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Why Doesn’t My Dog Wag Its Tail – What It Really Means

 There is no better greeting than when you walk through the front door of your home after a long day at work to your furry little friend wagging their tail. So it’s not surprising when some dog owners get a little concerned when this reaction doesn’t occur, finding themselves asking the question. Why doesn’t my dog wag its tail?

Your dog doesn’t wag its tail because it is irritated, depressed, or overweight. Other causes include lack of excitement, boredom, fear, and intimidation. Severe health conditions such as Limp Tail” may also cause dogs to not wag their tail.

Failure to wag their tail doesn’t always mean there is something wrong with your pet, but it should cause enough concern that you keep an eye out for other possible issues that may be affecting their motionless tails.

Reasons Your Dog Doesn’t Wag Its Tail

If your dog isn’t wagging his tail at all, there are a few different things you should consider check him for. Once you understand where the problem began, you can start to correct it or at least put your mind at ease, knowing it isn’t something to worry too much about.

● He doesn’t use that as a sign of happiness

● Depression

● Limp Tail

● Injury

● Fear

● Aggravation

● Sick

● Sprain

● Broken Tail

What Is The Most Common Reason For A Dog To Stop Wagging Its Tail

The most common reason for a dog to stop wagging its tail abruptly is “Limp Tail.” Limp tail is when your pup wags or moves his tail excessively, causing the tail to “freeze.” It can also happen when your dog is in cold weather conditions, cold water, or crated for long periods. 

Signs of limp tail:

Besides the obvious, not wagging, there are a few ways to detect if your pup is suffering from a limp tail.

● Your dog will show signs of lethargic

● They will whine or whimper while trying to wag their tail

● They will chew on their tail

● They will like excessively at the base of their tails

● Your pup will negatively react to your touch, or you’re trying to move the tail

How To Treat Limp Tail

The best way to help your pup when suffering from this condition is to give them plenty of rest and possibly asking your vet for an anti-inflammatory to help reduce the swelling. It can take one to two weeks for a dog to recover from a limp tail, but they will.

Is It Normal For A Dog Not To Wag Its Tail

It is not normal for a dog to never wag their tails. Whether happy, sad, angry, etc., dogs wag their tails as a form of communication. If your dog is not wagging its tail, you may want to look further into the situation to make sure there is nothing serious going on.

Can Dogs Be Happy Without Wagging Their Tail

Absolutely! Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s tail wagging isn’t only a sign for happiness, nor is the only sign for happiness a dog wagging its tail.

A dog wags its tail as a form of communication to express how it is feeling. Your dog’s tail is an excellent indicator as to what your pet’s emotions are at that moment. Granted, when your pup sees you and his whole hind end is wagging back and forth along with his tail, he is happy to see you.

Other Ways You Can Tell Your Dog Is Happy

A wagging tail is a great indication your dog is happy; here are other signs to look for if you are unsure how your dog is feeling.

● Relaxed stare

● Limp ears

● Calm demeanor

● Plays well with others, including other pets

● Engaged with play

● Eats well

● Loves to be cuddled or petted

Do Dogs Manually Wag Their Tails

Dogs do have control of their tail and “its” wagging motion. This is used when they are “talking” to each other or trying to talk to us.

Dogs use their tail to tell one another when it’s time to back off or when they are ready to play. However, as a human’s smile, a tail wag can be done on command and sometimes by habit. They can force a wag to indicate a feeling, but when they are pleased to see you come home or ready to chase when they see a squirrel, their tag may start to go without the thought.

Can A Dog Sprain Or Break Its Tail

Sadly, a dog can sprain their tails. Dogs can injure their tails in many ways, and it is more common than you think, especially in hunting dogs or dogs that spend a good deal of time outside.

Ways Dogs Can Sprain or Break Their Tails

Here are a few of the more common ways your pup may injure its tail.

● Overactive

● Shaking dry 

● To much time in a crate or small space

● Rough play

● Human interference (child pulling at dogs tail)

How To Tell If A Dogs Tail Is Injured

You will notice if a dog’s tail is injured in the way the dog acts. It isn’t a pleasant feeling, so your dog may cower or hide or even whimper a lot. 

You will even start to notice that your dog isn’t using his tail. If it is sprained or broken, it’s not going to move. A broken tail will hang right down against the butt of your dog because the muscles that usually hold it away from their hind end will not have the strength to lift it.

How Do You Treat A Dog’s Injured Tail

If your dog has injured their tail, there isn’t very much you can do except treat them for the pain and wait it out. Try to keep your dog as calm and as little active as possible to try and give it time to heal.

You will want to get them into the vet to determine there isn’t something more serious. They can prescribe them pain medication and even an anti-inflammatory to keep them comfortable and expedite the healing process.

Final Thoughts

There is no better company than that of a dog! Whether you have a hyperactive puppy on the go non-stop or an elderly furry gentleman who enjoys taking a swim in the pond, you have to remember their tails are fragile and can be damaged if overused.

Please keep your dog from being kept in small spaces and limit the amount of time they spend swimming or exercising to keep them from using their tails too much.

A dog’s tail talks, so listen. The tail is your dog’s leading source of communication; if they cannot move it, they can not tell you how they feel.

If your dog doesn’t wag its tail, there is probably something wrong with them, and you should be concerned. Your pup looks to you for comfort and care; if you suspect anything, it is up to you to take care of them. 

Your dog uses their tails for many reasons, swimming, balance, communication, etc. Without using their tails, your dog’s entire life will be negatively impacted, and that can cause anxiety and depression in your furry friend.

If you suspect there could be complications with your pup’s tail, keep an eye on it and follow up with your vet if the symptoms don’t seem to subside.

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