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French Bulldog Tail Docking Debunked

French Bulldog Tail Docking Debunked

Is there anyone who has seen a long-tailed French Bulldog? How fast do they dock the tails that we can’t see a full-length tail on a Frenchie? Or, perhaps there is a rule to perform French Bulldog tail docking and forever be silent about it.

OK, let’s not get into Frenchie conspiracy theories. We are here to talk about the truth. 

It is time to debunk the mystery surrounding the French Bulldogs and their small tail. 

There are several questions to answer: 

1. Do they have a tail?

2. Are they natural or docked?

3. What does their tail look like?

4. Why are they so cute?

Quite reasonable questions, and we have the answers to all of them. And, we have a question of our own – do Frenchies have health problems connected to their tail?

Let’s get into it.

French Bulldog Tail Docking

grey French Bulldog puppy

Tail docking is a procedure in which a distal part of the tail is “cut off” by a procedure known as a “binding procedure”. There is an ongoing debate about whether docking is humane or not. It is done without anesthesia, and most of the time, outside the veterinary clinic. 

But, our topic is French Bulldog tail docking, and not the morale behind it. So, let’s get into the topic right away.

Do Frenchies Have A Tail?

An excellent question! Do Frenchies have a tail? Why, yes they do! Do you know that we all had a tail at a certain time during the gestation period? To be honest, if someone showed you a dog and a human embryo, unless you are a doctor, you would have a hard time guessing which is which.

Check these two photos: 

  1. Dog embryo
  2. Human embryo

So, French Bulldogs do have a tail when they are born, just like any other dog. However, they do have something different from most other dog breeds.

It’s about the length of their tail. 

Are They Natural Or Docked?

French Bulldog walking away

This is the difference between Frenchies and most other dog breeds. The reason why people ask about French Bulldog tail docking is that they are born with a small tail.

So, no… French Bulldogs do not get their tail docked!

Frenchies are born with a small and stumpy tail.

A long time ago, French Bulldogs did have a longer tail. They weren’t as short as they are today. But, the process of selective breeding resulted in making Frenchies with such a small and sometimes barely noticeable tail.

Because their tail can be so small, people often ask if they have a tail at all. But, don’t worry – the tail is there.

What Does Their Tail Look Like?

French Bulldog running outside

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the French Bulldog is a small dog breed that has an average weight of under 28 pounds, and an average height of up to 13 inches. The Frenchie has bat-like ears, a small but sturdy body, a lot of wrinkles on the face, and – two types of a tail.

  1. Straight
  2. Screwed

The straight tail has a thick root (base) of the tail, and a very fine tip. The screwed or twisted tail type is never curly. To put it bluntly, the screwed tail looks like someone pinched it and twisted it once. 

The AKCs official French Bulldog breed standards also state that the tail is hung low and carried low in repose.

Of course, if your Frenchie doesn’t exactly fit under the AKC rules, it is absolutely fine. After all… these rules are important only if you plan on going to conformation dog shows with your Frenchie.

The important thing is that your doggo is healthy and happy. Speaking of that, let’s talk about a very important matter – French Bulldog tail and health relation.

Are There Health Issues Connected To Their Tail Length?

French Bulldog playing outside

Yes, French Bulldogs look adorable, especially when they start wiggling their whole body when excited or happy. They have to wiggle their entire body because their tail is so short. 

However, their cuteness comes with a price.

There are health issues connected to French Bulldogs and their natural short tail.

1. Cleaning Issues

When a Frenchie has such a short tail that people think it’s the result of French Bulldog tail docking, there ought to be some cleaning issues at hand.

Such a short tail leads to “pockets” or tail pockets, which are very hard to clean because of their inaccessibility. 

A pocket is the perfect place for dirt to gather and make the perfect spot for bacteria to start their colonies. If not cleaned, these bacteria will grow stronger and become a problem, causing all sorts of infections.

Bacterial infection in such a place is also the perfect surface for parasitic organisms like mites to flourish.

So, to keep your Frenchie healthy – clean the tail pocket regularly with warm water by lifting the tail and reaching into the pocket.

2. Hemivertebrae

French Bulldog looking up

This is the genetic deformation of the spine in French Bulldogs. It is the result of the breeding program that has led to the short tail in the first place. Not every French Bulldog will have hemivertebrae, but every Frenchie is in danger of having it.

The problem happens when the vertebrae twist and create pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord. The result of the pressure depends on what nerve was damaged.

A dog could have:

  • Hind leg movement problems
  • Incontinence
  • Complete paralysis of hind legs
  • Pain in hind legs

3. Sunburns

This is a problem unless you put suncream on your dog or keep it inside on hot sunny days. 

It is also a problem that can happen if we are not careful. If you can get sunburned, so can your dog, especially if it has very short and bald spots on the tail, and if its coat color is white, and Frenchies can have various coat colors – including white.

Even if it sounds irrelevant, this is a problem because a lot of people don’t know that dogs can actually get sunburns.

French Bulldog Breeding Issue

French Bulldog standing on grass

The main reason why Frenchies have a small tail is that they were deliberately bred that way. This process of breeding caused other health problems for Frenchies.

They have problems breathing, they cannot swim, and they cannot reproduce naturally – a male cannot mount a female.

We have to ask ourselves what we are doing with the breeding programs, not only of the Frenchies’ but other dog breeds as well. 

We dock the tail, crop the ears, make the muzzle shorter, make the underbite less, inbreed dogs to get certain coat colors, etc.

Do we really need our Frenchies to have such a small tail and such a short face?

The Conclusion

brown French Bulldog standing outside

French Bulldog tail docking is nothing but a myth. It is not true, and people do not do it nor have they ever done it before. The reason why this question is so popular is that Frenchies have a naturally short tail that looks like they have been surgically shortened.

But, no one touched the Frenchies’ tail.

They were born with it.

However, that tail length carries some problems and potential health issues with itself. You need to pay special attention to the tail pocket and clean it regularly to avoid infections.

Don’t forget to put sun protection cream on your dog when you take him for a walk. Also, if you notice your Frenchie has problems walking, take him to the vet. He might have spinal problems.

All in all, the French Bulldog tail docking topic has been cleared. Let’s talk about the more serious issue: Why do French Bulldogs fart so much?