What Do Dogs Use Their Tail For?

Dogs use their tail for:

Maintaining balance, especially when jumping, walking along narrow structures, climbing and turning at fast speed.

Helping to stabilise the vertebral column and supporting the action of the extensor muscles of the back, as well as those of the croup and buttocks.

Accelerating and braking

As a rudder in the water (depending on breed)

For insulation – Nordic and Artic breeds have a bushy or plumed tail with long dense fur. When lying down they may pull their tails over their faces to keep the cold out.

For communication – they are vital for expressing and conveying the right messages through body language, and they also act like a fan and spread out the dog’s natural scent. Every time the dog wags his tail, the muscles around the anus contract and press on the anal glands, causing a release of the scent.

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