communicate with our dogs. While the tail can give you important clues about your dog's emotional state, to fully grasp what your pooch is communicating, try looking at more than just one part of his body. Instead, make an effort to get the entire picture by observing his body as a whole.
Many dog owners mistakenly believe that a wagging tail is always a happy tail. Remember, when it comes to reading your dog's tail, you MUST consider posture, movements of the eyes and ears, and the situation your dog is in to get the whole picture.
What Fido's Tail is Telling You
1. The happy tail. An unmistakably friendly wag normally involves the dog's entire back end moving widely back and forth. (I call this "wiggle butt!") If a dog is truly excited about something, like greeting his owner, he may wag his tail in big, fast circular motion. Eager butt wiggles can observed. The entire friendly pooch package often includes a somewhat lowered body, squinty eyes, open mouth, and ears slightly pulled back. Remember that you have to assess the tail in context with other body language as not all wagging tails signify a happy dog.
2. The tense tail. An on edge canine body usually goes with a raised, stiff tail held tight in a C curve. Although all curved tails are not the same in meaning, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is the stiffer and more motionless Fido and his tail is, the more cautious you need to be. Try to avoid engagement till you see the anxious dog becomes relaxed.
3. The sad tail. While a lowered tail usually means that the dog is very relaxed, a tail that is markedly held tightly down and even tucked in between the legs, however, may mean that the pooch is not having a good time. Lowered tails may also suggest fear. That's why, once you see Fido's tail drooping, perhaps it's time to pay attention and make him feel secure.
Clues to Look Out For
Slight wags. A slight wag with swings that only make small breadths is commonly noticed during simple greetings. It's often just your pooch's way of saying a tentative "Hi there", or a confident "I'm here".
Road wags. This normally indicates "I'm pleased", or "I'm not threatening or challenging you", especially if the tail movement comes with a drag of the hips.
Slow wags. This wag with the tail seemingly at half-mast tends to be less social. Generally, slow wags which show neither particularly submissive (low) nor dominant (high) position could mean insecurity.
Tiny, swift movements. These tiny tail movements that sometimes make the tail look like it is vibrating is a sign that Fido is about to do something either fight or run. A fearful dog will sometimes wag only the tip of his tail in short, rapid bursts. If the tail is raised while shuddering, it is likely that the dog is becoming an active threat.
DOG TAIL WAGGING SENSOR This article proudly presented by WWW.DAILYMAIL.COM and Ellie Zolfagharifard
What do YOUR dog's tail wags mean? Emotional sensor could help owners understand their pet's feelings.
$90 sensor attaches to dog's tail and measures movement and speed
Dubbed TailTalk, device relays data it collects to an app via Bluetooth
Left wagging indicates aggression and right wagging suggests happiness
Creators hope sensor will help owners understand what upsets their pets
The way dogs wag their tail can tell you a lot about how they're feeling. Now a new gadget claims to translate these wags into emotions so that owners can record the highs and lows of their pet's day. Dubbed TailTalk, the sensor attaches to a dog's tail and works in a similar way to a Fitbit to measure both movement and speed.
How it works The TailTalk device then sends data it has collected throughout the day to a TailTalk app for iOS and Android via Bluetooth. The information appears in the form of a graph, which allows owners to add key events and times into a notes section. It also provides an overall happiness score for each day. Dubbed TailTalk, the sensor attaches to a dog's tail. It combines an accelerometer and a gyroscope much like the Fitbit to measure the speed and movement of a dog's tail wags. The TailTalk device then sends data it has collected throughout the day to a TailTalk app for iOS and Android via Bluetooth.
Its creators say the information will enable owners create a more stimulating and happier day for their dogs. The tracker could be especially useful for new pet parents or children, who can clearly see how a dog responds to different actions and experiences. The information appears in the form of a graph, which allows owners to add key events and times into a notes section to keep track of what their pet was up to during the day. It also provides an overall happiness score for each day. The firm launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to week with the hope of raising $100,000 (£65,600) to develop the technology further.
Tails are fun, they wag, they attract a dog's attention and they are tough to catch. If you have raised a puppy at some point or another you would have noticed that the puppy became interested in it. It just seems to happen one morning out of the blue when the pup will suddenly notice he has grown a tail and that it weirdly moves at times. Enticed, he will try to catch it making owners and children laugh and giggle at their ineffective efforts. Should you own more than one dog, then the fun doubles, each playing with its other tail.
However, there are times when chasing tails are not at all fun. I will never forget one day at a dog park when I saw a dog chasing its tail. It was not the simple tail chasing that amazed me, but the fact that he was so obsessed with it that he cared less of the other dogs playing around him and all the hustle ad bustle of a dog park. The owner called him at one point, he walked towards the owner but shortly went back to his odd behavior.
Later working as a veterinarian assistant, I came to realize that this was more than just a personality quirk. Rather, it was an obsessive compulsive behavior in dogs that was pretty difficult to get rid of. Some dogs required behavior specialists and even anti-anxiety pills.
Should your dog show an increased interest in their tail that goes beyond normal play, have your dog checked by the vet. It is best to rule out anything physical going on and then consider behavioral issues.
So why do dogs chase their tails? Dogs chase their tail as a form of play. They will play with their tails for a little bit but then they will forget about it and resume normal habits.
Dogs chase their tails to keep themselves entertained. These are dogs that may be a bit bored, they may chase the tail a bit and then go back to other normal activities such as eating, drinking, etc. However, they may go back to tail chasing should there be no other stimulus going on in their lives.
Dogs chase their tails because there is something physical going on. Like an anal itch due to tapeworms or pain due to full anal glands. Other causes may be allergies, or fleas biting near the rear area.
Dog may chase their tails because their owners find it funny and the dog therefore, feels rewarded for doing so and will continue just to get all the attention and commotion.
Dogs being confined in small quarters where movement is restricted
The presence of fleas or irritated anal glands
Canine compulsive disorder, which although rare, can be treated with anti obsessive medications such as Prozac.
Hereditary tendency, with the behavior being passed down from generations, especially in some breeds including German shepherds, Australian cattle dogs and bull terriers
High cholesterol, which as suggested by veterinarian Marty Becker, could mean that the dog's cholesterol levels have blocked the flow of brain hormones, which control mood and behavior.
Not knowing why the tail is there to begin with! This part of a puppy's body is fascinating to him, especially if he has no other playmates.
Dogs may chase their tails because they are stressed, anxious or lack enough stimulus in their life. This is the most challenging form to get rid. This form of tail chasing may have started as a game but then progressed to an obsessive compulsive disorder. In this case, these dogs are so fixated on their tail that other normal activities such as playing, paying attention to noises, smells or other people or dogs are completely ignored. This was the case of the dog in the dog park I had witnessed as mentioned above.
While most tail chasing stops as a puppy gets older, many adult dogs continue this practice, sometimes just to get attention. Even though tail chasing can be entertaining at times, you might want to distract this behavior by offering your pet a ball or Frisbee to chase every so often.
According to the book Why Dogs Do That: A Collection of Curious Canine Behaviors, in some cases a visit to your veterinarian may be necessary. If you notice Fido gnawing and scratching at his hindquarters, he could have a skin ailment or a wound prompting him to go after his tail.
While I'm on the medical issues concerning this behavior, let me also mention that epileptic-type disorders, which bring about seizures, could be the culprit. If your dog exhibits any seizure-type problems, seek your veterinarian's help immediately.
Here are some tips to wean off a dog from tail chasing:
Never laugh or praise a dog that is chasing their tail. The attention obtained this way will only cause your dog to look for more, resulting of course, in more tail chasing.
Ignore a dog that is tail chasing. Rather once the behavior starts ignore or leave the room. The dog needs to understand that tail chasing will not only not bring any atention, but it will also cause the person to leave.
Provide some mind challenging games such as stuffing a Kong and letting him try to get the treats outs or hiding treats around the house and allowing him to look for them.
If your dog upgrades to tail biting, rule out allergies or other medical causes and then try to apply some bitter apple on the tail area. The bitter, unpleasant taste acts will act as a deterrent and hopefully discourage the biting. Avoid bitter apple if there are open sores.
Exercise your dog more. He may need more stimulus and a way to get out the excess energy. Let him run besides you, play Frisbee, or walk a few miles a day. You should have a relaxed tired dog at the end of the day.
Consult with a veterinarian. You dog may need medications that may help ease some of the anxiety.
Consult with a dog behaviorist. Most cases, work best if a mix of all the above advice is implemented.
So as we have seen tail chasing may range from an innocent game of keeping a bored mind entertained, to a full blown case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Never encourage your dog to chase its tail, it may turn out not being fun anymore as the dog starts doing it all the time.
Some dogs progress so much in their tail chasing and tail biting habits that the ultimate resort is having their tails amputated.
ANATOMY OF DOG's TAIL This article proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
A dog's tail is the end of his spinal column. It is attached to the backbone, though attached isn't exactly the right word. In fact, a dog's tail is the hindmost end of his backbone. It consists of six to 23 vertebrae enclosed by muscles that are attached to the vertebrae by tendons. The highly mobile and flexible vertebrae and muscles give the dog an enormous amount of control over how his tail moves. He can lift it, move it from side to side or pull it down to cover his anus and tuck between his legs. In every one of these positions, the tail is capable of many different movements, making it nearly as expressive of emotions as a human's face.
A dog's tail is an extension of the spine. It helps them to keep balance when they run. Moreover, A dog's tail position and motion is incorporated as a component of a complex system of body language that domestic dogs use to show excitement or agitation.
The caudal muscles lie on the lumbar vertebrae, sacrum (in the lower back region) and tail vertebrae. The muscles insert on the tail/caudal vertebrae exclusively. The muscles are attached to the tail vertebrae by tendons. The most posterior tendons attach to the last tail vertebrae.
Part of the musculature is formed from muscles associated with the rectum, the anus and the pelvic diaphragm. Four to seven paired nerves serve the tail muscles. These muscles have many tendons that insert from the fifth or sixth caudal vertebra, then onto the next vertebra, and so on to the end of the tail.
Congenital malformation or absence of the tail Trauma - with fractures or dislocations of the vertebrae, wounds to the soft tissues, and possibly paralysis of the tail
Cauda equina syndrome - an instability of the vertebrae over the pelvis where the tail attaches
Alopecia - loss of hair on the tail
Dermatitis around the base of the tail. This is particularly common in breeds with screw type tails (English bulldog, Boston terrier)
Tumors of the tail - both benign and cancerous
Various tests are used to diagnose disorders of the tail:
X-rays Epidurography Possibly CT scan or MRI of the lower back Electrodiagnostic testing on the muscles and nerves of the tail Trichogram (microscopic exam of the hair) Skin scrapings Fungal culture Skin biopsy or biopsy of masses
STEP #1:Clean the tail with mild soap and rinse it with water. Sterile water can also be used, such as contact solution without the enzymatic cleansers.
STEP #2:Spray with an antibacterial spray and a pain spray such as Dermoplast. Dermoplast comes in an antibacterial / pain relief formula combination. Spray the solution according to the directions and let sit for a few minutes.
STEP #3:Apply an ample amount of Bag Balm to the affected area with a cosmetic wedge. Do not dip the wedge back into the Bag Balm container after touching the affected area.
STEP #4:Loosely wrap around the tail with rolled gauze or a bandage roll. Start at the upper portion of the tail, about half way up the tail depending on the size of the affected area. Starting on the upper portion of the tail adds stability and helps the gauze stay on. Loosely wrapping the tail is important to sustain blood circulation.
STEP #5:Apply a Hospital Style Overnight Maxi Pad to the effected area for padding and blood absorption. Do this by either folding in half around the end of the tail or wrapping circularly around the tail.
STEP #6:Continue to wrap the gauze loosely around the Hospital Style Overnight Maxi Pad to hold it into place. Wrap to the end of the tail and back up the tail until the gauze roll is gone.
STEP #7:Hold the end of the gauze piece into place by wrapping the tail, loosely, in the opposite direction with "Vet Wrap" or "Self Grip Athletic Tape / Bandage". Loosely wrap the vet wrap, covering the gauzed area but avoid covering the end of the tail. Leaving a small portion at the end of the tail uncovered allows air to get to the wound and speeds up the healing process.
STEP #8: Form the vet wrap around the tail by gently squeezing the vet wrap to allow all surfaces to stick to each other and adhere to the gauze. This gives the loosely wrapped materials more stability without blocking circulation to the tail.
STEP #9: Tape the top of the bandage with "Sports Tape", sticking a portion of the sports tape to the fur to anchor it in place.
STEP #10: The tail bandage is complete. However, your pet may try to chew off the bandage leaving you back at square one. To help avoid having your pet chew at the bandage, spray the bandage with some "Chew Stop". Some dogs will not care; they will eat right past the nasty taste, so you may have to find an alternative solution.
STEP #11: An alternative solution to keep your dog from chewing at the bandage is to attach the tail to their belly. To attach the tail or bandage to the belly of your pet, wrap the end of the tail with an ace bandage and pin the bandage around the back.
STEP #12: Fold the ace bandage in half, place the tail in the middle of the ace bandage. Wrap the right side of the ace bandage toward the end of the tail, and wrap the left side toward the middle of the tail. Bring the tail up between the dog's legs and bring the remainder of the ace bandage around the dog's back and pin into place with diaper pins. Using diaper pins lessens the chance of the ace bandage coming off and the pins stabbing your pet.
SAFE DOG TAIL GROOMING This article proudly presented by and WWW.DOGICA.COM
To trim dog tails is a simple task. It won't take you but a minute or two to do this and it's one of the finishing touches to your dog grooming adventure.
With your dog bathed and brushed and in the trim you want, you won't be needing much in the way of dog grooming equipment. You will want your dog brush, greyhound comb and dog grooming scissors.
Using the following processes will give you a nice flagged tail. Also when trimming dog tails if you bring the hair up short enough you won't have the tail hair dragging on the floor and collecting dirt.
Be sure your dog's tail is thoroughly brushed out and there are no mats or snarls. Tails tend to snarl and mat on the underside up close to the tail. So use your comb and make sure there are no problems there.
Brush or comb through the hair on the tail.
Wrap your hand around the base of the tail and slide your hand down past the tail to the end of the hair and twist it. Before you make your cut, take your comb and check to make sure you are cutting only hair and not your dog's tail. If the comb goes all the way through then it should be safe to cut. It won't hurt to double check by physically feeling the area to make sure it's only hair.
After you make that cut, brush thru the hair again, pull the tail out to the rear of the dog, then clean up and shape the remaining hair. See the dog pictures below.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ARE ONLY TRIMMING OFF HAIR AND NOT THE END OF THE TAIL ITSELF WHEN DOING THIS PROCESS !!!
WORLD'S LONGEST DOG TAIL This article proudly presented by WWW.CBC.CA
There's something extraordinary about Finnegan, an Irish wolfhound from Calgary. The dog has the world's longest tail - officially listed in the Guinness World Records 2015 Book at 72.29 centimetres.
Finnegan is a big dog, but at 55 kilograms or 121 pounds - he is actually small for an Irish wolfhound. The letter declaring Finnegan's world record came in the mail last month. Leclair says a vet was required to measure the tail three times with a witness. The process was videotaped and submitted to Guinness World Records.
The previous record was held by an American Great Dane named Bentley.
THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR This article proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
Dogs are not born knowing how to wag their tails, but most puppies learn how to use their tails to communicate by the time they're about a month old. As they grow, they learn an entire "language" of tail gestures. Some of these seem instinctive and some serve more purpose than simply communicating with others. These are a few of the hints you can use to determine what your dog's wagging tail is telling you.
Dogs use their scent, which is largely expressed through their anal glands, to mark territory and to announce their presence. When a dog holds his tail high, more of his scent spreads on the air.
When he wags his tail, he's spreading his scent even further. A dog who is uncertain will keep his tail low and tucked to move under the radar, so to speak.
A Matter of Balance Besides the role that tails play in communication, a dog's tail is also important to his balance. A long, thin tail helps a dog counterbalance himself when he's running and has to make a turn, for example. Long, bushy tails may also help a dog keep warm. Many dogs will pull their furry tails over their faces when they lie down in cold weather to keep their heads and ears warm.
By understanding the language of the tail, you can better gauge what your dog, or any other dog, is trying to tell you, and save yourself from potentially dangerous situations.
STOP CUTTING OFF DOG TAILS ! This article proudly presented by WWW.IO9.COM and Lauren Davis
Tail docking, the practice of removing part of a puppy's tail early in life, has been banned or restricted in many parts of the world, but in the US and parts of Canada, you can still dock your dog's tail for cosmetic reasons. Here's why it doesn't make sense to subject your non-working dog to this traumatic procedure.
The beginning of docking dog tails The practice of docking dogs' tails stretches all the way back to Ancient Rome. Lucius Columella, who wrote extensively on agriculture in the first century AD, asserts in his Res Rustica that shepherds believed that, if on a puppy's fortieth day, the final tail bone is chopped off, the tail would not grow and the dog would be protected from rabies.
In later eras, tails were docked for a number of reasons. The tails of dogs who hunted, herded, or were used as watchdogs were docked in the hopes of preventing injury - the tail, the theory went, was just another appendage that could be trampled on or grabbed by another animal. Similarly, some sources indicate that the tails of dogs that worked in the underbrush were docked with the goal of preventing injury from burs and foxtails.
But perhaps the strangest historical reason that tails were docked has nothing to do with the supposed health of the animal - rather, it was related to taxes. In 18th-century England, there was a tax on dogs, unless the dogs were working dogs. The way you showed that your dog was a working dog was to cut off your dog's tail, and so tail docking became more common as a way to avoid tax liability. It was also supposed to be a handy way to show that your dog wasn't a hunting dog (and that you weren't a potential poacher), since long-tailed dogs were deemed most suitable for hunting at the time.
In 1796, the law was repealed, but the practice of docking dogs' tails continued and often with aesthetic, rather than practical, justifications. In the 19th century, books like The American Book of the Dog (1891) show us how tail-docking became associated, not with the safety of the dog, but the proper look of the breed. Cropping the ears and docking the tails of certain dog breeds was deemed necessary to win points with the judges in dog shows. (In the UK, however, the Kennel Club deemed dogs with cropped ears ineligible for showing in 1898.) Chances are, if you have a pet dog with a docked tail in the US, the tail was docked to conform with a certain breed standard.
Currently, tail docking is banned in Australia and much of Europe, but legal in the US and most of Canada. In England and Wales, tail docking was banned under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, but exemptions are made for dogs involved in the following types of work: law enforcement, armed services activities, emergency rescue, lawful pest control, and the lawful shooting of animals. Under the Animal Welfare Act, the docking must occur within the first five days of a puppy's life and must be performed by veterinary surgeon. The Kennel Club allows lawfully docked dogs to be shown. The American Kennel Club allows the showing of dogs that have had their ears cropped, tails docked, and dewclaws removed in keeping with breed standards.
How are tails docked? There are two ways that dogs' tails are primarily docked. The first procedure involves using surgical scissors to snip off part of a puppy's tail within the first few days of life. (Some vets recommend docking occur at two to five days old, but sometimes tails are docked much later.) The practice is performed without anesthesia and does not typically require stitching up the tail afterward. (You can actually watch tail docking videos on YouTube if you're curious, although I warn you that they tend to involve shrieking puppies.) In some places where tail docking is restricted, this procedure is performed by a veterinary surgeon, but in the US and parts of Canada where docking remains unrestricted, it is often performed at home by breeders and owners.
The second method involves placing a ligature band on a puppy's tail, preventing blood flow to the end of the tail. After a few days, the end of the tail falls off and the ligature is removed.
Not every short-tailed dog has had their tail docked, however. A natural bobtail does occur in members of a couple dozen dog breeds, including English Bulldogs, Australian Shepherds, Boston Terriers, and Rottweilers. (A bobtail has also been introduced in some lines of Boxer by crossbreeding them with Corgis.) In most of these breeds, a mutation of the gene C189G is linked to the presence of a natural bobtail. The mechanism for the natural bobtail in the other breeds is unknown. That is not to say, however, that all members of these breeds do have natural bobtails, only that natural bobtails do turn up in those breeds.
Does docking really protect dogs from injury? Preventing tail injury has long been a popular anecdotal justification for docking the tails of working dogs, but does it really help? We have a handful of studies that have tried to answer that question.
Proponents of tail docking tend to cite an investigative study in Sweden that looked at 50 litters of German Shorthaired Pointers born in 1989, after the ban on tail docking, and three litters of puppies with docked tails born in 1988. The study found that 38 percent of the undocked dogs suffered tail injuries within the first 18 months of life, and that by 1991, that number had risen to 51 percent. By the time the study was published in 1992, seven of the dogs had had their tails amputated.
However, for the non-hunting dog snoozing on your rug, tail docking probably won't have any benefit. A 2010 survey of 138,212 dogs in Great Britain found that the weighted risk of tail injuries was just 0.23 percent, meaning that 500 dogs would have to be docked in order to prevent one tail injury. For the record, this particular study did not find a significant difference in tail injuries between working and non-working dogs.
In their essay "Tales about tails: is the mutilation of animals justifiable in their best interests or ours?" from the 2014 edition of Dilemmas in Animal Welfare, Sandra Edwards and Pauleen Bennett note that breeding naturally bobtail dogs may not be the best solution to the docking debate. After all, purebred dogs are already dealing with a very tiny gene pool, and restricted that gene pool even further to dogs that carry a mutation for bobtails could result in even greater health problems for these breeds. They also argue, however, that even it turns out that there are clear benefits to tail docking, that we should not necessarily accept tail docking and leave it at that, but also look for alternative solutions for dealing with legitimate risks to animals.
What effect does a docked tail have on a dog? The big question about docking tails is whether the puppies feel or appreciate pain related to the procedure. One of the key justifications for docking a puppy's tail without anesthesia is that the puppy is too immature to feel pain. If you watch videos of puppies having their tails snipped off with scissors, you will likely notice that they make rather unpleasant-sounding noises. A 1996 study logged the behavior of 50 puppies during tail docking procedures at the University of Queensland Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital. The study found that every single one of the puppies emitted a distressed sound, which the authors describe as "shrieking", during the actual procedure, and emitted whimpers immediately following the procedure. On average, the puppies ceased vocalization 138 seconds after the procedure, with a maximum time of 15 minutes to become quiescent. The authors of the study note that while this indicates that the puppies do feel acute pain, it's difficult to quantify.
There is also the question of whether the pain might have long-term consequences. Recent studies on rats have looked into the impact of neonatal nerve injury on pain sensitivity later in life, but it's an area biological science is still exploring.
Even putting pain aside, though, docking is a physically traumatic procedure that comes with certain risks. Complications can certainly arise from tail docking, such as infection, and while it's not clear how common they are, some dogs with docked tails deal with neuromas - the potentially painful regrowth of nerve tissue at the amputation site. Neuromas can cause discomfort, which encourages dogs to abuse the amputation site - which can lead to further risk of infection - and need to be treated surgically. We may need further research to establish the cost-benefit of docking the tails of certain breeds of gundog, but many of our non-working pet dog have had their health and comfort risked for nothing more than aesthetics.
And what about life without a tail? There has been a bit of speculation on this point, notably from veterinarian Robert Wansborough, whose 1996 paper published in the Australian Veterinary Journal attacks tail docking from an anatomical perspective. Wansborough argues that the tail is vital as a counter-balance for dogs and that the loss of the tail can impair locomotion and contribute to incontinence. The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that, while there is some very early data suggesting that there may be a link between tail docking and canine incontinence, "there is no strong evidence that naturally bobbed or surgically docked dogs are physically or psychologically disadvantaged."
Another area that's currently being explored is the link between tails and canine communication. While dogs partially communicate by scent and sound, there is increasing evidence that dogs are also visual creatures when it comes to communication. In a study published in Behavior in 2008, a pair of researchers used a short-tailed and long-tailed robotic dog to see how real dogs in an off-leash park would interact with the robot. The researchers found that large dogs were more likely to approach the long-tailed robotic dog when the robotic dog's tail was wagging (91.4 percent) than when it was still (74.4 percent of the time). Large dogs were almost just as likely to approach the short-tailed robotic dog when the robotic dog's tail was wagging (85.2 percent) as when it was still (82.2 percent). The study suggests that it may be easier for dogs to read the signals from a dog's tail when it is long than when it is short. A more recent study found that dogs react differently when viewing dogs engaged in asymmetrical wagging on the left sides of their bodies than when view dogs wagging on the right.
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