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11 Dog Breeds With Curly Tails (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

pug with curly tail

When we think of a dog’s tail, most of us likely picture the long, wagging tail of a Labrador Retriever before anything else. But there are many dog breeds that have quite unusual traits, including those with curly tails. Dog breeds with curly tails come in all shapes and sizes, but many of them share common ancestors. Today, these breeds may not look very alike—that is, except for their unique tails!

Whether you’re thinking of adding a curly-tailed pup to your family or are just feeling curious, we’ve put together 11 breeds that flaunt this quirky physical trait.

Let’s get started.

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The 11 Breeds of Dog with Curly Tails

1. Basenji

Basenji outdoor
Image Credit: Verbitskaya Juliya, Shutterstock

Height  16–17 inches
Weight  22–24 pounds
Lifespan  13–14 years

While the majority of the Basenji’s body is strong and sleek, its tail is decidedly pig-like! This African dog is also known for being nearly silent, often called the “barkless dog.” While they are often described as cat-like, this breed requires plenty of exercise to thrive. Either way, the corkscrew tail of this breed certainly stands out from the crowd.

2. Pug

Fawn Pug with curled tail
Image Credit: Piqsels

Height  10–13 inches
Weight  14–18 pounds
Lifespan  13–15 years

Next up is one of the world’s goofiest yet most adorable breeds: the Pug. The short, corkscrew pug tail is distinctive of this breed, along with its bright and loving personality. It does best as a housepet, generally having little interest in roughing bad weather or intense exercise. While the Pug might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s a reason why so many owners adore this breed.

3. Pomeranian

Image Credit: Pikist

Height  6–7 inches
Weight  3–7 pounds
Lifespan  12–16 years

It may not be immediately obvious, but under all of that fluff, the Pomeranian definitely has a curly tail. Paired with their fox-like face, this dog is quite the charmer. Despite their diminutive size, however, this breed packs a lot of personality into a tiny package. Still, they are one of the most popular toy dog breeds in the world.

4. Shiba Inu

shiba inu
Image Credit: Mabel Amber, Pixabay

Height  13.5–16.5 inches
Weight  17–23 pounds
Lifespan  13–16 years

As one of Japan’s most famous breeds, the Shiba Inu is immediately recognizable to many dog lovers around the world. Aside from their curly tail, their build is surprisingly muscular. This breed is currently the most popular dog in Japan and is quickly gaining popularity around the globe.

5. Chow Chow

chow chow
Image Credit: Marius-Kristensen, Pixabay

Height  17–20 inches
Weight  45–70 pounds
Lifespan  8–12 years

While its wrinkles are the Chow Chow’s most defining feature, the short, curly tail isn’t far behind. This Chinese breed is strong and incredibly wary of strangers, earning it a bad reputation in some circles. However, proper training and socialization from an early age can result in an excellent companion.

6. Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz
Image credit: Christian Ustvedt Kavli, Shutterstock

Height  15.5–20 inches
Weight  20–33 pounds
Lifespan  13–15 years

At first glance, this breed might look like a more slender version of the Shiba Inu. While the Finnish Spitz is quite different from its Japanese doppelganger, their similarities are a result of both being Spitz-type dogs. In fact, the vast majority of curly-tailed dogs were bred from Spitzes!

7. German Spitz

German Spitz
Image Credit: John-Meyer-Pictures, Pixabay

Height  12–15 inches
Weight  24–26 pounds
Lifespan  13–15 years

Just as the Finnish Spitz resembles the Shiba Inu, the German Spitz looks like a larger cousin to the Pomeranian. Actually, some organizations group these two breeds together into one standard. While the German Spitz isn’t as popular anymore, this dog was used to develop many of our most common Spitz-type breeds today.

8. Akita

akita lying on ground
Image Credit: Left – Anaite, Shutterstock

Height  24–28 inches
Weight  70–130 pounds
Lifespan  10–13 years

The Akita is another Japanese pup boasting a curly tail above its dense, muscular body. This dog has an intimidating air about it, especially with strangers. Its status as a protective and loyal companion is near-legendary in its home country. When you get it alone with its loved ones, however, a loving, affectionate, and even playful side quickly emerges.

9. Samoyed

Image Credit: coolcoolleah, Pixabay

Height  19–23.5 inches
Weight  35–65 pounds
Lifespan  12–14 years

Often called the “smiley dog,” the Samoyed is a strikingly white breed with a thick coat and curled tail (with so much fluff, though, that tail can easily get lost among all of its other fur!). Don’t let this dog’s beauty fool you, because they are extremely athletic and suited to all types of extreme weather. While the breed obviously does best in the cold, the double coat also insulates its body during warmer weather.

10. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog
Image by Mohan Nannapaneni from Pixabay

Height  15–19 inches (standard)
Weight  25–35 pounds (standard)
Lifespan  13–15 years

No, you’re not seeing double. And no, this isn’t just a miniature Samoyed. Despite its name, the American Eskimo Dog actually originated in the American West, where it performed in circuses to much applause. While the bright white coat makes the breed look like it belongs above the Arctic Circle, it’s much more closely related to the German Spitz than anything else.

11. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff puppy sitting on the chair
Image Credit: Viacheslav Vlasov, Shutterstock

Height  24 inches and up
Weight  70–150 pounds
Lifespan  10–12 years

The Tibetan Mastiff might be the largest breed on our list, but its curly tail is no less charming than its counterparts. This fluffy beast towers over most other dogs, and some of its owners, though it leans toward being quite calm and loving with its family members. As a guard dog, though, the Tibetan Mastiff is intimidating, unfaltering, and outright terrifying. This trait, along with its sheer size, means that an experienced trainer is a must when raising this dog.

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A dog’s wagging tail is, in many ways, like music to an owner’s ears. However, there’s not just one type of tail in the canine world. While all dogs are charming in their own way, many of the most popular are dogs with curly tails.

Remember how we mentioned that many of these curly-tailed dogs have a common ancestor? That common ancestor would be the original Spitz dogs. While some of the dogs on our list still have “Spitz” in their name, many others have changed their name but were still bred from these dogs years and years ago.

From the Pomeranian to the Tibetan Mastiff, curly tails are universally adorable. Do you own any of the corkscrew-tailed dogs on our list? Is there a breed you think we missed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Featured Image Credit by: Praisaeng, Shutterstock

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