What distinguishes Pugs from other dogs in the canine universe? Is it its smushy adorable face? Is it those irresistible big hazel eyes? Or is it its cute curled tail? Each and every one of these features screams “Pugs!” Although, as far as the flat face and bug peepers are concerned, those are common among all brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Boxers, Pekinese, and a few others. However, a curled tail is quite a rare canine feature few dog species can boast, including our fluffy flat-faced pal. Yet, there might be some instances when a Pug’s tail is uncurled. So an owner might ask himself: “Why Is My Pug’s Tail Straight?” Before you rush to call your local vet, read on! Some of those reasons are not as scary as you might think.
But before we discuss the reasons for uncurling, we need to understand why a Pug’s tail forms a swirl in the first place.
When Do Pugs’ Tails Curl?
Compared to other canine counterparts, Pugs have a very pronounced spinal deviation, causing that peculiar tail curl. Most mutts have symmetrical tail bones, resulting in a straight as a railway tail. Not Pugs! These have an asymmetrical bone structure, where bone columns are shaped like a prism, very wedge-like. As a result, by the time a Pug is just two weeks old, you will notice that “cinnamon bun” curl starting to develop. In some instances, it might take your adorable pup to be delayed in tail-curling. Nevertheless, by the age of 2-2.5 months, all pancake-faced have the distinctively-shaped tail that they are known and loved for.
However, there are some instances when you notice that your pup’s tail shape changes and you may be asking yourself: “Why is my Pug’s tail straight?” Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.
Why Is My Pug’s Tail Straight?
- A Dog Is in a Puppy Stage Or, on the Contrary, Getting Old: as we briefly mentioned above, when a Pug pup is very young, it might not curl its tail for a while. It is still learning the motor skills it needs to survive, therefore tail-curling sometimes comes later. Again, don’t panic, wait until a fluffy companion is at least 2 months old. In case you don’t see a curl by then, I would contact a vet and get some answers. The same is true about senior Pugs: as they age, all the muscles are slowly losing their elasticity, becoming weaker. That’s why you might see your oldie uncurling its tail more often. This is just age-related, there’s nothing you can do. Except for maybe making sure your pooch is well taken care of and comes in for its yearly check-ups.
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- A Fur Baby Is in Trouble: the first most common reason why your flat-faced pal’s tail is straight and is in between its legs is the fact that he has done something wrong and he knows it. Especially when you start reprimanding your mischievous buddy, your tone of voice changes. A Pug instantly picks up on that, knowing that this is not a situation it wants to be in. As soon as a mommy/daddy is not mad anymore, you will see that tightly curled tail again.
- Your Pug Doesn’t Feel Good: that could be an alarming sign, requiring a pet parent’s immediate attention. It could be anything, therefore don’t try to diagnose your four-legged friend yourself. It is best to contact your veterinary specialist immediately after you started noting the consistent change in a tail’s shape. He/she will run all the necessary tests to determine the cause of the issue.
- It Is Asleep and Relaxed: usually, an owner might notice his/her Pug straightens out its tail while catching some zzz’s. It is a completely normal occurrence and you shouldn’t worry if you see that happening. The reason is that your pal is completely relaxed while playing with that neighborhood dog in its dream. Hence all its muscles are resting, including the tail ones.
- Its Tail Is Injured: a very common occurrence in households with small children. Sometimes when a two-legged is playing with his/her four-legged sibling, the former might intentionally or unintentionally pull on the latter’s tail. If you have young kids in your household, please supervise them at play with your other baby…that has fur. Children must be taught that dogs are not toys, and they have to be gentle with them.
- Excessive Swimming: got a flat-faced swimmer in the house? Then it is almost a guarantee its tail is going to be straight as water has this effect on it. It is often called a “swimmer’s tail” phenomenon. Pooches need them to stay balanced in the water and not drown. This causes over exhaustion on a hard-working tailbone and a hound straightens in an attempt to relax. Any cold water swimming? Then it is a given your mutt’s tail is going to uncurl.
- Cold Weather: that’s another valid reason for the tail-straightening occurrence. Normally, it goes hand-in-hand with the above-mentioned excessive swimming episodes. Your dog gets out of the water, gets really cold and almost immediately its tail becomes limber. Scientists have been arguing for a while about why this happens. However, they still don’t know the exact reason. Most likely it has something to do with the blood flow restriction to the tail muscles, thus making it stiffer.
- Overwhelming Physical Activity: any dog owner knows what it’s like when his/her pup is running around like a mad dog if brought to a doggie park. It is especially relevant in cases with young puppies. They are getting so much exercise that their tail feels like it’s ready to fall off. Yep, crazy tail-wagging would do that to any respectable pup. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you see an exhausted hound ready to pass out in the back of the car with a limp, lifeless tailbone. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about: your Pug’s tail is down because it just needs a little rest. You will see happy wagging again very soon!
Why is my Pug’s tail straight? I hope that you got the answer to your question and found the information covered very useful. Unless your Pug is tired, sleeping, or just simply getting old, a reason for a limp tail might be serious. If you have noticed that your best friend stopped tail-wagging for good and it has been like this for quite a while, it is time to pay your trusted vet a visit. If the reason is serious enough, you want to know it sooner rather than later to take the necessary steps towards a fluffy companion’s recovery.
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Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.