A wagging tail is one of the most common signs of a happy dog, but did you know that some breeds of dogs are born without them? Tail docking, where the tails of puppies are cute to achieve the desired length, was a fairly common practice throughout the dog world until it was banned in several countries due to its often painful procedure.
However, several dog breeds are naturally born with very short tails or no tails at all. This trait is a result of a mutation of the T-box gene known as C189G. Here is the full list of dogs born without tails:
- Australian Shepherd
- Austrian Pinscher
- Australian Cattle Dog (Stumpy Tail)
- Bourbonnais Pointer
- Brazilian Terrier
- Brittany Spaniel
- Croatian Sheepdog
- Danish/Swedish Farmdog
- Jack Russel Terrier
- Karelian Bear Dog
- Polish Lowland Sheepdog
- Pyrenean Shepherd
- Savoy Sheepdog
- Spanish Waterdog
- Swedish Vallhund
- Boston Terrier
- English Bulldog
- King Charles Spaniel
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Parson Russel Terrier
We will not go into details for some of the most popular dog breeds with short tails!
1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
There are two different types of corgis: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Although the two types are very similar in appearance, one trait that sets the Pembroke Welsh Corgi apart is its naturally short tail. This trait was originally achieved through the process of tail docking, but as many professionals in the dog world now view this process as painful and harmful to the dogs, it is now achieved through the selective breeding of Corgis with the specific T-gene mutation.
Although banned in certain countries, tail docking is still legal in the United States, with only some states placing restrictions on the procedure. Because this process is painful for the dog and usually unnecessary, you should consider only buying dogs of this breed that have undocked tails or dogs that were selectively bred to have no tail.
2. Croatian Sheepdog
Like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Croatian Sheepdog traditionally obtained its short tail through the process of tail docking. This process has since been banned in Croatia. However, some breeders turned to selective breeding to produce puppies that were born without tails. This selective breeding has resulted in most dogs of this breed being born either with no tails or very short stubby tails.
3. Brittany Spaniel
The Brittany Spaniel is a sporting dog most commonly used as a gun dog for hunting. These dogs have been selectively bred to have short tails, which is seen as advantageous in the hunting field. The idea is that dogs with short tails won’t become stuck in bushes or underbrush.
A dog with a short tail is also less likely to be injured as its tail won’t be stuck on thorns or being trampled on. Many Brittany Spaniels have short tails, but some dogs are born without a tail at all. This is due to a mutation in the T-box gene.
4. Brazilian Terrier
The Brazilian Terrier is one of the two native dogs of Brazil. While it is a popular dog in its home country, it is very rare and mostly unknown by people outside of Brazil. This is likely because this breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or UK Kennel Club.
While the tail of these dogs is not always consistent in its length, the breed standard states that the dogs should have a docked tail. Because tail docking for purely cosmetic purposes is banned in Brazil, breeders must utilize selective breeding to produce short-tailed puppies. This is generally why the Brazilian Terrier is a dog without a tail.
5. Braque du Bourbonnais
The Braque du Bourbonnais is an ancient pointing dog that originated in France. After World War II, the breed lost its popularity, and breeders began selecting dogs for their cosmetic appeal rather than their hunting instincts. It was during this time that dogs of this breed began being born with short tails.
A man named Michel Comte went to France in the 1970s to find a true Braque du Bourbonnais but could not find any that had pure bloodlines. Finding no purebreds, Michel Comte inbred some of the “purest” dogs until he produced a pure litter and then registered the breed with the American Kennel Club in 1973.
The Braque du Bourbonnais today typically has a short tail or no tail at all, due most likely to the selective breeding done after World War II.
Short Tails vs. Tail Docking
Some dog breeds such as the Boxer and the Rotweiller are typically sold with short tails. These dog breeds, however, are not naturally born with short tails. The breeders dock their tails at a young age which causes them to be shorter. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid buying puppies of these breeds that have docked tails, as this process is not only painful for the dogs but can also cause permanent nerve damage, especially if the docking is performed on the dog at a very young age.
Despite tail docking being a controversial process, the American Kennel Club (AKC) remains firm on its standards for breeds such as the Rottweiler to have docked tails. Many dog activists and professionals have petitioned the American Kennel Club to change the breed standards to no longer include docked tails as a requirement.
Caring for Dogs With Short or No Tails
Dogs born without tails or with very short tails are typically just as healthy and happy as any other dog. There is really no special care needed for these tailless puppies. In fact, a dog without a tail may even be easier to care for than one with a long tail, as owners don’t need to worry about their dog’s tail getting caught on anything or about the fur on the tail becoming tangled or matted.
One issue owners of tailless or short-tailed dogs may face is reading their dog’s body language. Dogs use their tails to communicate with humans and other dogs. A loose, low wagging tail, for instance, means a dog is happy. A dog also uses its tail to communicate fear by tucking it underneath its body.
Also, while a wagging tail usually signals a dog is happy, it can also be a sign that a dog feels uncomfortable or even preparing to attack. When a dog wags its tail, it will wag in a loose sweep with the tail in a low position. Conversely, if a dog is displaying dominant behavior, it will often hold its tail high in a still position or with just the tip of the tail wagging back and forth.
Without this communication method, dogs born without tails may have difficulty being understood by both humans and other dogs. Because of this, owners of tailless or short-tailed dogs must take extra care to recognize their dogs’ body language by looking at other features of their body such as their eyes, ears, and overall body position.
Conclusion for Dogs Born Without Tails
We have given practically every dog breed born without tails. If you’re looking for a dog that naturally has a short tail, you should choose one from this list. Most of the time, short tails began through the tail docking process, but since many countries have banned this practice, it is now primarily achieved through selective breeding. A breeder can tell ahead of time whether or not their puppies will have tails through genetic testing.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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