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Do dogs have any conscious control over their tails?

(9 Posts)
CakeMeIAmYours Sun 20-May-12 12:03:01

Well, just that really - is there a thought process that goes "I'm happy/scared etc therefore I shall wag/drop my tail between my legs"?

DH thinks it is more like a penis (sorry) in that it's state is indicative of the mindset of its owner, but not something the owner has any direct control over.

What do you think?

Lizcat Sun 20-May-12 17:15:48

Tails are a major part of a dog's social interaction very much under their control and can tell you lots about how the dog is feeling.

Lizcat Sun 20-May-12 17:16:21

So yes I think under conscious c

Lizcat Sun 20-May-12 17:17:00

Damn I-pad keeps posting yes conscious control.

Singlediva Sun 20-May-12 18:25:11

I'm not sure. My dog can't wag his tail, he seems to have no control over it and it very rarely moves. It is normally up over his back in a corkscrew but if he is worried or concentrating it drops down and straightens out.

He is a Lhasa Apso, I would love to hear from any other Lhasa owners who have a dog who can't wag!

wildfig Sun 20-May-12 18:41:58

I would have thought that it's about the same as the control we have over our facial expressions? As in, sometimes it's instinctive/automatic - like smiling when we're amused, and sometimes it's deliberate, like when you see someone and smile to greet them. My dogs wag their tails madly when they see me (automatic, happy) but they also do a deliberate low, slow, side-to-side wag which means, 'I know, I know, I shouldn't have eaten the fox poo but please don't shout at me like I think you will'. That seems conscious because it'll stop or intensify depending on how berserk I'm going my reaction.

Dogs' tails are amazing, when you think about how much they can communicate to us, just by using them. I can tell exactly how tired my older dog is when we're out walking by the angle of her tail. Also how guilty, how delighted with herself, how impatient with younger dog, and so on and so on.

SnoopyKnine Sun 20-May-12 19:46:35

Yep they can control their tails - you can teach a dog to wag or stop wagging its tail (with a clicker of course!)

I'll try the clicker on my DH's willy and report back if they are the samegrin Obviously I am only doing this in the name of MN research

katc88 Wed 23-Sep-15 13:23:37

Hiya, i have been searching online as my Lhasa can't wag his tail either!

ChairRider4 Wed 23-Sep-15 21:27:14

Sometimes I swear my lab has no control when starts wagging it as his whole bum goes to grin

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