Why Do Bulldogs Have Curly Tails?

Do you know why Bulldogs have curly tails? It’s not just for show – there is a reason why this breed curls its tails up.

 So, why do Bulldogs have curly tails? Bulldogs have curly tails because of their genetics. It’s common for Bulldogs to be born with curly tails, which are flexible when they’re puppies and can be curled up. However,  when Bulldogs become adults, their tails will be fixed and harder to move.

Keep reading to explore the significance of the Bulldog’s curly tail and what it means when they curl it up. We will also discuss some myths and legends surrounding this unique trait.

Why Do Bulldogs Have Curly Tails?

a photo of a bulldog from behind to show why bulldogs have curly tails

Bulldogs have different tail shapes ranging from straight to curly. They have curly tails because of their genetics and breeding.

In the past, they were used for bull-baiting sports where people would bet on how long a dog could keep fighting while being mauled by a bull. They were bred to have powerful jaws and short curly tails so that the bull’s horns couldn’t easily grab them.

Nowadays, Bulldogs are bred to be family dogs with adorable features, so many people believe that the curl in a Bulldog’s tail is just for show.

Curly tails are desirable in dogs; that’s why breeders make sure that generations of Bulldogs will inherit curly tails from their ancestors.

What Does It Mean When A Bulldog Curls Its Tail?

Despite popular belief, the curl of a bulldog’s tail is actually significant and not just for show.

A curled tail means that the dog feels happy and content, whereas an uncurled tail could mean they are feeling anxious or scared.

This can be seen in many other animals too. For example, a kangaroo will have its tail curled up when it feels safe and secure.

Bulldogs are also more likely to curl their tail when they’re lying down which shows, which means they’re feeling relaxed.

What Does It Mean When A Bulldog Tucks Its Tail Down?

When a bulldog tucks its tail down, it’s actually an attempt to make itself look smaller and less threatening.

This can be seen in other animals too. For example, when lions feel threatened by another lion, they will crouch down and tuck their tails in to make themselves look smaller.

What Other Tail Shapes Do Bulldogs Have?

There are different tail shapes that you can see on your Bulldog, but the most common ones are:

  • Straight – A straight tail is just as the name suggests. It’s stiff and pointy, with no curl or bends in it at all.
  • Curly – This is when there is some degree of curl to the tail, but it’s not as tight as a corkscrew.
  • Corkscrew – This is when the tail is so tightly curled that it looks like a corkscrew.
  • Bobbed – A bobbed tail is one where the dog has been born without a tailor when it has its tail surgically removed.

The tail shape your Bulldog has will depend on its genetics. No matter what the shape is, all Bulldogs’ tails are unique and special in their own way!

Are Normally Bulldogs Born With Tails?

Yes, Bulldogs are normally born with tails. The shape of the tail will depend on their genetics, but all puppies will be born with some degree of curl to their tails.

As they get older, their tail might stay curly, or it might become more fixed – it depends on the kind of tail they have.

Sometimes Bulldogs are born without tails due to a genetic problem. They might also lose their tail in an accident or get them surgically removed for cosmetic reasons.

You can learn more about whether Bulldogs are born with tails here.

Can A Bulldog’s Tail Affect How They Sit?

Yes, a Bulldog’s tail can actually affect how they sit.

When a bulldog curls their tail up, it makes them look smaller and less threatening. This is why you might see them sitting this way when they are feeling anxious or scared.

On the other hand, if a bulldog has an uncurled tail, it means they are feeling more confident and relaxed. This can be seen when they are sitting at home or out on a walk.

What Tail Related Problems Are Bulldogs Prone To Have?

Bulldogs are generally prone to a number of health issues, including breathing problems and hip dysplasia. 

So, it is important that you keep your Bulldog’s vaccinations up to date and take them for regular checkups to keep them healthy and reduce the chances of them developing any health problems.

They are also prone to certain problems related to their tails, such as:

  • Hemivertebrae
  • Tail Pocket Infection
  • Sunburn

Let’s discuss these problems in more detail.


The tails of Bulldogs are frequently prone to genetic problems. Hemivertebrae, a sickness that causes spine problems, can often be found in screwed tails.

It is an inherited condition that affects a dog’s ability to function.

A Bulldog with hemivertebrae may have weakness in his hind legs.

The sudden sitting may also cause pressure on the spinal cord, making walking difficult. It can also lead to loss of function in the Bulldog’s back legs and bladder.

The only way to avoid hemivertebrae is through careful breeding. Surgery is required for bulldogs that are suffering from severe discomfort.

Tail Pocket Infection

You will notice that your Bulldog has a wrinkled region or a pocket beneath its tail. The problem here is that this area is very difficult to keep clean.

Bacteria and dander can accumulate in the tail pocket area, causing an infection. A tail pocket infection is accompanied by red, swollen, and itchy skin as well as a foul odor.

You must clean and dry the tail pocket to avoid infection. Keep in mind that a Bulldog tail infection can be extremely painful and may need medication or even surgery in severe cases.


The fur on a bulldog’s tail is delicate. They are especially vulnerable to sunburn.

Sunburns are highly unpleasant and may be dangerous. Many Bulldog owners believe their Bulldogs are at risk of skin cancer.

The good news is that sunburn can be prevented. To avoid sunburn, follow these precautions:

  1. Avoid any direct contact with the sun
  2. Use some high-quality sunscreen
  3. Use shade such as pop-up tents, umbrellas, or anything else to protect yourself from the sun on sunny days.
  4. Use a sun-protective shirt to avoid UV exposure.

Bulldogs are vulnerable to the sun, and the heat and UV rays can seriously harm your bulldog. You can check out this guide to why your Bulldog has hives to learn more about the skin problems your bulldog can have as a result of exposure to the sun and its heat.

Another issue that can be triggered in Bulldogs by the UV rays is hair loss, and you can check out this guide to hair loss in Bulldogs to learn about why it happens and how to prevent it.

If you liked this article, you could share it with your friends and family, and if you ever have a question about your dog, don’t doubt your feeling for a second and contact us 😀

Related Questions

Why Does My Bulldog’s Tail Smell?

Your Bulldog’s tail may smell because it’s infected. You can tell there’s an infection if there is redness in that area, and your dog will be itching excessively. The bad odor might also be caused by the presence of wrinkles underneath the tail, so you should always clean the tail and keep it dry.

It may also not be your Tail, but your whole bulldog. Learn why bulldogs stink and what to do about it here.

Can Bulldogs Wag Their Tails?

Bulldogs cannot fully wag their tails because their tails are short and not that flexible. They can only curl them slightly or move them just a little bit. If you notice that your dog is trying to wag its tail, it might be an indication of a problem with the spine.

Helpful Resources

Common Bulldog Health Problems

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