We associate the dog’s tail primarily with one of our dogs’ many “means of communication.” Depending on the mood and situation, the rod is used in a variety of ways, and we can easily read from it how he feels at that moment.
By the way: That dogs wag their tails does not always have to be joy!
What is the structure of the tail of the dog?
The tail of the dog consists of 20-23 tail vertebrae. They form the bony basis for the tail. The individual vertebrae become shorter and shorter towards the tail end and lose the typical characteristics of a vertebra.
But the Hunderute has even more functions than being a mood barometer
From a physical point of view, the dog uses the tail to balance itself. You can observe this very well when your dog walks over uneven surfaces or when making turns. Dogs also use their tails selectively when swimming. Already in puppies it could be observed that puppies with tail can stand some days earlier than puppies with stubby tail or docked tail. (Source: Dogs on the Move, M. Fischer/ K. Lilie)
In addition, one can observe very clearly in dogs with diseases of the musculoskeletal system that the tail posture is often conspicuous, for example, to one side.
What about dogs that have a congenital stubby tail or a docked tail?
Dogs with a completely docked tail are not only missing an important means of expressing themselves, they are also missing an important part of being able to move around in a balanced manner. The consequence is that affected dogs look for a way to compensate, compensatory movements and incorrect loading of the spine occur. Therefore, in the course of life, dogs with docked tail very often develop diseases of the spine, especially in the form of spondylosis.
Dogs with stubby tail can also be affected. However, due to the fact that at least part of the rod is present, they are not as limited in their communication and the rod can be used for balancing, at least to a limited extent.
Did you know? Dog Route
The amputation of body parts according to § 6 para. 1 sentence 1 of the Animal Welfare Act is prohibited in Germany. For more than 20 years it has also been forbidden to dock dogs’ tails. Exceptions are hunting dogs and if there is a medical indication.
Are there any diseases of the tail in dogs?
A common disease of the dog’s tail is the so-called water rod. This disease is very painful for the dog. Due to the fact that it often occurs in dogs that have swum a lot, the disease got its name. Dog Route
I have summarized all the important information about the water rod in this article: Water rod in dogs.
How much does your dog use his tail to balance himself? Have you ever paid attention to it?
All the love, your Tina