If Your Dog Wags His Tail In This Direction, It Means He Loves You

The feeling is mutual ❤️

There’s nothing sweeter than when your dog runs up to greet you with a wagging tail.

Well, a new study has found that there’s more meaning in that tail wagging than we might realize — and it all comes down to the direction the wagging starts.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have determined that if your dog’s tail wags to the right first, it means he’s feeling settled and is with someone familiar.

To make this conclusion, scientists observed 10 beagles meeting strangers over the course of three days. And 21,000 wagging tails later, the researchers noticed that as the dogs got to know each stranger, they became happier and began wagging their tails more frequently to the right and less to the left.

Dr. Yong Q. Zhang, lead researcher on the study, linked wagging to the right with the left side of the brain, where positive emotions are processed. Meanwhile, if a dog wags his tail in the opposite direction (from left to right), the pup could feel scared or nervous.

“We speculate that tail wagging toward the left might be accompanied by right brain activation, while tail wagging toward the right side may be accompanied by left brain activation in the prefrontal cortex,” Dr. Zhang told the Daily Mail.

While we can all assume our dogs wag their tails wholeheartedly to the right when they see us, this research proves that tail wagging plays an important role in our dogs’ social interactions, both with humans and other animals. For instance, when out on a walk and greeting another dog, check out both dogs’ tails to see how comfortable they are with each other.

Regardless, this study proves yet again that our pets are always trying to communicate with us
— and it’s up to us to pay attention.