Why Do Huskies Have Curly Tails: Uncovering the Mystery

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A husky dog with a curly tail standing in the grass.

Key Takeaways

  • Huskies, belonging to the Spitz genetic family, typically have sickle tails rather than curly ones, and this tail shape originated from practical needs in cold climates; it provides warmth by wrapping around their face and head.
  • Other northern breeds like Shiba Inus or Pugs possess tightly curled tails.
  • A husky’s tail type (sickle or trailing) doesn’t determine its quality or purebred status; factors like health, mood, and body language influence tail appearance, and official documentation or DNA testing is needed to verify purebred status.

Huskies are known for their unique appearance; one particularly noticeable trait is their tail. Many wonder why some huskies have curly or sickle-shaped tails and what it means regarding breed standards and purebred status.

In this article, I will explore the reasons behind the tail shape, the difference between curly and sickle tails, and how it relates to the Siberian husky breed overall.

Why Do Huskies Have Curly Tails?

According to the American Kennel Club, Siberian Huskies belong to the Spitz genetic family and share a characteristic with other northern breeds: curly or sickle tails. Huskies actually have sickle tails.

The origin of these breeds can be traced back to harsh, cold climates, such as Siberia for Huskies. This distinctive feature serves a practical function for these dogs.

Huskies’ ancestors have been bred for thousands of years in arctic-like conditions, and their curly tails have proven valuable for warmth. When they lie down to rest or sleep, they can wrap their tail over their face and head, providing insulation and temperature regulation.

Many other northern breeds, like the Shiba Inu, also have curled or sickle tails. This trait has likely been passed down through generations due to its practical benefits in their natural environments, which is evident from their similarities in tail shape and function.

What's the difference between curly and slick tails and why do huskies have curly tails.

What’s The Difference Between Curly and Sickle Tails?

A curly tail forms a tight loop or curl, often resting over the animal’s back. A sickle tail, on the other hand, has a gentle curve resembling a sickle but doesn’t form a complete loop.

Sickle and curly tails are often used interchangeably to describe the tail shape of various dog breeds, such as Siberian Huskies.

Siberian Huskies have sickle tails known for their curved and sometimes crooked appearance. Comparatively, curly tails are found in breeds like Shiba Inus or Pugs, where the tails are more tightly curled.

Do All Huskies’ Tail Curl Up?

No, not all huskies’ tails curl up. The curliness of their tails can vary significantly. Some huskies might have tails that don’t curl, resembling a Labrador’s tail, known as a trailing tail.

On the other hand, many huskies’ tails change between hanging down and curling up, depending on their physical and emotional state. For instance, tails may raise into a sickle position from a hanging position when the husky is excited and alert.

A common example of this is when you take your husky out for a walk or exercise, and their tail is usually held high.

What’s The Breed Standard of Husky Tails?

Based on AKC breed standards for Huskies, the well-furred fox-brush tail sits slightly below the topline and is frequently carried over the back in a sickle curve when the dog is in an attentive position, which gives their unique look.

Here are some points to remember about the standard Husky tail:

  • When relaxed or resting: The tail hangs down, termed a “trailing tail.”
  •  When alert or attentive: The tail forms a sickle curve and slightly curls but doesn’t tightly curl over its back.
  •  The tail shouldn’t: Fall over to the left or right; Snap flat against the dog’s back.

While these standards are essential for show dogs, it’s crucial to remember that the tail’s appearance does not affect how much we love our furry friends.

Our Siberian Huskies can have various tail shapes, each beautiful in its own way.

If you’re considering getting a Siberian Husky, you must know some basics about their unique traits, such as the typical breed standards for Spitz-type dogs like them and the AKC breed standard. Understanding these details will help you appreciate your husky even more.

A husky dog standing in the snow with sickle tail.

Should Husky Puppies Have Curly Tails?

Husky puppies can display various tail shapes. Some husky puppies might have a trailing tail, while others could develop a slightly curly sickle tail. Essentially, it all comes down to genetics.

Typically, Husky puppies’ tails will start to form around 4-6 months old, but remember that it’s not a strict timeline.

If you’re trying to get an idea of how your husky puppy’s tail may look, consider looking at its parents. Physical traits tend to be inherited, so observing the mother and father should indicate how your puppy’s tail might set.

Do Curly Tails Indicate Quality or Purebred Status?

Regardless of whether a husky has a sickle tail or a hanging tail, it doesn’t signify if they are of higher or lower “quality.” Using the term “quality” can lead to unnecessary judgment.

It’s essential to understand that a husky’s tail doesn’t necessarily determine its purebred status. While the tail’s appearance might give some indication, it isn’t a reliable factor.

You would need official documents or a DNA test to confirm if a husky is purebred.

Purebred huskies can have different types of tails, ranging from always trailing to varying degrees of sickle-shaped tails. Factors like health, mood, and body language can all contribute to variations in tail appearance.

The tail-wagging could also reflect excitement, fear, or aggression.

A husky’s tail doesn’t solely represent its quality or purebred status. It’s just one of many aspects of this remarkable breed.

Questions & Answers (FAQ)

Here’s some common Q&A on this topic:

How do you tell the difference between a husky tail and a malamute tail?

A husky’s tail is generally more curved, carried higher, and classified as a sickle tail. A Malamute’s tail, on the other hand, is less curved and can sometimes be described as a curly tail.

What are the factors influencing a husky’s tail curl?

The curl of a husky’s tail can be affected by several factors such as genetics, health, and even environmental conditions. Certain genetic traits may make a husky’s tail more likely to curl. In colder environments, a husky may use its tail to protect its nose and face, curling it tighter around itself to provide added insulation.