Why Is My Dog’s Tail Down? Causes and Solutions

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Pet owners frequently ask themselves, « why is my dog’s tail down? » In some cases, a lowered tail might be a natural canine response to being scared or feeling vulnerable.

Some other reasons for lowered tail are pain, uncertainty, or anxiety. Some dogs may be tired from playing too much, and others might have been startled by a sudden noise.

In other situations, it may signify an injury or illness. To find out what might have caused your pet’s tail to droop, you need to identify the underlying cause and address it appropriately.

Here are some common reasons for a low tail and what you can do about them.

Why is my dog’s tail down?

There are several possible reasons for a tail that is downward-facing. Most likely, the tail drooping is an indication that something is wrong.

If your dog is tired, his tail may be down because he is asleep.

A tail that is down may mean that your dog is in pain.

Tail down is common in older dogs, as they often have weakened muscles. Some dogs may be confused.

A tail that is down might indicate that your dog has a urinary tract infection (UTI). Your veterinarian may recommend an examination by a UTI specialist or antibiotics.

Eating or being trained your dog to behave may cause the tail to droop.

A tail that is down may mean that your dog has an injury or illness.

Tail down could be a sign that your dog has a fear of or attack on something or someone.

What does it mean when a dogs tail is down?

While most pets will have a normal tail that rises and falls like a pendulum when they are relaxed or excited, some dogs have tails that droop when they are nervous or afraid.

A tail that droops when the dog is nervous or fearful is called a « tail-down » tail, and it can often be brought on by certain health conditions.

Some owners notice their pet’s tail first begins to droop in the middle of the night or when the dog is getting a bath or just after coming back from a walk.

Other times, the tail may start to droop during the day or even before the dog starts the day, or it may just start to wag or bounce around but then suddenly stop. This type of tail-down tail is called a « tail-down wag » and it may indicate a health issue.

Why is my dog walking with her tail between her legs?

One of the most common reasons for your dog to walk with her tail down is a sign of fear. Dogs are prey animals, and they rely on their tail to communicate warning signals.

When a dog feels threatened, she will raise her tail and hold her tail down for many reasons.

Your dog may be surprised, scared, or fearful, and she needs to reassure herself that she’s safe. She may also be trying to cover a hurt tail.

Some breeds have pointed or claw-tipped tails, which help them to dig into dirt, rocks, and dirt piles when they feel threatened.

When a dog is in a situation that’s stressful, she’ll try to find a way to protect her tail. If she holds it down, she’s not going to dig into dirt or rocks, so her tail is vulnerable.

Which breeds are more likely to have a droopy tail?

If your dog has a droopy tail, the breed may not be the cause. According to some veterinarians, certain breeds, like English Setters, Wirehaired pointers, Collies, and Dachshunds, are more likely to have a droopy tail than other breeds. Other reasons why this can happen include:

Most times, the affected tail is an indication of an underlying issue.

Disorders of the tail that cause a drooping tail can be seen in dogs of any breed, especially older ones. These disorders can affect the spine, muscles, tendons, nerves, and skin.

Certain causes of an unnaturally high-crowned tail like a hypoplasia (defect in the structure of the canine teeth) and lipomas (an abnormal fat deposit) can cause a drooping tail.

Some breeds such as terriers, Brussels Griffons, boxers, Saint Bernards, and St.

What to do if your dog’s tail is low?

Many dogs are born with a naturally lowered tail, especially if they have been bred for an athletic and fighting sport.

In other situations, the tail might be lowered simply by the dog’s muscles, not in response to any trauma.

Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if there’s a medical problem causing the tail to be down, so take your pet’s condition seriously and see your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

What to do if your dog has pain in its tail?

Treatment options for a tail-wagging dog may include pain-free remedies, such as anti-inflammatory medication, or surgery. If the problem is pain, your vet can prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or Advil to alleviate the pain.


The tails of dogs often arch upwards when they are happy, curious, alert, or energetic, or when they are wagging their tail. But a droopy tail can have a psychological effect, indicating an emotional state, such as fear or anxiety.

Depending on your dog’s personality, a lack of tail wagging may indicate dominance or assertiveness. A tail held low often indicates discomfort and a lack of trust.

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