Why Do Dogs Have Tails?

At one point or another, you may have wondered why dogs have tails. Since most dogs are born with tails, it’s safe to assume those tails are there for a reason. Tails offer several benefits for dogs, outside of helping them look adorable for the humans they meet. In fact, tails are quite important to daily life. Have you ever thought about why your dog has a tail? Here’s why:

Most dogs were bred for some sort of work, but you don’t need to see them performing some extraordinary task to see their tails in action. Simply throw your pup’s favorite toy and watch him chase after it, or watch him during a fun game of chase with another dog. What you’re likely to see is your dog’s tail working to assist with skillful movement.


Your dog’s tail serves as a counterbalance on a regular basis, not only when he’s running. If you watch a dog walk along a narrow surface, you’re almost sure to see the tail hard at work. The tail helps the dog maintain his balance by putting its weight on the opposite side of the dog’s tilt, much like a tightrope walker uses the balance bar to stay on the tightrope.


It should come as no surprise that dogs use their tails for communication. It’s probably safe to say that most of us are greeted by a happy, wagging tail when we walk through the door after being out. But tails offer more insight than whether or not a dog is happy.


Dogs use their tails to communicate mostly with other dogs, but we’ve learned to recognize their signals and understand them ourselves. A happy dog will likely be wagging her tail, while a frightened dog will have it tucked between her legs.