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Thought I would post this, since I can't find it on this site.
Someone mentioned reading it and I looked it up.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201112/what-dog-s-tail-wags-really-mean-some-new-scientific-data

There are many more good articles here:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner
"
The first article states: 'Since tail wagging is meant as signal a dog will only wag its tail when other living beings are around-e.g. a person, another dog, a cat, a horse or perhaps a ball of lint that is moved by a breeze and might seem alive. When the dog is by itself, it will not give its typical tail wags, in the same way people do not talk to walls."
This is untrue. I have seen my dog play with inanimate objects in the yard (I was watching through the window) like a stick or a ball and she will get herself all worked up and bow and wag and poke at it and play and wag some more. She is just happy playing by herself.
 

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"

This is untrue. I have seen my dog play with inanimate objects in the yard (I was watching through the window) like a stick or a ball and she will get herself all worked up and bow and wag and poke at it and play and wag some more. She is just happy playing by herself.
You are correct.
Maybe this guy did not own a GSD :D
 

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"When the dog is by itself, it will not give its typical tail wags, in the same way people do not talk to walls."
Talk to walls, who me? :whistle:

I guess the dogs and I are all nuts, lol!
 

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Sage wags her tail in her sleep :)
 

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Definitely dreaming of biting sheep, LOL
 

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Since I brought this article up in the other thread I find it funny how quickly people are to dismiss scientific data based on their own interactions with their own dogs. I'm just going to assume that the person writing this article did so after monitoring and statistically analyzing a lot of different dogs...yet you guys can bring up the ONE dog you own that doesn't follow what the statistics say and then completely dismiss the information the person is trying to get across.

Like everything else in life I'm sure this study follows a bell curve...and there will be members of the population that fall outside the normal. But in general, it is true that dogs DO NOT wag their tails when no one is around.
 

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Since I brought this article up in the other thread I find it funny how quickly people are to dismiss scientific data based on their own interactions with their own dogs. I'm just going to assume that the person writing this article did so after monitoring and statistically analyzing a lot of different dogs...yet you guys can bring up the ONE dog you own that doesn't follow what the statistics say and then completely dismiss the information the person is trying to get across.

Like everything else in life I'm sure this study follows a bell curve...and there will be members of the population that fall outside the normal. But in general, it is true that dogs DO NOT wag their tails when no one is around.
I don't think anyone has dismissed the scientific data... I think it's just a little lighthearted humor.
 

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Could some one direct me to the scientific data ?
The data was not presented, lol... It's referenced in the title of the article, which actually only reports the findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Like everything else in life I'm sure this study follows a bell curve...and there will be members of the population that fall outside the normal. But in general, it is true that dogs DO NOT wag their tails when no one is around.
I was wondering about this, wondering what breeds he studied and how the study was done.

Maybe he studied them when alone and they did not have toys.
I do know that Hans does not wag his tail if he is by himself, but that changes if he has a toy to play with.

I find it funny how quickly people are to dismiss scientific data based on their own interactions with their own dogs. I'm just going to assume that the person writing this article did so after monitoring and statistically analyzing a lot of different dogs...yet you guys can bring up the ONE dog you own that doesn't follow what the statistics say and then completely dismiss the information the person is trying to get across.
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Also, it's funny how the older I get, the more slack I give people when they point out things they see from an entirely different angle.
 

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But where is the helicopter wag?
 

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But where is the helicopter wag?
That, I have read, is only done by 10 to 15 percent of dogs, when they are super happy.

Glad mine falls within that category.
 

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Fascinating article! I'm going to attempt to observe the right side left side tail wag although I've a feeling it's not discernible to the naked eye.
 

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Ranger is the first dog that I have had that had a tail. With my Aussies I always had to rely on the full butt wiggle which they readily provided.

My question about GSDs is what is the natural tail position? The article mentioned the natural position for some breeds but not others. I guess Ranger is a little dominant because his tail is up in the air curled up about 20% of the time and it is NEVER between his legs. When he approaches another dog, that he doesn't know, it is always straight out back wagging very slightly. With a dog he knows it is horizontal and wagging back and forth. I will have to check on the left side right side thing. He is definitely not a helicopter wagger. I am sure some of my full butt (sometimes half body) wags would have done the helicopter thing.
 

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Natural position is down...and not curled. Not quite sure what you mean by his tail being curled...but if you're talking about a "gay tail" than its a conformation fault and the natural position is with the tail down and kind of following the slope of the back legs. If you watch some conformation shows you'll see how they trott with their tails down...which is what is preferred and is the "natural position."

It's pretty much what happens when they relax their tail...have you ever seen him lay on his side with the tail down towards his feet? That would be natural position if he were standing.
 

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Since I brought this article up in the other thread I find it funny how quickly people are to dismiss scientific data based on their own interactions with their own dogs. I'm just going to assume that the person writing this article did so after monitoring and statistically analyzing a lot of different dogs...yet you guys can bring up the ONE dog you own that doesn't follow what the statistics say and then completely dismiss the information the person is trying to get across.

Like everything else in life I'm sure this study follows a bell curve...and there will be members of the population that fall outside the normal. But in general, it is true that dogs DO NOT wag their tails when no one is around.
The 'scientific' article makes a statement. They don't say 'in general'. If they are going to make a statement then it should be true. If it is not true then it is incorrect.
 
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