What about “Circle Wag?” I made that term up, so don’t go looking for it anywhere. But in the best tradition of ethology, “Circle Wag” is descriptive, because the tail literally goes around in a circle. Here’s my belief about it’s ‘meaning’ (and that’s all it is, a belief). Circle wags appear to be done by dogs who are extremely happy. I see it on dogs who just adore adore adore a particular person, and I’ve seen on Luke and Will when we finished up a great session of herding and we both were equally proud of ourselves. I can not remember ever seeing it on a dog who appeared to be anxious or potentially aggressive, either defensive or offensively. Many dogs never circle wag, and I have no idea how many dogs actually do it. Ten percent? Twenty?
My dog does not.
However, I did have one who did.
She is actually doing it here.
When she would greet a person she knew, she would run up with her ears back. Her face would be all relaxed and friendly looking, and then she would start wagging her tail in great big circles. She would occasionally let loose a few yodels of joy.
Yes, circle wags mean extreme happiness. No question about it.