Why Does My Dog Tuck His Tail Down Between His Hind Legs?


14 Answers

Liam Orr Profile
Liam Orr answered
It's quite common for a dog to do this when they are scared. Hence, if your dog only does this on particular occasions then it's quite likely that your dog is just a little scared of something that's going on. There are some other signs you should look for that will indicate that your dog is scared. If these signs are not found but your dog seems like an overall happy and healthy dog then it's quite possible that it's simply a habit for your dog, and nothing to worry about.

A confident and content dog will stand properly and straight with a wagging or relaxed tail. Your dog may just be a little less confident than other dogs out there. Confident dogs would also have their head up and relaxed ears, and you can usually only see t he colored part of their eyes. When the dog's scared, however, the dog will crouch and tuck its tail between its legs. Its ears will be flat against the back of its head, too, and its eyes will widen to show more of the white. If this is what is happening to you then it simply seems like your dog is scared of something.

You should try and eliminate the thing that is scaring your dog so that it is not affected mentally and made generally unhappy during its life. You will also be able to know whether this is a matter of fear, by the breathing of the dog. Confident dogs will breathe more calmly and deeply, but if the dog pants a lot and it smiles more often then that could be a sign that the dog is tense or scared.

If you have any major concerns then you should go and speak to your vet who will be able to talk about more possibilities with you.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The tail between the legs could also mean the dog is not feeling well. He/she could be in pain. It does not always mean the dog is scared. Be mindful of other behaviors as well. Keep track of the dogs appetite and bathroom schedule. If anything seems out of the norm, call your vet.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My dog is a 6 year old beagle who just last night started with this tail down and I took her to the vet this morning, the diagnosis is she hurt that area and it needs to heal or its the start of arthritis, either way the vet gave her some meds for inflammatory and it should heal if its trauma.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes it is normally a sign of being scared but I believe this is in a different context.
Our pampered and much loved family dog (border collie) is 17 years old and we have noticed that he now walks around with same problem. Including the back legs riddles with arthritis and stiff.
I cannot offer a definite answer why, but I strongly think it is linked to the old age & the leg arthritis...
Muhammad Nadeem Profile
Muhammad Nadeem answered
Dogs try to give messages through their body movements. A wagging tail in dogs means confident and alert while tucking tail in dogs can be due to following conditions.
  1. Relaxing conditions
  2. Scared conditions
  3. Dog abuse
  4. Depression
  5. Anxiety
  6. Frustration
You can also get help from your vet.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have a 6 pound toy poodle and he is 19 years old and very loved! His back is humped and his tail is constantly down and tucked between his legs...I believe this is from arthritis and old age.
Aimee c Profile
Aimee c answered
Basically this means that the dog is scared of something that is happening at a particular moment when he puts his tail between his legs. For instance my own dog doesn't like it when I have to wash her because she is scared of water, so she always puts her tail between her legs while I'm washing her! It actually can also mean your dog is embarrassed about something they just did, but this is very unlikely and it usually just is a sign that he/she is scared.
thanked the writer.
aroua histake
aroua histake commented
The dog is usually afraid or nervous.Play with it and tell him/her that they're a good dog and you love them. figure out what is making them uncomfortable. or just love them
KR- myopinions Profile
KR- myopinions answered
Stop touching it and you may be on your way to getting bit, they don't care who you are when reacting to pain. Keep your face away as well in case he's out, wags, and hurts his tail. Let your pup chill for the night (in the kennel if they are having a lot of trouble) and have the vet check it out in the morning if that is the only indication. It could be broken and happens more often than you may think. You would have the vet check to be sure there isn't a problem with nerves and things like that and they will advise you. If it's just broken and no nerve problems it won't be near as complicated or as expensive as a broken something else usually. Just head in tomorrow morning and see what going on and what you can do. Hope your baby is feeling better soon.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Julie my mixed terrier is 8 yrs. Old she is a very good dog .yesterday afternoon she was lying on the floor when she yelp but nobody touched her she had eaten very well and drinks the water . Today she ran outside did her thing ate some and is drinking water but she walks with tail between legs. When she is outside she os fine no tail between legs its only when she comes inside she just hides in restroom or lies  there
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
There are many conditions that can cause no wagging of tail in your dog. But she needs to be investigated by the vet to avoid any future complication. Following is a list of conditions that can cause putting down of tail between legs in your dog
  1. Cold tail or Limber tail
  2. Fracture
  3. Injuries
Dogs also don't raise their tail due to impacted anal glands. It is possible that her anal glands needs to be expressed. So, in my opinion, you should take your dog to vet for diagnosis of problem and most appropriate treatment.
Muhammad Nadeem Profile
Muhammad Nadeem answered
Shaking in dogs is usually due to pain especially when dogs are not eating. Lethargy is also one of the signs of illnesses in dogs and almost all diseases can cause lethargy. Nervous conditions and skin parasites are other 2 major causes of shaking in dogs. Your dog needs differential diagnosis for proper diagnosis that can be done by the vets. So, get help from your local vet.
alexandria lennon Profile
My westie is 6years old she has tail between legs is very weak on back legs she used to jump on sofa and up stairs she doesnt do this anymore
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
This is stress, and tension. A dog that is scared, is a dog that stands a good chance to bite. You should make a quiet environment for the pup to relax. Hope this helps, you might also like to get the pup fixed if it isn't, because this might help to calm the pup too. Good luck to you.
aileeny Profile
aileeny answered
It means that he is unhappy for some reason or reasons ,maybe because he is unwell.  Because he is afraid or he is stressed. But he is not a happy boy.

Answer Question