11 Unique Dogs With Short Tails (With Pictures)

Dogs’ tails come in a range of lengths, shapes, and styles. They vary by breed and can serve a range of practical functions. Lengthy tails often act as a counterweight to help dogs balance while in motion.

On the other end of the spectrum, a few dog breeds are born with short or stubby tails, and some even have their tails docked at a young age to conform with breed standards. Here we’ll go over 11 dogs with short tails and describe their characteristics.

In general, the breeds on this list have naturally short tails that have not been docked. Unlike longer tails, short tails do not serve a practical purpose and are selected for aesthetic reasons.

The 11 Unique Dogs With Short Tails

While all dogs on this list are classified as short tail breeds, you may notice that some possess longer tails than others. Likewise, the length of a dog’s tail can also vary within a breed, and some individuals of the same breed may be born with tails of differing lengths.

1. Schipperke

Schipperke | image by patrickkavanagh via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 10-18 pounds
Coat: medium

An uncommon breed, the Schipperke is a small dog thought to have been originally developed in Belgium from spitz and herding breeds.

Like many spitz-type dogs, this breed’s tail curls forward onto its spine in a spiral. While the Schipperke’s tail is short to begin with, some registries in Europe require the tail to be docked at the base.

With its deep black coloring and pointed features, the Schipperke bears a striking appearance that most closely resembles the Pomeranian, another spitz-type dog. The breed is known for having high levels of energy and therefore requires regular exercise.

2. English Bulldog

English bulldog sitting
English bulldog sitting | image by Simon Lee via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 7-11 years
Average Size: 35-50 pounds
Coat: short

The signature dog of England, the Bulldog is a medium sized bully-type breed originally developed in England.

Although originally developed as a bull-baiting dog, the past century has seen this breed’s transformation into a companion animal. In this time the English Bulldog has lost its athletic ability and fierce attitude, becoming sedentary and acquiring a more passive disposition.

With its jowly and lovable face, the English Bulldog is known for its stocky frame and wide shoulders. While English Bulldogs are often born without tails, the length of the tail can vary. For this reason this is one of the dogs with short tails on our list that people often wrongly assume have had their tails docked.

3. French Bulldog

french bulldog | image by: krzysztofniewolny

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years
Average Size: 15-30 pounds
Coat: short

Another bully-type breed to make our list, the French Bulldog was originally developed in Paris, France. Although similar in general appearance to its English cousin, the French Bulldog is more physically capable and is known to be a moderately active breed by comparison.

Possessing a short and stubby tail, this breed is a popular pet often seen in urban centers and kept by celebrities. Gentle and affectionate, the French Bulldog is well suited to family life and makes a good household companion.

4. Boston Terrier

Boston terrier
Boston terrier | image by Sendai Blog via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 10-25 pounds
Coat: short

Superficially resembling the French Bulldog, the Boston Terrier is another small, bully-type breed. It was originally developed in the United States as a support and companion animal.

Less stocky and more proportioned then the French Bulldog, the Boston Terrier can also trace its roots to Old English Bulldogs and ratting terriers. While it may have working dogs in its background, this breed is best suited for home and family life.

The Boston Terrier is known for being an affectionate and playful dog, and can be protective of its owners. Its tail is typically short, although some individuals have been observed with proportionally long tails.

5. Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer | image by Canarian via Wikipedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
Average Size: 12-20 pounds
Coat: medium

As the name suggests, the Miniature Schnauzer is a schnauzer-type breed originally bred and developed in Germany as a ratting dog to control rodent populations on farms. This dog packs a lot of personality in its small frame and can be known to have an attitude. They tend to be protective of their owners and may be distrustful of strangers.

While their tails are short and forward curling, the Miniature Schnauzer may have the longer tails of dogs with short tails on our list. Show dogs of this breed will often have their tails docked to conform with breed standards.

6. Parson Russell Terrier

parson russell terrier | image by: Jeannette1980

Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Average Size: 13-17 pounds
Coat: short, rough

The Parson Russell Terrier is a small, terrier-type breed originally developed in England from fox terriers. Notably, the breed is classified as the show variant of the Jack Russell.

A working dog, the Parson Russell Terrier was developed to hunt and kill small rodents and prey animals, helping to eradicate rats and mice on farms. As such, the breed is known for its alert posture, quick feet, and high energy. It is an athletic dog with a strong prey drive.

The Parson Russell Terrier does possess a tail, although it is typically short and muscular. When excited, the dog’s tail will often stand erect on its back, a clear sign of its engagement.

7. Swedish Vallhund

Swedish vallhund
Swedish vallhund | image by Matt Lemmon via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 15-30 pounds
Coat: medium, dense

A spitz-type breed, the Swedish Vallhund was originally developed in Sweden as a herding and watchdog. Its thick coat makes it well adapted to harsh and snowy conditions.

One of the signature breeds of Sweden, the Vallhund is thought to be an ancient breed, and many people have theorized it was used to develop the English Corgi, which shares the Vallhund’s elongated and stocky body shape.

A hardy working breed, this dog requires a ton of exercise and may not be suitable for most homes. Additionally, the Swedish Vallhund is rare, and it may be difficult to source and expensive to purchase.

8. Pyrenean Shepherd

Pyrenean shepherd in dog show
Pyrenean shepherd in dog show | image by Canarian via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 15-17 years
Average Size: 30-55 pounds
Coat: long, shaggy

An especially long-lived breed, the Pyrenean Shepherd hails from Pyrenees Mountains in France, where it was originally developed to herd and protect livestock from predation.

The breed possesses ancient roots which are thought to date back over 4,000 years to some of the earliest herding dogs used in Europe. As such, the breed may be related to a number of other long-coated herding breeds on the continent.

Interestingly enough, the Pyrenean Shepherd does not always possess a short tail. While bobbed tails do naturally occur within the breed, there are populations of this shepherd known for possessing lengthy tails.

9. Danish-Swedish Farmdog

Danish farmdog
Danish farmdog | image by Danish-swedish farmdog via Wikipedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Average Lifespan: 9-15 years
Average Size: 15-20 pounds
Coat: short

As the name implies, the Danish-Swedish Farmdog originates from the finger countries of the northern regions of Europe. A multipurpose breed, this dog has been primarily used on farms to control rodent populations.

In appearance the Danish-Swedish Farmdog resembles a terrier, although it is unlike terriers in temperament and attitude. A gentle and loving dog, this breed makes for a good household companion.

Although bred and employed across the Nordic countries, the breed did not receive formal confirmation of independent breed status until the 2010s, when it was recognized by the AKC.

10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke welsh corgi on the grass
Pembroke welsh corgi on the grass | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr

Average Lifespan: 11-15 years
Average Size: 20-30 pounds
Coat: medium, dense

A spitz-type breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi originates from Wales. Known for its stocky frame and lengthy body, the breed has enjoyed the company of British royalty.

Widely popular on the internet, it has become known for its cute appearance and jovial attitude. It is an energetic breed requiring a good deal of physical engagement and activity.

While most Corgis have their tails docked to conform to breed standards, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi does possess a bobtail gene, albeit instances of naturally bobbed tails are rare.

11. Pug

pug | image by: Adamu23

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
Average Size: 10-20 pounds
Coat: short

The Pug is a small, flat-faced breed originally developed in China as a support and companion animal.

Famous for its squashed facial features and curious attitude, the Pug is known for being a loving and amiable pet that is loyal to its owners. An adored lapdog, the breed is popular across the globe.

Possessing one of the most unique tails of dogs with short tails on our list, the Pug’s tail resembles a tightly wound corkscrew that has been likened in appearance to the similarly corkscrewed tails of pigs.