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Why Do Shiba Inus Have Curly Tails? (Explained)

Shiba Inus are unique breed dogs. They are famous for their excellent features and characteristics. Shiba Inus are pretty conscious about their appearance. That’s why they clean themselves regularly.

Generally, Shiba Inus have curly tails. Their curly tails make their appearance more unique and elegant. But you might want to know why Shiba Inus have curly tails. This article will inform you about Shiba Inu’s curly tail and the reason behind it.

Why do Shiba Inus have curly tails?

Shiba Inus have curly tails that help them to keep up the body heat. Their tails also keep them warm in the cold weather. Generally, northern cold area’s breeds, like the Shiba Inu have curly tails. Their tails are perfect to retain their body warm in the winter.

Shiba Inus were generally bred for hunting in Japan. They used to chase for small animals in the dense forest. So, they have to roam in cold and harsh weather. That’s why they have curly tails that ring upward toward their spines.

Their curly tails retain their body heat and help them keep warm in the cold weather. So, they don’t lose their body heat quickly.

Do all Shiba Inus have curly tails?

Yes, most Shiba Inus have curly tails. Generally, cold weather and northern area’s Shiba Inus have curly tails. These tails help them to keep up their bodies warm. Some Shiba Inus have sickle tails. But both tails curl up towards the Shiba Inus’ spins.

If the Shiba Inu has uncurled or straight tail, it might be a sign of a problem or health issue. But most Shiba Inus have curly tails. Moreover, their curly tails are pretty helpful for their well-being. Besides, their tails make them unique from other dogs.

Why do Shiba Inus tails curl?

Generally, Shiba Inus tails curl for their natural body structure. Their tails are extensions of their spines. So, having the tails curl for the Shiba Inus is natural.

Moreover, in northern areas and cold weather, Shiba Inus’ tails keep their bodies warm. Moreover, their tails don’t let the heat loss from their bodies.

Can Shibas uncurl their tails?

Yes, Shiba Inus uncurl their tails for serious issues, like health problems. Generally, most Shiba Inus have curly tails always. They don’t need to uncurl their tails. Moreover, curled tails give them protection from excessive cold.

But sometimes, Shiba Inus face some medical problems, like arthritis, body weakening at an elder age, etc. Besides, Shiba Inu puppies uncurl their tails while doing activities. But uncurling is normal for puppies.

However, Shiba Inus don’t uncurl their tails naturally. But if they face any health issues, they uncurl their tails.

What does it mean when a Shiba Inus tail is down?  

Generally, Shiba Inus have curly tails. They don’t need to uncurl their tails until they face any health problems. But sometimes, Shiba Inus’ tails are down. You might notice the down tail and be confused about the reason. Let’s see what it means when a Shiba Inu’s tail is down.


Every Shiba Inu is different. A comparatively straight tail might be Shiba’s uniqueness. If your Shiba Inu has a straight tail, it might be natural and nothing to worry about.


Shiba Inus are active and brave breed dogs. They like to play and be outside. A down tail might be the reason for being active or playful. While playing, the Shiba Inu might uncurl his tail temporarily.


A feard Shiba Inu might show different signs. But they have down tails when they are afraid. You might have noticed that when your Shiba Inu is afraid, his tail is down.


A Shiba Inu has a down tail when he is unwell and inactive. This might be a sign that the Shiba Inu doesn’t want to challenge other dogs.

Medical problem:

If the Shiba Inu has pain or injury in their tails or feet, he might uncurl his tail and make the tail down. Moreover, if the Shiba Inu has anal gland problems, he might straighten his tail and down the tail.

Do curly tails hurt dogs?

A lot of dogs have curly tails. Curly tails are completely normal. Though curly tails are considered generically disorderly, they don’t hurt the dogs. Generally, dogs wag their tails when they are happy. Curly tails remain curly when the dogs wag. So, their tails don’t hurt naturally.

But if the dogs tightened their curly tails and curled tightly to the back, it might be a sign of defensive attitude. So, notice whether the dog becomes defensive curling his tail. Moreover, if any dog’s tail is curled up for health issues, it might cause pain. Otherwise, curly tails don’t hurt at all.

Do Shibas wag their tails?

Yes, Shibas wag their tails. Sometimes, they wag their tails without any reason. But Shiba Inus wag their tails mainly when they are excited. You might notice that your Shiba Inu wag his tail when he is happy or see you around after a long time.

Moreover, Shiba Inus wag their tails when they want your attention. Wagging tails means the Shiba Inu has to inform your something. Shiba Inus wag their tails most probably when they have excitement.

For example, if you go out leaving your Shiba Inu at home and return home after some time, the Shiba Inu will wag his tail to see you. That means the Shiba Inu is happy to see you. Besides, Shiba Inus wag their tails when they are curious about something.

Why doesn’t my Shiba Inu wag tail?

Generally, every dog wags his tail for different reasons. Shiba Inus also wag their tails like the other dogs. But if your Shiba Inu doesn’t wag his tail, there might be a problem.

Wagging tails means excitement, happiness, curiosity, etc. But if your Shiba Inu doesn’t wag, that means he might be depressed, tired, or bored. Moreover, if your Shiba Inu get an injury in the tail or the tail areas, he might not wag his tail.

Why isn’t my Shiba Inu’s tail fluffy?

Shiba Inus have a soft and fluffy undercoat. So, their tails are also fluffy. But if your Shiba Inu’s tail isn’t fluffy, there might be some reasons behind it.

Your Shiba Inu might be dirty or got wet. Getting wet is the simplest reason for not havinga  fluffy tail. But if the Shiba faces any medical condition, he might not have a fluffy tail. For example, an anal gland problem or “Atopy” might be the reason for which the Shiba Inu has a thin and dull tail.

Moreover, if the Shiba Inu get an injury, he might lose the tail hair and lose the fluffiness of his tails.

Shiba Inus have an elegant and beautiful appearance. Moreover, their curly tails enhances their appearance. But their curly tails also help them to keep their bodies warm.

Sometimes, they uncurl their tails for health issues. Moreover, they lose their tail’s fluffiness for medical issues. You can take your Shiba Inu to the vet if you notice any strange change in his tail.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Do Shiba Inus Lick So Much?

Why Do Shiba Inus Scream?

Why Are Shiba Inus So Stubborn?

Are Shiba Inu Good Hunting Dogs?

Are Shiba Inus Aggressive?

Are Shiba Inus Really That Difficult to Train?