You may have seen dogs with short or no tails and wondered if they were born like that. In many cases, the dog may have been born with a tail and had it docked.
Docking is the removal of the tail usually at around 3 to 5 days old by cutting off the blood supply. This was originally dog in hunting breeds to prevent injury to the tail which could become infected. Later it became more for the appearance in dog shows. Docking has become less popular and even banned in certain places.
What breeds of dog are naturally born without tails
Other dogs with a short or no tail where in fact born like that. These are known as a natural bobtail and is usually the result of a mutated gene in the breeds DNA.
The gene in questions is called the T-box transcription factor T gene (C189G). This accounts for many of the bobtail breeds, but there are six known breeds where this is not the case. The list below shows which breeds they are in each case.
For many of these bobtail breeds, not all dogs of the breed have a bobtail. In some cases, the lack of a tail is the result of selective breeding. This is where the breeder has selected the parents with a bobtail in the hope that it will be passed down to the puppies.
Natural bobtail dog breeds with C189G mutation
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Braque du Bourbonnais (Bourbonnais Pointer)
Braque Francais (Savoy Sheepdog)
Jack Russell Terrier
Karelian Bear Dog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Spanish Water Dog
Natural bobtail dog breeds without C189G mutation
King Charles Spaniel
Parson Russell Terrier
Dog breeds where natural bobtails have not yet been tested for C189G mutation
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Miniature Fox Terrier
Old English Sheepdog
Questions from dog owners
Are Rottweilers born without tails?
In most cases, Rottweiler puppies are born with a tail. If you see a Rottweiler with a short stump it was more than likely docked. In some cases, depending on the bloodlines a Rottweiler puppy may have no tail. That is they are a natural bobtail.
Are Boxers born with a tail?
The majority of Boxer dogs are born with tails. Due to legislation restricting or preventing docking, there are breeders that have introduced the T-box transcription factor T gene (C189G) into their bloodlines to create dogs that are born without a tail.
Are French Bulldogs born with tails?
French bulldog tails are naturally short and sit right over their rectum. It’s likely that the tail was achieved through early cross-breeding or interbreeding with other short-tailed dogs like terriers and pugs.
Can mixed breed dogs be born without a tail?
This is only likely to occur where one of the breeds they have come from has passed on the dominant gene. For example, if one of the parents was a natural bobtail and the other was a breed that has a tail, there would be a 50% chance that a puppy would be born with no tail.