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Why Do Dogs Have Tails

By Jerry Welsh

Dogs are one of the animals in the animal kingdom that have tails. The tail can be short stumps, well feathered, long or short – all the same, this extension of the spine has many purposes for a dog. A dog tail is a useful body part that improves the appearance of a dog. A long, curved and well feathered tail is certainly the pride of a Japanese Spitz and an American Eskimo Dog. A dog’s tail though has many other purposes aside from making the dog beautiful.

A dog’s tail has one very important role – as a balancing tool. Hunting breeds of dogs are very fast runners. These dogs have to be agile as well to overpower their prey. Similar to tightrope walkers that uses bars to maintain balance, dogs make use of the tail as a counter balance when scaling cliffs to follow prey. Used as a counter balance, the tail prevents a dog making a sharp turn from tumbling over. Water retrievers make use of the tail as a swimming aid.

Dogs can’t talk but their tails can speak volumes. Dogs have an efficient tool in communicating with humans and other animals – the tail. It is a common knowledge that a loosely wagging tail is a sign that the dog is friendly. Be wary with a dog that bares its teeth and holds te stiff tail high as it is likely to attack.

Dogs understand each other simply by the way the tail is held. Additionally, the tail is the dogs’ one of a kind ID system. Anal gland secretion is stimulated when the dog raises its tail. This scent that is unique to every dog is used by dogs to identify each other. In a pack, the tail is a tool that shows the rank of the dog. It is customary for alpha dogs to stiffly and widely wag a tail that is held high. Dogs lower in rank slowly wag tails that are held low to signify submission.

The tail has another purpose – for comfort. Another purpose of the tail is to drive insects that pester the dog. Serving as a scarf, a tail provides the dog with much needed warmth in very cold weather. Northern dogs that sleep outdoors uses the tail to protect the face, especially the nose from cold.

Learn more about why dogs have tails and other interesting dog facts at Sarah’s Dogs.

categories: why do dogs have tails,dog tail,dogs,pets,animals,home

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Welsh, Jerry "Why Do Dogs Have Tails." Why Do Dogs Have Tails. 16 Aug. 2010. uberarticles.com. 3 Jan 2015 <http://uberarticles.com/pets/dog/the-many-uses-of-a-dogs-tail/>.

APA Style Citation:
Welsh, J (2010, August 16). Why Do Dogs Have Tails. Retrieved January 3, 2015, from http://uberarticles.com/pets/dog/the-many-uses-of-a-dogs-tail/

Chicago Style Citation:
Welsh, Jerry "Why Do Dogs Have Tails" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/pets/dog/the-many-uses-of-a-dogs-tail/


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