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Curly tailed dogs

The dog’s tails come in many different shapes and lengths. More or less conspicuous ringlets are typical, especially for some Asian and Nordic dog breeds.

Some curly tailed dogs like the pug or bulldog even have it corkscrew rods rolled up several timeswhich, however, can be problematic for health.

Other dog breeds, however, only have one rather loosely curved tailsuch as the Alaskan Malamute, the American Akita, and most Spitz-type dogs.

What breeds of dogs have ringlets?

Ringlets are found in dogs of very different types.

To the small breeds of dogs with curly tails In addition to the pug, smaller Asian and European tips belong, but also bichons carry their rods lying high on their backs and sometimes even curled up. Among the large dogs we also find hunting dogs or sled dogs with more or less curved tail positions.


In addition to the eye-catching flat nose and wrinkled face, the curly tail is one of the noticeable features of this Chinese breed of dog. In the case of the pug, a single rolled tail, or even better a double curled tail, is desirable for breeding purposes.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier has a naturally short tail that is straight or helical in shape.

As with the pug, the French bulldog or the British bulldog, corkscrew rods are created by so-called Wedge vertebrae. It is a Malformation of vertebral bodiesassociated with health problems can. More on this below.


The fluffy Havanese should carry the rod high and in the form of a crook or preferably rolled over the back.

Chow Chow

A ancient Chinese breed of dogwhose characteristic feature is a blue-black pigmented tongue. The bushy tail of these primeval guard and hunting dogs is carried over the back and is often curved, as is common for pointed-type dogs.


At the Japanese Akita the tightly rolled up tail should be carried over the back. With something bigger American Akita A tail that is not completely curled and then lies on the side of the flank is also allowed.


The Samoyed is usually depicted with a tail bent high over the back. In the resting position, however, these versatile sled dogs carry with the white fur her bushy tail sometimes hanging straight down.


This medium-sized hunting dog from Japan is often seen with a bushy and curled tail, typical of Spitz. With the Shiba, a curved sickle rod is also allowed.


This African breed of dog has a single or double corkscrew tail curled tightly over the back. A special feature of the Basenji is that it seldom barks and instead yodels loudly.


This curly waterhound from the Netherlands is rarely seen in Germany. Of the Frisian water dog wears its long curly tail next to or above the croup.


With some greyhounds you will find a curl at the end of the rod.

For example, the tail of the Afghan hound simply curled in the end. With the Polish Chart of Poland the end of the rod should be curved upwards in a sickle shape or form a closed ring. And also with the Moroccan Sloughi a pronounced curve at the end of the rod is required.

And also some of the rarer greyhounds recognized only nationally, such as the Greek Kritikos Lagonikos, the Kyrgyz Taigan or the Central Asian Tazi wear a prominent curl on the tip of their rods.

Alaskan Malamute

The strongly built Malamute is a persistent sled dog. In his spare time he wears the bushy, hairy tail bent on the back. So, among the dogs with a curly tail, it is more of a moderate representative.

Shar pei

The typical characteristics of this breed of dog are undoubtedly the excessive number of skin folds. The posture is variable and ranges from tightly rolled to only moderately curved.

Norwegian Buhund

On friendly medium-sized Spitz, which is one of the rather rare dog breeds. As with the related breeds, his tail should also be firmly rolled up in the middle over the back.


The German Spitz comes in different varieties of the rare Großspitz on the Central point, Kleinspitz and Wolfsspitz down to the tiny Pomeranian. Typical of the tip is the extra bushy ringlet, which is always carried curled up over the back.

But other tips also have their tail curled up:

For example, a fluffy tail lying over the back is also a part of the Japan Spitz required. And at Finnish Spitz the rod should be rolled so that it comes to rest on the side of the thigh ..

Other dog breeds with curled tail

  • Shikoku: A rare and ancient Japanese hunting dog that carries its tail curled up on its back or in a sickle shape.
  • Puffin: With this Spitz, the tail should lie slightly ring-shaped on the back in an attentive position.
  • At the Nordic Jämthund stipulates that the tail should be carried low in an open circle above the thigh.
  • Bulldogs like Frenchie or the british bulldog have natural short rods. They are usually worn pointing straight down, but can also be curled up to a greater or lesser extent (sometimes it even becomes Knot rod called).

Ringlets in the dog

Curled tails in dogs can take many different forms, as you can see. The variants range from loosely curved arches and curls to tight spirally rolled up rods.

It is quite normal, by the way, that in dog breeds with only a loose curl, the tail is less curled up at rest or can even hang down loosely. But with tension or increased attention, the rod immediately curls a little tighter again [1].

The tail is on most dogs very agile and can not only be waved back and forth at the base, but can also be raised upright or carried deep under the belly.

Because functionally built dogs are known to use their tails not only as a plush balance pendulum, but also for communication with conspecifics.

Extremely curled up curly tails can hardly be moved any more. A dog with a permanently raised curling tail is therefore somewhat limited in its possibilities.

Corkscrew rods and wedge swivel

Usually the dog’s tail is the straight one Extension of the spine.

Because in dogs, the spine does not end in the tailbone, as it does with us, but exists depending on the length of the tail from up to over 20 other vertebrae.

In dogs with straight tails, these caudal vertebrae lie close together as small, matching blocks.

In dogs with heavily curled, spiral tails, however, not all of these vertebrae are shaped equally. The X-ray shows so-called half-vertebrae or wedge-shaped vertebrae, which, due to their shape, lead to a strong angle in the tail.

It is a congenital vertebral body defectwho obviously hereditary is.

The more of these half-vertebrae and the more wedge-shaped they are, the more noticeable the curvature of the dog’s tail.

Sketch of half-vortex and curvature of the rod

Particularly brachycephalic and chondrodystrophic dog breeds like that Pug, Frenchie, Bulldog and the Boston Terrier[6] the phenomenon can be observed.

The problem with these irregularly shaped vertebral bodies is that it is not always only the caudal vertebrae that are affected.

Some dogs of the breeds mentioned also have more or less deformed vertebral bodies outside of the tail.

And if such a sharp kink occurs in the chest or back area, you can imagine that this can lead to health problems similar to scoliosis or a hump or even to an extremely painful one Compression of the spinal cord can lead to paralysis [4]!

However, since almost all dogs of the affected breeds have vertebral defects without being neurologically conspicuous and the vertebrae is also responsible for the desired rolled tail, selection is still made for this characteristic …

In the meantime, a gene has been found that is associated with the corkscrew tail in the short rods of the French bulldog, English bulldog and some Boston terriers (but not with the long corkscrew tails of the pug) [7].

The mutation found in the so-called DVL2-Gen is not only responsible for the rolled tail phenotype. The gene variant is associated with the overall brachycephalic appearance of the affected dog breeds. So it is no longer possible without …

So the only solution to the problem would be to breed away from the exaggerated anatomical features that can cause problems [4]. And it is clear to me that the curly tail is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the physical problems of the severely brachycephalic, lowered dogs …

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