Ever come across an English Bulldog with a tail missing?
If so, you may wonder whether they were born like that…
Or if there’s another reason, such as tail docking.
In this guide, we’re going to explain what you need to know about an English Bulldog’s tail and answers those questions you may have.
Let’s get started.
Are English Bulldogs Born with Tails?
The short answer is yes.
English Bulldogs are naturally born with tails.
But they have a somewhat unique shape compared to other breeds, which is one of the reasons why someone may mistakenly believe the tail has been docked when it hasn’t.
Due to selective breeding, their tails have become the shorter, stumpy tail that’s commonly seen on them today.
The Different Shapes of Bulldog Tails
However, they often look somewhat different from the tails of other dogs.
In fact, there are three main types of English bulldog tail.
Long/Wavy Tail: These tails are somewhat rarer on English bulldogs, but they do occur.
Straight Tail: These tails hang low and finish with a tapered point on the end.
They’re one of the most commonly occurring tails for this breed, and according to the “breed standard”, it’s now the most “desirable” option.
Corkscrew Tail: This tail will have a curved shape, and it occurs when the vertebrae fuse together or becoming abnormally structured… leading to the curvature that’s commonly seen with the English Bulldog screw tail.
What Is Tail Docking?
Tail docking is a procedure that involves removing a portion of a dog’s tail.
In the past, it was more common for it to be performed for purely cosmetic reasons. However, it’s now illegal in both the UK and the US for cosmetic purposes, along with many other countries.
However, it may still occur for medical reasons (in which case, the procedure isn’t actually referred to as docking).
Are English Bulldog Tails Docked?
In most cases, the answer is no.
An English Bulldog’s tail will have its distinctive appearance due to breeding, rather than being docked.
They simply have a naturally short tail that often takes on one of the three different styles mentioned earlier.
Furthermore, it’s illegal in many countries to dock the tail of an English Bulldog for cosmetic reasons.
English Bulldog Tail Problems
Due to the shape of an English Bulldog’s tail and selective breeding practices over time, it’s possible for them to encounter various tail problems.
For example, some may develop an ingrown tail, which often becomes very uncomfortable and may require surgery if it starts to cause your dog ongoing pain.
For some dogs, the deformation of the tail vertebrae can create pressure on the dog’s spinal cord, and this condition will usually need surgical intervention so it doesn’t lead to further problems with the spinal column.
Are French Bulldog and American Bulldog Tails The Same?
Another breed that has a similar tail structure is the French Bulldog.
In fact, these breeds of dog will often be born with either a corkscrew or curly tail from birth, and as they become older, it may become somewhat straighter over time.
However, the American Bulldog tends to have long, thick tails that separate them from their English cousins. But they may still have some curls and curves, or even a kink.
Are Boston Terrier Tails The Same?
Boston Terriers are known as bobtail breeds, so they’re born with just a short natural bobtail that has a “nub-like” appearance.
What Is A Tail Pocket?
A tail pocket is the name for the small “pouch” that rests below your Bulldog’s tail.
They’re often found on breeds with corkscrew-shaped tails, so they’re common amongst both English and French Bulldogs.
It can sometimes be quite well hidden, and you’d be forgiven for not realizing it’s there at first… because it’s not always easy to spot at first glance.
On puppies, it may not be evident until they gain a little weight and grow older.
But after 6 months to a year, you’ll usually be able to find it.
Why it’s Important to Clean the Tail Pocket
Due to the small, hidden skin folds that make up the tail pocket… it’s quite vulnerable to the risk of tail infections and skin issues.
It can easily begin to accumulate moisture, dirt, and dead skin, making it a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, which may then result in irritations, itchy skin, and bacterial infections.
A tail pocket infection can be very uncomfortable for your dog, and may even require surgery in the worst cases.
Furthermore, it can also become quite smelly (and itchy) over time which leads to an increased risk of skin infection.
As such, it’s important to make this a part of your dog’s regular cleaning and grooming routine.
How to Clean A Bulldog Tail Pocket
The first thing to do is lift your dog’s tail and locate the pocket.
Begin by wiping away any dirt that’s already build-up since the last cleaning.
You can use a doggy wet wipe if you have some, but otherwise, a soft cloth and warm water will suffice. Try to be gentle here, as it can be a little ticklish or uncomfortable for some dogs.
Next, you’ll need to make sure the pocket is dried, otherwise, there’s the risk of the moisture allowing bacteria to grow.
You can dry your dog’s tail pocket by using a soft, absorbent cloth or even some cotton balls… but just make sure not to leave any residue behind.
Finally, it can be wise to apply a little soothing balm or spray, especially if your dog has any redness or irritation in this area. You can be sure your dog will appreciate the extra relief this provides.
Tail pockets aren’t something most people think about when looking at their own pets’ tails, but they should really pay attention to what’s going on down under!
If you notice anything unusual happening with your pet’s tail, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your vet right away. They’ll likely want to check out the situation before deciding whether or not it needs medical treatment.
And remember: It doesn’t matter what type of tail your dog has – every pooch deserves to live a long, healthy life full of love and happiness!