In the human world, having your tail between your legs signifies regret and contrition. We can tell when our dogs literally perform this activity that they are trying to communicate with us in some way. But does it share the same connotation as our own slang?
Different Heightsor LowsMean Different Things
The definition of a downward tail position varies depending on the dog, like many other canine actions do. Your dog may be communicating with you in a very subtle way. So much so that it might require some investigation to determine exactly what is going on.
Unsurprisingly, a downward tail may be a sign of capitulation. However, it can also be a sign that a dog is scared or worried. The posture of the dog’s tail will reveal how emotionally stable he is; the more tightly it is tucked against the body, the more obedient, timid, or nervous the dog is.
However, a low-hanging dog tail could also indicate the complete opposite. More specifically, it can be a sign that your dog is at ease and comfortable. This occurs as a result of the dog’s tail essentially following its natural curve.
There May be a Medical Reason Behind the Tail’s Position
Your normally bouncy, active dog may have limber tail if he consistently experiences prolonged periods of time when his tail is down rather than straight or pointing upward. The ailment, which is also referred to by the titles cold water tail, broken wag, or limpy tail, can be brought on by overexertion, too much time spent in a box, or even a change in environment. Even though it could make your dog uncomfortable, the ailment isn’t too tough to treat as long as you involve your local veterinarian in the recovery process.
Other Possible Medically-Based Reasons for a Down Tail
Although a limber tail is not particularly alarming, there are a few additional tail-specific wounds that your dog may acquire that do require more attention and care. A tail that is always down could mean that your dog is in a lot of pain. Some of this discomfort may be caused directly by the tail, but it may also be related to pain in your dog’s back or hindquarters.
Some tail injuries, like a cut or a bite, may appear more severe than they really are. This is due to the fact that a lot of blood passes via the tail. If the skin of the tail is ruptured, the ensuing bleeding may be extended, and it may take longer for the tail to heal than other body parts.
The harm to the tail may occasionally be self-inflicted. Dogs who are anxious sometimes chew on their tail to calm themselves down. Another sign of a flea issue could be a propensity to bite their tail.
The injuries coming from the base of the tail are not as mild, despite the fact that these specific ailments are. In these circumstances, a downward-pointing tail can be a sign of damage to the muscles that enable him to urinate and defecate. This kind of damage could be related to other ailments that need to be treated, such incontinence or constipation.
On the majority of breeds, a lack of tail movement can indicate that this specific injury might be present. There is a good likelihood that your dog’s bowel and bladder muscles are malfunctioning if he has bloated hindquarters and does not lift his tail before removing his feces. If you notice any symptom, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Learn the Language of Dog Through Your Pooch’s Tail
Knowing how to analyze how your dog’s tail moves, bends, shakes, and wags is a great approach to deepen your relationship with your dog because these movements are not random. In this situation, being aware of the precise cause of your dog’s tail-pointing will help you console him or provide him with the support he needs. In the end, this will enable your dog to have greater faith in you, which may strengthen your relationship with him.
Why does my dog’s tail wag while he walks?
Your dog’s tail carry when walking is a clear indicator of both their mental and current social status. Dogs who behave in this way frequently indicate that they are scared or upset about something. However, the breed and temperament of the dog also play a role in this. For instance, Whippets and Greyhounds have a lower tail carriage, whereas Chow Chows and Chinese Shar-Peis carry their tails high and curved. The same is true for Golden Retrievers and West Highland White Terriers. Generally speaking, a dog walking with his tail down may be afraid, submissive, or anxious, whereas a dog walking with his tail up may be feeling eager, alert, or dominant. He likely also feels threatened and scared by a person or animal that he thinks as stronger and more powerful than him.
Before making any assumptions, you should carefully observe your dog and understand his personality. If your dog carries its tail lower and closer to its rear legs, it may indicate depression, illness, or insecurity. The dog is frequently extremely nervous or on guard if their tail is tucked between their legs. Other common indications of defensiveness include trembling of the tail, growling, stiff-looking ears, and showing of the teeth. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be concerned if your dog’s tail is hanging down loosely and is not tucked in between the back legs. It might merely indicate that they are at ease, at ease, relaxed, or content. On the other hand, if you observe your dog’s tail is dropped but not shoved down between his back legs, you should speak with your veterinarian about a potential stomach ailment or a physical injury. When he is generally uninterested in his surroundings or simply feeling frightened and bashful, you may also observe him walking with his tail down, occasionally sticking out his tongue, and keeping his ears pushed back.
When a dog’s tail is wagging, what should you do?
Supportive treatment, rest, and anti-inflammatory drugs may be necessary to treat a dog with a limp tail if the discomfort is severe. Restricting movement will help the tail recover and get back to normal, especially during vigorous play, swimming, or work. Typically, this takes a few days to a week.
Never administer any human anti-inflammatory drugs to your dog for this ailment. For advice on canine drugs, talk to your veterinarian.
Why did my dog’s tail stop wagging?
When you walk through the door, your dog can have limber tail if you notice that her tail is limp and not wagging joyfully. There are various names for this depressing condition of the tail, including swimmer’s tail, frozen tail, and sprung tail.
What causes limber tail?
A dog’s tail muscle is frequently strained or sprained, which results in a limp tail. Overuse is a risk factor for these ailments, although other factors include:
- Continuous crate confinement
- exposure to the cold
- excessive exercise without the appropriate preparation
- A changing climate
The most frequent cause of limber tail is swimming, presumably as a result of chilly water temperatures and unusual exertion. Dogs overexert themselves when swimming because they utilize their tails to help with balance and steering, which is different from what they do on land.
Any dog can get limber tail, but because to their lifestyles, some breeds are more vulnerable. Hunting breeds like the following are more likely to have a limp tail:
Hunting dogs frequently experience a limber tail at the start of the season, especially if they haven’t been properly trained or have had a long day at the office.
What are some of the signs of limber tail?
The symptoms of a limp tail vary from dog to dog and can be mistaken for signs of trauma, particularly if your dog has just been swimming or hunting. You may observe the following symptoms if your dog’s tail muscles are overworked:
- tail that is completely limp from root to tip
- a limp tail that is held out horizontally from the base with the remainder dangling down.
- No tail wagging
- Pain or discomfort, especially if you attempt to move the tail
- whimpering or complaining
- gnawing or licking the tail
- Raised hair on the tail’s tip
Your dog might instead be afflicted by one of the following conditions that might mimic limber tail:
- an injury to the tail
- broken tail
- a tail cancer
- harm to the anal glands
- Disease of the intervertebral disc
- Coccygeal syndrome
Many of these ailments pose a threat to your pet’s health, therefore a precise diagnosis requires a complete veterinary checkup.
How is limber tail diagnosed and treated?
Limber tail is frequently simple to diagnose. In order to rule out other causes, your veterinarian will do a comprehensive examination. Your pet may also have X-rays to make sure there isn’t a fracture or tumor.
Treatment for limber tail is simple and just getting lots of rest to recover the muscles that have been strained. Avoid confining your dog in a crate that is too tiny for her and prevents her from relaxing comfortably as this can result in a limber tail. If your pet is suffering from significant discomfort, your veterinarian may advise using cold or heat packs to minimize swelling or inflammation in addition to anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants to relieve her pain. Avoid excitement as well—you don’t want your happy dog waving her tail while it’s healing.
How can I prevent limber tail?
Some dogs may experience limp tails repeatedly. By gradually increasing the amount of physical exercise your dog does, you can prevent recurrences by letting them develop their stamina and endurance. Before beginning all-day activities, start with brief training sessions. If your dog is confined to a crate during a competition or hunting event, provide them regular stretch breaks.
Losing the wag in a dog is a distressing, painful affliction. To gain assistance identifying the source of your dog’s tail issues, speak with your veterinarian.
How can I tell if my dog is hurt?
If your dog is in discomfort, they might:
- demonstrate agitation.
- yell, growl, or cry out.
- Be sensitive to touch or you may dislike being handled.
- irritate you and start to snarl.
- Become more inactive, quiet, or cover up.
- Walk awkwardly or reluctantly.
- Stop eating and get depressed.
- breathe quickly and shallowly, and your heart rate is elevated.
Has my dog injured his tail?
Because Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Pointers, and other hunting breeds with long tails are prone to the injury, I discovered throughout my study that sprained tail concerns are widely addressed among sporting breed lovers. However, there is little doubt that this problem can also affect other breeds, including Chihuahuas, Great Danes, and my personal favorite, Miniature Bull Terriers. What’s more fascinating is that dogs with curled tails can also injure their tails.
The majority of the time, a dog will either hold his tail straight down or hold it one to two inches away from his body while the other 90% drops straight down. The dog is attempting to hold its stiff, painful tail still. Don’t mistake a dog’s uncomfortable tail for its terrified tail, which can drop or tuck beneath the body. Painful tails appear almost like a straight line pointing to the ground because they are limp and immobile. Since it hurts for curly-tailed dogs to curl their tails up and over their backs, you’ll notice that their tails are hanging straight down.
Your dog will experience severe discomfort if their tail is sprained. You will not only see a hanging tail, but it will likely be very unpleasant to touch. Dogs will hide, pant, pace, slobber, enlarge their eyes, and become agitated when they are in discomfort. Even some damaged dogs won’t eat or move.
Does a limp tail self-heal?
Thankfully, limber tail doesn’t pose a life-threatening risk, but because of this, it is frequently disregarded and undervalued. The symptoms of a limp tail are not frequently reported to veterinarians because they typically go away on their own in a few days or weeks.
Rest is the best medicine for a limber tail, so encourage your dog to relax for a few days. However, limber tail is said to be extremely uncomfortable and upsetting for affected dogs, so if the problem doesn’t improve or resolve, speak with your veterinarian, who may recommend painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen your dog’s agony. Your dog’s tail will start wagging again quickly after some rest and relaxation.
How serious is limber tail?
The good news is that limber tail is not fatal or even seriously debilitating (for more than a few days or weeks). Your dog will likely experience some discomfort for a day or two. The most crucial step, according to Dr. Steiss, is to give the dog a few days of relaxation, or at least until the natural tail activity has restored.
How can I tell if my dog’s tail is broken?
Your dog used to welcome you every time with a tail wag, but lately something doesn’t seem right. There might be an underlying health issue.
Swelling, bending, and a kink in the tail are indications that the tail is broken. It’s possible that your dog is having trouble moving, waving their tail, or retaining it in an odd posture. Dogs frequently lick wounds to heal them, so if you see that your pet’s tongue and tail are intertwined, be cautious. Additionally, if your dog is whining or appears to be in discomfort, there may be a significant issue.
A dog can break its tail for a variety of causes. There are numerous things that can go wrong, such as it being trodden on or hitting something. We may not always be home when our dog hurts their tail as pet owners. To determine the cause, you’ll need to apply your best judgment.
Here are the most frequent causes of tail injuries in dogs and what to do about them.
How does a limber tail appear?
The following are some of the most typical cold tail syndrome warning signals to look out for:
- stubby tail (from base to tip)
- No wag of the tail
- a tail with raised fur at the tip of it
- Whining or crying
- Tail that has some limpness to it; the base of the tail is pointed, while the rest hangs.
- gnawing, licking, or biting the tail
- If you touch their tail, they’ll yell (2)
Are dogs capable of crying?
You are aware that your dog has feelings because he is a sensitive creature who is prone to happiness, fear, melancholy, and a variety of other emotions. Of course, dogs have tear ducts, just like the majority of animals. What does this mean for the relationship between a dog’s brain and tear ducts? No. Although dogs loudly convey their needs and desires, there is no scientific proof that dogs—or any other animal—actually cry in response to their emotions. We seem to be the only creature that can cry out of emotion.
What we do know is that when humans find ourselves wiping away tears and snuffling into a tissue, dogs can respond with empathy and compassion. A fascinating study suggests that dogs may be born with the ability to comfort people.
Undoubtedly, dogs vocalize in a variety of ways to communicate. Puppies are taught to whimper or whine in order to attract their mother’s attention. This conduct frequently persists throughout maturity. Your dog may call out to you if he needs food, drink, a bathroom break, or just a loving touch.
We’ve all been duped by the melancholy look and sorrowful whimper. However, if your dog is tearing up or you notice any signs of moisture in their eyes, something else may be wrong. The eyes are kept clean and in good working order by the tear ducts. But unlike in humans, the fluid returns to the nose and throat.