What Does It Mean When a Pig Wags Its Tail? (Is It a Good Sign?)

Pigs wag their tails when they want to express joy and happiness. It usually happens when you feed them or pet them. It can be easy to forget that pigs can also be pets, but they have emotions like any other animal. And pigs are also usually a lot smarter than a dog or a cat.

For many people, they see pigs only as an animal raised for its meat. However, if you would only look at the opposite side, you’ll see these animals as fascinating as any other pets.

Let’s get into it more!

What do pigs use their tails for?

Unlike other animals, a pig’s tail doesn’t have a variety of functions. However, one of the things it can do is to show how they feel.

A pig’s tail has many neuro-anatomical structures, which handles the pain response.

For this reason, you can consider their tails as something like our skin.

It may serve as a tool to chase insects away from time to time, especially as it curls.

Studies show that the tail can be a way to indicate how they feel and their health.

Now, going back to the question:

What does it mean when a pig wags its tail?

Since their tail connects to their response, it can be a sign of positive feelings.

These animals tend to get happy, especially if they’re feeling content.

It’s unlikely that they would wag their tails when they feel alarmed. The reason is that they usually make noise when they feel threatened.

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

It would be best if you still observed, though. Maybe these animals are just shooing some insects flying around.

But yeah, put merely, these animals feel happy when they wag their tails.

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How can you tell if a pig is happy?

happy pig

One of the ways to tell if a pig is happy is by the sound it is making.

Indeed, a bark (which sounds like ‘arf’) is a sound they make when they get startled or even spooked.

These animals tend to make this sound, either as a single and quick one, or continuous, in quick succession.

While it may be a melancholic sound, it can also be a sign of excitement and joy.

You can tell the difference when these animals get threatened for real.

Take it when these animals are getting slaughtered. Their sound becomes louder and longer.

You can also tell their bark as joyful when you give them food. You can hear the quick and low rumbling sounds from these animals as they quickly gather near the food.

You can also see this kind of excitement and joy when pigs wag their tail.

Usually, hogs wag their tail along with the low rumbling noise when they’re feeding.

It’s also a sign that they like what they were munching on.

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How do pigs show affection to humans?

Many people see pigs only as an animal raised for their meat. However, pigs can be very affectionate, show it in different ways.

These animals can show their affection to us by snout kissing and little nudging. They can also show their love when through lap visiting.

Lastly, pigs wag their tails whenever they are around something or someone they like.

Although a significant percentage of these animals are on farms, those who are cared for a pet can be pretty jolly and sweet.

It’s also the reason why many pet owners take care of pigs indoors.

Do pigs get attached to their owner?

Like any other pet animals, pigs can also recognize and can get attached to their owners.

These animals know how to recognize humans and can even remember other animals.

With prolonged bonding, a pig will be able to recognize and get comfortable with humans.

If you’re feeding, the chances are high that these animals would get attached to you.

These animals may not be that intelligent, but they can still differentiate a threat from a treat.

They can produce happy sounds when they feel you’re not going to harm them. At the same time, they can squeak loud and non-stop when you’re threatening them.

Thus, if you see your pigs wag their tails when you’re together, you can tell they’re enjoying the time with you.

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Why do pigs have curly tails?

The curly tails of pigs are due to their breed.

A domestic swine that has curly tails come from a long line of domestic Chinese pig breeds.

One trivia states that Chinese farmers years ago didn’t intend that curly tails.

In China, a pig’s fight is a famous entertainment back then, and a tail bite can make a difference in that fight.

People believed that the ones with the curly tail are less likely to suffer in the fight. Thus, they are more likely to win.

It’s a strange idea, though, since pigs seldom bite each other’s tails. Farm pigs are the ones who tend to do so, but the pets and those who play around usually don’t.

Still, not all pigs have curly tails. Some other domestic swine that don’t have curly tails are:

  • Potbellied pigs (almost all 12 breeds of such have straight tails)
  • Vietnamese
  • Tamworth
  • Kunekune (can have a straight or curly tail)
  • Mulefoot

Not all wild hogs have curly tails as well. Most wild hogs tend to have straight as well.

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A pig that wags its tail shows signs of excitement and joy. Thus, when you see the tail wagging, it shows that it’s happy and content.

These animals can associate their pigs with their tails. While it can be an indication that they feel threatened, it is usually associated with joy. You can also take into account the sounds they make to verify it.


NCBI study about connection between pig’s tail and emotions

Image credits – Photos by Nicolas Castez and Christopher Carson on Unsplash

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