Why Do Pugs Have Curly Tails? What You Should Know About Pug Tails

Pugs are known for their wrinkly faces, charming personalities, and those cute curly tails.

But why do Pugs have curly tails?

If you’ve been wondering what causes the Pug’s oh-so-cute curl, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll be talking you through everything you need to know about your Pug’s curl from why it’s there to what it means.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!


Why Do Pugs Have Curly Tails?

The curl in a Pugs tail is a skeletal feature. In fact, the curl is formed as a cartilage appendage of the spine. A wedge-shaped hemivertebrae causes that lovely curl.

Did you know that Pugs aren’t the only breed known for having a curly-whirly tail? Other breeds known for that characteristic curl include:

  • Chow Chow
  • Pomeranian
  • Keeshond
  • Akita
  • Samoyed
  • Norwegian Buhund
  • Shiba Inu
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Basenji

But how did these breeds get their curl in the first place?

In most cases, the curl can be traced back hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Humans have been selectively breeding canines for desired characteristics for generations. And a curly tail is one such characteristic.


Do All Pugs Have Curly Tails?

Most Pugs develop a curly tail soon after birth. The curl is the result of a deviation of the spine, resulting in that archetypal wedge-shaped hemivertebrae.

In some cases, breeding practices might result in a pup that doesn’t develop a curly tail. Often this is because two Pugs with loose tail curls are mated.

These pups could still be healthy and can be registered with the AKC, CKC, AND KC – they just won’t make it into the show ring.

Are Pugs Born With Curly Tails?

When a Pug puppy is born, its tail will usually appear straight. This is completely normal. That characteristic curl usually starts to show within the first few weeks.


What Makes The Perfect Pug Curl?

Each Pug is completely unique and not all Pug curls will look exactly the same. However, Pug breeders over the decades have classified characteristics to help define what makes for the perfect Pug curl.

The American Kennel Club (AKC), defines the perfect Pug curl as a tightly curled double curl over the hip.

Tail curls that a Pug could have are categorized three ways…

1. The double curl

Double curled tails consist of a tight curl (imagine a cinnamon swirl). This tight, spring-like, curl doesn’t straighten completely. This is a highly desirable trait for show dogs and many show breeders will try to cultivate this look through careful breeding. The classic double curl consists of one large, loose curl feeding into a second, tighter curl. The perfect double curl is very rare – and unless you’re planning to win an international competition then it’s not important at all. Your Pug will be just as healthy and happy with or without the ‘perfect’ tail curl.

2. The single curl

A single curled tail is the most common type of Pug tail. It consists of one natural curl that swirls up and over the back.

3. The weak set tail

A weak set tail is a tail that has one loose curl that falls gently onto the back. You will see some Pugs with weak set tails, they are bred by poor breeding practices, whilst your Pug won’t see success in the show-ring, these could still be happy, healthy Pugs that can be registered.


Why Do Pugs Tails Go Straight? What Should I Do?

Some Pugs may develop a loose tail and there are a number of reasons why this might occur.

In most cases, this is nothing to worry about. As long as your Pug’s tail doesn’t stay straight for a long period of time, this is completely normal.

Your Pug’s tail might lose its curl because…

1. They are being disciplined

When disciplining or scolding your Pug, you might notice that they uncurl their tail. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. The curl will return as normal soon after.

2. They are sleeping or feel relaxed

If your Pug is sleeping you might notice its tail uncurl. This is completely normal, your Pug is just in a state of deep relaxation.

3. They are communicating with you

Your Pug’s tail can reflect their mood. Your Pug can’t talk, but they can still communicate their feelings. If your Pug is nervous, tired, or sad, you may notice it reflected in its tail. As long as the curl returns, there’s nothing to worry about.

4. They are eating or concentrating

When your Pug is concentrating very hard on a task or enjoying a delicious meal, its tail may uncurl. Once again, as long as the curl returns afterward there’s usually nothing to worry about.

5. They are getting older

As your Pug starts to get older ‘straight-tail-syndrome’ is quite common. The muscles that used to keep their tail curled upwards lose some of their strength and firmness. It may also be a sign of arthritis, in which case it’s always best to check with your vet.

6. They are sick

Your Pugs’ tail may be broken or they have possessed a hemivertebrae at the tail. If you found the Pugs are not feeling so well while they lose the ability to get the tails curled back to normal, you should check with your vet asap.

When to be concerned?

In some cases, an uncurled tail may persist. If your Pug’s usually curly tail doesn’t return to normal, it’s best to visit your local veterinarian.

A persistently loose tail could be a sign of injury or sickness. If you notice your Pug chewing his or her tail, then you must flag this up with your vet.


Embrace The Curly Pug Tails!

So, there we have it. The Pug’s tail is oh-so curly by nature.

Pugs have been selectively bred over thousands of years to produce their token curl.

Whether your Pug has the perfect curl or not, it really doesn’t matter.

Just enjoy every moment with your furry friend.


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