Bulldog Tails – A Complete Breakdown

by Sonya | Last Updated:   March 16, 2021

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Bulldogs are known for their cute appearance and loveable personalities. They are naturally born with unique and special tails. These adorable dogs are genetically bred to have short, stumpy little tails. The unique stumpy tail in Bulldogs is due to genetics and breeding.

Each Bulldog is unique when it comes to its tail. Proper care and good hygiene can be a great way to keep your Bulldog’s tail healthy.

There are several things to understand about the Bulldog tails including types, possible health issues, tail docking, and much more. In this post, we will give you some facts about Bulldog tails and how to take care of them.

English Bulldog from the backside with its tail showing

Shapes of Bulldog Tails

Bulldog tails can come in a wide variety of types ranging from the short or curly type, to longer, straight, or wavy tail type.  

Here are some shapes of Bulldog tails.

Straight Tail

The shape of a newborn Bulldog puppy already starts to resemble what it will look like when it grows into an adult. A straight tail can look similar to the handle of a pump. It is usually soft to touch. The straight tail in Bulldogs is broad at the base and often tapers down to a triangle-shaped tip. 

According to the American Kennel Club, straight tails are considered desirable and most sought after. This tail type is most appealing for those who want to take their adorable Bulldog for shows.

Corkscrew Tail

Corkscrew tails are also quite common in Bulldogs. The corkscrew tails wrap downward from the base and they should not extend upward. This type of tail is flexible in nature. It has a slope downwards and gives an appearance as though it is wrapped. 

In newborn Bulldog pups, corkscrew tails look wrapped but are still flexible. As the Bulldog puppies grow, the corkscrew tail becomes more fixated and hard in the same position. It often looks like cinnamon rolls stuck on Bulldogs’ behinds. This tail style is often the most adorable.  

Long or Wavy Tails

The rarest tail type for a Bulldog is the wavy or long tail. According to the American Kennel Club, Bulldog tails that are long and wavy are considered faulty. If your Bulldog has a longer tail, it isn’t something to be concerned about unless you plan to join conformation shows.

Although this tail style in Bulldogs is often considered flawed, wavy tails can actually be healthier for a Bulldog. It is one of the healthiest for wagging purposes. This tail is the most natural and free-flowing.

Remember that the shape of Bulldog tails does not correlate with their amazing personality. These dogs are affectionate and make awesome companions.

Are Bulldogs Born With Tails?

Yes, all Bulldogs are born with tails that are usually short. The shape of the tail depends on the individuality of the dog itself. 

Due to its small size, it may not be visible right after birth. It is tightly tucked into the body and doesn’t spread out.

Can a Bulldog’s Tail Affect How They Sit and Play?

Yes, a bulldog’s tail can affect how they sit or play. The shape of the Bulldog’s tail at birth will determine if the Bulldog will suffer future problems with their daily activities later on in life.

If they get sore or inflammation in the tail area, it can affect the comfort of the dogs sitting down.

Tail issues can also affect their playtime. If the bulldog has a sore or inflammation due to infection of the tail, it can even make this area uncomfortable as well.

In cases when the tail is affecting their daily activities, tail docking is required. Sometimes, medication is also prescribed for these problems.

Tail Docking for Bulldogs

Tail docking is a medical procedure performed by a veterinarian without anesthesia. This procedure is performed to remove part of the dog’s tail. It can be painful for the dog. Most vets recommend docking to be performed early in the first weeks of a puppy’s life. 

Usually, a tail docking procedure is performed for medical reasons but can also be for cosmetic purposes. Historically, docking was used to enhance the strength and speed of certain dog breeds while preventing injuries to them when they performed dangerous tasks.

Today, tail docking for aesthetic purposes is considered illegal in some countries.

A bulldog’s tail naturally looks rather short and stubby. This is the reason why many people believe that a bulldog has a docked tail.

What are the PROS and CONS of docking a dogs tail?

Bulldogs can suffer from health problems concerning their tail. If the Bulldog’s curly tail hardens up as they age, it can become difficult to clean. This increases the risk of numerous infections and problems in their rump area. It can even cause sores and skin issues for Bulldogs.

If the Bulldogs suffer from health conditions throughout adulthood, your vet may recommend removing part or all of their tail. 

Tail docking will prevent these problems since this breed already tends to suffer from a lot of health problems.

Common Problems With Bulldog Tails 

The Bulldog with a short or curly tail can be prone to many health problems. Along with other health issues, a bulldog may experience problems related to the tail including tail pocket infections, hemivertebrae, and sunburn. Let’s have a look at them:

Tail Pocket Infection

You can notice a wrinkled area or something like a pocket below a Bulldog’s tail. This tail pocket has hidden skin in the form of a wrinkle and is difficult to keep clean. 

Dirt and bacteria can build up in the tail pocket causing an infection. A tail pocket infection is followed by red, swollen, and itchy skin as well as a bad odor. 

To avoid infection of the tail pocket, you must keep the tail pocket clean and dry. Remember that a Bulldog tail infection is painful that may require antibiotics and even surgery in severe cases.

Hemivertebrae

A Bulldog’s tail is often vulnerable to genetic issues. Screw tails often result in hemivertebrae, a condition that causes spine issues. It is a congenital condition and impacts the dog’s ability to function.

A Bulldog that suffers from hemivertebrae can show weakness in his hind limbs. It causes pressure on the spinal cord making walking difficult. It can also cause loss of function of Bulldog’s back legs and bladder. Hemivertebrae can only be prevented through responsible breeding. Bulldog dogs with severe pains need to go through surgery.

Sunburn

Bulldog tails have little fur and are a tender area. They are easily prone to sunburn. Sunburns are extremely uncomfortable and can also be harmful. Many Bulldog owners think that their fur buddies are even susceptible to skin cancer. 

The upside is sunburn can be prevented. You can take the following steps to avoid sunburn:

  • Avoid strong sun rays
  • Use some safe sunscreen options
  • Use a sun-protective shirt for protection against UV rays
  • When outside on sunny days, use shade such as pop-up tents, umbrellas, or anything else

Addressing issues related to the tail area of Bulldog can ensure that they are as happy as any Bulldog can be.

Caring For Bulldog Tails

Bulldog tails typically have tail pockets beneath their tail. Bulldog tails and the surrounding area must always be kept clean. Neglecting the tail and the rear end can cause health problems like redness, dry skin, inflammation, yeast or bacterial infections, and irritation.

From cleaning to soothing, here’s what you need to do:

  • Pay special attention to their tail pocket area. You must ensure that the dimpled area under your Bulldog’s tail is always clean. 
  • Wipe off all dirt and debris build-up from the tail pocket. You can lift your bulldog’s tail so you can reach the tail pocket indentation. WWipeoutdirt and debris using baby wipes or damp cloth. 
  • Now you can carefully dry the tail pocket. Leaving a damp tail pocket could turn it into a breeding ground for bacterial infections or yeast infections. You can dry the area with a soft absorbent tissue or towel.
  • Apply a soothing balm or spray to prevent irritation and infection. This will prevent infection and irritation while instantly relieving any dry skin or itchiness.

Keep your Bulldog’s tail healthy all the time! Always make sure the area is completely dry when you are finished cleaning.

If your Bulldog’s tail infection is bad enough or you notice an irritated skin or unusually foul smell coming from your Bulldog’s tail area, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet.  

Tail Removal In Bulldogs

The bulldog tail is the rear part of the spine itself. Remember that a Bulldog’s tail is only removed in the most extreme cases. Consider tail remover only if the vet recommends so. 

Tail amputation is a major surgery that involves the removal of the end portion of a Bulldog’s spine. This surgery also involves putting your Bulldog under anesthesia, which poses a lot of risks. 

Bulldog tail amputation is only recommended if a Bulldog experiences the following:

  • Bulldog’s tail interferes with his ability to go potty
  • Recurrent yeast and bacterial infections, sores, and inflammation in the tail area
  • Bulldog has an inverted tail that grows back into the rear
  • The Bulldog has a very deep tail pocket that is nearly impossible to clean and dry thoroughly.

Unfortunately, some Bulldog tails remain a problem even with regular cleaning. This causes prolonged pain and discomfort to affected Bulldogs.

Differences between French Bulldog and English Bulldog Tails

French bulldogs and English bulldogs are popular for their appearance and loveable personalities. Both these breeds have short tails.

Both the French and English Bulldog have a short corkscrew or curly tail. In English Bulldog, it is more common to see the shorter corkscrew type of tail. Frenchies are born with a short tail that’s either straight or screwed.

The French Bulldog can suffer from fewer health issues related to its tail. The English bulldog can suffer more health issues due to its curly, corkscrew tail.

Whatever your English or French Bulldog’s tail looks like, you should embrace it. It’s part of their body and personality.

Final thoughts

All dogs have tails that are as unique as the dogs themselves. The Bulldogs are truly unique dogs, right down to their tails! They can have varied tail types. 

There is no escaping the fact that all Bulldogs are simply adorable. Whatever is the shape of Bulldog’s tail, these delightful guys are fun-loving and affectionate that everyone will adore! 

Give your Bulldog a healthy and happy life full of endless tail wags! They just need plenty of love and time to thrive.

We hope this article helps you with taking good care of your Bulldog’s tail.

Happy petting!

Sonya is a software engineer by day and recently earned her MBA degree, but she also loves spending her free time writing about her favourite passion, dogs! Click here to read more.
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