Do dogs wag their tails only when they’re happy?
Well, it seems they wag their tails for a number of reasons and to convey a range of emotions: happiness, nervousness, feeling threatened, anxiety, submission and excitement. When a dog is feeling relaxed, you’ll find that its tail will generally be ‘silent’.
But he’ll wag his tail to the right when he’s happy or confident and to the left when he’s frightened; and that’s because the left side of the brain is associated with positive feelings like love and serenity.
As with other forms of non-verbal communication, you and your dog will very probably develop a separate language for the tail. It’s well worth learning the vocabulary. If your dog does a “helicopter” wag, with the tail rotating at plenty of revolutions per minute, be assured that he’s delighted to see you!
Bottom line here, though, is that a wagging tail indicates aroused emotions, and not simply happiness. Interpretation is key.