Why Do Female Dogs Tuck Their Tails?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 07/07/22 •  4 min read
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Why Do Female Dogs Tuck Their Tails?

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A dog’s tail is used to communicate a wide range of emotions and signals. It also provides balance, acts as a scent-spreading device, and more! But what does it means when a female dog tucks her tail?

Does your female dog tuck her tail? Are you worried about this behavior? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand this behavior can be concerning in your female dog.

We’ve put together some information about why female dogs tuck their tails and how you can help your dog. Let’s get started!

Dogs Communicate With Their Tails

Dogs use their tails to communicate many types of information and signals to other dogs and humans. The canine tail is like a Swiss army knife for all the ways it can be used! And you can tell a lot about a dog by the way they use their tail. When a dog holds their tails at a certain height, wags (or not), or carries their tails in a specific way, each behavior is communicating something different.

For instance, wagging tails may mean a dog is confident, happy, and alert. But it depends on how the dog’s holding her tail and how fast or slow she’s wagging it. A stiff tail that’s vibrating a little bit means the dog may be tense or aggressive. It all depends.

Why Does a Female Dog Tuck Her Tail?

A female dog may tuck her tail to show she’s being submissive. This is a way dogs greet one another or show their submission to a dog that’s higher in the pack hierarchy.

A dog that tucks her tail flattens her ears, and averts her eyes is showing she’s nervous and scared.

Some female dogs may also tuck their tails if they’re feeling sad. They may tuck their tails if they don’t want another dog to sniff them or mate.

But a female dog who tucks her tail may also be saying she’s sorry. Your female dog may do this if she’s just chewed up your favorite shoes or a living room pillow. Or she may be feeling insecure in a new environment.

One Warning

Some female (or male) dogs may tuck their tails if they’re about to become aggressive. The dog may be afraid and will take action to protect herself.

If your dog is in this stance, do not approach her. Instead, let her become comfortable where she is, as long as she will not be hurt or hurt someone else. Never look her in the eye and do not approach her with an angry demeanor. This could cause her to attack. Let her relax and settle down.

Once your fur baby has relaxed, you may try to approach her slowly and give her a treat to show you are trying to be friendly with her.

Summing It Up

As you can see, there are many reasons a dog may tuck her tail. Be very observant when your dog takes this posture. Does she seem to be scared? Are her hackles raised, or does she just seem a little nervous?

Remember, never approach a dog who has their tail tucked and seems frightened, with their hackles raised. Leave the dog alone.

If this seems to be an ongoing issue, it’s best to see the vet. Your dog could have an underlying health issue or some other condition that can be treated. In some cases, a female dog may need to see a canine behaviorist. They may be able to help your dog develop more confidence and learn how to behave rather than reacting with fear.


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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!