French Bulldogs Tails

A French Bulldog running outside through the fall leaves

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Everything About French Bulldog Tails

The French Bulldog is a small, strong, and muscular dog that frequently ranks in the top 3 most popular breeds, according to the American Kennel Club.

French Bulldogs are loving, loyal, and caring by nature which makes them ideal family pets or companion dogs for older owners.

French Bulldogs come in a range of colors that include white, fawn, brindle as well as combinations of the above.

They have flattened faces and a cute demeanor which partly accounts for their soaring popularity amongst pet owners.

The French Bulldog Tail

French Bulldogs have tiny, stubby tails that are one of the breed’s most defining characteristics.

French bulldog tails are very short with a thick root and a thin tip that hangs quite low compared to other breeds.

French Bulldog tails are stumpy and are either straight, screwed, or sometimes have curves in them.

A French Bulldog’s tail is very similar to those of a Pug or Boston Terrier and is the result of breeding practices that selected this trait over successive generations.

Are French Bulldogs Born Without Tails?

There’s a common misconception among the general public that French Bulldogs have their tails docked when they are young.

However, this is not the case because in reality they are born with their characteristically small tails!

The French Bulldog’s tail is entirely the result of breeding and so you don’t need to worry about them being docked – a practice that is widely considered to be cruel and is actually illegal in many parts of the world unless it is done by a vet for medical reasons.

3 Common French Bulldog Tail Problems

  • Hemivertebrae
  • Tail Pocket Infection
  • Sunburn

1. Hemivertebrae

This is a condition that can actually occur in any breed but is more likely to inflict dogs with screwed tails, including French Bulldogs as well as Boston Terriers and Pugs.

The clearest sign that your dog has hemivertebrae is that instead of a vertebra in their back looking like a spool it takes on a more triangular shape.

This is partly a result of their breeding but it’s also a symptom that their vertebra has been compressed.

This can be painful for your dog and may, in some cases, require surgery to relieve the compression in its back.

In the first instance, if you suspect your French Bulldog has hemivertebrae, you should visit your vet who will probably prescribe anti-inflammatories and several weeks of rest.

Only if this fails to work will surgery be considered.

2. Tail Pocket Infection

This is a common issue with French Bulldogs and is easily treated.

A tail pocket infection is when the wrinkle (pocket) near the tail gets infected, swollen, and red.

This can cause their tail pocket to smell extremely bad and make the skin painful and irritated for your pet.

If your dog has a tail pocket infection then you’ll have to visit the vet who will clean the area and give you a topical medication to continue to clean it over the next few weeks.

Your French Bulldog will also usually be prescribed an oral antibiotic and if there’s also a yeast infection you’ll be given an antifungal medication for your dog as well.

3. Sunburn

Believe it or not but your French Bulldog’s tail can get badly burnt if you spend a lot of time out in the sun!

There’s not an awful lot you can do about this except to avoid spending too long outside in the hot midday sun or, if you are out in the park, try to stay under the shade for at least part of the time.

One thing you can do if you live in a very hot and sunny climate is to apply a mild children’s sunscreen to your dog’s tail to stop it from getting burnt!

It’s always worth discussing the best sunscreen to use with your vet just to confirm that it’s safe to use on dogs.

French Bulldog Tail Care Tips

  • Use warm water and mild soap to clean your dog’s tail and the surrounding areas when you give it a bath.
    • Gently lift up your dog’s tail and using a damp cloth carefully clean its anal opening and tail.
  • Alternatively, you can dog-friendly wet wipes to clean their tail and anal opening.
  • Once you have cleaned your dog’s tail and anal opening you should gently dab it dry with a separate clean cloth.
    • Avoid leaving any excess water under your dog’s tail because this can cause yeast and tail pocket infections.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Bathe Your French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs are playful and active dogs so they do need regular baths.

At the very minimum, they should be bathed at least once every month but it’s better to give them a good bath each week.

Don’t have time to give your Frenchie a bath? Try to freshen up their coat between baths.

Regular bathing is essential to help keep your dog’s skin and coat clean and healthy.

Can a French Bulldog have a Long Tail?

French Bulldogs used to have longer tails but this trait was bred out of the dogs over time.

No, a Purebred French Bulldog cannot have a long tail.

Purpose Bred Dogs

French Bulldogs were originally bred to be ‘ratters’ who were trained to catch rats, mice, and other vermin; primarily aboard merchant ships!

Their tails were bred to be short so that the sailors could pick up the dogs by their tail to put them into manholes and down small spaces to catch rats and mice!

This meant that having a short, strong tail was much better than if the dog had a long tail which could easily be damaged when it was picked up.

The short tails of French Bulldogs didn’t get damaged by being picked up and it didn’t hurt the dog either.

Every Frenchie is Unique

However, because there is always an element of randomness in breeding you do find some French Bulldogs have longer tails because that ancient genetic trait has randomly re-emerged.

Therefore, although it is very unusual it’s nothing to worry about if your French Bulldog has a longish tail.

This is similar to how the rare “Fluffy” gene sometimes re-emerges to create a Fluffy French Bulldog

Mixed Frenchies & Long Tails

With this being said, there are definitely many Mixed-Frenchies out there that have a long tail.

The only thing with these long-tailed Frenchies is that they’re not recognized by the AKC as an official French Bulldogs.

Are French Bulldog Tails Docked?

No, French Bulldog’s tails are not docked and are only short as a result of breeding.

Can French Bulldogs Wag Their Tails?

Surprisingly, French Bulldogs cannot actually wag their tails!

Some French Bulldogs can move their stumpy little tails a bit but usually if they’re happy they will just wag their bottom instead.

French Bulldogs Are Wonderful Pets

Once you have learned to groom, clean, and keep your French Bulldog’s tail healthy you can look forward to many happy years together.

Generally, a French Bulldog will on live between 10 to 14 years and is a loving, affectionate, and playful dog.