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How often do dogs use their tails to answer "yes" or "no"?

629 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MrsJohnnyG
When she was about 2, our 6-year-old puppy started using her tail to communicate "yes" or "no."

She barks to tell me something, and usually I know exactly what she wants from the type of bark... but in the instances I don't, she'll keep wagging her tail while I ask her various things "You want to go O-U-T?" "You want pumpkin?" "You want to call Daddy?" etc... if I've asked her about something she does NOT want, the tail will come to a freezing halt! Then when I ask her the right question, the wagging starts again (usually accompanied by a cute little bark).

We've always thought this was adorable and hadn't known of other dogs who do this. But now we have two 15-week puppies who are smart little devils. Their tails are always up and bouncy... I've only seen one of them with their tail down once (when Jackson was being harrassed by a dog in the dog park)... until today.

Dabney gave me a little bark while wagging his tail, and I asked him if he needed to go potty. His tail immediately stopped wagging and went DOWN! I was so charmed by this I had to give him kisses... and now I'm wondering if this is commonplace doggie behavior. I know the two dogs I've had in the past never did that.
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My Dobe will do a little dance when she recognizes a 'key word' that is what she wants. Dog will generally come to understand certain words by association.
Of course -- I assume all dogs develop quite an extensive vocabulary, not just from training but from living around humans -- but I'm talking about an actual yes vs. no signal that a dog gives.

Heh, Keechak, mine do that too; it's only when I ask the wrong question that the tail freezes!
I often have to say "now" to get across that I'm not asking, I'm telling you!
:D So funny... my pups perfectly understand the commands I give them... but half the time they like to think of them as suggestions rather than commands! :rolleyes:
Beau, who is more reserved and rather regal with the general public, but, my silly boy when home with me. He has the most soulful eyes, and he dotes on me.
Aww, I wub him and I haven't even met him! My two boys dote on me as well and I love it. One of them kisses me on the hand like a gentleman, looking into my eyes the whole time -- such a little romancer! and the other one is just a pure cuddly lovey teddy bear! They seem to be learning a lot from their "big sister" so I expect they'll both be using the tail-wag "yes or no" technique before long!
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