Chihuahuas have more qualities and personality than any other breed that most pet owners are unaware of, and their tails are one of them.
Like any other dog breed, they have a tail, but not every Chihuahua has the same shape and structure. And hence, you may be bugged by a question: Do Chihuahuas Have Curly Tails?
In this article, you will learn about:
- Do chihuahuas have curly tails?
- 4 Types of chihuahua tails
- Understanding different chihuahua’s tail position
- And more…
Do Chihuahuas Have Curly Tails?
Chihuahuas’ tails are usually short and curly. The tail of this small pet is usually 3-9 inches long and has a spiral, pointed shape similar to that of a sickle, and it appears wide in the base and gets narrower in the end.
When you see a group of chihuahuas, the first thing you’ll notice is their adorable eyes and petite tails. The majority of them have curled tails, which is the natural shape of a chihuahua tail.
According to AKC breed standard, the Chihuahua tail should be fairly long, carried sickle up or out, or in a loop over the back with the tip barely touching the back.
But, it’s a known fact that a dog expresses its emotions mostly through its tail. Does that mean we won’t be able to witness all those cute expressions from chihuahuas?
No worries. In events of happiness or excitement, the cute pup’s tail will either waggle or point straight up, which is a sign of their contentment.
Is It Normal For Chihuahuas To Have Curly Tails?
Actually, yes. Most chihuahuas’ tails are curly, though some Chihuahua tails aren’t curled.
A Chihuahua’s tail is usually quite lengthy in comparison to its body. Its tail is a continuation of its spine and is around 3-9 inches long.
It will be thicker where it begins to stretch from the animal’s hindquarters and then gradually shrink to a point. Their tail will most likely be sickle-shaped or have a slight curve.
A tail that curves or twisted over to one side is a sign of an improperly developed spine and can be linked to other health issues. If you notice your dog’s back end is somewhat sideways and the tail appears to be off to one side, it’s possible that their spine is out of alignment, and you should get him adjusted.
4 Types Of Chihuahua Tails
1. Curly Tail/ Sickle-Shaped Tail
Chihuahuas are usually seen with curly or, in other clear words, sickle-shaped tails. The tails can be curled slightly or be curled entirely till the end of the tail.
So, does that mean chihuahuas with curled tails are purebred?
It is entirely dependent on the genes of their parents, whether they are purebred or not. So, if your dog has a curled tail, it can be purebred or crossbred with Pomeranian, Pug, or Chow Chow ancestors.
Either way, make sure to take a glance at their tails once in a while.
Because a Chihuahua’s tail is an extension of its spine, the position of your Chihuahua’s tail might reveal information about the health of your dog’s spine. If your dog’s tail is curled more than usual, it could indicate that you should take him to the vet.
Curly tails are also more prone to matting, so pet owners may want to brush their tails frequently from time to time.
2. Chihuahua Straight Tail
Chihuahuas are usually seen with curly tails. Though they are familiar, that does not exactly mean they are the norm; chihuahuas with straight tails are also found.
Since their tails are typically long, they usually get curled. However, some Chihuahua’s tails don’t curl, which is perfectly normal.
3. Bob Tail
Typically, a chihuahua comes with a long tail, but not always.
If a chihuahua is born with a short or bobtail, it may be caused due to a genetic mutation called Brachyury mutation.
In a more precise explanation, a DNA variant in the T gene, an essential gene during early embryogenesis, disrupts the development of the dog’s tail and can result in a congenitally short (bobtail) or completely absent tail.
This condition is usually caused when either dog parent has a bobtail. If your Chihuahua has a bobtail, their offspring has a high likelihood of inheriting it.
Bobtails are not a sign of unhealthiness, so pet parents need not worry if your Chihuahua has a bobtail.
4. No Tail
We have already seen different shapes of tails, straight, curled, and bob. But there are some pups that are not born without one.
Is it possible? Most likely.
If your Chihuahua was born without a tail, that might signify a congenital disability, which is quite common in dogs. This does not possess any harm to the dog.
Also, there is a chance that your dog’s tail was accidentally lost due to an accident when they were young.
In most cases, not having a tail carries no significant risk. Even yet, if you are concerned about their health, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
5 Different Chihuahua’s Tail Positions & Their Meaning
We all know that there is no happier being in the world than a dog. Not only are they the man’s best friend but also the best stress reliever.
Cuddling up and playing with your lovely chihuahuas will make your stress and pain fly away.
Chihuahuas have the natural ability to decipher human emotions, but what about you? How will you know what your Chihuahua is feeling?
Well, there’s a response from the body, and what about tail movement?
Since they have curled tails, some may fall into the misconception they are harder to read, which is not the case.
Even with their sickle-shaped tails, interpreting the feeling of your chihuahuas is relatively easy.
Here are some chihuahua tail movements that can help you know what they mean:
1. Chihuahua Tail Curled Up
Have you ever brought your dog’s favorite food and noticed how her tail instinctively straightens and waggles? Now we all know what that means.
That’s right; they are infinitely happy.
Seeing them happy makes you feel like floating on cloud nine, right?
2. Chihuahua Tail Curled Down
Since tail curling up means happiness, the opposite will mean sadness or fearfulness.
Either your Chihuahua has picked up on a strange aura or feels guilty about something it knows it shouldn’t have done.
So, if your Chihuahua has its tail curled down, give some pat and ease her worry.
Also Read: Why Are Chihuahuas So Scared?
3. Chihuahua Tail Between Legs
If you see your Chihuahua tucking its tail between its legs, it’s clear that something is wrong with them.
They may be experiencing strong emotions such as anxiety or worry, or they may be unwell.
If you ever observe your pet acting in this manner, comfort her by patting her on the head.
4. Chihuahua Tail Wagging
A universal fact about dogs is that if they wag their tails, it automatically means they are happy.
According to Stephanie Gibeault, MSc, CPDT from AKC, if a dog wags furiously more to the right, it means it is happy. If it tags more to the left, it may be a negative sign of fear.
Maybe because you bought their favorite toys or are giving them your full attention, your pup shows you its gratitude and contentment by continuously wagging its tail.
Also Read: Best Toys for Chihuahua
5. Chihuahua Tail Droopy
If you see your Chihuahua’s tail droopy, your first thought will be that they are sad. This is not the case!
Droopy tails are a sign of curiosity. They might be searching for something or looking for a proper place to poop.
So, if you see their tails being droopy, don’t jump into worries and rather go on the flow with them.
Check out this video explaining the various moods of chihuahua all deciphered on the basis of its tail movements.
Chihuahua With Docked Tail – Is It Ever Okay?
Tail docking is a traditional method of removing a dog’s tail when it is young. This procedure was done during ancient times to prevent the dogs from getting injured while working. This treatment was also done by the ancient Romans on the assumption that docking the dogs’ tails would minimize the risk of them contracting rabies.
Thankfully, all the above reasons are debunked.
Without a clear explanation, we believe you already understand how painful, cruel, and ridiculous the practice of docking dogs’ tails is.
Tail docking is an ancient practice for working dogs, so chihuahuas don’t usually come under this category. However, they are still victims of tail docking, which is purely due to cosmetic reasons.
Some pet owners who didn’t like the natural long curled tails of chihuahuas had them amputated so they would appear cuter, which is one of the horrifying reasons why chihuahuas are subjected to this cruel act.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, tail docking procedures are immensely painful for dogs and might severely impact their later lives.
Docking is prohibited or limited in 36 countries; in the United States, it must be performed by a qualified veterinarian, although some veterinarians are voluntarily declining to do so because it is considered mostly cosmetic in this day and age.
It’s also worth noting that tail docking is not the same as tail amputation. Tail docking is done for cosmetic purposes, while tail amputations are for medical reasons and are necessary for some breeds. For example, if a pup gets its tail severely injured, it will need to be amputated.
8 Common Chihuahua Tail Problems
Having a tail, as much as it is cute and adorable, is also one of the vulnerable parts of a dog pet parents have to be on a constant lookout for. According to PetMD, here are some typical chihuahua tail issues to be aware of:
1. Skin Infections
If your chihuahua is experiencing any skin allergies, the first part of being affected is its tail.
Since skin infections can be itchy or painful, there is a high chance that your pet may scratch or bite its tail a lot to ease the itching sensation.
One of the effective ways to treat skin infections is to apply ointments to the diseased area or give them oral antibiotics.
2. Excess Wagging
It is heartwarming to see your cute Chihuahua wagging its tail excessively. We totally get it.
According to Dr. Brittany Grenus, DVM, dogs wagging tails mean they are at their peak of excitement. But too much enthusiasm can cause trouble too.
Let’s say your pet is wagging its tail, excited by your arrival; while wagging its tail, there are chances it may have forgotten about the furniture nearby and gets its tail hurt.
Though their tail probably won’t be hurt severely, it can’t always be said. The wound can be fatal next time, leading to tail amputation.
Since you can’t do anything about your pet’s over-enthusiasm, make sure there is soft furniture near them.
3. Dog Bites
When you let your Chihuahua play with other dogs, there is a high chance for them to get dirty and wounded.
Getting dirty is something we know will happen, but getting wounded, how is that?
The wounds may be caused by falling or accidentally getting bitten by other dogs, which is quite normal.
Applying pain relievers and oral medicines will help your dog get relieved from their pain.
Also Read: Do Chihuahuas Get Along With Other Dogs?
4. Nerve Damage
Some dogs may not wag their tails much, even if they are at their peak of excitement.
This dull behavior may be due to some nerve damage.
The nerve damage can be caused due to an accident your pet has gone through in its past or any other traumatic event that caused severe nerve damage.
Occasional therapy sessions will benefit your dog a lot.
Sprains are not only for legs and limbs but for tails too. If your pet is a great swimmer, then there is a considerable chance that your pup is prone to get sprains.
This is due to the fact that chihuahuas utilize their tails as rudders when swimming. As the little muscle is overworked, it becomes exhausted, putting tension on the small joints and ligaments of the tail, causing the tail to become limp.
Anti-inflammatory medicine and activity limitation are some common treatments.
Also Read: Do Chihuahuas Like to Swim?
6. Trapped Fecal Matter
Dogs with relatively short or weirdly shaped tails have higher chances of getting their fecal matter trapped by their tail around the anus, and Chihuahuas belong to this category.
Trimming the hair on the Chihuahua’s tail can help avoid this case.
7. Fracture Or Dislocation
When you are playing with your pup and accidentally step on its tail.
That’s going to hurt a lot.
If your Chihuahua’s tail is grabbed, trodden on, or becomes jammed in a door, it can fracture or dislocate.
As painful it seems, a fracture usually can be healed on its own. Or, if it’s too severe, the wound can be cured through surgery.
Raising pets also entails dealing with the unpleasant presence of fleas. Fleas biting a dog’s skin will irritate and make the dog and tails their main area.
Fleas often target the base of a dog’s tail, leading to problems with the tail itself. Flea bites can cause excessive itchiness on a dog’s skin.
According to PetMD, if fleas are an issue for your dog, several flea treatments and medications can help kill the fleas and make your pup flea-free.
How To Groom Long Haired Chihuahua Tail? 9 Easy Steps
Grooming sessions are essential for both the sanitary and health of a chihuahua. Long-haired chihuahuas are cute and adorable pets that need regular grooming sessions to keep their coats shiny and overall hygiene healthy.
Since chihuahuas are pretty responsible and obedient, grooming sessions will not be hectic and rather be peaceful. You can either take your pet to a professional groomer or perform the task on your own.
With that said, let’s look into the grooming steps for long hair chihuahuas recommended by the ASPCA:
The first step to grooming is bathing.
Place your dog in lukewarm water and use special dog shampoo and washes to clean the depths of your chihuahua coat.
During the bathing session, the twirled knots of your dog’s fur are removed, making it easier for the later sessions.
If your dog has too many fleas or ticks, it is recommended to use special shampoos.
After drying the pet, brush their coat gently with a good quality brush to eliminate any little twirls or matted ends.
After bathing, wrap a warm and dry towel around your pup. You can let them dry naturally under the sunlight or use an electric hairdryer.
When drying, make sure your pet is not scared of the dryer and always set the setting to the minimum.
Before proceeding to the next trimming step, you first need to brush your coat well.
Since long-haired chihuahuas have a long coat of soft and fine hairs, it is necessary to brush them well.
After drying the pet, use a good quality brush and gently brush their coat to remove the tiny twirls or matted ends.
Too much hair is not suitable for your pet’s comfiness, which is why trimming is necessary.
Trim the hair around the Chihuahua’s toes and the additional hair developing between the pads underneath, with a hair clipper or shaver.
Also, using blunt scissors for the tails will keep the fur around the tail short and tidy.
5. Nail Care
The pace of nail growth in dogs is as quick as it is for humans.
When your dog gets itchy, it usually scratches the irritation away. If you leave the nails as it is, your dog may hurt itself.
The more the length of nails, the sharper it is, and the more your dog is prone to get hurt.
Use quality clippers to trim the nails of your dogs.
If your dog is too scared at the sight of clippers, take the process slow and distract them with their favorite treats and toys.
Also Read: How to Cut Chihuahua Nails
6. Eye Care
Eye damages are frequent, especially for long-haired chihuahuas.
Their sensitive eye area is irritated by the fine hairs around their face. Eye irritation in chihuahuas can be caused by various things, including hairs, shampoos, and other cosmetics.
Eye drops advised by your veterinarian can be used for your pets’ eye care.
Also Read: Why Do Chihuahuas Eyes Water?
7. Ear Care
In the chihuahua’s grooming session, make sure not to forget about the ear area.
Dogs’ ears tend to collect the most dirt of all. According to AKC, dogs’ ears must be cleaned at least once every month. So, the owner must ensure that the inner ear wax and excessive fine hairs are removed from the dog’s ears while grooming.
When it comes to the ear, be careful and not insert anything into their ears that may cause injuries.
Also Read: Why Do Chihuahuas Have Big Ears?
8. Dental Care
Dental hygiene is another vital aspect of grooming. You should never omit dental treatment in a grooming session if you want to get rid of your precious Chihuahua’s foul breath.
According to Dr. JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, brushing regularly is necessary to maintain the oral hygiene of dogs.
Also Read: Best Dental Chews for Chihuahuas
9. Paw Care
The pads on your dog’s feet provide extra cushioning to assist protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, ease walking on rugged terrain, and preserve tissue deep within the paw.
It’s essential to check your pet’s feet regularly for sores, infections, and foreign objects.