Why Are Some Dogs Born With A Half Tail? [Here Is Why]

Did you know that the length of a dog’s tail can vary greatly depending on the breed, defects, mutations, and pre or post-birth trauma? In this discussion, we’ll explore the differences between dogs with full tails, half tails, and no tails.

Dogs can be born with half a tail due to a variety of reasons, but it’s typically not a life-threatening issue. In fact, dogs with short tails can live a perfectly normal life. However, there is a noticeable difference between a tailless dog and one that has been born with half a tail.

Dogs born without tails or with short ones are often classified as bobtailed breeds, while dogs with half tails are considered to have no tails. Some people believe that certain breeds, such as Rottweilers, don’t need a tail or have their tails cropped, but this is not always the case.

In our upcoming discussion, we’ll explore the differences between dogs with full tails, half tails, and no tails, and provide you with tips for caring for your furry friend regardless of their tail length. Don’t miss out on this informative conversation that can help you better understand your dog’s unique characteristics and needs.

Why are some dogs born with half a tail?

Can dogs be born with half a tail? Yaa, why not. Then you may ask yourself why some dogs are born with half a tail if most dogs have long tails. That’s an interesting question. Isn’t it?

The answer is that there are two main reasons a dog has a short tail: either they were born with half a tail, or their tail was docked by their owners after birth. There are some reasons why some dogs are born with half a tail. Let’s see what those are

1. Depending on the breed.

Depending on the breed mix of his parents, it may be a perfectly natural incident.

2. It could be a defect.

 YES,  This can be a defect. Most of the time shortened tail may be a congenital defect. Uterine conditions or trauma during the gestation period could have injured and then altered the development of the normal shape and length of the tail.

You can check it indeed by asking your vet.

3. Mutations.

The phenomenon known as a half tail or short tail is caused by a mutation in an important gene called the Brachyury gene. That inherited trait is an autosomal dominant one.

The main reason for dogs being born with a half tail is the presence of the mutated T-gene C189G (T-box transcription factor T gene). Researchers have found 18 breeds carrying the C189G mutation.

The half tail condition is genetic. While the gene that causes a half tail in dogs is considered dominant, it is also a very common spontaneous mutation.

Suppose the pups have mixed ancestry, or there is the possibility of more than one sire/father. In that case, it’s quite possible that the dogs just got a tail like a Bulldog while the rest got tails like Labradors.

4. Pre or post-birth trauma.

The half tail condition can be due to a result of post-birth trauma. Dogs naturally use their teeth when removing the amniotic sack around each puppy while they are born.

Suppose you didn’t properly supervise the delivery. In that particular case, it is possible that the dam was over-zealous or had poor aim and just chomped a bit of tail off with the amniotic sack.

If your dog is born with a crooked tail, can you fix his tail?

Some dogs are born with congenital defects in the shape and length of their tails. As long as the abnormality is only found on the tail, the problem is only seen externally.

This would be a defect in the coccygeal vertebrae bones in the vertebral column close to the base of the tail. If a bone segment in the tail is dislocated, the tail becomes a somewhat crooked shape.

After birthing, many types of injury can lead to crooked & half tails. Road accidents, some human activities, and predators attacks are some of them

There are some treatments for fixing the crooked tail of a dog. These are artificial medical surgeries done by a veterinarian. These medical procedures can cause extreme pain and suffering to your innocent pet.

Surgery will also affect the dog’s natural behavior and be troublesome.

Such a procedure would require painful fracturing, amputation of part of the tail, or repositioning of the tail’s bones.

For all cases, channel a veterinarian. Do not try to do this procedure by yourself. Resetting the tail so the bones can regrow in alignment is one way to fix a tail. Your dog could need surgery and amputation of part of the tail in more severe cases.

What happens to the dog if the dog is born with half a tail?

Usually, dogs use their tails to show their feeling and expressions. When your dog is in his everyday joyful mood, his tail will be held up and wagged over his back. If he is over happy, he may wag his tail fast and hard.

If the tail is too short, he cannot express happiness, nervousness, feeling threatened, anxiety, submission, and excitement.

You may see that. Dogs show their gratitude to their owner. They wag their tails. Not only that, but dogs use their tails to dispel flies also.

The tail is a type of communicative tool among dogs. You may have seen that they used it to show their love and emotions to their owner.  

The tail helps dogs maintain their balance by putting its weight on the opposite side of the dog’s tilt.

 What should you do if a dog is born with half a tail?

This is somewhat questionable. Because this depends on how the dog owner thinks about this problem.

From my point of view, if the dog is born with half a tail congeniality, it will not be a big problem for the dog’s life and its owner. Because a short tail will not affect a normal life of a dog, it is not a life-threatening thing.

1. What are the most prone dogs to be born with half a tail?

These breeds are natural dog breeds carrying the C189G gene mutation (T-box transcription factor T gene) that causes half tails. Below is a massive list of dog breeds with a half tail.

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Austrian Pinscher
  • Karelian Farm Dog
  • Bourbonnais Pointer      
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  • Brazilian Terrier
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Brittany Spaniel
  • Savoy Sheepdog (Berger de Savoie)
  • Corgi     
  • Australian stumpy tail cattle dog
  • Schipperke
  • Croatian Sheepdog        
  • Spanish Waterdog
  • Danish-Swedish Farmdog
  • Swedish Vallhund.
  • French Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • English Bulldog
  • Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
  • Miniature Schnauzer

Although lots of dogs are being born with long or small tails/bobtails, some breeds are coming into this world completely tailless, like the Brittany Spaniel, Brazilian terrier, and Braque du Bourbonnais.

Things to be aware of.

You should not worry too much about a dog born with a half tail. Sometimes it gives a cute appearance to your pet. So you don’t need to change that natural look of the dog by doing medical surgeries.


As a veterinary medical student, I would like to say, born with a half tail is not a huge problem for a dog. Because the tail is not a vital organ, it is not much essential for the day-to-day life of a dog.

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