Why Do Pomeranians Have Curly Tails

Why Do Pomeranians Have Curly Tails (History, Health, And Purpose)

Pomeranians are known for their fluffy curly tails that rest on their backs like little pom-poms. Where did these curly tails come from and why do Pomeranians have curly tails?

Pomeranians originate from cold climates where they needed their fluffy fur and curly tails to help keep them warm. Many dogs from the Spitz category Pomeranians included have genetically inherited sickle-type tails that curl into a “C” and rest on their backs.

In this article, I dig deep into curly dog tails. Did you know there is more than one type of curly tail? I have included the types of curly tails, what dogs tails are made of, the purpose of a dog’s tail, and more, let’s get started.

What Causes A Dogs Tail To Curl Up

The type of tail that a dog has is based on the history and genetics of the dog’s breed. There are two types of curly tails the corkscrew found in dogs like Pugs, Bull Dogs, and Boston Terriers and sickle found in cold weather dogs like the Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamute, and Pomeranian.

Sickle tails are named after a tool that was used for cutting blades of grass or grain. A sickle tail has a semicircular shape. The tail usually rests softly on the dog’s back. This type of tail is used to help keep dogs’ faces and noses warm in cold temperatures. The “C’ shape helps retain body heat.

Sickle tails have less of a curl compared to corkscrew tails and are more flexible.

Over time the process of specialized dog breeding has made some genetics more prominent in each and every breed. There have been both positive and negative effects.

Dog’s with curly tails (specifically the corkscrew type) can have a congenital condition that causes the spine to be curled, called a hemivertebrae.

Why Do Pomeranians Tails Curl Up

Pomeranians belong to the Spitz category of dogs that have a long history as working dogs that originate from cold climates. These fluffy dogs have the genetic makeup that includes distinct curly sickle tails that have helped keep them warm.

Are Pomeranians Born With Curly Tails

Pomeranian puppies are born with straight tails. When a puppy is around three months in age its tail will start to curl into an upside-down “L”. Around four to five months in age, a Pomeranian’s tail will start to rest on its back. Once your puppy is around seven months old its tail will be fully developed into a double ring that curls onto their backs.

What Is The Purpose Of A Dogs Tail

What Are Dog’s Tails Made Of

A dog’s tail is sometimes confused as being made of cartilage when it is actually made from small bones. A dog’s tail is an extension of its spine and has 23 vertebrae that get smaller and smaller the closer you get to the tip of its tail.

A dog’s tail also has muscles that enclose the bones, nerves, and tendons. A dog’s tail is a lot more complex than many assume.

The bones, muscles, nerves, and tendons that all make up a dog’s tail work together to control movements like, wagging, curling, turning, lifting, and dropping.

What Is the Purpose Of A Dog’s Tail

A dog’s tail is used for balancing, communicating and movement.

Balance

A dog uses it’s tail to maintian it’s balance by putting it’s weight on the opposite side of the dogs tilt.

Communication

We are witness to our dog’s communication through their tails every day. Whether it’s a happy dog wagging its tail franticly or a scared dog with its tail tucked between its legs.

Dog’s tails offer an abundance of insight into exactly how our dogs are feeling.

Movement

Even though many dogs are living a life of companionship they were originally bred to work. A dog’s tail can help them move forward and shift directions in a smooth and swift manner.

If you’ve ever seen a dog running around you’ll notice they use their tails like rutters to propel them forward. The dog’s front legs will head in the direction that the dog wants to go while their back legs continue in the original direction. The tail will shift in the new direction. The shifting of the tail acts as a counterweight and helps your dog avoid a high-speed tumble.

Is It Normal For A Pomeranians Tail To Look Uneven

While your puppy is growing it is normal for the individual vertebrae to thicken at different times. The tail can feel bumpy and uneven during this time.

If you notice any bumps or abnormalities in your dog’s tail it’s best to visit your vet. Your vet may want to check your puppy’s calcium levels to make sure they are where they should be. Low or high calcium levels are unhealthy for your dog and can cause deformation of the vertebrae and other health issues.

It is common for dogs to have a slight “deformity” in the last vertebrae of their tails. Over time most puppies will outgrow the deformity.

Is It Normal For A Pomeranians Tail To Hang

It is not normal for a Pomeranian’s tail to hang. If your dog’s tail is hanging it may be a sign of a sprain or fracture or another health concern like blocked or infected anal glands. It’s best to contact your vet so your dog can get evaluated.

It is normal for dogs to tuck their tails in between their legs when they are scared. Dog’s will tuck their tails in to hide their anal glands. This is a natural reaction made by all canines when they are nervous or sense uncertainty. It is only temporary when your dog has relaxed and no longer feels scared or nervous their tails should return to their normal curled position.

What Causes A Dogs Tail To Curl Up

What Dog Breeds Have Curly Tails (16 Breeds)

Many dogs have cheerful curly tails.

  • Pug
  • Siberian Husky
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Samoyed
  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Keeshond
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Norweigan Buhund
  • Shiba Inu
  • German Spitz
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Basenji
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Swedish Lapphund

What Common Injuries Can Happen To A Dogs Tail

The most common tail injuries a dog can experience range from a simple cut to a broken tail. Here are some common tail injuries.

Lacerations

A laceration is a deep cut that goes down into the muscles, possibly exposing the bone. Some lacerations are self-inflicted wounds caused by biting or nervous behaviors. Lacerations may require sutures or could be vulnerable to infection. If your dog ever gets a laceration make sure to bring them to the vet for care.

Abrasions

Abrasions are not as severe as a laceration, an abrasion typically will affect only the skin. Make sure to clean any abrasion well and use antibiotic ointments and bandages. Be sure not to wrap the wound too tightly as it can cut off circulation. If the wound does not improve, doesn’t stop bleeding, or looks red seek veterinary care.

Happy Tail

It sounds like Happy Tail would be a good thing, your excited dog may actually injure itself as it expresses its happiness. Some dogs get very excited and often repeatedly bang their tails into hard surfaces (walls, furniture, trees) while wagging. The dog’s tail will often form ulcers that are not able to heal due to excessive wagging.

Over time nerve damage can occur in your dog’s tail causing pain. If you notice any raw spots on your tail it’s best to have a vet take a look at it.

Nerve Damage

Although the nerves in a dog’s tail are protected by vertebrae they can still be vulnerable to injury. If a tail is pulled too hard it can damage the nerved that are close to the base of the tail. These types of injuries can be very serious and cause damage to your dog’s urination and bowel functions.

If you notice that you dog can’t wag it’s tail or that it has gone limp seek veternaiary care.

Fractured Tail

Since your dog’s tail is made up of bones it can be fractured like any other bone. Tail fractures are usually caused by trauma including a tail being slammed in a door, being hit by a car, or a steep fall.

Tail fractures can range from a minor tail tip fracture to more serious breaks that also include nerve damage.

Limber Or Cold Tail

A limber tail is a painful muscle condition that is caused by overuse. The pain generally starts at the base of the tail. The tail is very sensitive to touch and can appear limp.

Are Their Any Health Concerns With Having A Curly Tail

Dogs with corkscrew tails like Pugs and English Bulldogs are more vunerable to health issues regarding their tails.

Hemivertebrae

The heridatary abnormality can be very serious and cause spinal cord compresion and paralysis.

Skin Irritations

Due to the tightly folded skin of a corkscrew tail, these dogs are more likely to experience dermatitis, yeast infections, and bacterial infections.

Why Are Some Dog’s Tails Docked

Working dogs often have their tails docked to help keep them safe around farm equipment for example. This is often done on dogs that work in the military as well.

The other reason for tail docking is purely for aesthetics. This is often done on breeds like Rottweilers, Dobermans, and Boxers. Most people who purchase one of these puppies are unaware of the reasons why the tail is docked and that they even have a choice If it’s docked or not.

The procedures to dock a puppy’s tail are painful and are done without anesthesia. Please do your research before choosing to dock a dog’s tail and evaluate if it is really necessary.

Can Dogs Feel Pain In Their Tails

Yes, dogs can feel pain in their tails. A dog has nerves that are enclosed inside the vertabrea of their tails.

Final Thoughts

You may never look at your dog’s tail the same. The more I’ve learned about dogs and their history the more interested and amazed I become.

These are amazing creatures that we share our homes with from the noses down to the tips of their tails.

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