How are these dogs like?
French Bulldogs are one of the most joyous breeds to raise. Although other dogs wag their tails to express happiness, French Bulldogs cannot do so as they do not have long tails.
The most prominent feature of Frenchies is their short, cute tails that make them appear to be even more adorable. And contrary to popular assumptions, their tails are not docked or cut off; they are just not born with long ones and are naturally quite short.
Their tails are small and stumpy looking, which is a result of early breeding. However, they, too, come in different shapes and lengths. For instance, some Frenchies have screw-shaped tails, some have little curves on them and the others are just short and straight.
Why do French Bulldogs have short tails?
Over the years, French Bulldogs have been bred along with other dogs with short-tails like terriers and pugs. But if you browse through the history, you will find out that Frenchies used to have quite long tails earlier. They were even used for dog fights and bull baiting.
However, when people started indulging in selective breeding, the Frenchies started growing shorter tails eventually. Another reason why they were bred to grow short tails is to prevent tail injuries in fights.
Now, French Bulldogs are no more used for such violent activities and have come to embrace their short tails as their true look.
Do their short tails cause health problems?
The short tail of a Frenchie adds a unique feature to their overall cutesy appeal. Although, if you are planning to buy a French Bulldog, then you must know that they are prone to certain health issues due to their short tails.
Tail Pocket Infection
Not all French Bulldogs have a tail pocket that lies between their tail and rectum. However, the ones that do have this wrinkle can suffer from tail pocket infections.
Most often, the wrinkle can be difficult for Frenchie owners to clean like the rest of their body. As a result, dirt and bacteria start collecting in the space and, therefore, causing severe infections in their tail pocket area, which can be fatal as well.
The most common signs to know whether your Frenchie is suffering from tail pocket infection are swelling, constant itching, pus formation, and foul smell. This is a very painful infection, and if it gets serious, then your Frenchie may need to be rushed for surgery.
A healthy and safe way to keep tail pocket infections at bay would be to use mild baby wipes for deep cleaning and a soft, dry cloth to keep them dry. Remember to clean their wrinkles regularly to avoid such dangerous infections.
This is a critical problem that affects the spinal cord of Frenchies. The short tail of French Bulldogs is often prone to genetic issues, which can lead to hemivertebrae, especially since they have twisted tails.
Primarily, the hemivertebrae indicates abnormally shaped bones in the spine. So, when these bones are incapable of properly aligning with the rest of the spinal cord, it can cause severe problems such as the inability to walk in Frenchies. The pain in this condition is extremely unbearable and can even lead to losing bowel and bladder control.
To avoid your dear Frenchie from such a heartbreaking ailment, it is always better to take him for radiography tests and check-ups from a very young age.
And as far as the treatment process is concerned, if your dog is showing minimal signs of hemivertebra, then proper bed rest and anti-inflammatories can suffice. However, if the condition of the Frenchie deteriorates further, then you must visit a reliable vet and get a hemilaminectomy done. This is a surgical procedure where the disc material that is compressing the spinal cord is removed. As a result, your Frenchie’s spine will stabilize completely.
Having a sunburn is an extremely agitated and uncomfortable experience for dogs and humans equally. And when it comes to French Bulldogs, this condition often attacks their short tails that are devoid of thick fur.
French Bulldogs love the outdoors, but if they stay out for a long time under the sun, then it can cause serious damage to their short, delicate tail skin. Not only does sunburn cause their tails to be in complete agony, but it can also cause skin cancer in French Bulldogs as their tail skin is quite sensitive.
Are you planning for a day out on a sunny seashore? Make sure that you have sunblock or sunscreen that is specially designed for dog skins and apply it on their tails gently. You can also cover their body with a sun-protective shirt. Also, it is advised that you avoid taking them out under direct heat in between 10 am to 2 pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of tail shapes in Frenchies?
While most French Bulldogs have short tails, they do come in different lengths and shapes. With selective breeding, Frenchies started growing short tails that mainly develop in three forms:
- Corkscrewed and stumpy
- Straight, hanging down, and stumpy
- Thick rooted tail with a fine tip
Are French Bulldogs prone to Eczema?
Yes, French Bulldogs are prone to Eczema on their short tails. It can cause a persistent itchy sensation on their tails, which can lead to irritating behavior in the Frenchie.
Since their tails do not have a thick layer of fur, their tail skin is very sensitive, which gets easily infected by fungi or bacteria.
So, to protect a Frenchie from Eczema, you should consult a reputed vet and buy a vet recommended organic shampoo. Such topical shampoos ease their itching and prevent them from scratching their tails further.
Also, try to find out the exact cause of the allergy and take necessary actions to eliminate it.
Can Frenchies wag their tails?
Unlike other dogs that wag their long tails to express joy, French Bulldogs cannot do the same due to their tiny tails. However, Frenchies are remarkably energetic and happy dogs and have found their own way of displaying happiness. They do so by wiggling their rumps, having a delightful, cheerful expression on their faces, and by jumping around merrily.
Can a Frenchie’s short, curvy tail be straightened?
Yes, they can be. In fact, in the year 2010, the UK’s National Kennel Club had launched a straight tail initiative. This movement urged breeders to start breeding straight-tailed French Bulldogs. Since then, the movement has gained momentum and is being followed in numerous parts of Europe.
With the help of such initiatives, all the health issues concerning French Bulldogs can rapidly disappear and make them healthier.
Although, if you own a curvy tailed Frenchie, then it can be straightened through surgery by a professional veterinarian. And once your dog undergoes surgery, he/she will need complete rest and anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve the pain post-surgery.
To Sum Up
French Bulldogs have everything that a dog owner looks for while adopting or buying a dog to give them company. And although they have very short tails, it only adds to their overall charm and cuteness.
The most relieving part of having a Frenchie is that all their health issues can be easily spotted and treated. You just have to be aware of the symptoms and be in constant touch with your vet.