Right, left makes a difference in tail wag

Mar 25, 2007

Italian researchers say that dogs' tail wagging sends a different message depending on the direction of the wag.

By examining dogs' interactions with people and other animals, the scientists found that a dog wags its tail to the right when it spots someone or something familiar and to the left when it feels threatened, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trieste and Angelo Quaranta and Marcello Siniscalchi of Bari University studied dogs with their owners, human strangers, cats and Belgian shepherd malinois, a large German shepherd-like dog that smaller dogs might find threatening.

The study suggests that in dogs, as in humans, the left side of the brain is involved in signaling to approach something while the right side advises retreat.

"Tail wagging is an important emotional response," Vallortigara said.

The study has been published in Current Biology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Diabetes drug found in freshwater is a potential cause of intersex fish

Related Stories

'Map spam' puts Google in awkward place

6 hours ago

Google was re-evaluating its user-edited online map system Friday after the latest embarrassing incident—an image of an Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo.

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

6 hours ago

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Recommended for you

York's anti-malarial plant given Chinese approval

Apr 24, 2015

A new hybrid plant used in anti-malarial drug production, developed by scientists at the University of York's Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), is now registered as a new variety in China.

The appeal of being anti-GMO

Apr 24, 2015

A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions ...

Micro fingers for arranging single cells

Apr 24, 2015

Functional analysis of a cell, which is the fundamental unit of life, is important for gaining new insights into medical and pharmaceutical fields. For efficiently studying cell functions, it is essential ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.