Why are pugs tails curly? The Best Detailed Tale

Why are pugs tail curly? Well, a lot of pug owners get puzzled by this question, especially if it’s their first puppy pug.why are pugs tails curly

To answer your question, the pug’s curly tail is caused by spinal deviation. The spinal bones also called vertebrae or hemivertebrae are wedged-shaped which allows the tail to easily curl since the tail comprises both bones and cartilage.

Almost all pugs have a curly tail which is among the top features that stand in this breed. Here is a brief history of pugs to give you a better understanding of their origin.

In this article, we are going to discuss more on why the curly tail on pugs.

So, let’s jump right into it.

Read Also: Pug Dog Colors

Why are pugs tails curly?

A Pug is a lovely small pooch that has maintained its popularity since 400 century BCE. However, the 21st Century pug has a few different features compared to the predecessor generation breeds. But among the common things that most pure breed pugs have retained is their cute curly tail.

The newborn puppies hardly have the curly tail and they tend to naturally take the twisted shape within the first few weeks. This curly shape is a result of cartilage attachment to the spine. Since the vertebrae are wedged-shaped, they naturally make the tail to curl.

It is important to note that the curly shape is dominant for the pure breed pugs and is certified by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). They both approve of a tightly curled tail with a double twist over the hip.

You’ll be surprised that a pug’s curl tail communicates a lot about their feeling apart from just giving them a perfect cute physical look.

Since their tail is connected to the spine, NEVER try to pull their tail to avoid causing any harm.

Do All Pugs Have Curly Tails?

The majority of the current pugs will have a curly tail. As discussed above, the twisted tail is connected to the spine and shouldn’t be pulled. However, there are some pugs whose tail won’t remain curled every time and this is due to the following reasons.

Taking a Nap

When pugs are asleep, the muscles around the tail tend to relax hence the tail will loosen and straighten. I always saw this happen to buddha since she was a puppy.


Just like humans, animals do age as time goes on and health complication starts to crawls in as well. Pug owners are not exempted. Expect a good healthy life for your little furry friend until the last years of his/her life. That’s when they’ll start developing health complications and struggling to move around the house.

When old age kicks in their muscles become loose and cannot maintain the curliness. At the moment, Buddha’s has started experiencing “straight-tail-syndrome” as she’s entering her senior age.

After doing my due diligence, I found out that when this is happening to pugs, sometimes it’s because of arthritis. At this level, I always advisable to talk to your vet for further checkup. Also, ensure you have comprehensive insurance for your pug as you’ll expect tons of health issues at old age.

Pug’s Attitude

Your Pug will use its tail as one means through which he/she communicates. The dog will have some similar traits that humans experience such as sadness, exhaustion, tenseness, guilt, and so on. So, when their tail is straight then he/she is expressing a certain feeling which we’ll discuss later here.

When Disciplining Your Pug

Whenever I discipline Buddha, she uncurls the tail between her legs. She was very naughty when she was around 2years so I had to discipline her. It immensely improved her traits. I mean she’s not naughty as before.

But pugs just like other pooches are mischievous and will like to get naughty and see if they’ll not get caught. But if you happen to get them on the act, their tail will uncurl and mostly hang between their legs.

This is very normal and there’s nothing to get worried about.

Eating or Concentrating

Expect your pug’s tail to straighten when she is enjoying his/her meal or chewing a favorite toy. Activities that cause pugs to concentrate will eventually result in their tail uncurling. Chewing toys are meant to keep pugs occupied and reduce puppies’ hyperactivities. Check out the best chew toy for your pug.

Here is an article I did on pug puppies hyperactivates and ways to manage it.

When they are done enjoying their food the tail will curl back to its usual position.

When to Expect Pug Puppies Tail to Curl

Pug puppy’s tail tends to naturally curl in the first several weeks after they are born. However, don’t get lured to thinking they are born with a curly tail. No, they don’t.

In fact, most pups will start to wiggle their tails when they crawl around 7 weeks old. So, expect your furry puppy to have a curly tail when he/she clocks 2 months and above.

Which Direction Should Pugs Tail Curl

This is a common question that most vets get from pug owners. The truth is, it doesn’t matter which way your pug’s tail will curl as long as they remain twisted during most of the day. Buddha is unique and had a double curl when she was a puppy and didn’t have any health issues.

But when your pug uncurls his/her tail throughout the day then that’s an indication there’s something wrong with his/her health. Always take close attention to what your little furry friend is trying to communicate to you.

Types of Pug’s Curls

Pugs will either have a “single curl” or “double curl” tail. However, the majority of the pugs you’ll see are single-curled and only 25% will have a double curl tail.

Single Curl- Most of the pugs you’ll see will have a single curl. This type of curl is considered to be the most common. It’s simply a single curl that turns over the back of the pug.

Double Curl- Pugs with double curls will have a tightly twisted tail that barely straightens in an entire day. Such curls are seen in other purely breed dogs.

The type of tail curl shouldn’t limit you to the type of pug you’ll pick suppose you want to introduce a new dog to your family. The important thing is to note is ensuring the tail remains curled most of the time throughout the day.

What Does That Curl Communicate?

Pugs just like other dogs will thrive to use their tails as a way they communicate to you. A few can be spotted swatting a little or sometimes winning their tails. Normally, an exited pug will have a perfectly twisted tail that makes some small stern swaging moves frequently.

Does a Limp Tail Tell Anything?

The straight limp traits are dominant in senior pugs because their muscle is no longer strong enough to keep the tail curled. Old pugs will have straight tails and at times fail to wag them.

However, if you notice the tail is completely hanging down then there is something wrong with our dog and a vet visit will come in handy.

Puppies hardly get a limp and should it occur then your pug appetite will deteriorate. The condition is referred to as limp tail. It appears when your puppy is injured around the tailbone.

To diagnose this, vets usually do an X-ray before prescribing any further treatments. The common treatments will include anti-inflammatory meds, pain meds, and enough rest for your dog.

Read Also: Can Pugs’ Eyes Pop Out

Wrapping Up

Pugs have different traits ranging from playful, sociable, charming, friendly and the list goes on. They are great family dogs if treated and trained well and can get naughty and snoopy when ignored.

Also, they have an appealing body statue starting with their famous curly tail. The curly tail shouldn’t be pulled to avoid harming the pug. This is discussed earlier in this article.

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