The question "why does the dog need a tail?" seems pretty weird. After all, if it is, it means that for some reason it is needed. It is surprising that people have tried many times to breed the “tailless” breed of dogs, but all attempts ended in failure. In addition, each breed has a special tail shape. So what is so important in the canine tail and how does it help the animal?
What functions does the tail perform?
If you look at the structure of the skeleton of a dog, you can see that the tail is an extension of the spine of the animal. Therefore, any tail injuries adversely affect the overall health of the pet.
The tail is a continuation of the spine of the dog
Way of communication
The attentive owner of the dog must have noticed that the position of the tail directly depends on the mood of the pet. In addition, with the help of this part of the body, the animal communicates with man, conveys his desires. So, the first function of the canine tail is the way of communication.
To most accurately recognize the emotions of your pet, you need to remember what each tail position symbolizes:
- The tail is raised high and wags quickly. This situation conveys the pet's friendly disposition. The animal is glad to see a person, wants to play with him.
- Tail down, wags. This behavior of the dog indicates its willingness to obey the owner.
- The tail is parallel to the back, wags. Indicates the ambiguous mood of the dog: it is alert and expects a reaction from the person.
- The tail is parallel to the back, static, the withers reared. The animal is aggressive.
- The tail is raised high, tense, only the tip wags. Many mistakenly believe that such a tail position is a sign of friendliness, while in reality it is a manifestation of aggression. A dog with such a tail is ready to attack.
- The tail is raised high, does not move. The animal is tense with meeting with something new: the smell, sound or appearance of a stranger.
- The tail is pulled to the stomach. This tail position is a sign of fear of the pet. It may also indicate submission or agitation of the dog.
- The tail is relaxed, down. The animal is in a calm state, shows indifference.
The tail position of the dog can tell the owner a lot.
The angle of deviation of the tail of the dog is also important: wagging to the right is a sign of joy and friendliness, and to the left is aggression.
Leverage for balance
The tail is an important part of the dog's body, allowing you to maintain balance and balance. Running, the animal actively wags its tail, thereby helping itself to maintain a stable position and successfully maneuver. Thus, the second function of the tail is help in balancing.
The tail also helps while swimming. It removes part of the load from the paws, thereby allowing the animal to swim longer routes. In addition, the perpendicular position of the tail relative to the body contributes to a more stable position of the dog in the water.
Dogs often curl up and cover their nose with their tail while sleeping. So this part of the body helps the animal keep warm in cold weather.
Odor Transmission Method
Under the tail of the dog there are special glands - paraanal - which contain a secret that has a smell specific to each individual. With the help of these glands, animals communicate with each other. The smell becomes especially useful during the search for a sexual partner, thanks to him the pet can report:
- readiness for mating;
- about plans for a partner and readiness to fight for him.
The tail helps to control the spread of smell. Actively swinging this part of the body allows the dog to “spray the aroma” much faster and further. If the animal wants to hide from relatives, it tightens the tail, thereby blocking the smell. Thus, the third function of the tail is the distribution of odor in front of relatives.
Why do dogs need a tail? Of course, to run after him. Such an answer is more like a joke, however, such an opinion does exist. Each breeder at least once watched his pet rush after the tail. Most often, this behavior is inherent in puppies. But adults can also resort to such an activity.
Tail running is an important sign from the dog given to the owner
The owner should know that the pet does not do this out of boredom:
- Puppies have not yet fully studied their body, so the tail for them becomes a toy.
- If an adult pet does not have enough attention, he begins to catch his own tail, so that the owner noticed the pet and played with it.
- An adult dog running after its tail may have nervous disorders. The tail for the pet becomes an enemy, which he is trying to drive away or bite. Having seen this behavior of a pet, you should consult a specialist.
- Pursuit of the tail and the unhealthy state of the dog, accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, may be a sign of the presence of worms or other diseases in the pet. The animal should also be shown to the doctor.
As you can see, the dog can give signs of some of its diseases using the tail, which is the fourth function of this part of the body.
The aesthetic side of the issue
The tail is a chic addition to the appearance of the dog. A standard describing any dog breed always contains a tail clause. Thanks to this part of the body, you can understand whether your pet is a purebred or not. So, the fifth function of the tail is that it is an indicator of the beauty and pride of the animal.
Some dogs undergo tail docking according to breed standards. It is best to carry out this procedure as early as possible: this is due to both the physiological and psychological side of the issue. Firstly, for a pet, removing still fragile cartilage is not so painful. Secondly, the dog will not have time to get used to the presence of a tail, and, therefore, it will not so acutely feel its absence.
The tail is an important body part for every dog. It performs many useful functions, helps communicate with the owner and relatives, in addition, the tail is a real decoration and indicator of the breed of the animal.