I love Readers Digest, there is always some gem to be found in there.
In this months it was an article talking about pets and what they are trying to tell us. Included was that when a dog wags their tails to the right they are curious, interested, engaged, they are working from the left side of the brain. When dogs wag their tails to the left it shows they are worried or fearful, working from the right side of their brain.
It is along the same lines as a horse spooking and running to where they can put their left eye on the thing that scared them. The right side of the brain manages reactions, fear, emotions. Because the left side of the brain is more strongly connected to the right side of the body and vice versa the left eye is connected to the right side of the brain.
But, the same article informed us all that all dogs really prefer to be inside. With one such blatantly false statement it left the rest of the article in doubt, so I went looking for other sources.
(Yes, many dogs undoubtedly do prefer to be inside. Not all, not by any stretch. Dogs who are suited to the weather and outdoor play with plenty of enrichment in their environment, much prefer playing outside to being stuck inside all day.)
I was able to find lots of support for this statement! which was great because it goes right along with everything I believe to be true.
Dog tails are not whorls, but they are outside clues to the inside workings of the body, Tails can offer a wealth of information, aside from which direction they are waging to. They can tell us if the dog is happy, scared or aggressive. A wagging tail does NOT automatically mean a happy dog. I’ve seen people who misinterpret that and get themselves in trouble with dogs who were clearly asking to be left alone.
Do you know what your dogs tail is trying to tell you? This is a great article that covers the basics. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/interpreting-tail-wags-in-dogs
What about horse tails? Because they don’t ‘wag’ the signals they give are a bit different than dogs. They can clamp down to show fear. They can flag up in the air to show joy and exuberance. They can be carried to the side to show physical issues, pain onside or outside the body. Does anyone else have a clue we can read in a horse’s tail?