Dog Has Tail Between Legs and Acting Weird – 6 Possible Reasons

A dog’s tail is one of the most important parts of its body; not only is it attached to its spine, but it also helps it maintain balance.

Dogs won’t always bark or squeal to communicate with their owners. Most people are well aware of the fact that dogs use their tails to communicate. There can be different ways in which they use their tails to communicate with the owner. It can do so by wagging its tail and showing its happiness or nervousness, and a few other movements that you need to observe.

Every action of a dog’s tail has a completely different meaning, as the wagging of the tail on the left is different from the wagging of the tail on the right.

Not only this, but dogs spread their smell all around themselves using their tails. But if you notice your dog chasing his tail for more than two minutes, it can be a sign of mental distress.

Another such problem is when you notice your dog keeping its tail between the legs. Well, there can be numerous reasons behind your dog’s tail being between its legs. Here in this article, we are going to discuss some major reasons your dog’s tail is between its legs and acting weird so that you can figure it out and give the necessary treatment.

Why Do Dogs Has Their Tail Between Legs and Act Weird?

Why Do Dogs Has Their Tail Between Legs and Act Weird?
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There are several reasons behind the dog putting its tail between its legs. To know the exact reason behind this, you need to first know about the difference in the dog’s behavior at different times.

Most of the time, it is believed that if dogs put their tails between their legs, it is a sign that dogs are in pain, be afraid of something, or are sick. These things can be the possible causes, but still, we can’t consider them as the exact reason behind a dog’s putting its tail between its legs and its weird behavior at the same time.

Here are a few reasons and syndromes that make you well aware of the same.

#1. Fracture in a Dog’s Tail

Fracture in a Dog's Tail
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If your dog has a tail between its legs and is in extreme pain, the probable cause is a fracture or dislocation of the tail.

Dogs tend to fracture their tails easily. There can be damage to nerve endings, small vertebrae of tails, or other joints present in their tails. Dogs with long tails get their tails easily fractured compared to those having short tails.

There can be numerous incidents daily that can lead to your dog’s tail fracture. For example, if your dog gets hit by a car, or he falls from some high place, or for some reason, your dog’s tail gets compressed. There could be some more reasons behind your dog’s tail getting fractured, but you need to take care of it.

Signs and Symptoms

Dogs tend to keep their tails between their legs when they have fractures. Along with their behavior, there can be other changes too:

  • Dogs no longer waggle their tails.
  • Change in walking, and the skin starts bleeding from some areas.
  • You will notice a bad odor coming from the dog’s tail and excess hair loss in your dog.
  • Your dog will often cry and show a change in body language.

Treatment

Your dog will take nearly a month to recover from a tail fracture. The rest depends upon the severity of the fracture or injury.

A fracture is often accompanied by nerve damage or any other harmful conditions. A fracture always needs to be treated by a professional, such as a veterinarian. A veterinarian knows how to test and treat your dog in the correct way.

Get proper treatment of your dog and allow adequate rest for the fractured tail. If there are no other complications, your dog will recover within a few months, but if there are some additional problems, it will take more rest and more time to completely recover.

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#2. Limber Tail Syndrome

Limber Tail Syndrome
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Due to excess stress in dogs, they tend to develop “Limber-tail syndrome.” The limber tail syndrome affects the muscles of the dog’s tails, and it is very common in dogs who live under stressful conditions often.

The limber tail syndrome is very common in sporting dogs, but if your dog has done some heavy work such as swimming or other workloads, then he is more likely to develop this syndrome.

Signs And Symptoms

If your dog recently had an encounter with extremely chilled water or extremely cold weather, your dog may put its tail down between legs. Not only that, if your dog has an extensive workload or other such stressful conditions, this could be the possible reason behind the dog’s tail between the legs.

Here are some of the common symptoms you will notice in a dog having the limber tail syndrome.

  • Having a limp and hanging tail.
  • Your dog faces difficulty in defecating and has changed drinking and eating habits.
  • The base of your dog’s tail will be swollen, and there will not be any particular reason for their crying and whimpering.
  • The tail will be between the legs: and whenever you try to lift the tail, it will cry and yelp.
  • Your dog will face difficulty while sitting.

Treatment

At first, if you diagnose any such disease in your dog, immediately consider a veterinarian. Although for Limber Tail Syndrome, there are home remedies and treatments, but considering the veterinarian will be the best option.

Your dog’s vet will prescribe your dog some anti-inflammatory medication to manage pain. Make sure your dog completes the course of medication.

Aside from appropriate medication, keep your dog in a stress-free environment. Don’t let your dog put itself in extra strenuous situations.

Usually, it is observed that your dog will take approximately two weeks to recover from this disease. To provide relief to your dog, press the warm compressor on his tail periodically. This will not only provide them with relief but also reduce inflammation.

Give daily exercise to your dog will help your dog once it recovers from Limber Tail Syndrome to not acquire it again.

#3. The Happy Tail Syndrome

The Happy Tail Syndrome
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Dogs are really happy creatures. They wag their tails forcefully whenever they get happy. Sometimes, while wagging their tails with force, they tend to injure them due to forcefully hitting them with a hard object.

This specific phenomenon of the wagging of dogs’ tails due to excess happiness is known as “Happy Tail Syndrome.” Mostly all dogs waggle their tails due to happiness, so it is hard to identify this particular syndrome in dogs at times.

Due to repeated striking of the tail on some hard objects as a result of excess wagging, it may result in bleeding ulcers or some exposed nerves in the dog’s tail, mainly at the tip.

Dogs that possess medium-length hair, and are large enough to forcefully waggle their tails can easily acquire this syndrome. This “happy tail syndrome” is common in dogs of breeds such as pit bulls, Great Danes, and others.

Signs and Symptoms

If your dog’s tail is injured along with its tail between the legs, the reason can be “happy tail syndrome.

When your dog stops excessive wagging of their tail, notice if there’s any swelling, redness, or bleeding in their tail.

Your dog will yelp and cry whenever they hit their tail with any hard object or even lightly wag their tail.

Treatment 

  • Allow your dog’s tail to heal properly by giving it a proper rest.
  • Keep a proper check on your dog’s injury.
  • Clean your dog’s wound thoroughly and apply ointments daily.
  • Help the dog’s tail to heal properly by applying clean bandages more often.
  • Don’t let the wound be left uncovered; it will spread infection.
  • Cover your dog’s wound properly.

#4. Pyoderma

Pyoderma
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If you notice your dog’s tail between its legs and your dog is moving along with it so that it shows that he/she is suffering from pain, then the possible cause could be pyoderma.

Look for any cuts, scars, or other injuries near the dog’s tail. If you notice any such injury and leave it untreated, there could be an infection in that particular area of your dog’s body. Pyoderma is the term used to describe an infection caused by bacteria, fungi, or other parasites.

Dogs with excess skin folds are more likely to be affected by pyoderma. You may notice pyoderma in dog breeds such as bulldogs, pit bulls, Shar-pied, etc.

Signs and Symptoms

Your veterinarian can easily recognize the disease your dog is suffering from. So if you observe any unnatural or weird condition your dog is suffering from, immediately take him to the veterinarian.

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There are a few signs and symptoms you will observe in your dog suffering from pyoderma.

  • The infected area of your dog will have excess hair loss.
  • Constant itchiness and dry patches of the skin.
  • Your dog will constantly put his tail between his legs.

Treatment

Refer your dog to your dog’s veterinarian right away, and he will prescribe antibiotics for two to three weeks.

  • Give your dog’s regular bath with medicated shampoo.
  • In the case of some serious bacterial infections, targeted antibiotics are preferred by the dog’s veterinarian.
  • Most of the time, the treatment will be done by following the proper course of oral antibiotics or antibiotic gels and creams.

#5. Problems of the Anal Glands

Problems of the Anal Glands
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Due to problems in the anal gland, your dog will not only put the tail between legs but will face problems during sitting and try to lick the rear end of the tail.

Anal gland problems mostly affect small dogs, but larger dogs are rarely affected by such problems. Chihuahuas, toy poodles, and Beagles are dog breeds that mostly get affected by anal gland problems.

Sign and Symptoms

You will observe many symptoms in your dog having anal gland problems, but here are some specific common symptoms you will observe in them.

  • There will be a white substance leaking from your dog.
  • Along with it, you will notice a bad and fishy smell coming from your dog.
  • Around the anal region of your dog, there will be rough black and brown patches.
  • Your dog will be in extreme pain.
  • The functioning of the anal region may get impaired, and the anal region won’t be able to produce normal secretions.

Treatment

When your dog has problems in the anal region, you can manually check the anal gland at your home or take your dog to the vet.

If you get uncomfortable while handling your dog manually, it is recommended that you visit the veterinarian immediately.  Because while manually taking the dog, there can be a release of the dog’s poop and certain liquids that may not be comfortable for some owners.

The veterinarian will suggest some antibiotics after proper inspection of your dog. To ensure quick recovery, anti-inflammatory and other such medicines should be followed.

#6. Fleas on the Dog’s Body

Fleas on the Dog's Body
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If your dog is feeling extremely itchy and has put down its tail, the most likely cause could be that your dog is infested with fleas.

Fleas are small brownish parasites that live on the dog’s body and feed on their blood. Fleas infestations are very common in dogs. This mostly happens to animals living in warm weather.

Fleas can manifest themselves on any animal, any dog of any breed. Wherever fleas find favorable temperatures and other such favorable conditions, they will live and grow freely.

Signs and Symptoms

You will observe several symptoms when your dog is infested with fleas. Here, have a look at some common symptoms:

  • The dog’s skin will be red and scabbed.
  • You will notice hair loss, sore skin, and various behavioral changes in your dog.
  • Your dog will lick and rub the affected areas aggressively.
  • You will notice flea dirt on your dog’s body more often.

Treatment 

First, you need to get your dog rid of any fleas or other parasites. If this problem with fleas is not treated at an early stage, it may result in something more harmful.

You can use an insect growth regulator to regulate the parasite’s growth on your dog’s body. Visit a veterinarian for the proper treatment of your dog.

Once your dog is properly treated and recovered from the flea infection, you should be extra careful and keep the environment and surroundings of your dog clean.

Along with this, you can make use of medicated shampoo and flea collars.

Bonus Read: What To Do When Your Dog Has Poop Stuck In Bum?

Dog’s Tail Between His Legs and Other Unusual Behavior

Dog's Tail Between His Legs and Other Unusual Behavior
Image Credit: www.thedogclinic.com

Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms, there could be a few other reasons that lead the dogs to put their tails between their legs and cause them to start acting weird.

Here is the list of some strange behaviors when they put their tail between their legs.

1. My Dog Starts Trembling

If your dog starts shaking and putting its tail between its legs, the possible reason can be anxiety and fear. If they do so in front of other canines, then it’s intimidated.

They usually put their tails between their legs to cover the scent released from their anal region so that other dogs may not recognize their presence, and the shaking could be due to extreme fear.

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2. Dog Begins to Pant

If your dog puts its tail between its legs and starts panting, the possible reason could be that your dog is sick or unwell.

Dogs pant to breathe or to remove excess heat from their bodies in hot weather, but if the situations are not that and your dog is ill, has changed posture, starts vomiting, or is acting very lethargic, consult a veterinarian immediately.

3. Dog Whimpers and Cries a Lot

Dog Whimpers and Cries a Lot
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Dogs whimpering or shaking along with putting their tail between their legs, is a clear sign that they are either afraid of something or getting anxious. This can happen when they are in a fearful situation.

In such cases, your dog will need assurance, and you are the one who can provide them with assurance, either by stroking them gently or by cuddling them. If you remove them from fearful situations, they will get back to normal.

Also Read: Crusty Scabs Around Dog’s Mouth: Causes & Remedies

4. Dog Walks With Tail Between Legs

Dog Walks With Tail Between Legs
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If your dog is walking with its tail between its legs, it can be a clear indication that they are afraid of the situation and are trying to send you a message that they are not feeling safe.

In such cases, keep your dog away from such an environment. They will be back to normal once they get out of such an environment, but otherwise, it could be a medical emergency and you need to consult a veterinarian immediately.

5. Dogs Tuck their Tails Between their Legs While Eating

This may be a sign that your dog liked the meal and is enjoying and concentrating on eating the food you prepared.

Usually, dogs put their tail between their legs when they concentrate on something, like while digging a hole, but no one knows why they do such behavior.

6. Tail of an Elderly Dog Tucked Between Legs

Dogs tend to age fast. The possible cause of old dogs’ putting their tails between their legs means that they don’t want other dogs to recognize their scent as they don’t want to socialize with other dogs around.

On the other hand, it may be due to some underlying health issues such as problems in the nerve endings, arthritis, or other such health problems that you need to talk with the veterinarian and get a clear view on the same.

Is It Dangerous If A Dog Has Its Tail Between Its Legs For Days?

Well, dogs tend to put their tails between their legs for numerous reasons, as mentioned above. They can continue this thing for days, sometimes even for a few weeks.

There is nothing as such to worry about if your dog keeps its tail between its legs. Indeed, it can be a sign of oncoming illness or health problems or due to them feeling uncomfortable.

However, if dogs keep their tail down for long enough, it cannot be as dangerous as we think it to be until there is some severe injury.

If the case is of injury, then proper treatment and healing process are required. Even if you notice your dog putting their tail between its legs for longer than necessary, consider going to a veterinarian immediately.

Final Words

Sometimes it can be very frustrating for your dog and the owner when the dog’s tail is caught between its legs. There can be numerous potential causes for the same, a list of which is given in the article.

You need to remember that dogs use their tails for communication, and if they have ever had their tail between their legs, there can be some issues either with the situation or the dog’s health. It could be a sign that your dog is frustrated, anxious, or extremely happy. You need to observe their behavior properly and then decide.

The right thing to do in that situation is to visit the veterinarian. Vets have solutions for most of the problems your dog is going through.

A pet owner always wants to learn more about the changes and weird behavior of their dogs and makes efforts to give them a happy and comfortable life. This article will help you know the most probable reasons behind your dog having a tail between its legs and acting weird so that you can provide your dog with a happy and comfortable life.