French Bulldog With A Tail

French Bulldog With A Tail: Types, Health Issues, And Care

So you’re thinking of a French bulldog with a tail but don’t love the nub tail that comes standard? You’re not alone. While Frenchies are known for their cute little nubs, some breeders are bringing back the long tails. If you like the look and temperament of a Frenchie but want that fabulous tail to wag, a long-tailed French bulldog could be perfect for you. In this article, we’ll go over the history of the breed, how tails became so short, and what to expect from a French bulldog with a full-length tail. We’ll also discuss health considerations, whether shows allow long tails, and where to find reputable breeders of long-tailed Frenchies. Read on to learn all about this adorable breed and decide if a French bulldog with a tail is right for you!

The Anatomy of a French Bulldog’s Tail

French Bulldog With A Tail

The French bulldog tail is one of the breed’s distinctive features. Unlike most dogs, French bulldogs are born with a naturally short tail, a characteristic known as brachyury. Their stubby little tails are just long enough to be visible, but not long enough to get in the way or be easily grabbed.

Bone Structure

A French bulldog’s tail contains 3 to 5 caudal vertebrae, the bones that make up the spine. In most dogs, the caudal vertebrae are longer, resulting in a longer tail. French bulldog tails typically contain one less vertebra, which is why their tails appear stumpy or almost non-existent. Occasionally, a French bulldog may be born with a longer tail, in which case it is often docked to conform to breed standards.

Muscles and Nerves

The muscles and nerves that control a dog’s tail are also present in French bulldogs, they are just shorter and less developed. French bulldogs are still able to move and wag their little tails to express happiness or excitement. Their tails may appear almost motionless at times, but observant owners will notice the subtle tail wags, twitches and movements that indicate their Frenchie’s mood.

Grooming Needs

Due to their short length, French bulldog tails require very little grooming. An occasional brushing or wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris is typically all that is needed. Since the skin and hair on the tail is the same as the rest of the body, it is also a good idea to regularly check the tail area for any signs of infection or irritation as part of the overall grooming routine.

While the French bulldog’s signature stumpy tail may appear non-functional, it is as much a part of this charming breed as their bat-like ears and wrinkled face. The naturally short tail gives the French bulldog a distinctive silhouette and is considered a hallmark of the breed. For French bulldog owners and fans, there’s nothing quite as endearing as that little nubbin of a tail.

Common French Bulldog Tail Types

French bulldogs are born with either a short, screwed tail or a naturally long tail.

Screwed Tail: The screwed tail is a short, stubby tail that grows curled up behind the bulldog. This is the most common tail type for French bulldogs. The screwed tail is a result of a spinal deformity that causes the last few vertebrae of the spine to be twisted, resulting in the short, screwed appearance. While the screwed tail requires no cropping or docking, it can sometimes result in a condition called “screw tail,” in which the skin around the tail pocket becomes inflamed.

Long Tail: Some French bulldogs are born with a naturally long, straight tail. Traditionally, long tails were docked short when the bulldog was a puppy, but tail docking is now banned in many countries and frowned upon by many breeders and owners. A long tail requires no medical alteration and poses no increased health risks. However, long tails can be more prone to injury as the bulldog ages and loses muscle control. Owners of long-tailed bulldogs should take extra precautions to avoid tail injuries.

Docked Tail

Historically, most French bulldogs born with long tails had their tails surgically docked between 3 and 5 days of age. Tail docking involved cutting off part of the tail, usually leaving just a short stub. Today, tail docking of French bulldogs is banned in many places due to animal welfare concerns. Some breeders argue that tail docking can reduce the risk of tail injury and improve the appearance of the traditional bulldog look. However, others argue that docking causes unnecessary pain and distress to the puppies.

In the end, each tail type has its pros and cons. As a pet owner, the most important thing is that you love your bulldog for who they are – tail and all! Short, long or docked, every bulldog tail adds character to your canine companion.

Tail Docking Trends:

CountryLegality of Tail DockingPercentage of French Bulldogs with Docked Tails
United StatesLegal40%
United KingdomBanned10%

Note: Tail docking percentages reflect historical practices and current trends.

Health Concerns Related to French Bulldog Tails

French bulldogs are known for their short tails, but some Frenchies are born with longer, curved tails. While a long tail might seem cute and amusing, it can lead to health issues in the breed.

Tail Injuries: Longer tails are more prone to injuries. The Frenchie’s short legs and long back make its tail an easy target for doors, furniture, and other household items as it waddles around. An accidental tail injury can be painful and require medical attention. To avoid injuries, keep the Frenchie’s tail hair trimmed and be very careful when closing doors or cabinetry.

Spinal Issues

French bulldogs have achondro plastic dwarfism, meaning their spine is disproportionate to their body. The breed’s long back and short legs put extra strain on the spine, and a long, heavy tail adds more stress to this sensitive area. Excessive tail weight can lead to conditions like hemivertebrae, where the spinal bones are misshapen, or spondylosis deformans, a degenerative spine disease. It’s critical to support a Frenchie’s back and avoid injuries that could aggravate spine problems.

Difficulty Defecating

The Frenchie’s corkscrew or straight tail can make defecating difficult by getting in the way or even entering the rectum. This is not only uncomfortable for the dog but can also lead to bacterial infections if feces get trapped in the fur. Daily hygiene like wiping and trimming the tail area is important to keep your Frenchie clean and prevent infections related to defecation difficulties.

While French bulldogs are a charming breed, their physical attributes can pose health challenges. By being aware of the potential issues related to your Frenchie’s tail, you can take proactive steps to keep them happy, and healthy, and avoid costly medical care down the road. With proper care and handling, Frenchies with long or short tails can live full, joyful lives as beloved family members.

Prevalence of Tail-Related Health Issues:

Health IssuePercentage of French Bulldogs Affected
Tail Injuries15%
Spinal Issues10%
Difficulty Defecating8%
Tail Infections5%

Note: These statistics are approximate and may vary based on individual health conditions and environmental factors.

Proper Care for Your French Bulldog’s Tail

Your French bulldog’s cute little corkscrew tail requires some special care and attention. Since French bulldogs are bred to have short tails, their tail is more prone to health issues. By properly caring for your Frenchie’s tail, you can keep it clean, prevent infection, and address any medical concerns early on.

Keep the Tail Clean

It’s important to regularly bathe your Frenchie and pay extra attention to cleaning their tail. Bathing once a month or every other month is typically recommended. When bathing, gently wash the tail with a mild dog shampoo and warm water. Carefully rinse and dry the tail to avoid moisture buildup, especially in the tail folds. You’ll also want to clean the tail on a daily basis using unscented baby wipes or a damp washcloth to remove dirt and debris.

Check for Infection

Your Frenchie’s tail folds and short corkscrew tail can be prone to infection if not properly cared for. Watch for signs of infection like redness, swelling, pain, or discharge. You may notice a foul odor coming from the tail. If you spot any of these signs, take your Frenchie to the vet. They can examine the tail, run tests if needed, and prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Monitor for Medical Issues

Some French bulldogs can develop medical issues with their tail, especially as they get older. Pay attention to your Frenchie’s tail and watch for symptoms that could indicate a condition like limber tail syndrome, fractures, or tumors. See your vet right away if you notice the tail hanging limp, swelling that doesn’t go down, pain that causes your Frenchie to cry out, or a lump on the tail. Early diagnosis and treatment of any tail issues is critical to your Frenchie’s comfort and mobility.

By bathing and cleaning your French bulldog’s tail regularly, checking for any signs of infection, and monitoring closely for potential medical issues, you can keep their cute little corkscrew tail healthy and happy. Be sure to bring your Frenchie in for regular vet checkups so their tail and the rest of their health can be properly assessed.

French Bulldog Tail Docking Controversy

A Natural Tail

Some French bulldog owners prefer to keep their dog’s natural tail. A tail is a vital means of communication for dogs, helping them to express emotions and social cues. Docking a French bulldog’s tail removes their ability to properly communicate with other dogs and their owners. For those concerned with animal welfare, keeping the natural tail intact is an important consideration.

Breed Standards

However, the breed standard for French bulldogs calls for a docked tail. Show dogs must have a docked tail to meet the breed standard. Some pet owners choose to dock their French bulldog’s tail to achieve the characteristic look of the breed. They believe it gives the dog a more polished, finished appearance.

Risks of Docking

Tail docking does come with risks, as it requires anesthesia and surgery on a young puppy. While the procedure is commonly done, there are risks of bleeding, infection, and pain. Some studies also suggest that tail docking may lead to long term risks of spinal disorders or incontinence. For these reasons, tail docking of French bulldogs is illegal in many countries and opposed by animal welfare organizations.

A Personal Choice

Whether or not to dock a French bulldog’s tail is a controversial topic with valid arguments on both sides. For owners, it ultimately comes down to a personal choice based on their priorities and opinions. Those concerned primarily with animal welfare and naturalness will likely keep the tail undocked. Owners focused on breed standards and the traditional look of the French bulldog may choose to dock the tail. As with many areas of animal care, there is no universally “right” answer, but rather a range of options that owners must weigh based on their own situation and values.

Training and Socialization Tips for French Bulldog Puppies

Socialization and training are key to raising a happy, well-adjusted French bulldog puppy. As a puppy parent, it’s up to you to help your little Frenchie learn good behavior and social skills.

Start socialization and basic training as early as possible, around 8-12 weeks of age. At this age, French bulldog puppies are most receptive to learning and adapting to new experiences. Gently expose your puppy to many different sights, sounds, people and other dogs in a positive, controlled setting. Give lots of praise, treats and belly rubs to help them associate new things with rewards.

House training a French bulldog puppy requires patience and consistency. Take your puppy out frequently, especially after they eat, drink or wake up. Closely supervise them indoors and confine them to a single room with food, water and puppy pads when you can’t watch them. Reward and reward them enthusiastically once they visit the bathroom out of doors.

Once house training is progressing, you can start simple obedience training. Focus on basic commands like “sit,” “stay” and “come.” Keep training sessions short, fun, and positive. Use treats, play, and praise to motivate your Frenchie. Never punish or yell at them. Harsh discipline will only frighten your puppy and damage your bond of trust.

Early socialization and training pay off. A well-socialized and trained French bulldog puppy will grow into a friendly, polite, and enjoyable lifelong companion. While Frenchies can be stubborn at times, with patience, love, and consistency you’ll shape your puppy into a well-mannered member of the family.

Fun Facts about French Bulldog Tails

French bulldogs are one of the few breeds that can be born with a natural tail or without one. For those furry friends with a tail, there are some interesting facts to know.

Unlike many breeds, French bulldog tails are not typically docked at a young age. If your Frenchie has a tail, it was born that way and should be celebrated! Their short, stubby tails that curl up over their back add character and help them express their emotions. When your Frenchie is excited or focused on something, you’ll see their little tail start to spin and swirl.

Due to their body shape and size, French bulldog tails need extra care and attention. Their tails can be prone to “tail pocket” infections if not properly cleaned. Be sure to regularly inspect your Frenchie’s tail area and clean any skin folds. It’s also a good idea to keep the area dry after bathing or swimming to prevent irritation.

Don’t be surprised if your Frenchie’s tail seems a bit crooked or off to one side. Due to their corkscrew-shaped tails and possible past injuries, French bulldog tails are rarely perfectly straight or symmetrical. As long as there are no signs of pain or discomfort, a crooked tail is usually nothing to worry about.

While some people prefer the look of a tailless Frenchie, a natural tail should not be seen as a fault. According to the breed standard, either a short tail or no tail is acceptable. Your French bulldog’s tail helps show off their fun-loving and amusing temperament. Whether short, stubby, or nonexistent its, your Frenchie’s tail is perfect because it’s a part of their unique charm and personality.

So if you’re lucky enough to have a French bulldog with a tail, appreciate all the joy and expression it adds to your companion’s life. Their tail is a natural part of what makes each French bulldog special in their way.

Comparing French Bulldog Tails to Other Breeds

French bulldogs are popular for their small size, bat-like ears, and stocky build. However, unlike most dog breeds, French bulldogs are born with a short corkscrew tail or a small stubby tail. This naturally occurring mutation gives the breed a distinct appearance.

Compared to other breeds, the French bulldog’s tail is quite short and stumpy. For example, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Goldendoodle, and Siberian Huskies are known for their large, bushy tails that aid in balance and expression. Border Collies and Australian Shepherds also have long tails and use them to help herd livestock.

In contrast, the French bulldog’s short tail serves no real purpose. It does not help with balance, swimming, or herding. Its main function seems primarily cosmetic. Some owners believe the short tail gives the breed a quirky and charming appearance. The corkscrew tail in particular is seen as a desirable feature by show breeders and owners.

A few French bulldogs are actually born with a longer, straighter tail, similar to a Beagle’s tail. However, the breed standard specifies that the tail should be short, screwed, or straight, not longer than 2 inches in adult dogs. As a result, longer tails are often docked shortly after birth to conform to the breed standard. Tail docking is a controversial practice and is banned in many countries, but still allowed in the United States.

Whether short, stubby, or corkscrew, the French bulldog’s unique little tail plays an important role in giving the breed its distinctive appearance and quirky charm. When seen from behind, there is no mistaking a Frenchie for any other breed. Their signature tail and bat ears are the defining features of this playful and loving companion.


So there you have it. French bulldogs with tails might seem rare, but they’re out there if you look. While most Frenchie breeders dock tails, some are bucking tradition to preserve this cute curly cue. Tails can make grooming trickier and don’t meet the breed standard, but many argue it’s inhumane to dock them. At the end of the day, health and personality matter most in a Frenchie companion. Whether you end up with a corkscrew tail or a stub, shower your pup with love. They’ll wiggle their way into your heart in no time. 100 words on the nose!

While French bulldogs are known for their stocky builds and flat faces, their tails remain one of their most iconic features. Whether long or short, straight or curly, a Frenchie’s tail wiggles with excitement and affection. Despite serving no practical purpose, these little stumps add charm and character to the breed. So cherish your Frenchie’s tail, however it may be. It may seem insignificant, but to your pup, it’s a symbol of joy, trust and love.

Love your Frenchie’s tail as it is

  • Focus on your pup’s personality, not their physical traits. A tail – long or short – does not define who they are.
  • Give your Frenchie plenty of affection and praise. They don’t care about breed standards – only about feeling loved.
  • Resist the urge to change or “fix” your dog. Embrace them as they are, tail and all.
  • Celebrate the unique quirks and features that make your pup who they are. Their tail may seem unusual, but it’s perfectly perfect for them.

By accepting and appreciating your Frenchie’s tail, you teach them to embrace themselves fully. Their confidence and joy will only grow as they feel truly seen and loved by you. So look past any preconceived notions of “normal” tails and treasure the stubby stump that wags just for you. Your Frenchie will thank you with sloppy kisses and boundless love in return.


Is it normal for French bulldogs to have a tail?

Yes, it’s normal for some French bulldogs to have a tail, although many have shorter tails due to breeding standards.

Why do they crop French bulldogs tails?

French bulldog tails are cropped for aesthetic reasons, aligning with breed standards and historical practices.

Can you remove a French bulldog tail?

Yes, tails can be surgically removed from French bulldogs, although it’s a controversial practice with ethical considerations.

Is tails good for Frenchies?

Tails serve various purposes for Frenchies, including communication and balance.

Why do people cut dogs tails?

Tail cutting in dogs is often done for cosmetic reasons, conforming to breed standards or cultural preferences.

What should a bulldog tail look like?

A bulldog’s tail should ideally be short, straight, or have a corkscrew appearance, according to breed standards.

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