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Why Does My French Bulldog Have a Long Tail? 2 Common Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

black and white french bulldog at the beach

French Bulldogs are short, compact dogs with distinctive erect “bat” ears, an alert and endearingly goofy expression, and a short, often corkscrewed tail. However, some French Bulldogs have a long tail, which can occur for a few different reasons.

Find out why your French Bulldog may have a long tail and what it may mean.

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The 2 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Have Long Tails

1. Genetic Mutation

French Bulldogs arose from cross-breeding Toy Bulldogs and Parisian ratters in the 19th century. Though they were bred to be companion dogs, the parent breeds had specific purposes that often required a short, stubby tail that wouldn’t be prone to injury from hunting or blood sports. As a result, the French Bulldog breed standard includes a short tail that’s either corkscrewed or straight.

If your Frenchie has a long tail, it could result from a genetic mutation in its lineage. While this doesn’t fit the breed standard, it’s unlikely to cause any problems for your dog.

2. Mixed Breeding

Most French Bulldogs are born with short tails from centuries of selective breeding. They’re not docked as a puppy like some other breeds. If your Frenchie has a long tail, it’s possible that the dog is not a purebred Frenchie but a mix of a French Bulldog and another breed, leading to a longer tail than expected.

French Bulldog and Pug mix puppy looking at the camera
Photo Credit: Max DeMaere, Shutterstock

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Can Frenchie Tails Be Too Long or Too Short?

Whether your Frenchie’s tail is too long or too short comes down to the breed standards. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed standards for a French Bulldog include a tail that is either straight or screwed but not curly, short, hung low, with a thick root and fine tip, and carried low. If your dog’s tail is too long or too short, you may not be able to compete in breed shows.

Long tails are generally no cause for concern, but tails that are too short for a Frenchie can have complications. Tail pockets, which are pockets that form just beneath the tail, can harbor bacteria that cause skin problems. These French Bulldogs need a little extra care and bathing in that area to remove residue and bacteria.

Another concern is spinal deformation. In some cases, the short corkscrew tail is caused by a spinal deformation, not natural anatomy, and may cause problems for your dog as they grow. In addition, if your dog’s tail is too short to cover their anus or lacks hair, they will need to be protected from sunburn with lightweight, dog-appropriate clothing that covers their hind end and tail.

rear view of a walking french bulldog in the park
Photo Credit: Sue Thatcher, Shutterstock

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One of the cutest features of a Frenchie is the short, stubby tail. If your dog has a longer tail, it could simply be due to a genetic mutation or cross-breeding, but it’s no cause for concern. You can’t compete in AKC-registered French Bulldog shows, but otherwise, your dog is the perfect companion.


Featured Image Credit: Gabriella Clare Marino, Unsplash

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