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Why Do Pugs Tails Curl?

Close up of a curly Pug tail

Pugs are known for their distinct, tightly curled tails. The reason for this is that pugs have a gene that determines the shape of their tail. In pugs, this gene causes the tail to curl tightly over the back. This trait is considered a breed standard for pugs and is highly valued. Keep reading to know about the most common theories of curly tails and learn whether all pugs have them or not.

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Why Do Pugs have Curly Tails?

Curly tails are one of the most recognizable characteristics of the breed. It is considered to be an important aspect of their overall appearance. The importance of this feature can be judged by the fact that it is taken into consideration in dog shows. Over the years, several theories have emerged about the reason for this trait. The most popular of these reasons are given below.

Protection – Some experts believe that the curled tail may have been a natural adaptation to protect the tail from injury. It makes a lot of sense given the hunting or working background of these pups. The tight curl of the tail would prevent it from getting caught or damaged while the dog is in motion.

Cosmetic Feature – According to some dog enthusiasts, the curled tail is simply a cosmetic feature that has been perpetuated through breeding. In ancient times, the Chinese bred pugs to have this feature because they believed that it was a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Pugs with curly tails were considered more desirable than those with straight tails. This preference for curled tails led to the perpetuation of the trait through selective breeding.

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Do All Pugs have Curly Tails?

Pug on a leash standing in grass

No, it is not a guarantee that every pug will have a curly tail. Although the tightly curled tail is considered a breed standard, some pugs may have straight or semi-curled tails. This variation in tail shape is due to the presence or absence of the gene that causes the tail to curl. Some pugs may have inherited the gene that causes the tail to curl while others may not have.

The presence or absence of a curled tail does not affect the health or well-being of the dog. Similarly, the tail shape does not affect the dog’s ability to perform its duties. Therefore, it should not be used as a criterion for determining the quality of a pug.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard for pugs states that “A curl is highly desirable, but not essential” and only requires that the tail be carried gaily, but not over the back. For these reasons, you should not consider the tail shape the determining factor while adopting a pet.

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At What Age Do Pugs’ Tails Curl?

Portrait of a pug puppy on a dark background

It’s not uncommon for pugs to have a fully curled tail by the time they are 6 months old. However, the age at which a pug’s tail begins to curl can vary depending on the individual dog. In general, pugs are born with straight tails and the curl begins to develop as they grow and mature. Some pugs may start to show signs of a curl as early as a few weeks old, while others may not develop a full curl until they are several months old.

The process of tail curling can be affected by several factors, like genetics, nutrition, and overall health. The dogs that are born with a strong genetic predisposition towards a curled tail will develop a curl more quickly. On the other hand, the pups that don’t have the tail-curling gene will tend to have a straighter tail.

Another important factor that can quicken the speed of curling is the diet of your pooch. Well-nourished pugs are known for developing a curl more quickly than those that are malnourished.

Why Do Pugs Tails Uncurl When Sleeping?

Close up of the face of a pug puppy while sleeping

Pugs are known for their tightly curled tails, which is a defining feature of the breed. However, it’s not uncommon for pugs to uncurl their tails while they are sleeping. This is a natural behavior and is nothing to be concerned about.

The reason for this is that when a pug is asleep, the muscles that keep the tail curled relax, causing the tail to uncurl. This is similar to how our muscles relax when we sleep, leading to the phenomenon known as “bed head” or wrinkles in clothes.

Additionally, some pugs may uncurl their tails as a sign of comfort and relaxation. This can be seen as a sign that the pug is at ease and comfortable in its environment. It’s important to note that tail curling is not a sign of pain or discomfort, and uncurling the tail while sleeping is not indicative of any health issues or problems. Pugs will still have curled tails while they are awake and active.

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