The Washington Post:
Tail wagging could convey more meaning among dogs than previously thought.
Dogs have different emotional responses to their peers depending on the direction of a tail wag, a new study found. Seeing a fellow dog swing its tail to the right keeps canines relaxed, while a wag to the left seems to induce stress, the researchers say.
For their study, a group of researchers recruited 43 pet dogs of various breeds. The animals were outfitted with vests that monitored their heart rate, and they were shown videos of other dogs wagging their tails either to the left or to the right.
Just as the left and right sides of the brain in humans are thought to control different emotions and behaviors, the direction of wagging might match hemispheric activation, explained study researcher Giorgio Vallortigara of the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences of the University of Trento in Italy.
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