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Are English Bulldogs Born With Tails?

Several breed standards for dogs require shortened or cropped tails.  While this is the norm in many standards, recent regulation and restriction has altered people’s opinions on tail docking.

Several countries have begun to outlaw tail docking and tail cropping practices for cosmetic reasons, forcing owners to reconsider the overall look of certain dog breeds.

The English Bulldog however, with its stout and stubby tail, is born with a shortened tail, never requiring a dock or crop.

So, do English Bulldogs have tails when they’re born? Yes, they do.

While this certainly raises some eyebrows, especially in countries that prohibit tail docking, this is perfectly natural and normal for this type of dog breed, contributing to its overall charm and popularity throughout the world.

Are Their Tails Docked or Cropped?

When it comes to tail docking or cropping the general answer when it comes to English Bulldogs is, “No”, the English Bulldog does not have his tail cropped or docked.

Most English Bulldogs are bred to have naturally short and stubby tails, or tails that curl back onto themselves.  This is a natural trait of the dog that has been bred for centuries to achieve this characteristic which is healthy and safe for the dog.

Tail docking and cropping for cosmetic purposes is a controversial practice that is now banned in several different countries around the world.

The practice of docking or cropping a tail can be done for cosmetic or medical purposes. In the procedure the majority of the tail is cut off and removed, leaving only a small stub of a tail close to the rump of the dog.

Not only is this an unnecessary procedure for cosmetic purposes, but it is incredibly painful for the dog.  Further, it requires an unnecessary surgery which is compromising your dog’s health and putting your dog at risk.

Tail docking procedures and recovery can be incredibly stressful for your dog, and in almost all cases certainly not worth the risk and possible health complications this procedure can cause.

That being said, sometimes tail docking in English Bulldogs is necessary for medical purposes.  One of the more common tail types in English Bulldogs is a corkscrew tail.

In this type, the tail curls back onto itself, often forming a tight bun shape at the rear of the dog.  While as a puppy and young dog the bones in the tail are still very flexible and malleable, the bone structure of the tail will change as the dog ages.

With age, the tail bun shape of the dog can get incredibly tight, folding back onto itself in a rigid mass.  Not only can this be uncomfortable for the dog, but it can cause a slew of medical problems later in life.

If a dog’s tail is too tightly bound it can lead to skin irritations, infections, and can create sores making it very uncomfortable for the dog.  In these cases, it makes sense to dock or crop the tail in order to make the dog more comfortable.

Are English Bulldogs Born Without Tails?

Technically, every dog is born with a tail, although some tails are incredibly short.  Tails in a sense are just an extension of the vertebra in the spine, extending past the main body.

Tails help to give a dog balance, and of course, let us know when they are happy or afraid.

Just like other dogs, English Bulldogs are born with tails, albeit very short tails.  This is due to the nature of the animal, and the breed itself.

After years of selective breeding to highlight this quality in the dog, many English Bulldogs are born with short, stubby tails.  Usually, the short tail is the most common type of tail that an English Bulldog can be born with.

However, a corkscrew tail, or a long and slender tail are also possible, although not as common.

English Bulldog Tail Types

In truth, all dogs are born with tails, even though some tails are very short.  This is the case with English Bulldogs too, and many are born with naturally short or stubby tails.

In general, there are three main tail types that English Bulldogs can be born with which include straight tails, corkscrew tails, or long and wavy tails.

Straight Tails

The straight tail type for an English Bulldog is considered the most desirable tail type for this breed of dog.  Sometimes the straight tail type is also referred to as a pump-handle tail.

These tails are straight in shape and hang down, tapering eventually to a point.  These tails are very short, often only a few inches in length.

In some dogs, the tail is set higher up on the body which causes the tail to rise instead of fall.  For the American Kennel Club this tail type that rises is considered a fault with the dog, although these tail types are perfectly healthy and natural.

Corkscrew Tails

Just like its name, the corkscrew tail turns on itself in a corkscrew type shape.  This tail type is also extremely common with English Bulldogs.

Although as puppies this tail type is very flexible, as the dog ages it will start to harden into a solidified shape.  Keep a close eye on older dogs with this tail type to ensure that the skin is healthy around the tail, and the dog is not in any discomfort.

Usually, this type of tail will curl on itself, forming an almost button shape at the base of the dog’s spine.  Sometimes this tail is said to have a “bun-like” shape and appearance.

Long and Wavy Tails

English Bulldogs that are born with long and wavy tails are far more rare than the straight tails or the corkscrew tails.  These tails are often long and slender, sometimes with a bit of a wave to them.

The American Kennel Club designates these tail types a fault in the breed, although some breeders may argue that this tail type is actually healthier than the common corkscrew tail.

The rationale is that these long wails are free to wag and swing, compared to the tight bun structure of the corkscrew tail.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to English Bulldogs there is plenty to love. Between the adorably squished face, the hulking body type, or the confident and friendly personality, what is not to like?

Being born with a naturally short and stubby tail is just another endearing characteristic to add to the list.

With the increase in countries rightfully banning cosmetic tail docking and tail cropping procedures, this breed of dog is born with a naturally short tail, accomplishing this characteristic through genetics and natural breeding.

With three very distinctive and possible short tail types, including the stub tail, the corkscrew tail, and the wavy tail, the English Bulldog presents owners with different characteristics and looks to excite just about anyone.

image: DepositPhotos

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National Canine Research Association of America