Dogs can not communicate through different languages as humans do. They choose to speak in other ways. Dogs have minimal facial expression but mostly speak through their tail. They show various degrees of emotions like happiness, anxiety, nervousness, and more by just waging their tail. Wagging is often accompanied by moving ears, furrowing near the nose, and shifting eyes, all of which are ways your dog chooses to speak through. It is known that if a dog is relaxed he will keep his tail in a stable position. Could there be more causes if my dog never wags his tail?
There is a common misconception that dogs wag their tail just when see they a treat. That’s not true, in case, a dog is aroused or threatened he might wag his tail too. Is there more to the tail talk? Let’s talk.
The wagging Language
Before you read about why a dog never wags its tail, let’s educate you a bit about wagging language and why it is so popular.
Canines are highly based on learning. A pup when he turns one month old realizes wagging is his language to communicate. After the pup is done playing he would start wagging his tail. That’s his way of communicating with his mother and fellow mates. He’s telling Mummy-doggo that he is hungry and his littermates that the playtime is over, he’s already exhausted.
Full Body wag indicates your dog is really happy. He moves around in circles, with his mouth slightly open, and shakes his entire body. You are most likely to see him do this after you return from work.
A dog holding his tail in a vertical position is a sign of aggression. A fast shaking tail at a vigorous speed could be dangerous. This is mostly seen when a dog is aroused. Maintain your distance at such sign, as he is showing tension and hostility,
A slow wag is again a dangerous sign. It shows a dog is unfriendly and might be planning to attack.
Did you know even the left and right wagging holds importance? When a dog wags its tail towards the right it could be a signal that it might want to get close to something for example the owner. A happy and confident dog wags his tail towards the right. However, the leftward shift could show a frightened dog or confusion signs at an interaction with something new. An example could be his meeting an unfriendly dog.
Tucked-in tail could mean your dog is frightened of a certain situation. They tuck the tail in to cover the genital area, protecting themselves while being scared.
A tail curled towards the head can bring some new facts to your knowledge. Some breeds have naturally turned tails in that direction signifying relaxation. However, if it’s being pulled in that direction it could mean the doggo is highly excited or high alert. Observe, the rest of body language too for reaching a conclusion.
A pulled-down tail covering the dog’s anus can show that the four-legged companion of yours is uncomfortable. He is anxious and unsure regarding what’s happening around him.
A high in the air stiff tail with fast wagging indicates an active and aroused dog. This shows he is confident. But if he’s around other dogs this can also be a sign of dominance, and if it’s accompanied with an open mouth and wrinkled nose well it’s time to back off. The four-legged angry being needs his own space for a while.
Some dogs stop wagging the tail when they encounter a new stranger, this shows they are not happy to be around an unknown face.
Make sure to study the body language and other signs too. A tail can say different things about different dog breeds.
Why my dog never wags his tail?
A lot of things can lead to your dog not wagging his tail. It can be a sudden injury, an inherited trait, or sometimes a behavioral change.
A dog might not wag his tail if it’s known to be abandoned or ignored. A few dog owners say that they have a dog who wouldn’t wag his tail due to a past abandoned history. However, with constant love that was previously missing in their lives, their wagging is brought back.
Tail Injury- Limb Tail
Coming towards medical reasons, sometimes puppies can be not wagging because of an injury. They stop moving the tail all of a sudden.
The fact is not hidden that tail is an extension of Dog’s skeleton. A sprain, muscle injury, nerve damage, or dislocation can be detected through a dog’s waggy tail. This condition is described as the limp tail.
Observe other signs like vomiting, or limping. This could also be a tail spine injury that needs a vet visit and an x-ray immediately.
Sometimes the doggos won’t wag their tails out of inactivity or boredom, other times they are just so tired, that they acquire a condition known as the dead tail. The other names for this condition are the ‘limber and cold tail’. The tail just hangs downward. It is known to be because of a muscle problem when it is too fatigued and has been pushed to the limit of working.
Hunting dogs are most commonly affected after a busy and tiring day at their hunt. Another reason is swimming, as the tail overworks itself the tail muscles become exhausted, unable to show any movement.
Treating dogs rudely
When a family member is being too harsh on the dog he would stop wagging too. Instead of a family member, a trainer can be rude to dogs too. Some dogs stop wagging tails when they interact with a stranger.
Other reasons are an owner leaving or a pet friend dying whom he really misses. They say tail not-wagging can have a connection with depression.
There is some relation with the type of breed too. A few pups have such short tails that the wagging wouldn’t show, such an example is of Boston Terrier. The short-tailed doggo doesn’t have much of a tail to wag. On the other side, Cavaliers may never stop wagging their tails no matter what.
Short or curled Tail
For dogs who have short and or highly curled tails that never wag, try to look at the base of their tail. A movement at the base could mean the spine is intact, they just cant spread the muscle activity till the end hence you don’t see wagging,
Some people seem to have noticed that highly curled tails don’t tend to wag much as compared to straight tails or poorly curled tails. Pugs and Boston Terriers are from the dog breed that has tails that coil tightly against the body. They don’t show any wagging at all.
Rescue dogs are known to never wag their tails at all. They’ll dance in glee, shake their butt a little but wagging seems out of question.
Others don’t really wag until exposed to certain conditions. For example, a few puppies would only show a little wagging while playing otherwise not. Others would only wag while you cuddle with them. Another popular wagging action is seen when puppies are too tired after playing with their littermates or are just hungry and want momma to feed them.
If a dog is uncomfortable or tired he can again be showing no wagging. If after an event he was too tired and didn’t get enough sleep, you’d see it through the non-wagging tail. Another reason could be that maybe the place where he stays most of the time is either too hot or too cold.
Sometimes the dogs don’t have enough to do, or any physical activity that would excite them. Thus they might not show signs of excitement or happiness by dancing through the tail.
Sometimes wagging can have a grave reason, and other times it is nothing to worry about
What to do if my dog doesn’t wag his tail?
If your dog shows no wagging compared to other dogs this could be a little alarming and rarely it could be a tail injury too. How to proceed with a non-wagging dog?
- Take him to a vet, if he stopped wagging all of a sudden get a tail spine’s X-ray.
- Checkout if the trainer is being too harsh to him.
- Supervise him, check the surveillance camera for details if someone is not treating him right.
- Research on his breed.
- Stop worrying if he has s short or highly curled tail.
- Be polite and soft with the dog, try using positive reinforcement behavior.
- For a dead tail, give him rest. If the tail doesn’t show performance within three days go to a doctor. This condition is most commonly found in hunt dogs. Moreover, take him for a shorter training session instead of giving full-day tiredness.
- Approach a dog behaviorist if you are unable to reach a conclusion.
These are some of the advice that you can follow, but trust me most of the time it’s nothing significant. Study your dog closely for a few days and you will know why he never wags his tail.
1 thought on “My Dog never wags his Tail”
Recently rescued Shih tzu….8 years old. She has poor site and hearing. She appears always depressed and has to be encouraged to eat….Sometimes she doesn’t. She has been checked by a vet. Is this just an outcome of her prior life. We have tried everything.