Why Do Pugs Have Curly Tails A Look At The Famous Curl

Why do Pugs have curly tails? This was a question that I asked myself after we had already got Mindy our black Pug. Her tail was extremely curly during her early years, then as she became a senior, the curl wasn’t that noticeable.

Why Do Pugs Have Curly Tails What You Need to Know

After doing some due diligence, I realized that the curl comes from the bone because it is a cartilage appendage of the spine. The wedge-shaped vertebrae also are known hemivertebrae causes the tail to curl.

Their signature curl is what makes these breeds so popular. In fact, almost all pugs have curly tails.

why do pugs have curly tails

If you want to read up on the history of this breed, then here’s a great site for you.

You never want to pull on their tail, because it is a part of their spine and it could cause them damage.

I personally think this is what adds to the cuteness of the Pug. Believe it or not, your Pugs tail will give you signals of how they are feeling.

Let’s take a look at some of these and I’ll also share some things that I learned from Mindy my black Pug. Plus we’ll take a look at some small dog breeds with curly tails.

When Do Pug Puppies Tails Curl?

A Puppy will usually develop their natural curl(s) within the first few weeks of being born. Regardless of what you think, they are not born with curly tails.

Puppies are known to start wagging their tails when they are around 7 weeks old. This means that when your pup is 2 months or older, they should have a curled tail, otherwise you may need to take him/her to the vet.

Do All Pugs Have Curly Tails?

Most of the Pugs that you see will have curly tails. This trait comes from hundreds of years of selective breeding and it is an extension of the spine. There are some Pugs that have a loose or limp tail. There are a few reasons that your Pug’s tail is down.

  • Your Pug is not feeling well or experiencing some health problems.
  • As your Pug ages, their tail will not be as curly as it was when they were younger. (we experienced this with Mindy.)
  • Young puppies are known to uncurl their tail a lot. As they age, their tail will tighten up and stay curled more often.
  • Your dog may have an injury to their tail.

Poor breeding practices. Some breeders will try very hard to achieve the “double curl” because they know people look for that in Pugs. However, if two Pugs with loose tails are mated, it can produce a litter of puppies that have little curling.

They may still be able to be registered as, but they won’t have that classic look that is considered a show ring dog. Only 25% of CKC, AKC, and KC pugs that are registered possess the popular double swirled tail

Which Way Should The Tail Curl?

Maybe you’ve asked your vet if your dog’s tail should curl a specific way? Mindy’s tail always curled towards her body, and she had a very curly tail when she was younger. She was the typical “single curl” Pug.

As long as Fido’s tail stays curled throughout the day, then they are fine. Their tails may uncurl when they are sleeping because their bodies become so relaxed. If you notice that they are uncurling their tails throughout the day, you’ll need to start paying attention to what they are communicating with you.

The Types of Curls

Most Pugs will have the typical “single curl” and only 25% will have the “double curl.” The tightly curled tails are the most desirable ones and these are known as the double curls.

If you are just getting a dog to be a member of your family, it really doesn’t matter if they have an arched tail, cinnamon swirl or a double loop. As long as their tail stays curly a large percentage of the time, that’s all you need to know as a Pug parent.

However, in case you want to know, here is what each curl will look like and what it represents.

Pug double curl Tail: Your Pug tails curl will have a really tight curl that looks like a cinnamon roll. This type of curl rarely ever straightens completely, even when your Pug is sleeping.

These are the types of curls that are common among show dogs and occur with careful breeding practices.

Single Curled Tail: This is the most common Pug curl and it has just one natural curl that swirls over the back with one swift loop.

My Pugs Tail Has Gone Straight What Does It Mean?

As I mentioned above, there are several reasons that your dog’s tail has lost its curl. Most of the times, there is no reason to be concerned with it. As long as the tail doesn’t stay straight for long periods of times.

Let me share some reasons that Mindy’s tail would go straight and you may be experiencing those things with your pooch.

Being Disciplined

It’s normal to see your Pug’s tail uncurl if they are being disciplined. Mindy’s tail would uncurl between her legs if she knew she was doing something she shouldn’t be doing and we were scolding her.

It didn’t happen very often as Mindy didn’t have a lot of behavior problems. However, just like kids, they like to test the waters sometimes to see what they can get away with.

Maybe you caught your dog pooping on the floor and they know they shouldn’t have done that? If so, you’ll notice that their tail will straighten and hang between their legs.

That’s totally normal and you don’t have to worry about it.


Mindy’s tail would always uncurl during sleep. This is totally normal as the muscles around the tail relax while they are sleeping.


Your pooch can’t communicate with your directly, so they use their tail as their communication method. Just like humans, dogs can feel nervousness, sadness, tiredness, guilt and etc. If their tail is down, it could be that they are feeling any of these expressions.

As an owner, there’s no reason to become alarmed and rush them to the vet. Unless it persists for a few days.

Eating or Concentrating

One of the things we noticed was that Mindy’s tail would usually uncurl when she was eating her food or chewing one of her toys. She loved chewing her Kong Toys and they would keep her busy for hours.

It’s not uncommon for your dog’s tail to uncurl when they are doing certain activities that cause them to concentrate.

Their tails will usually go back to the curled state after they are done with those activities.


One of the worst things about being a pet owner is that your dog will eventually age and with that age comes health issues. Mindy was healthy her whole life, it wasn’t until the last year in her life, that she started developing tons of problems.

It was sad to see her struggle to get around the house. Unfortunately, this is something that every pet owner will face over time.

Senior Pugs are prone to the “straight-tail syndrome,” because they lose the firmness of the muscles to keep their tails curled.

Mindy’s tail was not as curly as it used to be when she was younger. If you’re experiencing this with your senior dog, it could be a symptom of arthritis. You may want to contact your local vet to schedule an appointment with them.

As your dog becomes older, it’s always a good thing to have some type of Pug insurance so you can provide them with the proper care.

This Pug pet insurance will help cut down on your vet costs and will ensure that you can take them for their regular checkups.

Injury or Sickness

A “limp” tail without a curl could mean that they are not feeling well or could be sick. The muscles around the tail tend to lose their ability to contract to produce the curl. An injury can also cause your Pug to chew her tail until it bleeds.

Straight limp tails are also extremely common in older Pugs. As your Pug ages, they lose their muscle tenacity to keep their tails curled.

Should You Contact Your Vet?

Most of the times, the uncurling issue is not a big deal, as long as it returns to the natural curl state. If it does persist, it’s best to contact your vet because your dog could be suffering from some type of issue that is causing them discomfort.

I know that unexpected vet bills can be expensive. That’s why I personally think every pet owner should have pet insurance to cover those costs. It was something that I neglected to have for Mindy and I always say that if we get another dog, we’ll get insurance for them.

9 Dog Breeds With Curly Tails

Pugs are not the breed with curly tails. In fact, here are just a few of other dogs with curly tails.

  1. Basenji
  2. Finnish Spitz
  3. Shiba Inu
  4. Norwegian Buhund
  5. Samoyed
  6. Pomeranian
  7. Akita
  8. Chow Chow
  9. Keeshond

Each are unique and have their own personal characteristics. Most of the time, a canines tail can be traced back to carefully specialized breeding that has been ongoing for several generations.

Related Questions Regarding The Pug Tail Curl

What does it mean when a pug uncurls it’s tail? A straight Pug tail could mean your dog is relaxed. However, a “limp” tail could mean that your dog is not feeling well.

Why do pugs tails uncurl when they sleep? When your Pug is sleeping, the muscles around their tail relax and this causes them to lose the adorable Pug dog tail with curls.

When do pugs tails start to curl? A Pug puppy will start developing the popular Pug curly tail until they are about four weeks old. They can usually start wagging their tail at about 7 weeks old.

The tail will curl on it’s own, without any interaction from you.

Are pugs born with curly tails? Regardless of what you think, a Pugs tail is usually straight when they are born.

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