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How a dog wags its tail may say a lot -- to other dogs

Dogs
Is that pooch a lefty or a righty? The direction its tag wags has plenty of meaning, a new study has found.

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 side of the dog's body seems to induce stress, the researchers say.

For their study, a group of researchers recruited 43 pet dogs of variousbreeds. The animals were outfitted with a vest that monitored their heart rates, and they were shown videos of other dogs either wagging their tails to the left or to the right. [7 Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership]

The pets that watched left-side tail wagging behaved more anxiously and their heart rate sped up, the researchers said, while the dogs that watched one of their peers wag their tail to the right stayed cool; they even began to approach the dog on the screen, suggesting they saw the right-side wagging as a signal of companionship, the researchers said.

But right-left tail wags may not be a form of secret dog language, the researchers say. They think the direction of tail wagging — and other dogs' responses to it — could arise from automatic responses rooted in thedifferent hemispheres of the canine brain.

Just like 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.

"In other words, a dog looking to a dog wagging with a bias to the right side — and thus showing left-hemisphere activation as if it was experiencing some sort of positive/approach response — would also produce relaxed responses," Vallortigara said in a statement.

"In contrast, a dog looking to a dog wagging with a bias to the left — and thus showing right-hemisphere activation as if it was experiencing some sort of negative/withdrawal response — would also produce anxious and targeting responses as well as increased cardiac frequency," Vallortigara added. "That is amazing, I think."

Vallortigara and colleagues say understanding these responses could help improve dog welfare, and perhaps even help develop new strategies to keep them calm at the vet.

The research was detailed Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us@livescience, Facebook andGoogle+. Original article on LiveScience

 

21 reasons A Dog is the Best investment you will ever make!

 

There is one thing in life that will never disappoint you.     A dog!!

Imagine being greeted by this when you come home. EVERY DAY.

Imagine never feeling unloved again.

 

Making people happy makes dogs happy. It's like having your own personal happiness machine.

You'll never find a cat doing something like this

A dog will be there for you when you need him most.

They'll go out of their way to get you up and outside.

Even if it means spending all their time pushing a wheelchair.

They just love

They'll never leave you until they cross over the rainbow

They can teach you everything you need to know about enjoying life

They bring out the best in us.

Their loyalty NEVER expires.

They'll always treat you like family

Dogs feel your pain.

And they know just how to comfort you.

They are all the inspiration you need..

And the greatest support system you'll ever know.

If you're still not convinced, we haven't even gotten to the best part: THEIR CUTENESS.

Your Canine Guardian Angel
I know that you must miss me,
By the tears rolling down your face.
But believe me when I tell you that,
I'm in a very good place.
There are meadows here to run in,
And plenty of rabbits to chase.
There are other dogs to play with,
To frolick with and race.
So please don't worry about me,
My spirit feels light as can be.
There's no more pain to plague me,
I'm young again and free.
And I'll be watching over you still,
of that you can be sure.
I'm your canine guardian angel,
And my love for you remains pure

A Letter from your Pet in Heaven
Author: Unknown

To my dearest family,
some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know
that I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from the Bridge.
Here I will dwell with God above.
Here there’s no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy
just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you
every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you
when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
and He said, “I welcome you.
It’s good to have you back again,
you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family,
They’ll be here later on”.
God gave me a list of things,
that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list,
was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night
the day’s chores put to flight,
god and I are closest to you…
in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth,
and all those loving years,
because you are only human,
they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry:
it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
unless there were some rain.
I wish that I could tell you
all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you,
you wouldn’t understand.


But one thing is for certain,
though my life on earth is over.
I’m closer to you now,
than I ever was before.
There are rocky roads ahead of you
and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it
by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy
and I’d like it for you too;
that as you give unto the world,
the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody
who’s in pain;
then you can say to God at night…
“My day was not in vain”.
And now I am contented…
that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along
God says: "If you meet somebody
who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up,
as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street
with me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind."
"And when it's time for you to go...
from that body to be free.
Remember you're not going...
you're coming here to me."

The Rainbow Bridge
inspired by a Norse legend
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.