Why do some dogs have curled tails?
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Thread: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

  1. #1
    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    Okay, I know it's a genetic trait (right??), but why was it selected for some breeds, or was it just a "side effect" that was acceptable and carried on as the breed continued on?

    Did having a curl tail serve a purpose "back in the day" that's lost in modern times (but the curl stayed a part of the breed)?

    Just wondering while looking at Wally's curled tail that's straight only when he wags it.

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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    I have no idea, I just wanted to share that I have 2 rescue mutts that happen to both have curled tails that they carry over their backs. I love it!
    "So in this world of the simple and odd, the bent and plain, the unbalanced bod, the imperfect people and differently pawed, some live without love . . .that's how they're flawed." -Berkley Breathed

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    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    I don't think that throughout history, breeders ONLY bred for function and practicallity. You want your puppies to turn out cute, too, right? XD

    I'm sure that a lot of dogs with curly tails were bred that way because it looks adorable. Other then that, I don't think it serves much of a purpose, but there is a chance that the gene for curly tails is also linked to something else, like coat type. **Shrug** I dunno =3


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    Senior Member Spicy1_VV's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    I think it depends on the breed. Also just genes they got to begin with. Many spitz breeds have curly tails. It becomes part of their breed characteristics. So it stays locked in their genes.

    Many breeds are bred to perform a certain task, such as Kangals. Not bred to be adorable but have curled tails, some uncurl and hold the tail up/curl when alert and others can't uncurl their tail (it would hurt them). The dogs were bred for a reason, not for specific looks traits. They look how they look as long as they do their job well is what matters. So some looks and physical traits are due to where the dogs live and the work they perform.

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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    Quote Originally Posted by craven.44 View Post
    I have no idea, I just wanted to share that I have 2 rescue mutts that happen to both have curled tails that they carry over their backs. I love it!
    My rescue mutt's tail forms a circle and she carries hers over her back too. It is the cutest thing.

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    Well, I would say it does have a function, it holds the tail out of the way, yet still allows it to be used as a rudder when running. Most of your sled breeds have curled tails because they needed their tails, but they also had to be out of the way.

    Again, if you look at the history of the breeds it will give you hints at the reason for the form.
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    Senior Member agility collie mom's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    I was thinking that maybe also for protection from the elements. Most the the northern dogs have curled tails. Their tails serve as a "blanket" for noses and ears when curled in a tight ball for sleeping. Also curling over the back would provide more insulation keeping heat lose at a minimum. Don't know if this is why just a guess.
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    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    Interesting answers - the form follows function concept definitely does make sense.

    I guess in Wally's case, it's just to look cute. I can't imagine a 14 lb dog pulling a sled

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    Senior Member HuskyLuv's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    I know in the case of Siberians the tail functions as a rudder and as a cover for their nose/face when sleeping in the snow. I'm not versed in other breeds though.

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    Senior Member Melissa_Chloe's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some dogs have curled tails?

    Shar pei are said to have a tail curled over their backs to look more intimidating which their original purpose was guard/farm dog. A high up tail (over the back) can actually scare some dogs. I've heard a dog that puts its tail up is confident, so a dog with its tail naturally over its back is going to seem confident (even if it isnt lol) Even though Chloe means well some are cautious because her tail is over her back.

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