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Why Do Pigs Wag Their Tails? (Explained)

Ever wondered why pigs wag their tails? We took the time to explain everything in this article.

Dogs are known to always wag their tail, when a dog wags its tail, it usually means the dog is happy or excited. Paying attention to how a dog wags its tail can give you an idea of how it feels.

When it comes to pigs, some farmers believe that pigs only wag their tails when they’re happy and content just like dogs. But science is not conclusive.

It is easy to see pigs wagging their tails while eating, leading many to assume that the twitching of a pig’s tail indicates happiness or satisfaction in the same way that it does a dog

But it turns out that some research indicates the reason pigs wag their tails is more complex than most of us realize. Research shows that tails can be a way of indicating how they feel and how healthy they are. A fascinating pig study shows that pigs may wag their tails when they feel physical pain.

So, in this guide, we will look into why pigs wag their tails. We’ll also discuss how to tell if your pig is happy!

What Do Pigs Use Their Tails For?

Unlike other domestic or farm animals, pigtails do not have a wide variety of functions. However, one thing it certainly does is show how they feel. A pig’s tail contains several neural structures, which can mediate pain responses.

Pigs usually have their tails curled upwards or loosely hanging between their back legs. A curled tail is associated with being active, while a hanging pig’s tail often means the pigs are at rest.

It can be used as a tool for chasing insects from time to time, especially when it rolls.

Since their tail ties in with their reaction, it can be a sign of positive emotion. They tend to become happy, especially if they feel satisfied.

They are not likely to wag their tail when worried. This is because they usually make noises when they feel threatened.

For this reason, you can take their tail twitching as a sign that they are feeling happy.

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What a Pig’s Tail Says About Its Emotional State

The posture and movement of a pig’s tail communicate information about the pig’s experiences and feelings.

A certain pig study concludes that pigs usually stand with their tails up or suspended between their legs. The tail’s posture largely depends on the activity level of the pig.

A resting pig’s tail will usually hang down in a resting position, while an active pig will keep its tail curled upwards. Additionally, pigs wag their tails when eating or drinking

The study also points out, that pigs being pushed around or bitten by others engage in intense tail wagging.

The tail-wagging suggests that pigs wag their tails during negative social behavior or manipulation rather than pleasure.

Pigs also wag their tails when in food-frustrated situations, as do pigs that have recently had surgery.

Other studies indicate that twitching of the tail in pigs may indicate pain or discomfort. Piglets with tail damage or skin irritation were observed to wag their tails more frequently than others.

Researchers have also found that pigs tend to wag their tails when they are happy or satisfied.

How Do Pigs Communicate Happiness?

If tail wagging can be associated with negative emotional states, such as despair or restlessness, how then do we know that the pig is happy?

According to another pig study from the University of London, pigs use sound to express their emotional, motivated, and physical state.

They may howl in excitement or fear, while growling appears to be more associated with foraging and letting their pack know where they are.

Pigs use a variety of vocalizations to communicate their feelings. Their voice and intonation are often more believable than looking at their tail. One way to tell if a pig is happy is by the sound it makes.

Indeed, a bark (which sounds like an “arf”) is a sound they make even when startled or frightened. They make this sound either as a single, rapid sound or in continuous, rapid succession. While this can be a sad sound, it can also be a sign of excitement and joy.

You can make a difference when these animals are in real danger. When these animals are slaughtered, take it. His voice becomes louder and longer.

You can even tell that their bark is happy when you give them food. You can hear these animals’ fast, slow purrs as they quickly gather near food.

You too can see such excitement and joy when the pigs wag their tails. Usually, pigs wag their tails with a low rumbling sound while feeding. It is also a sign that they like what they eat.

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Pigtail behavior can give us some basic information about how a pig feels. But vocalizations give a more detailed impression of individual personality, social behavior, and group dynamics.

Happy Pigs like to sleep for about 6-8 hours a day. They usually lie on their side. But sometimes they could fall asleep in your arms! (The pig looks extremely happy – without even looking at the tail!)

How Do Pigs Show Affection?

Many people view the pig as an animal raised simply for its meat. However, pigs can be very affectionate, and they show it in different ways.

Pigs will grunt and nudge you with their muzzles when affectionate. Depending on the size of your pig, this could be quite unsettling. They can also express their love via their lap visits.

Finally, pigs wag their tails whenever they are around something or someone like or are excited about.

Although a large percentage of these animals are found on farms, those cared for as pets can be quite cheerful, sweet, and kind. This is why many pet owners care for pigs indoors.

Can Pigs Get Attached to Their Owners?

Like all other pets, pigs can recognize and bond with their owners. Pigs can recognize humans and can remember other animals as well.

With long-term bonding, a Pig will eventually be able to recognize and feel comfortable around humans.

If you feed them regularly, there is a good chance they remember you and become attached to you. They may not be entirely smart, but they can still tell apart a threat from a treat.

They can make pleasant sounds when they feel that you will not hurt them. At the same time, when you threaten them, they may scream loudly and non-stop.

So, if you see your pigs wagging their tails when around you, you can tell that they are enjoying their time with you.

Why Do Pigs Nudge You?

In most cases, a nudge from a pig is a sign of affection. If you have ever seen pig feed, you will know that this is a natural behavior for them.

Pigs use their snouts to agitate the soil so they can reach tasty roots and underground insects. They also push each other to establish their dominance.

If the pig pushes you, don’t back away, as this indicates that you are backing down. Instead, respond positively and acknowledge the pig’s desire to communicate with a light stroke or scratch.

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Why Do Pigs Have Curly Tails?

The curly tail of pigs is due to their breed. A domestic pig with a curly tail probably comes from a long line of Chinese domestic pig breeds.

In China, pig fighting is a well-known amusement at the time, and biting a tail can make all the difference in this fight.

People believed that pigs with curved tails are less likely to take damage in battle. Thus, their chances of winning are more. However, this is an odd idea, as pigs rarely bite their tails. Farm pigs are the ones that do this, but pets and play animals usually don’t.

However, not all pigs have curly tails. Some other domestic pigs that do not have curly tails are:

  • Potbellied pigs
  • Vietnamese
  • Tamworth
  • Kunekune (can have a straight or curly tail)
  • Mulefoot


The posture and movement of a pig’s tail communicate information about the animal’s emotional and physical well-being. But a pig does not use its tail like a dog.

A pig wagging its tail may be in a high state of excitement, but that doesn’t mean it’s happy or comfortable

Conversely, a pig whose tail hangs limp probably feels more blissful in life than one who dangles.

Instead of relying on a pig’s tail to keep you informed about their state of mind, pay attention to your pig’s vocalizations, and monitor its body language.

A relaxed pig that gently growls and nudges you are most likely expressing affection.

If he starts gasping, chances are he’s laughing happily, even though his tail isn’t moving.

Mark Lockett

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