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Dog Has Tail Between Legs & Is Acting Weird: 5 Reasons

So, you’ve noticed your dog has its tail between its legs and is acting a little off?

Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s concerning and can make any pet owner feel uneasy. I’ve done some digging (not in the yard, promise!) to find out why this happens.

dog tail tucked and is acting weird

5 Reasons Behind This Behavior

Here are five common reasons your dog might be acting this way. I also explain specifically what this could mean WITH additional weird behavior.

1. Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and fear are top reasons why your pup might tuck their tail and act weird. This behavior is their way of saying, “Hey, I’m not comfortable here.”

➡️ Why Does This Happen?

Dogs get anxious for many reasons. It could be loud noises like fireworks, new people, or a change in their routine. Their tails go down as a natural response to stress.

➡️ What Can You Do?

Comfort is key. Stay calm and give your dog some cuddles. You can also try distraction techniques like treats or toys.

➡️ Expert Opinion

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), creating a ‘safe space’ can help a dog feel secure. Think about setting up a cozy corner with their favorite blanket and toy.

2. Medical Issues

Sometimes health problems can cause your dog to act out of sorts.

➡️ Why Does This Happen?

Pain or discomfort can make a dog tuck its tail. It’s like them saying, “Ouch, I don’t feel good.”

➡️ What Can You Do?

Check for physical signs like limping, or if they’re licking a specific area a lot. If you’re concerned, a vet visit is a must.

➡️ Expert Opinion

Vetstreet suggests that frequent tail-tucking might signal a health issue. So, better be safe and get that check-up.

3. Submission

Your dog might just be showing submission, especially around other dogs.

➡️ Why Does This Happen?

In the dog world, a lowered tail is like a white flag. It says, “You’re the boss.”

➡️ What Can You Do?

Nothing really, it’s normal dog behavior. But make sure it’s not excessive, as that could be a sign of fear.

➡️ Expert Opinion

PetMD says submissive behavior is often mistaken for shyness or fear. So, watch the body language to see what your pup is really saying.

4. New Environment

New places and experiences can make your dog put its tail between its legs.

➡️ Why Does This Happen?

New smells, sights, and sounds can overwhelm your dog. It’s like sensory overload.

➡️ What Can You Do?

Take it slow. Introduce your dog to new places gradually and keep your outings short at first.

➡️ Expert Opinion

According to the AKC, gradual exposure to new environments can help dogs adjust better. Baby steps are the way to go!

5. Past Trauma

Past bad experiences can stick with dogs just like they do with humans.

➡️ Why Does This Happen?

Your dog might remember a bad experience and react by tucking its tail.

➡️ What Can You Do?

Patience and love are your best tools. Over time, you can help your dog feel safe again.

➡️ Expert Opinion

The ASPCA says that positive reinforcement can help a dog overcome past trauma. So, lots of treats and praise can go a long way.

But Why The Weird Behavior Too?

So you’re probably wondering, “Okay, the tail-tucking makes sense, but why is my dog acting all weird on top of that?” Great question! Let’s dive in.

⭐ It’s All Connected

You see, the tail-tucking and weird behavior usually go hand in hand. When a dog is stressed, anxious, or unwell, they might not just tuck their tail. They might also hide, shake, or even refuse to eat. In short, they’re trying to tell us something’s not right, in the only way they know how.

⭐ It’s Their Language

Dogs can’t talk, right? So they use their bodies to communicate. If you notice a tail between the legs and other odd actions, your dog is likely ramping up its “Hey, listen to me!” message. They might whine, paw at you, or be super clingy. They’re emphasizing their feelings with extra signs.

⭐ What Should You Do?

If you’re seeing additional weird behaviors, it’s an extra nudge to take action. Whether it’s comforting your dog, visiting the vet, or making changes to their environment, something needs to be done to help your pup feel better.

So, don’t ignore the combo of tail-tucking and odd behavior. Your dog is trying to communicate with you, and it’s our job as pet parents to listen and help them out. 🐶


If your dog’s tail is between its legs, don’t panic. The first step is figuring out why it’s happening.

Whether it’s fear, a health issue, or just new experiences, knowing the cause will help you make your fur baby feel better. And remember, when in doubt, a vet’s advice is always the best route to take.

Hope this helps, and give your pup some extra belly rubs from me! 🐾


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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