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When Do Akita’s Tails Curl? (All You Need to Know)

As a dog owner, it’s important to understand the dog’s mood and emotional state. Certain body posture, ear, and tail position of your dog can express a lot about how your dog is feeling.  A curl-up tail with a gentle side-to-side wiggle may express cheerfulness.

A curl-up tail may also mean your dog is in alert mode. So decoding the body language of a dog can be quite tricky but it’s essential for an owner to do so. Akitas are hunting dogs and are well known for their utmost loyalty towards their master.

While raising a dog you need to keep an eye on their physical and emotional state. Observing the tails can give you very crucial information about your dog.  Let’s have an in-depth look at decoding the tail language.

When do Akita’s tails curl?

The Akitas tails curl when they’re extremely happy or confident. By observing the tail’s position, the owner can understand how the dog is feeling. The Akitas tails may be curled or flat down or wiggling, different positions of the tail represent different emotions.

Why do Akitas have curly tails? 

A long history of selective breeding:

when dogs are bred for achieving a particular purpose then some dominant traits are pretty highly visible. The long history of selective breeding of Akita‘s leads to the present-day dogs you have in your home. 


the shape of the vertebrae plays a major role in lots of physical visible aspects of your dog. The hemivertebrae condition or wedge-shaped vertebrae is a common trait in Akitas. 

Because of this special condition, the Akitas tails are curly. You may say it’s because of missing data on DNA that the vertebrae are not fully developed or the effect of selective breeding.

And you don’t need to worry about the hemivertebrae condition of your Akita’s, it won’t concern your dog with any long-term medical issue.

When do Akita puppies’ tails curl? 

The Akita puppies stay normal and straight at birth. As the puppy grows up the tail develops a curled shape. You can see Akita puppies’ tails slightly curl up at 2 to 3 weeks after birth. As time passes the tail’s curl will be much more visible.

In 5 to 6 weeks the tail should have gotten the signature curl shape of Akitas. Now if your Akita puppies tail didn’t curl up even after a few months then please take it to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up.

An Akita puppy may or may not have a curled tail even after being completely healthy. 

Why does a dog’s tail curl up? 

You will see the tail slightly curl up in most of the dogs. Although the Akitas tail is pretty significantly curled. The reason behind the tail is curled up is due to the hemivertebrae condition.  

The underdeveloped vertebrae make the tail curly. Now the function of a dog tail is quite amazing. You can understand their emotional state by observing the tail’s condition. If the dog’s tail is curled up and it’s wiggle left to right then your dog is in a cheerful mood.

If the tail is curled up but it’s stiff and not moving then your dog is concerned about something or in an alert mode. The tail in the down position may represent sad emotions or an indicator of physical illness.

What dog breeds curl their tails up? 

  • Akita: a Japanese dog breed, well known for their hunting and utmost loyalty towards their master.
  • Pug: a small size Chinese dog, widely recognized by its cute face and curly tails.
  • Shiba Inu: Ancient Japanese dog breed. This hunting dog is of Spitz origin and has curly tails and a body covered with a thick coat.
  • Samoyed: A dog with magnificent beauty and well known for its white coat and curly tails. It’s an ancient breed and mostly used for sledding or herder purposes.

There are many dog breeds such as Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo, Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshond, Chow Chow, Pomeranian Basenji; these breeds are quite well known for their curly tails.

Why is my Akita’s tail down? 

So a curl-up tail moving left and right is an indicator that your Akita is cheerful but curiosity may emerge when the tail is down, how to interpret that, what does it mean and why.

The tail may be down for several different reasons. If you see a down tail along with downward ears, then it may be because your dog is feeling sad or scared.

This will be temporary and once you convince the dog that it’s safe now or play with him for a bit and improve its mood then the tail will be curled up like before. 

But if you observed the tail is down for a long period of time then it’s a matter of concern. There may be a nerve injury or something irritating and causing pain to your dog, it’s highly recommended to visit a veterinarian if the Akitas tail is down for a long period of time. 

What does it mean when an Akita’s tail is down? 

It may be an indicator that the dog is feeling depressed and needs your love and care to be cheerful again. Keep an eye on the duration or how long the tail has been down.

If it’s down for a long period of time or the newborn Akita puppies tail never curls up then there might be a health issue. The tail may be down because of nerve damage or other issues regarding the diet or muscle soreness. Always consult with the veterinarian in such cases.

Akita tail hair loss, reasons & solution. 

Akitas may lose some hair normally year-round. While normal shedding the Akita shouldn’t be losing that much hair but if you see excessive shedding, if the dog loses too much hair from its tail then it’s time to check properly and get to the root of the problem.

There are several reasons behind the abnormal amount of tail hair loss

  • Nutrition: If the dog is not getting proper nutrition
  • Flea/parasites: If there is a flea or parasite presence 
  • Allergy: If the dog is having an allergic reaction
  • Ulcer: Skin ulcer or other infection also end up in excessive tail hair loss
  • Hormones: Sometimes, there might be hormonal imbalance and other major health issues resulting in excessive tail hair shedding.

So what is the solution, how to prevent Akita tail hair loss? 

  • Change diet: If your dog isn’t playful and always tired then it’s better to change its diet and give it proper nutrition. The overall health will hugely impact the amount of hair loss.
  • Apply honey: If it’s a yearly shedding, with no trace of any fleas or other infection then you don’t need to worry. You can apply some honey to the tail. 
  • Shampoo bath: If you observe fleas or any other parasite then giving your dog a proper shampoo bath is necessary.
  • Go to the vet: If there is any trace of skin infection, rash, allergies then it’s better to visit a veterinarian and take medicine. 

Hope you got a satisfying answer to all your queries.  While raising and training an Akita you will have to be extra careful with its Physical and mental wellbeing.

Understanding the body posture, ear and tail position will help you achieve a better and stable relationship with your dog. I hope you will give a decent effort to develop a better relationship with your dog, wishing you all the best.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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