While most believe that a wagging tail means the dog is happy, the position of the tail matters a lot more than the wagging itself. When the tail is held low and curved (in a "U" shape) and is wagging slowly, everything is cool. If the tail is higher or arched over the back, the dog is supremely interested, and maybe even pissed off about something.
So a dog can express a lot with its tail, and wagging does appear to primarily be a form of communication. Film your dog at home alone and it won't often wag its tail; not the way it does when it's greeting you at the door or meeting other dogs. Dogs are pack animals, communication is a big deal and the tail is like a little furry flag it can wave around to signal to others.
Also, a helicopter.
By the way, the same goes for putting their tail between their legs. It's thought to be a sign of submission (the opposite of the aggressive dog raising his tail high as mentioned above) because it's basically the dog making itself smaller. Tucking away the tail and lowering the ears is a way to sort of shrink away. "I don't matter, you're the bigger dog, don't rip my throat out. Now let's go eat some shit!"
All right, we've put this one off long enough. The leg humping thing. Is your dog honestly thinking there's a vagina on your shin? That doesn't make sense, they would have gone extinct if they were that bad at identifying the right objects to ram their boners into. Hell, even female dogs do it.
So What the Hell Are They Thinking?
Odds are you have at least one person in your life whose leg you'd happily hump until friction burns put you both on the disabled list, but your motivations are not the same as your dog's. He's not doing it simply because he's horny and looking for a good time. If that were true, then it would happen less when the dog's been neutered, and female humpage would be virtually non-existent.
So as to why they do it... have you ever been to prison? Or at the very least, watched an episode of OZ back when it was on HBO? If so, you know that ass rape is done for reasons other than personal enjoyment; it's about dominance over another.
Well, for your adorable puppy dog all of life is like prison. Humping is done to establish dominance over lesser dogs. Nobody humps the alpha dog, it's the ones lower on the ladder who get humped.
So guess what that means when your dog humps your leg?
That's right; he's literally making you his bitch.
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For more bizarre animal actions, check out The 15 Most Bizarre Animal Mating Rituals. Or find out why you do some of the things you do, in Sleep Jerk to Piss Shivers: 5 Body Mysteries Explained.
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