What Types of Dogs Have Tails That Curl Up When Standing?

Don't let the seated position fool you, this pug's tail looks the same standing up.
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For anyone who can't resist a dog with a curly tail, there's good news. There are plenty of breeds whose tails curl while standing, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Also, knowing how certain tails curl can help you identify your dog's pedigree if you have a mixed-breed.


Small and popular among families and apartment dwellers thanks to its mild temperament and low-maintenance personality, the pug has one of the curliest tails in the world. Its tail is a tight corkscrew that sits in a small pile on its rump, standing, sitting or sleeping. Pug tails are so curly, in fact, that even when running or wagging, they arc like question marks, rather than straighten out.


Small, friendly and peppy--and often pampered because of its luxuriant, long double coat--Pomeranians possess a tightly wound tail beneath all that fur. The Pomerania's tail sits high and, like the pug's, curls up onto its back when standing. Pomeranians' fur however, requires a lot of brushing and maintenance to keep it clean and healthy.


The affectionate, mild-mannered keeshond has one of the richest coats and one of the most tightly curled tails in the animal kingdom. A keeshond's tail is so tight against its body and draped in such luxuriant fur that from some angles it seems to have no tail at all.

Chow Chow

The squat, sturdy, fluffy chow chow is known for its cat-like personality and stocky build. It also has a curled tail that sits tight against its back, due to the fact that the chow chow is an arctic dog built to withstand cold weather. Chow chows often are compared to cats for their sense of independence and general ability to be unimpressed by their owners.

Akita and Shiba Inu

Related and similar in appearance, the akita and shiba inu are Japanese dogs known for their extreme loyalty and affection. The akita is larger and can, if poorly trained, be aggressive, but both breeds display strong, thick tails that connect their rumps to their backs in what looks like a jug handle. Both breeds require regular exercise, patience and proper training.

Norwegian Elkhound

The regal, smoke-colored Norwegian elkhound is Norway's national dog. As its name implies, it was bred to hunt elk, and it's this quality that makes the elkhound an excellent watchdog and protector. It wears its tail tightly curled and carried over its back. Elkhounds are bold and independent, but make excellent family dogs.