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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 20 week old Samoyed puppy. I can't remember when it started, but she is no longer carrying her tail over her back. Her nail now arches over her back, but never actually lies on her back. It stays a good 3-4 inches over her back. Is this a pup thing or is there something seriously wrong?

As a pup, at least for the first month or so, she did carry her tail over her back.

She is purebred (bought her from a breeder). A couple in our building also purchased a Samoyed from her and their pup's tail is fine. We also know a full grown Samoyed from her and the Samoyed carries his tail as well.
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned. Dog carry their tails different ways depending on their own individual feelings and temperaments. :)
 

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She could just have a poor tail set for the breed. Summer's tail doesn't curl like the other papillons' do. It is up but a lot looser of a curl and she keeps it down more often than the others.

It's nothing medical to worry about, just out of standard. I've also had a sheltie that carried her tail up when they're not supposed to. It happens. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
While I did not buy the dog for show, I did spend show dog money on it (champion line) from a AKC breeder. In no way would I ever return my dog, but I feel somewhat ripped off in a odd way
 

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Were the parents both champions (or was one of the parents a champion)? If not "champion lines" is pretty meaningless -- a dog having champions back in its pedigree somewhere does not make it better than other purebreds. Also, you have to understand that even if both parents are champions and all of the grandparents were champions and on and on, not every pup produced is going to be a show-quality example of the breed. Even the very best breeders place pet-quality pups all of the time. A slightly off tail set is NOT a big deal at all, and certainly not worth feeling ripped off over.

Also, from the Samoyed AKC Standard:

Tail - The tail should be moderately long with the tail bone terminating approximately at the hock when down. It should be profusely covered with long hair and carried forward over the back or side when alert, but sometimes dropped when at rest. It should not be high or low set and should be mobile and loose -- not tight over the back. A double hook is a fault. A judge should see the tail over the back once when judging.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Understood, and I agree with you. But, the tail set of a samoyed is one if the most defining qualities of the breed. For me, besides the smiley face, it is the quality that I love in all Samoyeds (and spitz dogs) I see. I think I would consider it a major flaw
 

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Can you get a picture of her so we can see? The tail's not supposed to be tight against the back... it does sound like your girl carries her tail a bit high, but it may not be as bad as you think.

My family had a Samoyed when I was younger... lovely dog. Her name was Kalli, and we got her from some family friends who didn't train her at all. I was a stubborn eight-year-old and decided I was going to walk this dog on a leash. She dragged me down the street on my belly, haha. Once we got her trained, she was an excellent family dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hahaha! Tell me about it. I am working hard on leash training now. As long as there is not another dog in sight, she is great. As soon as she sees another dog, it is all over!

8.5 weeks


12 weeks


19 Weeks - Bit blurry, but you can see the tail. It will curl more than that over her back to about 1/3rd the way up her back but will hover a few inches over her back (hopefully can grab a better picture today)


She is now going through that odd phase where she is a bit too long for her current coat. So funny looking at times! When see our friend's 9 week pup running around, we are so jealous
 

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Aww, she's pretty. And yes, the awkward stage! My Alaskan Klee Kai looked pretty ridiculous at certain ages -- he was all legs and big ears. He matured into a pretty nice-looking boy, though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks! She is really fun and super bright. Learns tricks in a matter of minutes. But man can she be stubborn!

Any thoughts on the tail? I'm hoping her back with grow a bit more to help mask the tail set issue. A puffier coat will also help I'm sure.

Casper is one good looking dog. There is a couple with one around the corner from us. Hopefully it will run away and come knocking on my door soon :)
 

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I really don't know if tail carriage changes as dogs age! The puffier coat will definitely make it look better, though. And it's not supposed to be curled tight against the back anyway, just loosely carried right above it. She may end up looking how you want once she gets through this awkward stage and grows her full coat. :)
 

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While I did not buy the dog for show, I did spend show dog money on it (champion line) from a AKC breeder. In no way would I ever return my dog, but I feel somewhat ripped off in a odd way
My dog is from champion parents. Her tail set is not correct. Like I said, it happens. Most dogs will have some conformational faults to some degree.

Cute pup.
 

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My dog is from champion parents. Her tail set is not correct. Like I said, it happens. Most dogs will have some conformational faults to some degree.

Cute pup.
My dog IS a champion, and he has (admittedly minor) confirmation faults! It definitely is just one of those things that happens. You are breeding for the standard, but that doesn't mean they're all going to hit it, absolutely exactly. Heck, most aren't.
 

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What a cute puppy! I've had Samoyeds for more years than I like to admit. Shows my age LOL. Looks like your puppy has a nice long tail which is great. Short tails has become a serious problem in the breed. If your puppy had a better tail carriage as a puppy, I would not be surprised if it improved. They say that what you see at eight weeks is what you will see after they go through their growth phases. I have seen tail sets that are a bit loose as a puppy improve as the puppy matures, but I have not seen one that got looser. But that is just my limited experience.

I have one right now with a tail carriage that is a bit loose. If she is wagging her tail it is up in the air and not touching her back. When she is alert but not wagging, it only goes maybe three inches down one side. She still managed to get her AKC Championship. Personally, I'd rather have a loose tail carriage with a long tail than a correct carriage but too short.

It really doesn't matter that much, as long as she has that wonderful happy playful Samoyed temperament. Even if it doesn't come back to the carriage she had as a puppy, it will look better once it's got that long hair on it.

Update: I just checked on my girl, and her tail only comes just barely past her back if you feel the end of the bone. Looks like it comes down the side more because of the long hair.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the information. Definitely makes me feel a lot better. When you say loose carriage, do you mean it does not touch her back when she puts the tail over her back?
 

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My girl's tail curls but not quite as much as I would like. If you feel where the bone ends, it reaches her back and maybe an inch or so down to the side. So it does touch her back but not by that much. Doesn't really bother me except when we are in a dog show. Then it's human nature to magnify all our dog's faults. Let's see, besides her less than optimal tail set: her nose is too long and pointy, wish she had more substance there. She's a bit narrow in the chest, plus she's also shallow in the chest. She's an inch over the top of the standard for females. She toes in just a bit with her front feet when moving. Luckily she also has a lot of good traits too. The thing is, no dog is perfect, even those show dogs. And at home, none of those things matter a bit.

And remember when you see all those pretty pictures of Samoyeds with the tail curved over and down their side, the last four or five inches of that tail is just hair. Which your girl is a little short on right now...
 
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