Tail-wagging research

From the New York Times: If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It’s in His Tail.

…there is another, newly discovered, feature of dog body language that may surprise attentive pet owners and experts in canine behavior. When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.

A study describing the phenomenon, "Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli," appeared in the March 20 issue of Current Biology. The authors are Giorgio Vallortigara, a neuroscientist at the University of Trieste in Italy, and two veterinarians, Angelo Quaranta and Marcello Siniscalchi, at the University of Bari, also in Italy.

"This is an intriguing observation," said Richard J. Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It fits with a large body of research showing emotional asymmetry in the brain, he said. [continue]

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2 thoughts on “Tail-wagging research

  1. What if the dog is left-side dominant instead of right-side dominant? would that make a difference?

    Jasmine, come here. Wag your tail nicely for momma, and let me see if you love me.

    Jasmine’s response: just give me the chew toy, dammit, and stop with all the mushy stuff.

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