Help! My French Bulldog Has A Long Tail

Help! My French Bulldog Has A Long Tail

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Historically, French Bulldogs had longer tails than they do now. They used to have short tails compared to other long-tailed breeds, but they were still much longer than they are now. In the past, Frenchies were bred as “ratters” – a collection of small dog breeds intended to catch mice, rats, and other vermin, mostly on ships. These dogs needed to be small, quick, fierce, and have a short, muscular tail in order to be practically useful.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Help! My French Bulldog Has A Long Tail“.

The tails of French Bulldogs are usually short. There are however times when they have longer tails. Would it be normal for them to do so? Are Frenchies considered purebred if they have a long tail? Continue reading to learn more.

Help! My French Bulldog Has A Long Tail

They Used to Have Longer Tails

Historically French Bulldogs had longer tails than they do now. They used to have short tails compared to other long-tailed breeds but they were still much longer than they are now. In the past Frenchies were bred as “ratters” – a collection of small dog breeds intended to catch mice rats and other vermin mostly on ships. These dogs needed to be small quick fierce and have a short muscular tail in order to be practically useful.

However why is the tail so short? The sailors would grab the dog by its tail and hoist it into manholes and other small spaces where they had to catch pesky critters. Because the dogs were bred with shorter powerful tails they were not injured or suffered any other discomfort as a result of being picked up in this undignified but practical manner. It was common practice until the late 1800s.

Their history as fighting dogs also accounts for their short tails. Bull-baiting and dogfighting were common uses for these pups. Due to the danger of tail injuries in these questionable sports breeders selected dogs with shorter tails.

Frenchies Now Have Short Tails

French Bulldogs are bred to have short tails – this is outlined in the FR FCI and UK KC breed standards. However the shorter tail could cause some severe health problems. Breeding societies appear to be aware of this since they stipulate both a minimum and maximum tail length.

Your Frenchie will automatically be disqualified from any purebred competition if its tail is too short and it will not be able to win any prizes. Having a tail that is too long may not necessarily result in disqualification but it does carry a penalty so you cannot win. We apologize.

A Frenchies tail should be at least long enough to cover its anus according to the official guidelines.

5 complications with short tails

Spinal Deformation

The absence of a tailor a tail that is too short can result in spinal deformity. Additionally Frenchies with coiled or corkscrew tails often have this condition. Spinal deformities can take many forms each with varying degrees of severity. Your dogs quality of life could be severely compromised by this defect since the pups are often unable to walk correctly and are usually unable to run. In addition the deformed spine could also cause severe pain. Thats not pleasant to think about.

Spinal deformities can also cause incontinence issues since the deformed spine pinches the nerves leading to your poochs hindquarters.

Tail Pockets

The shorter tail of the Frenchie leads to the formation of a tail pocket. What now? Under the base of the tail there is a tiny pocket of skin called the tail pocket. This condition is sometimes difficult to detect and usually occurs around 6 months of age. Since your dog can not reach these areas with their tongue or paws they can not clean them and all kinds of nasties lurk here.

Therefore if your pooch belongs to this category you have the questionable task of regularly cleaning the tail pocket. It is a delicate process because rough handling can hurt your dog. Alternatively if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself you could always get the help of a vet or a groomer. Most of them are experienced in doing this.

Hygiene Issues

Poor dogs it seems like they just can not get a break can they? It is common for the tail of a French Bulldog to lie flat against their bums which could cause issues when they go to the restroom. Since its a pretty gross subject we would not dwell on it. To say the least doing their business can leave their tail in a pretty disgusting state which could lead to hygiene issues and potential infections.

Skin Infections

Around their tails Frenchies commonly develop a variety of skin problems. There is often eczema under their tails – an itchy condition that can be treated with specialized shampoos.

Lastly theres the infamous tail pocket. Frenchies have a tendency to develop painful skin infections in their tail pockets. This is why you should keep their tail pockets clean.


Yes your dog could get some nasty sunburn on their stumpy tails if they spend a lot of time in the sun. Its important to manage things on your pups behalf though because these guys love being out in the sun. You should avoid going out into the sun around noon when the suns rays are at their strongest. You should also wear sunscreen. Childrens sunscreen should do the trick.


A purebred French Bulldog has a short tail – longer tails are not recognized by the official breeding societies. Even though a longer tail would lower your pups health risks it would eliminate him from becoming a prize-winning show dog. Sorry! This article should shed some light on the health issues you might experience with a purebred Frenchie. Always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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