If your dog wags their tail whenever you pet them, this post will show you likely reasons why and what to do about it.
So, why does my dog wag their tail when I pet them? Likely reasons why your dog wags their tail when you pet them are that your dog is excited and that your dog is showing you that they are glad you are interacting with them.
Your dog likely wags their tail when you pet them for a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason.
Why does my dog wag their tail when I pet them?
Below are likely reasons why your dog does it and what would make each of them more likely.
A part of the reason is likely to be that your dog is that your dog is showing that they are excited or happy. This would be especially likely if your dog also does things such as lick you or jump around.
It could also be the case that your dog is excited because they think you are about to give them something such as food or exercise. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more before you have given them food or exercise.
The cause could also be that they were bored. This would be more likely if your dog does it more when you pet them after not having interacted with them for a long time.
Fear or intimidation
Dogs may also wag their tails when they are fearful and it is possible that your dog does it when you pet them due to intimidation. This would be more likely if your dog only does it when you pet them aggressively and if your dog shows other signs of intimidation such as making themselves appear smaller or trying to move away from you.
If it does seem like your dog might be doing it due to fearfulness, it would help to try petting them differently and more gently.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog always wagged their tail when you used to pet them
If your dog did not always wag their tail while you used to pet them, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started. If your dog started doing it suddenly, it could be because your dog became more comfortable around you or because you started petting them differently.
If your dog always wags their tail when you pet them
If your dog does not always wag their tail, it would also help to consider what is different when they do wag their tail. For example, if your dog tends to do it more before they have gotten food or exercise, it could be the case that your dog thinks that they are about to get food or exercise.
What to do about my dog wagging their tail when I pet them?
Below are options you have to deal with the behavior.
Ensure your dog is getting adequate food, exercise and attention
Since your dog might be doing it because they are hoping for food, exercise or attention, it would help to ensure that your dog is able to get adequate amounts of food, exercise and attention daily.
Let your dog do it
It is likely that your dog wags their tail because they are being friendly and showing that they are happy. The easiest thing to do would be to allow your dog to continue doing it.