When does tail wagging begin?
Puppies aren’t born wagging their tails, as cute as that would be! Tail wagging develops differently in different breeds, but it usually begins around three to four weeks into life.
The wag of a tail is instinctive in dogs; it’s used as part of their varied communication with one another and with humans.
While tail wagging is instinctive, the shape, size and way the tail moves will vary from breed to breed and individually. For example,
most golden retrievers have large expressive tails that tend to swish from side to side when walking, whereas whippets and greyhounds tend to hold their tails far lower than the average breed. The spitz breeds, like huskies and malamutes, have tails that curl backwards; sometimes the tip of the tail will even touch the dog’s back.
Despite these differences, along with the size and shape of today’s breeds, most dogs tend to understand each other and communicate well if they are socialised appropriately.
If you have a puppy, it’s a good idea to introduce them to a range of well-behaved adult dogs of differing breeds – this way they will get used to the variations within their own species and not become fearful of unfamiliar breeds or dogs of different sizes.