Last Updated on August 3, 2021
The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent, loyal and hard-working dog that will change your life and become your closest friend the moment you bring it home.
If you own one of these fabulous dogs, you probably know that some don’t have tails at birth, while the others have long tails. An Australian Short-haired Shepherd is a good example of this.
Let’s dig deeper to find out why it happens.
1. Types of tails the Australian Shepherds may have
Aussies very beautiful dog with a charming personality and character and looking at a stunning picture of the Aussie you may wonder where their tail is. Australian Shepherd puppies can have one of the following types of tails:
- The naturally bobbed tail
- The long curved tail
- The long straight tail
- The docked tail
Some Australian Shepherds have naturally bobbed tails at birth. You can also look at the example of the Australian Short-haired Shepherd.
2. Why some Aussie short-haired Shepherds have naturally bobbed tails
It’s fun to know that 1 in 5 Aussies has a naturally bobbed tail and that means puppy had no tail at birth. There is a genetic component to the type of tail puppies are born with. The C189G gene is the genetic mutation that causes this. This gene can be passed down.
3. The ways the Australian Shepherd’s tail can be formed
When the fertilisation occurs, there are only 3 possibilities whether the puppy is going to have a naturally bobbed tail or not:
- Combining one C189G gene and one normal gene will create a bobbed tail
- Two normal genes will produce a long tail
- Two recessive genes will cause the death of a puppy in the womb
Based on these combinations, only 20% of the Aussie puppies will have naturally bobbed tails at birth.
4. Why breeding for Australian Shepherds with bobbed tails can be hard
There are breeders who breed specifically for puppies with naturally bobbed tails. This is generally considered an unacceptable breeding practice because the C189G gene is vastly unknown by many breeders and puts the puppies and mother at risk.
5. Why some Australian Shepherds get their tails docked
Some breeders will opt to have tails docked within a few days of birth. As a working, herding breed, longer tails can be dangerous for the dog as they move through the brush. If the long tail is caught it can get broken. Some breeders also worry a long tail could scare the sheep that Australian Shepherds often herd.