The Ultimate List of 30 Curly-Tailed Dogs You’ll Love

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Ah, the allure of a curly-tailed dog—hard to resist, isn’t it?

With years of experience in animal behavior and breeding, I can assure you, the fascination is universal.

Something about that unique swirl adds a sprinkle of whimsy to your already-charming canine companion.

Why do people love them? Is it their quirky flair? Or does the tail hint at a dog’s personality?

Get ready to find out! From toy-sized tots to majestic giants, we’re diving into the ultimate guide to help you find your dream curly-tailed furball.

So, if you’ve been twiddling your thumbs, wondering which dog breed is the perfect match for you, it’s time to let those tails lead the way.

Why Do Some Dogs Have Curly Tails?

Why the curl, you ask? It’s not just for show—although, let’s admit, it adds a touch of glamour. Genetics is the key player here. Curly-tailed dogs often have a genetic predisposition that causes their tail to curve over their back or to the side.

  • Genetic Traits: The genes controlling the tail’s curvature vary from breed to breed. In some, like the Pug or Shih Tzu, the curl is tightly wound, almost like a cinnamon roll. In others, it might be a graceful arc.
  • Adaptation: Believe it or not, a curly tail can serve a functional purpose. For instance, certain Arctic breeds like the Siberian Husky have curly tails to help cover their noses when they curl up in cold weather. Warmth is preserved, thanks to this unique feature.
  • Human Selection: Over time, humans have played a role in accentuating this trait. Breeds with curly tails were often selectively bred for aesthetic or functional reasons, further solidifying the trait in future generations.

The Ultimate List of 30 Dogs With Curly Tails

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite about why some dogs sport these stylish spirals, let’s delve into the specifics. From petite charmers to colossal beauties, here’s the ultimate guide on 30 curly-tailed dogs that might just win your heart.

Small Breeds with Curly Tails

For those who have a penchant for smaller breeds, this category is a treasure trove of cuteness, all neatly curled up in a petite package. Let’s uncover the small-sized wonders of the dog world.

Toy Poodle

  • Origin: Germany
  • Personality Traits: Intelligent, active, and alert, these dogs are often easy to train
  • Health Considerations: Look out for hip dysplasia and certain hereditary eye conditions
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Grooming is a must; their coat needs regular clipping. They also require mental stimulation
  • Fun Fact: Despite their sometimes posh appearance, they’re actually good swimmers


  • Origin: Malta
  • Personality Traits: Friendly, fearless, and alert. They often form strong bonds with their owners
  • Health Considerations: Be cautious of dental issues and luxating patellas
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Keep those long, flowing coats clean with regular brushing
  • Fun Fact: Ancient Egyptians and Romans cherished them, as depicted in their artwork


  • Origin: China
  • Personality Traits: Independent, confident, and often described as ‘lion-like’
  • Health Considerations: Prone to breathing issues due to their flat faces
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Their thick coats need consistent grooming to avoid matting
  • Fun Fact: They were once considered sacred dogs and stealing one was punishable by death

Shih Tzu

  • Origin: Tibet
  • Personality Traits: Outgoing, affectionate, and an excellent lap dog
  • Health Considerations: Watch for eye issues and hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 10-16 years
  • Care Tips: Daily brushing is beneficial to keep their coats in good shape
  • Fun Fact: The name Shih Tzu means “little lion,” but there’s nothing fierce about this dog breed

Italian Greyhound

  • Origin: Mediterranean
  • Personality Traits: Gentle, intelligent, and affectionate but can be a bit reserved
  • Health Considerations: They’re prone to dental issues and can be sensitive to temperature
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: They don’t require much grooming but do need a sweater in colder months
  • Fun Fact: Despite their delicate appearance, they’re surprisingly agile and can run up to 25 mph

The Middleweights: Medium-sized Breeds with Curly Tails

For those who find the smaller breeds a bit too tiny but aren’t ready to share their living room with a gentle giant, medium-sized breeds offer the perfect compromise. Let’s dig into this fascinating category.

Siberian Husky

  • Origin: Siberia
  • Personality Traits: Energetic, intelligent, and friendly but can be a bit independent
  • Health Considerations: Keep an eye out for hip dysplasia and potential eye issues
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Exercise is a must; these dogs were bred to run long distances
  • Fun Fact: Their tails help keep them warm in frigid temperatures

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • Origin: England
  • Personality Traits: Courageous yet affectionate, great with children
  • Health Considerations: Look out for hereditary cataracts and hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: They need moderate exercise and enjoy playtime
  • Fun Fact: Often mistaken for Pit Bulls, but they’re a distinct breed with a gentler nature

Australian Shepherd

  • Origin: United States
  • Personality Traits: Highly intelligent, active, and versatile
  • Health Considerations: Watch for hip dysplasia and certain eye conditions
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: These dogs require a lot of mental and physical stimulation
  • Fun Fact: They’re frequently employed in search and rescue operations


  • Origin: Central Africa
  • Personality Traits: Curious, alert, and reserved with strangers
  • Health Considerations: They can suffer from Fanconi syndrome, a kidney disorder
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Care Tips: They groom themselves much like cats and generally dislike water
  • Fun Fact: Instead of barking, they make unique vocalizations known as “baroos”

Finnish Spitz

  • Origin: Finland
  • Personality Traits: Friendly, alert, and good-natured
  • Health Considerations: Generally healthy but can be prone to hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: These dogs need moderate exercise and enjoy playtime
  • Fun Fact: Known for their “bark pointing,” they bark to alert hunters to the location of the game.

Gentle Giants: Large Breeds With Curly Tails

For those who believe that bigger is better, you’re in luck! The world of large breeds with curly tails is just as fascinating, offering imposing statures, regal demeanors, and hearts just as large. Let’s dive into these gentle giants.

Saint Bernard

  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Personality Traits: Calm, patient, and great with kids. A true gentle giant
  • Health Considerations: Prone to hip dysplasia and certain heart issues
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Care Tips: Not overly active; they’re content with moderate exercise
  • Fun Fact: Famous for their role as Alpine rescue dogs, often depicted with a barrel of brandy

Afghan Hound

  • Origin: Afghanistan
  • Personality Traits: Independent, dignified, and somewhat aloof
  • Health Considerations: Generally healthy but watch for hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Their long, silky coats require regular grooming
  • Fun Fact: One of the oldest dog breeds, depicted in artworks dating back thousands of years

Tibetan Mastiff

  • Origin: Tibet
  • Personality Traits: Intelligent, independent, and protective
  • Health Considerations: Prone to hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Moderate exercise is adequate; they enjoy having a job to do
  • Fun Fact: Known to be one of the most expensive dog breeds, with some sold for millions of dollars


  • Origin: Japan
  • Personality Traits: Loyal, dignified, and less expressive to strangers
  • Health Considerations: Watch out for hip dysplasia and autoimmune disorders
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Care Tips: They need regular exercise but are adaptable to living conditions
  • Fun Fact: In Japan, the Akita symbolizes good health, happiness, and long life

Alaskan Malamute

  • Origin: Alaska
  • Personality Traits: Friendly, intelligent, but requires a strong-willed owner
  • Health Considerations: Vulnerable to hip dysplasia and potential thyroid issues
  • Lifespan: 10-14 years
  • Care Tips: Needs high levels of exercise and mental stimulation
  • Fun Fact: They are one of the most ancient dog breeds, and their genetic makeup is similar to wolves

Rare Gems: Lesser-Known Breeds with Curly Tails

If you’re the type who loves to go off the beaten path, this section is a real treasure trove for you. Lesser-known but equally charming, these breeds with curly tails will add a unique flair to your life. Let’s uncover these hidden gems.

Kai Ken

  • Origin: Japan
  • Personality Traits: Intelligent, loyal, and somewhat reserved
  • Health Considerations: Generally healthy with few hereditary issues
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: They’re agile and enjoy physical activities like climbing and jumping
  • Fun Fact: Known to swim and even climb trees to chase prey

Canaan Dog

  • Origin: Israel
  • Personality Traits: Alert, loyal, and has a strong survival instinct
  • Health Considerations: Generally a robust breed with few health issues
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Needs regular exercise and mental stimulation
  • Fun Fact: Has a keen sense of hearing and can hear frequencies that most dogs cannot

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

  • Origin: Portugal
  • Personality Traits: Playful, energetic, and friendly
  • Health Considerations: A generally healthy breed
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Requires daily exercise and loves to play fetch
  • Fun Fact: Their keen sense of sight and hearing makes them exceptional watchdogs

Norwegian Buhund

  • Origin: Norway
  • Personality Traits: Energetic, friendly, and eager to please
  • Health Considerations: Watch for hip dysplasia and certain eye conditions
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Enjoys physical activity and does well in dog sports
  • Fun Fact: Its name translates to “farm dog” in Norwegian, highlighting its historical role

Swedish Vallhund

  • Origin: Sweden
  • Personality Traits: Energetic, intelligent, and friendly
  • Health Considerations: Look out for hip dysplasia and eye issues
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Loves herding and does well in agility courses
  • Fun Fact: Often mistaken for a Corgi, given their similar appearance

Around the Globe: International Breeds with Curly Tails

As we journey through various continents, we discover breeds that not only have curly tails but also carry a rich history, representing the diverse cultures from which they hail.

Shiba Inu (Japan)

  • Origin: Japan
  • Personality Traits: Independent, alert, and good-natured
  • Health Considerations: Potential issues include allergies and hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Shibas are clean and may groom themselves like cats
  • Fun Fact: Known for their spirited “Shiba scream” when they’re happy or stressed

Chow Chow (China)

  • Origin: Northern China
  • Personality Traits: Aloof, dignified, and loyal to their families
  • Health Considerations: Prone to hip dysplasia and eye issues
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Care Tips: Regular grooming is a must due to their thick fur
  • Fun Fact: Known for their unique blue-black tongues

Samoyed (Russia)

  • Origin: Siberia
  • Personality Traits: Adaptable, friendly, and gentle
  • Health Considerations: Look out for heart issues and hip dysplasia
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Their thick coat requires frequent grooming, especially during shedding seasons
  • Fun Fact: Their “Sammy smile” is a defining and endearing feature

Brazilian Terrier (Brazil)

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Personality Traits: Energetic, alert, and intelligent
  • Health Considerations: A generally robust breed
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Needs a lot of playtime and enjoys digging
  • Fun Fact: It’s one of only two breeds native to Brazil

Pharaoh Hound (Malta)

  • Origin: Ancient Egyptian
  • Personality Traits: Playful, independent, and sometimes aloof
  • Health Considerations: Generally healthy but can be sensitive to cold
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Care Tips: Requires regular exercise but is adaptable to various living conditions
  • Fun Fact: Often believed to be the ancient hound depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphs

Tail Enders: Additional Noteworthy Breeds

We’ve toured around the globe, explored rare breeds, and even delved into the worlds of small, medium, and large dogs. But the list is far from over. In this final segment, we’ll introduce you to some additional noteworthy breeds whose curly tails and engaging personalities you’ll find hard to resist.


  • Origin: Arctic
  • Personality Traits: Curious, lively, and outgoing
  • Health Considerations: Watch out for dental issues and certain heart conditions
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Care Tips: Regular grooming is essential due to their thick coat
  • Fun Fact: Poms can be very vocal and have a wide range of barks


  • Origin: German
  • Personality Traits: Highly social and loves to be part of family activities
  • Health Considerations: Generally healthy, but hip dysplasia can be a concern
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Regular exercise and mental stimulation are key
  • Fun Fact: The “mane” of fur around their neck makes them appear lion-like

American Eskimo Dog

  • Origin: German
  • Personality Traits: Intelligent, active, and friendly
  • Health Considerations: Prone to obesity if not exercised properly
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Requires daily exercise and enjoys puzzles and games
  • Fun Fact: They are surprisingly good at dog sports, particularly agility trials

Bichon Frise

  • Origin: France
  • Personality Traits: Cheerful, playful, and sociable
  • Health Considerations: May have skin allergies and some eye issues
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Care Tips: Daily grooming is almost a must to keep their curly coat in good condition
  • Fun Fact: The name translates to “curly lap dog” in French

Coton de Tulear

  • Origin: Madagascar
  • Personality Traits: Affectionate, intelligent, and happy-go-lucky
  • Health Considerations: Generally a robust breed but should be monitored for eye problems
  • Lifespan: 14-19 years
  • Care Tips: A daily walk and regular playtime keep this dog happy
  • Fun Fact: Their cotton-like coat is what gives them the “Coton” in their name

The Factors to Consider When Choosing a Curly-Tailed Dog

Before you get swept off your feet by those adorable curls, let’s talk practicalities. Selecting the perfect canine companion requires a bit more than love at first sight.

Size: Small, Medium, Large

Size matters, especially when it comes to finding a pet that fits your living situation. Small breeds may be ideal for apartment dwellers, while medium to large breeds might be more suitable for homes with yards.

Temperament: Friendly, Guard Dog, etc.

Your dog’s temperament should align with your lifestyle and what you want in a pet. Are you looking for a family-friendly dog, a guard dog, or perhaps a dog that’s friendly yet aloof?

Grooming Requirements

Grooming needs can vary significantly among breeds. Some need frequent grooming sessions to keep their curly tails and coats in tip-top shape, while others are relatively low-maintenance.

Exercise Needs

All dogs need exercise, but the intensity and duration differ by breed. Evaluate how much time you can realistically allocate for your dog’s physical activities.

Curly-Tailed Dogs and Pop Culture

Curly-tailed dogs aren’t just a hit at the park; they’ve also left paw prints all over popular culture. From big screens to social media, let’s delve into how these breeds have achieved celebrity status and captured our hearts.

Hachiko (Akita)

A symbol of loyalty in Japan, Hachiko waited for his owner at a train station every day, even years after his owner had passed away.

Sad Hachiko (Akita) missing its dead owner

Bob (Basenji)

This talented Basenji starred in the movie “Goodbye My Lady,” charming audiences with his unique character and curly tail.

Bob (Basenji), a movie star dog

Boo (Pomeranian)

Known as “The World’s Cutest Dog,” Boo amassed millions of social media followers thanks to his fluffy coat and adorable appearance.

The world's cutest Pomeranian, Boo

Gary Frick (Golden Retriever)

A recurring guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Gary Frick’s antics always bring laughs and smiles.

Gary Frick (Golden Retriever), A repeated guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Mishka (Siberian Husky)

This talkative Husky went viral for her ability to “say” phrases like “I love you,” melting hearts worldwide.

Mishka, a talkative Siberian Husky

Doug the Pug (Pug)

With a knack for comedy, Doug the Pug has charmed Instagram users with funny, relatable videos.

Doug the Pug (Pug), an instragram celeberty

Tuna (Chihuahua-Dachshund mix)

Tuna’s unique look, accentuated by his overbite, has helped him gather a massive Instagram following.

Tuna (Chihuahua-Dachshund mix), an instagram celeberity

Manny (French Bulldog)

This social media star can ride a skateboard, making him irresistibly cool and endlessly entertaining.

An entertaining Manny, the French Bulldog

Dolly (Shih Tzu)

Owned by Barbra Streisand, Dolly revels in the limelight, often being featured in various publications.

Dolly, the Shih Tzu, often featured in publications

Max (Norwegian Elkhound)

An adventurer at heart, Max’s outdoor exploits have garnered him a solid social media fan base, inspiring others to explore nature with their pets.

Max, a famous Norwegian Elkhound

Why We Love Curly-Tailed Dogs: Testimonials

If you’re still on the fence about adopting a curly-tailed dog, let’s let the community chime in. There’s something undeniably captivating about these breeds that tugs at the heartstrings. Below, we’ve gathered some personal accounts that tell us just why these furry friends are so irresistible.

  • “Their tails are like their personality—spirited and unique!” – Sarah, Poodle owner
  • “Whenever I see that tail wag in a circle, I can’t help but smile.” – Tim, owner of a Basenji
  • “It’s like having a little piece of art that barks and loves you back.” – Emily, Siberian Husky parent
  • “That curly tail is the exclamation mark to his cheerful disposition.” – Mike, owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • “I never thought a tail could make me so happy; it’s like a feathered plume of joy.” – Linda, Afghan Hound aficionado
  • “I swear, her tail serves as a mood ring for her emotions!” – Janice, Maltese lover
  • “His tail goes into a perfect spiral when he’s curious—it’s adorable!” – Kevin, Shiba Inu dad

Simply put, curly-tailed dogs bring a unique blend of joy, character, and aesthetic appeal that leaves a lasting impression.


So there you have it, folks! From pocket-sized cuties to grand gentle giants, curly-tailed dogs come in all shapes and sizes but bring a universal charm. Whether it’s the wag of a tail or a social media celeb you’re after, there’s a curly-tailed companion waiting just for you. Happy tail-hunting!


Do Siberian Huskies have curled tails?

Yes, Siberian Huskies often have sickle-shaped tails that can curl up when they’re alert or excited.

What dog has a curly tail that doesn’t bark?

The Basenji has a curly tail and is known for not barking; instead, it makes a unique yodel-like sound called a “barroo.”

What is the difference between a curly tail and a sickle tail?

A curly tail forms a tight loop, often laying flat against the body, while a sickle tail has a more relaxed curve that stands away from the body.

Why do Japanese dogs have curly tails?

The curled tails in Japanese breeds like the Shiba Inu and Akita are believed to be a result of selective breeding for specific traits, including the tail.

Can you straighten a dog’s curly tail?

It’s not advisable to try to straighten a dog’s curly tail, as the curl is a natural genetic trait.


Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals. Find her on Linkedin. Read her latest articles Learn more about her HERE.

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