Dogs with Short Tails

Humans breed dogs to perform certain functions such as security, hunting, or herding livestock. Among all these activities, a dog’s tail may become a liability because it can be grabbed by predators, hooked on bushes, or used to subdue the dog. In such cases, owning and breeding a dog with a short tail is the ideal situation.

Some dogs are born with a short tail due to a genetic anomaly known as “T-box mutation.” Several breeds with this are used for hunting and herding, including the Australian shepherd, Australian cattle dog, Pyrenean Shepherd, Brittany, Polish lowland sheepdog, Spanish water dog, Jack Russell terrier, and the Swedish Vallhund.

Other dogs that are born with naturally short tails include the English bulldog and the Boston terriers. 

Some owners choose to dock or cut, their dog’s tail. This usually is done at the puppy stage, and while it’s relatively unrestricted in the US, other countries have heavily restricted or even banned the process.

The problem many veterinarians have with tail-docking is that there are many breeds who do the procedure for cosmetic reasons as opposed to health reasons.

Due to the negative view of docking, bobtailing is becoming more popular.  This is when a pure-bred short-tailed dog mates with a dog that does not have a naturally short tail in order to produce a litter with natural bobtailed puppies.  While this is a more humane method of producing short-tailed dogs, it’s not totally accurate because not all the puppies will inherit that trait. For a stronger chance of having puppies with naturally bobbed tails, both parents must have the recessive gene to pass on.

Breeds of Short-Tailed Dogs

The following are breeds of dogs born with short tails. 

  1. Old English Sheepdog

This breed has been given the nickname “bobtail” because of its short tail. Originating in Great Britain, this breed of dog is known for guarding and herding.  It is known for its large size and long and dense fur. It comes in three different colors: white, grey, or black. Old English Sheepdogs are known to be very friendly.

  1. English Bulldog

Originating from the UK, this dog is known as a symbol of the nation and is famous for its skin folds. It is a plump dog with a large head, saggy jowls, and short fur made of different colors. You can find them in red, brindle, white, or beige colors. 

  1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a well-known dog that originated in the country of Wales. This dog dates back to when the Corgis were known as Shepherds. Quite a small dog, this species is the oldest species of dogs in Great Britain. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a fox-like head, short tail, and robust body. Its hair can be red, black, orange, or beige. It’s a sociable dog that’s intelligent, hardworking, and perfect for a home with kids. 

  1. French Bulldog

Originating in the nineteenth century, the French bulldog is a small, short-tailed dog with bat-like ears. It is one of the Molosser dogs, which consists of some of the oldest breeds in the world and is noted for their wide chest and muscled legs; the French bulldog also has a short tail that is knotted at the end. It is a very friendly dog, one that is cheerful, sweet, and does well with children.

  1. Braque Francais

Popularly known as the French pointing dog, this is another breed with a short tail. They are very common around the border between France and Spain. It’s a medium-sized, muscular canine with a brown nose, dark eyes, and short muzzle. This dog has a beautiful coat consisting of brown and white spots. They get along very well with children. 

  1. Boston Terrier

The North American Boston terrier is a small dog with a flat muzzle, erect ears, and a short tail. This breed of dogs is known to lose its fur if not properly bathed. This breed is a great companion for humans and would do well living in an apartment. 

While this list contains several popular breeds of dogs born with short tails, it certainly is not exhaustive. There are many more breeds that are born with short tails or whose breed standard includes a docked tail.


Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me