French Bulldog Tails | Are French Bulldog Puppies Born With Tails or are They Docked? | The Honest Truth about Frenchie Tails.

By: Danielle Harris

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French Bulldog Tails
Natural French Bulldog Tails

You may be wondering if French Bulldog tails are docked.

The answer varies but through selective breeding over time, the majority are not.

French Bulldog Naturally Short Tail
French Bulldog Naturally Short Tail

French Bulldogs: Understanding the Breed’s Naturally Short Tails

French Bulldogs are popular pets worldwide, known for their charming personality and distinct physical features.

One unique trait of the breed is their naturally short tails, which has been a subject of interest among dog lovers and breeders alike.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this characteristic and the implications it has on French Bulldogs’ health and care.

What Causes French Bulldogs to Have Short Tails?

The short tail of French Bulldogs is a result of a genetic mutation.

The breed originated from the selective breeding of English Bulldogs in the 19th century, and this genetic trait emerged during the process.

The mutation affects the development of the tailbone, resulting in a shorter tail.

How Short Are French Bulldogs’ Tails?

The average length of a French Bulldog’s tail is around 2-3 inches. Some may have slightly longer or shorter tails, but it’s rare to find a French Bulldog with a tail longer than 5 inches.

Are Short Tails Considered a Health Problem?

Contrary to popular belief, a short tail is not a health issue for French Bulldogs. In fact, having a shorter tail can be beneficial in several ways.

It reduces the risk of tail injuries and infections, which are common in dogs with longer tails.

Additionally, shorter tails make it easier for French Bulldogs to move around, which is especially important for this breed since they are prone to respiratory problems.

How to Care for a French Bulldog’s Short Tail.

French Bulldog Tail Pocket
French Bulldog Tail Pocket

French Bulldogs’ short tails require little maintenance, and they don’t need to be docked or trimmed.

However, it’s essential to keep the tail area clean and dry to prevent infections. Regularly check for any signs of irritation, redness, or swelling, which could indicate an infection.

This is most common in French Bulldogs with Tail pockets.

Tail pockets can occur with any length of tail. Especially tails that are shaped like Hershey kisses sticking straight out.

We have only had issues after bath time due to not being able to dry out properly. We dry as best as we can and apply a prescription anti fungal as preventative.

Signs of tail pocket infection include:

  • Scooting or trying to itch (sit and spin)
  • Crying in pain
  • Chasing or looking at tail
  • Horrible smell – similar to moldy sweaty socks
  • Gross slimy wetness in the tail pocket

Above is an example of a tail pocket. It sits right above the anus. The tail vertebrae sits deeper in causing this “pocket”. With his tail pocket, it’s only on the bottom. Some can be on the sides, one side only, or all around the tail. It just depends on how the tail vertebrae are formed.

When the tail pocket becomes infected it is incredibly painful for the dog. They may even try to nip you or run away as you apply the prescription ointment.

Can You Breed French Bulldogs with Long Tails?

French Bulldog with Long Tail
French Bulldog with Long Tail

Breeding French Bulldogs with long tails is not recommended since it goes against the breed standard.

Responsible breeders should avoid breeding dogs with long tails to preserve the breed’s characteristics and ensure the health of the puppies.

Sometimes tails are docked shortly after birth, should they be born with long tails.

We do not dock our puppies’ tails and we’ve only had a few with longer tails and this doesn’t affect quality of life or the love they receive in wonderful pet homes.

How to Identify a French Bulldog with a Short Tail?

French Bulldogs with short tails have a small, stumpy tail that sits low on their back. The tail is usually straight or slightly curved, and it’s covered with fine hair. It’s important to note that not all French Bulldogs have short tails, and some may have longer tails due to genetic variations.

Many European lines have longer tails.

French Bulldog Tail, curved and low set
French Bulldog Tail, curved and low set

Do Other Breeds Have Short Tails?

Yes, several other breeds have naturally short tails, such as the Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, and Boxer. These breeds also share similar genetic mutations that result in a shorter tail.

What to Consider Before Getting a French Bulldog with a Short Tail?

Before getting a French Bulldog with a short tail, it’s important to understand the breed’s characteristics and potential health problems.

French Bulldogs are prone to respiratory problems, skin allergies, and spinal issues, among others.

Additionally, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who follows ethical breeding practices and prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.

Are French Bulldogs with Short Tails Rare?

No, French Bulldogs with short tails are not rare. It’s a standard characteristic of the breed, and most French Bulldogs have short tails.

How to Keep French Bulldogs with Short Tails Happy and Healthy.

To keep French Bulldogs with short tails happy and healthy, provide them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper grooming.

Additionally, make sure they have access to a comfortable and safe living environment and plenty of love and attention.

Conclusion on Short Tails

In conclusion, French Bulldogs have naturally short tails due to a genetic mutation that emerged during their breeding process.

Tail Docking

Are French Bulldogs Tails Ever Docked?

If you are considering getting a French Bulldog, you may wonder whether their tails are docked.

Usually they’re not but occasionally they are.

This is all up to the breeder preference. We don’t dock. 90% of our pups are born with short tails, those that have longer tails go to loving homes that don’t mind anyway.

What is Tail Docking?

Tail docking is a procedure that involves the removal of a portion of a dog’s tail.

The practice of tail docking has been around for centuries and is still performed on some breeds today.

The reasons for tail docking vary depending on the breed and the intended use of the dog.

Tail docking is usually done when the puppy is only a few days old, and the procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian.

Docking is done in this time frame due to the tail having not yet fused with bone. At this point the tail is just cartilage.

History of Tail Docking in French Bulldogs

Tail docking in French Bulldogs has been a practice for a long time.

The practice began in the 19th century when French Bulldogs were bred for bull-baiting. The dogs were used to distract the bull, and the docked tail made it easier for the handler to grab the dog and pull it away from danger.

Over time, French Bulldogs were no longer used for bull-baiting, and long tails were bred out of the breed with a desired mutation.

Reasons for Tail Docking in French Bulldogs

The reasons for tail docking in French Bulldogs are not very clear.

Some breeders argue that a docked tail is more aesthetically pleasing, and it fits the breed standard.

Others argue that a docked tail reduces the risk of tail injuries and infections.

Additionally, some breeders claim that a docked tail helps prevent the dog from getting caught in things like doors or under furniture.

Arguments Against Tail Docking in French Bulldogs

Many animal rights organizations argue that tail docking is a cruel and unnecessary procedure.

Some breeders dock the tails and don’t inform clients the tails have been docked. This is misleading especially if the client is purchasing for breeding.

I have seen this before. While whelping an out of program litter, all puppies had very long tails. The owner was flabbergasted and upset. I checked the dams tail only to realize it had been docked.

They argue that dogs use their tails to communicate with other dogs and humans, and removing a part of their tail takes away their ability to do so effectively.

Additionally, the procedure can cause pain and discomfort to the dog, and it can lead to long-term health issues.

However, sometimes due to the shape and corkscrew curve of the tail, spinal issues may arise later on in life. Additionally, creating tail pockets (as discussed above).

A tail pocket is a small indentation or dimple located beneath, to the side, or on top of a dog’s tail. The tail pocket can collect dirt and dust throughout the day, and if not cleaned regularly, dried out properly after bathing, can become irritated, inflamed, and infected.

If the tail, no matter the length, is giving your dog problems, regardless of age, a veterinarian can remove a portion of the tail vertebrae to solve any medical issue the dog may be having such as spinal pain and frequent and reoccurring infections.

Keep in mind removal of vertebrae is a serious procedure, one that should not be taken lightly.

Legality of Tail Docking in French Bulldogs

The legality of tail docking varies from country to country and even from state to state.

In some places, tail docking is illegal, while in others, it is allowed for certain breeds.

In some cases, tail docking is only allowed if it is performed by a licensed veterinarian.

Tail Docking Procedure

The tail docking procedure involves the removal of a portion of the dog’s tail.

The procedure is usually done when the puppy is only a few days old, before vertebrae form, and the puppy is fully awake or given local anesthesia during the procedure.

After the procedure, the puppy may be given pain medication to help manage any discomfort.

Alternatives to Tail Docking in French Bulldogs

There are alternative methods to tail docking that can be used in French Bulldogs.

These methods include tail banding, where a tight band is placed around the tail to cut off the blood supply, causing the tail to fall off naturally.

Another method is tail docking by partial amputation, where only a small portion of the tail is removed, leaving the dog with a shorter tail but without complete removal.

However, these methods are also controversial and can cause pain and discomfort to the dog, even serious infection.

Doberman Docked Nueroma
Doberman Docked Nueroma

Tail Docking and Health Issues in French Bulldogs

Tail docking can cause several health issues in French Bulldogs.

The procedure can lead to chronic pain, infections, and neuromas, which are abnormal growths that can develop from nerve tissue.

Additionally, the procedure can cause changes in the dog’s gait, balance, and posture, leading to long-term health problems.

Caring for a Docked Tail in French Bulldogs

If your French Bulldog puppy a docked tail, you will need to take extra care to prevent any injuries or infections.

Make sure to keep the tail clean and dry and watch for any signs of swelling or discharge.

Additionally, you should avoid any activities that could cause injury to the tail, such as playing rough or letting your dog jump from high places.

Docked Doberman Tail
Docked Doberman Tail

How to Identify a Docked Tail in French Bulldogs

Identifying a docked tail in a French Bulldog is relatively easy. A docked tail will be shorter than a natural tail, and it will have a blunt, squared-off end. Additionally, the tail will not move in the same way as a natural tail, and it may appear stiff or immobile.

French Bulldog Breed Standards Regarding Tail Docking

The French Bulldog breed standard varies depending on the organization that sets the standard.

However, most breed standards allow for tail docking, although some organizations have revised their standards to discourage the practice.

Tail Docking in Other Dog Breeds

Tail docking is still a common practice in many dog breeds, although it is becoming less popular as animal rights organizations raise awareness about the issue.

Some breeds, such as the Boxer and Doberman Pinscher, have traditionally had their tails docked, while others, such as the Australian Shepherd and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, have had their tails docked for practical purposes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, tail docking is a controversial practice that is still performed on some French Bulldogs.

While some breeders argue that it is necessary for the health and well-being of the dog, many animal rights organizations and veterinarians argue that it is a cruel and unnecessary procedure.

We don’t believe it’s a necessary procedure.

As a prospective owner of a French Bulldog, it is essential to understand the issues surrounding tail docking and make an informed decision about whether or not to have your dog’s tail docked.

FAQs

Is tail docking painful for French Bulldogs?

Yes, tail docking can cause pain and discomfort to French Bulldogs.

Can French Bulldogs communicate without their tails?

While French Bulldogs can communicate without their tails, removing a part of their tail takes away their ability to do so effectively.

Is tail docking legal in all countries?

No, the legality of tail docking varies from country to country and even from state to state.

Are there alternatives to tail docking?

Yes, there are alternative methods to tail docking, such as tail banding and partial amputation, although these methods are also controversial.

Can tail docking cause health issues in French Bulldogs?

Yes, tail docking can cause several health issues in French Bulldogs, including chronic pain, infections, and neuromas.

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