The Guardian

Why do dogs wag their tails? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jules Howard

Every day millions of people ask Google life’s most difficult questions. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries
‘Tail wagging is a good indicator of the friendliness of a dog.’ Photograph: SensorSpot/Getty Images

As luck would have it, this is rather a prescient question for me right now. At home, we are attempting to coax a neurotic four-year-old out of a dog-bite avoidance technique that works as follows. Upon seeing from a distance any four-legged animal that may or may not be a dog, the four-year-old elucidates an escape response that involves her climbing the torso of the nearest adult and wailing an ear-piercing song of terror that is deeply embarrassing to her zoologist father. Her new-found fear of dogs is understandable, however. Our pet cat (he of” fame) is now no more after being killed by two huskies that had escaped in the night from their owners. While explaining this news to the four-year-old, the two specific words “DOGS” and “KILLED” seem to have become clogged-up somewhere in the digestive system of her cognition, hence the sudden phobia which we are working hard as a family to resolve.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian9 min readPolitics
Man Of Mysteries: Yang Hengjun, His Spy Fiction And China’s Accusations Of Espionage
The Australian blogger has faced protracted interrogations, his hands and feet shackled as he is repeatedly told he faces execution
The Guardian5 min read
The Big Polluters’ Masterstroke Was To Blame The Climate Crisis On You And Me | George Monbiot
Fossil fuel giants have known the harm they do for decades. But they created a system that absolves them of responsibility
The Guardian4 min readPolitics
Idi Amin's Mastery Of Media Revealed In Newly Published Photos
Photos taken by official photographers show how Ugandan dictator exploited media ‘to amplify ego and political will’