9 Dogs with Curly Tails

dogs with curly tails

By Jen Phillips April

My American Eskimo dog, Baggins, had a wonderful fuzzy curled tail that unfurled when he played chase with the other pups at the dog park. All the dogs ran in a big circle, and his tail stuck out straight behind him. 

I never understood why his tail trailed like a comment behind him when he ran because it seemed to make it easier for another dog to catch him. However, catching the dog in front didn’t seem to be the point of the game anyway. The point was running at top speed in a giant circle with canine friends – kinda like when little kids are sprung from the confines of the classroom at recess and need to run. 

Later, I learned that running with his tail straight behind him might have helped him maintain balance while he raced the other dogs, as you’ll see below. 

Many breeds of dogs have curly tails. Some are working dogs like Huskies, while others are companion dogs like Pomerainians. Some have tight curly tails, like a Basenji, while others are loose and fluffy, like the American Eskimo dog. Curly-tailed dogs come in all sizes and personalities, too.

Before jumping into some popular dogs with curly tails, let’s explore the purpose of a dog tail. 

What’s The Purpose of a Tail? 

A dog’s tail is a wonderfully expressive tool. A wagging tail expresses happiness, fear, or curiosity, depending on how it’s held and how fast it’s moving. 

Your dog’s tail also helps your dog maintain balance, which could be related to why my Eskie uncurled his tail when running. For our double-coated, long-haired dog breeds, a fuzzy, curly tail can help your dog stay warm and cozy. My Eskie sometimes curled in a tight, round shape and plopped his fuzzy tail over his nose.

9 Dog Breeds With Curly Tails 

Curly-tailed dogs are found in global cultures from Japan to Alaska. Some are short-haired like the Pug, while others have a luxurious long white coat—looking at you, American Eskimo Dogs!  

Many of these dogs were also originally bred for specific jobs. In cold Arctic climates, spitz-type dogs are common. Spitz is a catch-all term for dogs with pointy ears, thick coats, and curled tails. Working dogs like Huskies, Malamutes, and Samoyeds fall into this category. 

Here are nine awesome dog breeds with corkscrew tails: 

1. American Eskimo Dog 

dogs with curly tails

The American Eskimo Dog has a long white double coat and a confusing name. Despite their Arctic look, they originated in Germany from the German Spitz, but anti-German sentiment during World War II caused the breed to be renamed the American Eskimo Dog.

Nicknamed “Eskies,” these spirited pups are smart and energetic. They make great companions and good guard dogs as they can be vocal about unusual noises and changes in the environment, and they have expressive coal-back eyes and a loosely curled tail.

Eskies come in toy, mini, and standard sizes. The standard can weigh up to 35 pounds, though the toys can weigh as little as six pounds.

2. Alaskan Malamute 

Often mistaken for huskies, the Alaskan Malamute usually has lighter coloring but similar markings, body type, and coat. Both come from cold climates, are used as sled dogs, and love to run.

However, the Alaskan Malamute hails from Alaska, while the Siberian Husky comes from Siberia. Indigenous people bred both breeds to work. The Siberian people bred huskies to find food sources during the long, cold winter, while the Mahlemut tribe in frigid Alaska bred the Malamute dog to pull sleds and hunt. 

Malamutes weigh 75-85 pounds and are smart, energetic dogs. 

3. Husky

husky puppies. how much to feed a dog

Huskies are known for their thick coats and distinctive markings. Traditionally bred by the Siberian people to hunt in the frigid winter, they also serve as sled dogs. 

Like Malamutes, huskies are smart and energetic. Therefore, they require an energetic dog parent who understands how to train a dog. Huskies are loyal, friendly, and always looking for fun. Typical huskies weigh around 50-60 pounds.  

These are dogs built for activity and happy to figure out how to break out of a fenced-in yard. In other words, if you’re considering getting a husky, be sure you have an active life that can include a high-energy dog. 

4. Samoyed 

These big white fluffy dogs are stunning. They look like bigger versions of the American Eskimo dog but have a working history as the “smiling sled dog.” Like the Siberian Husky, the Samoyed also came from Siberia and was bred for tough Arctic conditions. Historically, they’ve served as sled dogs, hunters, and even herders.

They’re energetic, intelligent, friendly, and good with people. They require a lot of attention and are happy to accompany you anywhere. Adult Samoyeds tend to weigh 50-65 pounds, though their fur coat and fluffy tail can make them look much bigger. 

5. Akita

This short-haired, curly-tailed dog breed originated in Japan. An exiled Japanese nobleman is credited with breeding the dog that became the Akita. Bred as a hunting dog and guard dog, Akitas can be standoffish with strangers and other animals. 

Akitas are a well-loved Japanese breed and are considered good luck. They are one of the larger curly-tailed dog breeds, and they can weigh up to 100 pounds. 

6. Basenji

Known as Africa’s “barkless dog,” the Basenji may be one of the oldest AKC breeds (American Kennel Club). Paleontologists say the earliest domesticated pups looked like Basenjis, and Egyptian artifacts show pictures of the breed. 

With their short coat and tight, curly tail, they’re known for grooming themselves like cats. Another notable trait is their ability to leap straight up into the air to better hunt prey in African grasslands. These pups weigh in the twenty-pound range. 

7. Norwegian Elkhound

Famed for its silvery, thick coat, the Norwegian Elkhound is a sturdy dog that sailed with the Vikings. They have a history of serving as hunting dogs, guard dogs, and all-around companions. Originating in Norway in 5000 B.C., they hunted elk and other large game. 

They’re affectionate pups who love agility trials and other dog training. They weigh around 55 pounds. 

8. Pomeranian 

Breeders trace Pomeranian heritage back to the Artic breeds like Huskies and Samoyeds, with their double coats and curled tails. You can see the resemblance, but these are the small companion dog sizes. These perky, fluffy little dogs are royal favorites. Queen Victoria is said to have introduced Pomeranians to the British when she brought them back from a trip to Italy. Marie Antoinette was a fan too. Poms are little dogs that can weigh under ten pounds. 

9. Pug

pug nation

The bug-eye pug has a lot of personality in a small body. Once a favorite of ancient 

Chinese emperors, the pug makes a great dog for apartments and small spaces. Pugs made their way from China across Europe during the days of the Spice Trade and are said to have been a cherished watchdog when a pug barked a warning to the Prince of Orange of an advancing attack on his camp. 

Pugs are a small dog typically weighing between 14 and 18 pounds. 

These are just some of the popular dog breeds with curly tails. Other breeds include Chow Chows, Shiba Inus, and Keeshonds. No matter what kind of dog you get, every dog needs adequate socialization and exercise for their size and age and a nutritious diet.  

Now that you’ve seen some of the popular dog breeds with curly tails, what do you think? Do you have a favorite curly-haired dog breed?


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