• 50°

Wagging tail may reveal more than you think

NEW YORK (AP) — The way Fido wags his tail might reveal more about him than you know. Just ask another dog.
A few years ago, researchers discovered a subtle difference in how dogs wag their tails. When a dog sees something positive, such as its owner, it tends to wags its tail more to its right. The wagging tends to go left when it sees something negative, like an unfamiliar dominant dog.
Now, the same Italian researchers report that other dogs pick up on that difference, and it’s reflected in their behavior and even their heart rates. Experts say the tail-wagging difference appears to be one way that dogs gauge how other dogs will respond to them.
“It’s just fascinating that dogs pick up on it,” said Evan MacLean, co-director of Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center. For humans, he said, “it’s a difficult thing to see.”
MacLean was not involved with the study, reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology.
Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy, an author of the study, said Fido is not deliberately sending a message. Instead, the tail-wagging behavior stems from how different emotional cues activate different parts of the brain, he said in an email.
For the experiment, Vallortigara and co-authors used videos of a dog or its silhouette, wagging its tail mostly to one side or the other, or not wagging at all. They showed the videos to 43 dogs, including such breeds as Rottweilers, beagles, boxers, border collies and German shepherds as well as mongrels.
When the dog in the video wagged mostly to its left, the sign of a negative response, observer dogs tended to have faster heartbeats than when it wagged the other way or not at all. Their behavior also indicated a higher degree of stress.
Alexandra Horowitz, who studies mental abilities of dogs at Barnard College in New York, said that the wagging difference is probably not a primary signal between Fido and Rover in daily life, but it may play a minor role.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds