Naked tip of tail?

Hi all -

Wasn't sure where to post this question. My 12-week-old boy, Kai, is missing the hair at the very end of his tail. You can see the pink tip if you look at it straight on. His sister has the nice little "paintbrush" look, while his looks squared off.

I didn't notice it on Saturday at the breeder'd house and she hadn't noticed it - we all noticed it on Sunday. My theory is that he or his sister pulled the hair out. It is not itchy or bothering him in any way and he has not paid a bit of attention to it (even with me messing around examining it).

Does this sound like anything besides just a little hair pulling? The breeder did say that sometimes it takes longer for them to get full tail coverage and that she has a senior male who is missing some hair at the end of his tail, but that it was probably just an "accident" or stress behavior when we flew with him.

Any other ideas? Anything I can do?


Could the end of his tail gotten caught somewhere? Too bad the breeder hadn't noticed it. Could the breeder take Kai to the vet to have it checked? I just think that you should go home with your puppy knowing everything about him.

Our boy has a "naked" tip as well. I think it's pretty natural and probably nothing to be concerned about! Our girl has a "normal" tip though. I'm sure some of the veteran folks on here will give you better information shortly!

When a litter is born sometimes they can get what breeders call "Tail Crud", sort of like Cradle Cap. The tip of the tail can die off along with losing the hair. I had one litter with this and one pup did lose the tip of his tail. He only had a small white tip to begin with and it sure got a lot smaller after that. It starts to happen within the first two weeks, the tail starts to get crusty and dry looking. Now with litters, most breeders use things like A&D oitment at birth. None of us really know why it happens. But since I started with the A&D, never had that again.

Sounds to me like this is what happened to your pup. You can ask the breeder if the pups happened to have "tail crud"…. Long and short, long way from their heart... he will most likely just have a smaller white tip. The end of the tail will cover in time as the tail hair grows.

Very interesting! Zorro's tip (just 1/2 centimeter) looks like the end of a rats tail. However, the hair has completely covered it so it is totally unnoticeable unless you push back his hairs. Thanks Pat for the words of wisdom!

Thanks - that is really interesting. I spoke with the breeder about it last night and she said she hadn't noticed it before. I wonder if it can go unnoticed? Anyway, that makes more sense than any of my hypotheses. Actually, the hair is covering it from the side - it's only when you look at the tip straight on that you can see the little pink tip. I think it will continue to get less noticeable as time goes by and he gets his adult coat. I guess he may also grow some hair on it, if it is not "tail crud," after all. He is such a pretty boy - basenjis are such amazing animals.

No, it is not something that you would miss…. and from what you say, I would sure think that is what it was.

Another long time breeder uses Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to fight tail crud. Dips them starting at 4 weeks or so and it is part of her contract to continue on a regular basisfor a couple of months.


Another long time breeder uses Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to fight tail crud. Dips them starting at 4 weeks or so and it is part of her contract to continue on a regular basisfor a couple of months.

I wonder if that is a bit like keeping the elephants away by snapping your fingers. If the hair was going to fill in anyway, how would you know? 🙂


Another long time breeder uses Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to fight tail crud. Dips them starting at 4 weeks or so and it is part of her contract to continue on a regular basisfor a couple of months.

I have never waited that long after my first "bout" with Tail Crud… you can see it start withing 2 to 4 days old. I start with A&D on day 1. Tip was from the Jones girls and it totally works. I have never tried dishwashing liquid because I think it dries out the skin and tail... at least it does my hands regardless of the claims.

The hair does not fill in on it's own - it just may be less visible as the hair gets longer - your dog will ALWAYS have a naked tail tip.

From what you are saying, it sounds like it would be visible in pictures. We have pics of him from when he was tiny and I can't see anything like that. How obvious is it? Is there anything else it can be?

Oh, never mind - I looked again at his 8-week picture when he was stacked and I think I can see that his tail is less pointy …

This is the best that I could do. This was well before the tail curled so you may not see it at the naked tip after eight weeks. My daughter destroyed all of my pictures by mistake, but Johnny has a naked tip. You can't see it now because his hair has grown, but it was naked as well-it still is, the hair just covers it. And it is a s Pat says. I didn't start with the cream early enough with that litter and their tail ends didn't fall off, they just didn't grow anymore-nor grew any hair but if you part the hair, it's still naked and small.

Good picture of it Arlene…. and in the litter that I had with "Tail Crud", I had one pup that the tip did fall off and one pup that was like the picture you posted.

Again, long way from their "heart" so to speak, nothing physically wrong with them. The one of mine that lost the tip is now 15+ a Dual Conformation/Field Champion, sire of a litter that produced 2 Champions, so didn't make a difference with him. He was/is the one that after that happened had very little of a "white" tip tail....

And, strangely enough, it's not surprising that his sister doesn't have it. Some get it, some don't - we had one pup with it in a litter of 5 and none of the others had it! And, it is not always super noticeable, it's very possible the breeder could have missed it. With the one in our most recent litter we were watching for it and still missed the start on the little guy. We've had it in one other litter, again, only one pup had it. He is now a veteran and became a Grand Champion, so it certainly didn't affect his looks and caused no long lasting physical harm.


Yes, it is a stange thing…. which is why I just use A&D on all from birth. Since getting that tip from the Jones Girls, I never had it again (Knock on Wood)....

Funny how times change, the first time I had it with a litter was in 1994.... way before "social media" time. Was at a total loss on what it was and what to do. Now days you just pop on a couple of lists, put the question out there and you are bound to get great suggestions/results!

Wow - this is great information. Yes, I am absolutely positive that the breeder would have said something had she noticed. She told me about his ticking early on (he has some C-Quest in his line, which I am told is heavy with ticking). At first I was wishing he didn't have it, but he is gorgeous and I do think it adds character (even though I know it doesn't do him any favors in the ring). My daughter also loves to kiss every "freckle," so that makes it extra cute. His sister's white is completely clear.

Glad to know that the little bald tail tip doesn't affect their chances in the ring. Don't know if we are headed that way, but I have a show contract on him. I really want to concentrate on obedience and therapy dog work with these two. I am thrilled with their temperaments - you can't look at them without them wanting a snuggle. Also, we are clicker training and after 3 days, have them sitting, shaking and laying down (admittedly, sometimes more reliably than others).

Okay, that got off-topic! Anyway, all this is to say thank you for your information and reassurance.

If you are thinking about showing, don't forget to teach "Stand" otherwise you will have a devil of a time with them wanting to sit…..

And ticking? Funny, I have never heard that called a fault and even something to mention... many, many Basenjis have ticking, way more then just the C-Quest lines

You need a "stand" command for more advanced obedience. Also, it is good to teach sit from standing and from down. Many (most?) dogs understand "sit" as an action, not a position, so they may know it from standing but don't have a clue when they are lying down. 🙂

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