Are French Bulldogs Born With Tails

Christina Perez
• Friday, 08 January, 2021
• 8 min read

A common question I often see asked in online forums, is whether French bulldogs are born with long tails which are then cut off and docked for “cosmetic” reasons. Yes, they do, but they have been bred to produce cute, short, and stumpy little tails, which most of the time means their butt is on show.

tails french born docked bulldogs dog cut without breeds dock
(Source: www.mtgimage.org)


Here is a photo of the Frenchies rear end, where you can see very clearly what a classic tail looks like in the modern day. Here is a photo of a newborn little of Frenchies puppies where you can see what their tails look like just after birth.

According to veterinary journals I read online, due to the way in which the breed’s tail has been developed in modern times, the bones sometimes won’t align correctly in their spine. This genetic condition will occur in some Frenchies and is a direct consequence of breeders trying to make the screw type tail the preferred look.

Tails are designed to stabilize the vertebrae and help to support a dog’s rear muscle groups. If we can move towards having French Bulldog’s with straight tails, it will lead to health improvements in the breed.

This initiative to move away from the tails we see in today’s Frenchies population is being pushed through not just in the UK, but also other countries in Europe. Their aim is to get the breed back to having the short-drop tail which is originally had, as you can see in this image of a French bulldog taken in 1890.

Great question, and as you saw from that historical photo higher up the page, Frenchies used to have longer tails than the ones we see today. There’s an abandoned house on one of our walking trails in the local forest which has a rat issue.

(Source: aestheticelegants.blogspot.com)

My wife and I were horrified to think that someone believed we had paid for our beloved dog to have his tail removed. However, there are reports that some breeders or people who like to show their dogs, have occasionally resorted to a little “customization”.

It’s quite easy to figure out if this has happened though, and here’s a check you can do with any dog to tell if the tail is docked. According to a little research I did, tail docking isn’t a new thing and was actually practiced in Ancient Rome.

Later in history, there was a trend to remove the tail tips from hunting dogs on order to prevent them from being injured. Fast-forward to the modern day, and many people will dock their dog’s tail for either cosmetic (which I believe shop be stopped) or working reasons (I understand this a little more, but even so).

Docking the tail is either done in a homemade fashion where the owner wraps a rubber band around it to cut off the flow of blood. Advocates of tail docking believe that a puppy’s nervous system is not developed enough yet to let them feel pain.

I’m not entirely convinced by that argument, and there have been studies that show that whilst the dog’s pain isn’t quantifiable, it will certainly still cause discomfort. Evidence indicates that puppies have similar sensitivity to pain as adult dogs.

english bulldogs tails born bulldog docked they
(Source: doggysaurus.com)

Docking a puppy’s tail involves cutting through muscles, tendons, up to seven pairs of highly sensitive nerves and severing bone and cartilage connections. Puppies give repeated intense shrieking vocalizations the moment the tail is cut off and during stitching of the wound, indicating that they experience substantial pain.

“Tail docking can also cause unnecessary and avoidable long-term chronic pain and distress to the dog. We live in the UK, and in our country the docking of any dog’s tail is completely illegal except for some working breeds.

I believe that this law was introduced in 2007, and it should have been a lot sooner in my view, as it’s a cruel and unnecessary practice. I also looked up the law in the United States to see what the regulations were, and I am happy to say that tail docking is also prohibited for cosmetic purposes.

Below you can see a graphic that I found on Wikipedia that the legal status of dog tail docking by country. (Image by Generation is licensed under CC BY 2.0) As a Frenchies owner, it was only after we got Claude that we were made aware of the misunderstandings over their tail appearance.

But I am fully behind the new initiatives to bring the longer tail back, as for the future generations of the breed, it has to be done. But in terms of the initial focus of this article, and before I became aware of the historical background, I hope it’s helped you in your quest for more information.

(Source: www.mtgimage.org)

So, the next time someone asks, “do French bulldogs have tails ”, I hope this gives you the facts and knowledge on what to say. While we’re used to dogs displaying their happiness by wagging their tails, FrenchBulldogs are living proof that a dog doesn’t need a full tail to show joy and happiness.

If you’ve ever seen a French Bulldog’s entire back end moving from side to side, that’s their version of wagging their tail to demonstrate happiness and excitement. Some breeders will dock the short little tail for the show ring.

You could waste hours and hours searching for answers to all your questions, or you could save yourself time, money, and frustration by investing in a single book filled with everything you need to know to raise and care for your Frenchies the right way. The first thing worth mentioning is that the French Bulldog’s tail pockets are very sensitive, so it’s important to be very gentle and cautious when cleaning out this area.

The tail pockets should be cleaned a couple of times per week to prevent infection. Using a moist, wet rag or paper towel, spotless the entire area around the tail.

If the area is not completely dry, bacteria will immediately start growing again and result in an infection. If you’re cleaning your French Bulldog’s tail pocket because of an infection, you want to apply Wrinkle Balm to the area.

bulldog english bulldogs french puppies colors tricolor liver fur baby british dogs american unique baggy animal posted language know
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

It will not only soften the area and keep it dry but can prevent future infections for occurring. One of the best things about this product is that it will provide your Bulldog with relief almost the second you begin applying it to the affected area.

They are available in three flavors and are low in calories, so you can offer one or two without feeling guilty about overindulging your dog. The French Bulldog is a dog who is prone to several health issues, covered fully in this article.

Either put some sunscreen on the French Bulldog or keep him indoors during the hot, sunny parts of the day. When this happens, it can lead to deformity and instability of the spinal column, which can cause pain in the legs, wobbliness, and incontinence.

When the tail is pushed into a corkscrew design, it forces the vertebrae in the spine to be bunched together closer than they should be. If left untreated, this health issue can lead to paralysis.

Skin fold pyoderma is similar to dermatitis and can cause the French Bulldog a lot of discomfort. While it may not necessarily be related to the tail, it is often a result of moisture in the other folds or wrinkles of the French Bulldog’s body.

french bulldog bulldogs nose dogs years ago tails they too compared pedigree exposed 1899
(Source: pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com)

In the AKC Breed Standard guidelines for the French Bulldog, they state that tails should be either corkscrewed or straight; short, hung low; with fine tip and thick root; and carried low in repose. The AKC tends to frown on a long, wavy, or curly tail.

If you’re an owner who has little interest in showing the French Bulldog, you’ll find that each tail is as cute as the next and does not take away from their beauty and good qualities. You can clean the French Bulldog’s skin folds or wrinkles using alcohol-free baby wipes, a soft rag moistened with warm water, or a tear stain remover.

The dog’s tail pocket has the same issues regarding dirt and possible bacteria growth, so owners should clean this area in the same way. You can clean your Bulldog’s ears easily with cotton balls, cotton swabs, ear cleaning solution, and a dry paper towel or rag.

Rub the inside and bat side of the ears with the cotton balls. Lift the dog’s ears and get in all the narrow spots with the cotton swab, making sure to get out all wax and dirt.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a Frenchies’s tail can be straight or corkscrew-shaped, but no matter what shape it is, it is naturally short. Once upon a time, breeders would dock some or all of a Frenchies puppy’s tail in order to score more wins in the show ring.

(Source: www.ilenglishbulldogrescue.org)

Just like people, dogs love the sun but sometimes stay out too long and get burned. Frenchies with screw tails are often prone to a genetic condition called hemi-vertebrae.

The skin gets very itchy, so your Frenchies may be scooting or scratching his rear end more often than usual. The infection is caused by dirt, droppings, and bacteria that have not been cleaned out from the tail pocket.

If you are unsure about what sunscreen to use on your Frenchies, please contact your vet before putting any cream on your dog. Because of the wrinkle, bacteria can get trapped and can cause a sore, itchy and potentially life-threatening infection.

This may seem like a lot of work, but soon you and your dog will get into the routine of using sunscreen and getting the tail pocket cleaned. Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle.

We share our Frenchies experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.

bulldog french puppies miniature mini micro puppy frenchie florida female
(Source: www.youtube.com)

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