Why Do Basenjis Have Curly Tails? 

The wonderful thing about pets, especially dogs, is that there are many interesting things that characterize them and make them unique. It would be very boring if all breeds had a similar appearance, personality, ability, or behaviour.

Dogs are considered man’s best friends, and when adopting or buying one, we must pay close attention to their characteristics. There are breeds of all sizes, colours, and physical builds. 

Some have more adorable appearances, while others are more imposing. Certain dogs have unique physical traits that most do not.

Although it is true that we should not take into account only the appearance of a breed to acquire it, it is important that we know a little about its most interesting and unique physical characteristics since we could find something interesting. In the case of the Basenjis, we will talk about their curly tails.

It is essential to know that the Basenji is one of the oldest dog breeds that are characterized by its small size and elegant appearance.

Although this dog has interesting physical characteristics such as its short fur, small ears, dark eyes, etc., one of the most interesting is its curly tail. That can cause concern for many people since they might think that it is a disease, but that is not the case.

Why Do Basenjis Have Curly Tails?

One of your canine’s most identifying features is its tail. The curly tails in these dogs are due to the hemivertebrae, that is, the fusion of the vertebrae (the bones and the end of the spine). As a result of that, they twist and form a curly tail.

Although curly tails are a distinctive physical trait of Basenjis, we can also find it in other breeds such as:

  • German Spitz
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Akita
  • Shiba Inu
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Chow Chow
  • Husky

The tightness of the tail curl is determined by the Basenji’s present attitude and degree of enthusiasm. The canine’s tail will curl more firmly the more aroused and buoyant it is.

Are Curly Tails Associated with Health Problems?

The first thing you should know is that curly tails in dogs developed from experiments in breeding these animals many years ago.

As we have said in the previous point, the Basenji is not the only dog with this type of tail, so it is normal to think that these experiments were carried out on other breeds such as the Pomeranian, German Spitz, Pug, etc.

While a curly tail shouldn’t be a problem, it can cause pain. However, keep in mind that your Basenji will only feel the pain in that area (the tail).

Curly tails do not normally cause health problems, but you have to be aware that this breed of dog may have some defects in the hemivertebrae.

It is possible for a Basenji to have an abnormality in that area which can, in turn, cause neurological disorders during puppyhood.

Concern About Curly Tails

Many people who are not very familiar with the breed of dog they have adopted or purchased are concerned when they notice that their pet has a curly tail.

It is true that on certain occasions, this physical characteristic can cause certain health problems such as scoliosis, degenerative or progressive problems of the spine, or some type of pain. However, this is more likely in dog breeds in which this trait is not characteristic.

In the case of breeds such as Pugs, Samoyeds, Pomeranians, or Basenjis, it is something normal, so you should not worry.

If you don’t have one of these breeds, do some research to see if a curly tail is a characteristic trait of the breed you have acquired.

Curly Tails Give Us a Clue About a Specific Mixed Breed

If you don’t know much about mixed dog breeds, curly tails will help you understand which dog has been used for the cross. Obviously, this is only possible if said mixed breed has a curly tail.

Generally, it is possible to draw conclusions about a specific species based on its body composition. As we have said, curly tails have this particular shape as the vertebrae bones fuse together and twist. Therefore, it is very easy to visually distinguish when a dog has a curly tail.

It should be noted that if you see a mixed breed with a curly tail, this physical characteristic will not be enough to determine the breed used during the crossing.

You must consider other factors, such as the softness and length of the tail. That way, you will be able to have a better clue about the species used to create said mixed breed.

The small group of dogs that belongs to the curly-tailed breed category is made up of Basenjis, Pugs, Akitas, Pomeranians, and a few other small dog breeds. As for large dogs with curly tails, we can consider Chow Chows, Huskies, or Alaskan Malamutes.

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