A Dog's Tail


This is Bailey. You may remember her from such posts as "Man vs. Beast: Oral Hygiene Edition" and "Bailey as Social Parasite?" We also figured out why her feet smell like popcorn.

I'm dragging her out once again, this time to analyze the wag of her tail.
Last week, Sandra Blakeslee of The New York Times taught us how to interpret tail wagging. She was covering a study that appeared in Current Biology, titled "Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli."

Here's the gist: "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."

In this photo, her tail is wagging left. Guess she wasn't pleased that I wanted to reclaim my banana. Or maybe she was angry that I interrupted our game of chase to capture the moment.

I plan to run extensive tests tonight, hoping to see some rightward wagging. Anyone with access to a dog want to give this a try?