When a dog’s tail wag isn’t just a wag

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Apparently, sometimes a wag isn’t just a wag.  Research shows happy dogs wag their tails more to the right while nervous dogs swing from the left.

A new study published in the journal Current Biology concludes other canines respond to “tail talk.”  To decode the wags, scientists monitored the pooches as they watched films of other dogs.  They analyzed the doggie demeanor and measured their heart rate.  When the canine viewers saw a “right” wagging tail, they stayed relaxed but a tail wagging to the left made them anxious and increased their heart rate.  Surprisingly, the researchers don’t believe the wagging is a form of communication between dogs- only something they’ve learned to recognize over time.