Tail curl on the "wrong" side

There is no right or wrong side to curl.

@Eli_and_Me:

For those of you who show….

What do you do if your dog's tail curls on the right side? Eli's has a beautiful tight curl, just on the non-show side. If you switch it over it doesn't curl as well. Can you "retrain" it to curl on the other side or should it just left alone?

What you can and can't do with the tail itself depends on the bones and flexibility of that particular dog. Some dogs have such a tight curl that you can break the bones in the tail trying to straighten it or force it into a position it is not supposed to be in. A dog with a looser tail can often be curled on either side but will normally look better on one side or the other. In puppies with a looser curl and a flexible tailset (where the tail joins the body) you can "train" the tail to accept laying on the show side. Gently put the tail on the show side often but use caution that you don't make the pup "goose" when you touch it there as that can cause problems later on when the judge puts his hands in that area. Bear in mind that as a pup ages he will usually lose some flexibility at the tailset. The tail will naturally want to go either to the dog's left or right or sometimes in the middle. A tail that is set in the middle can usually look nice on either side. If the tail points slightly to the off side, you can sometimes curl it to the show side. Training the tail from early on helps keep it from "feeling weird" to the dog and they are less inclined to move it back to the other side. If the tail is strongly set to the off side, just accept it. You want the tail to look its best and it looks best on the off side, that's fine. Its really not that important in the long run. 🙂

@etzbseder:

There is no right or wrong side to curl.

They meant for shows, as in on the judge's side not the side of the person doing the showing.

It just gives a nicer look for the tail to be curling toward the judge and is easily visible rather than curling the other way not not "showing off" how tightly curled it is.

Interesting information. I never thought about the 'correct' side for a curl, but it makes sense in the show ring. Learn something new everyday. Thanks!

Is there such a thing as an upright curl? Directly over the spine, curled within itself?

I must disagree that about the tightness of the curl dictating whether a tail can be easily placed on one side or the other. My girl Rio has a very tightly curled tail, nearly 3 full turns in her tail. I train my puppies from very young to accept people handling their tails and they relax and the tails can be moved. Nicky, whose tail is not as tightly curled, has fused bones. This is different then tightness of curl. It has permanent kinks that if you force, you would actually break bone. His tail can not be placed on either side, because of the fused bones, it only looks natural on his non-show side. He is also trained to allow handling of his tail though he will just drop his tail if a person repeatedly messes with it.

**And if the tail would curl to either side,
it looks "prettier" to curl the tail on the show side,
and it also give an optical illusion of a shorter back.
But a judge should always judge the tail SET not the tail curl.

Basenjis tend to shake when you put them from the table back on
the floor after the examination. Try to get into a habit of
fixing the tail if it curls on the show side before you do your down
and back then your go around.

**

@lvoss:

I must disagree that about the tightness of the curl dictating whether a tail can be easily placed on one side or the other. My girl Rio has a very tightly curled tail, nearly 3 full turns in her tail. I train my puppies from very young to accept people handling their tails and they relax and the tails can be moved. Nicky, whose tail is not as tightly curled, has fused bones. This is different then tightness of curl. It has permanent kinks that if you force, you would actually break bone. His tail can not be placed on either side, because of the fused bones, it only looks natural on his non-show side. He is also trained to allow handling of his tail though he will just drop his tail if a person repeatedly messes with it.

And I can verify that…. ggg.. I show Nicky lots... and it is just fine on the off side.... I don't even try to mess with it

It is not worth it... if the dog is happier with it on the off show side, leave it alone

hehe….if I pet Jacks tail, which I do sometimes, he turns around and starts biting his tail like he wants it to be straight.....like he is fixing his hair, it is really funny...

Thanks everyone for your input. Eli doesn't mind you changing his tail, but it falls naturally to the non-show side usually. Sometimes it will curl in the middle. A friend who has Shibas suggested I encourage him to put it on the show side, but I didn't think it was a big deal.

@lvoss:

Nicky, whose tail is not as tightly curled, has fused bones. This is different then tightness of curl. It has permanent kinks that if you force, you would actually break bone. His tail can not be placed on either side, because of the fused bones, it only looks natural on his non-show side.

Fused bones…that was what I meant by bones breaking when forced into unnatural positions. And you are correct, I should have used fused bones, not the term tightness, in that respect. (I was tired when I wrote that.)

As Stephy says the most important thing is the set - where is the tail coming out of the body.
In actuality a tail that does not have the flexibility to unfurl would be a pretty significant flaw in the old form follows function arguement. The tail needs to be flexible enough so it doesn't get hung up in the brush in the hunt.

If I've gotten down to who has the best tail curl - I will be very happy because if that's the deciding factore I must have some wonderful animals in the ring.

Nicky's tail unfurls fine but there are two permanent kinks in his tail. These kinks are small but do prevent the tail from looking natural if curled to the opposite side.

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