German Shepherd Tail Guide: Everything You Need to Know


As a dog owner, you want to make sure that your furry companion is healthy and happy. One way to do this is to pay attention to their long, fluffy tails. The German Shepherd is a popular breed, known for its loyalty and obedience. But did you know that their tails can actually tell you a lot about their mood and health?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about German Shepherd tails. From how to read their tail positions to what common health problems can cause them to wag differently, you’ll be an expert in no time!

What Does a German Shepherd’s Tail Look Like?


A German Shepherd’s tail is long and thick with a curved tip. It is typically black and brown, with a white band near the base, and it is about 18 inches long. The tail is an important part of the dog’s anatomy, and it is used for balance, communication, and protection. A wagging tail can express a range of emotions, including happiness, excitement, and fear.

What Are the Different Tail Positions a German Shepherd Can Take?

When they are happy, their tails actively wag and are held high. However, when they are fearful or anxious, their tails are held low and close to their bodies. German Shepherds use their tails to balance themselves while running and turning. The tail is an essential part of a German shepherd’s anatomy and plays a significant role in their life. 

What Are the Different Tail Types of a German shepherd?

The German shepherd dog is a popular breed of dog that is known for its loyalty and intelligence. They are also known for their different tail types, which can be either straight or curled. The straight tail is the most common type, while the curled tail is less common. Also, the nature of the German Shepherd’s coat determines the type of its tail. Those with a single coat will have a normal tail, while those with double coats or lengthy hair will have bushy tails.

What Do German Shepherds Tail Positions Mean?


Here are some of the different ways your German Shepherd may be wagging his tail:

  • Slow Wags – A slow wag usually indicates that your dog is feeling relaxed and comfortable. This type of wag is often seen when your dog is being petted or when he’s around people he knows well.
  • Thumbs Up – When your dog wags his tail in a thumbs-up position, it means he’s excited and happy. This gesture is often used to show approval or to ask for something.
  • Fast Wags – A fast wag indicates that your dog is feeling alert and active. This type of wag is often seen when your dog is seeing or hearing something exciting.

Why do German Shepherds Chase Their Tail?

There are several reasons why German Shepherds chase their tails. It’s possible that they are simply trying to grab something that is beyond their reach. Since they have a lot of energy, chasing their tail can help them get rid of that stored energy and ease their boredom. Also, a lack of exercise and activity can lead them to chase their tales. 

A number of health conditions can also cause German Shepherds’ tails to wag. Some of the most common medical conditions include gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation, anxiety, and parasites. If your dog is chasing its tail excessively, which is known as compulsive tail chasing, make sure to consult your veterinarian to prevent any potential medical issues.

Why Does a German shepherd’s Tail Curl?


There are several reasons for a German shepherd’s tail to curl. The dog might be trying to communicate in some way. Dogs, for instance, can wag their tails to express joy or enthusiasm or tuck them between their knees to express fear or submission. The tail might just be a genetic trait, which is another possibility. While some German shepherd dogs are born with straight tails, some are born with tails that curve. Since every dog is unique, the breed’s naturally curled tail is just one of its characteristics and says nothing else about the dog.

When do German Shepherd’s Tails Get Bushy?


The tail of the German shepherd breed is one of its most defining characteristics. German shepherd dogs can have straight, curly, or bushy tails, and the degree of bushiness varies from dog to dog. So when do German shepherds get bushy tails?

As the dog reaches adulthood, its tail may either develop bushier or continue to be relatively straight. Although the degree of bushiness can vary, the majority of German shepherds will have a tail that is at least slightly bushy.

Generally speaking, the dog’s gender has little impact on the degree of bushiness, however, males tend to have more of it. Genetics have a significant role in determining a German shepherd’s tail’s bushiness. Furthermore, German Shepherds with bushier tails are frequently thought to be more attractive than German Shepherds with less bushy tails.

Why is the Bushy Tail Important for the German Shepherd Dog breed?

The bushy tail of the German Shepherd breed is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to protect the dog’s spine from injury. Additionally, the tail is a communication tool, with different positions and movements conveying different messages. Finally, the tail is important for balance, helping the dog to stay upright when running and jumping. Simply put, the bushy tail is an essential part of the German Shepherd Dog breed.

German Shepherd Tail Diseases and Possible Treatments

German Shepherds are susceptible to a number of various tail infections, which can range in severity from moderate to fatal. German Shepherds frequently develop the following tail conditions:

  • Cherry eye: A red, swollen bulge on the surface of the eye is the effect of this disease, which is caused by the gland in the third eyelid prolapsing. Surgery is typically used to correct the prolapse and treat the symptoms of cherry eye.
  • Ectropion: When the lower eyelid rolls out, the eyelashes rub on the eye’s surface, which results in this condition. Surgery is typically used to correct the position of the eyelids and treat the symptoms of ectropion.
  • Kinking: When the tail bends abnormally, this problem occurs. Numerous factors, such as genetics, trauma, and even infections, might contribute to this.
  • Dog edema: This condition develops when the tissue around the tail swells. An allergic reaction or an infection are the primary causes of this.
  • Swimmer’s Tail: This condition is caused by weakened muscles and ligaments in the tail. This can be treated with physical therapy and/or surgery.
  • Anal Furunculosis: This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin under the tail and around the anus. This condition is caused by the inefficient response of the immune system and genetics. 
  • Limber Tail Syndrome: Although there are a number of explanations for this illness, it has primarily been seen following exposure to cold water.

In addition, a number of additional health issues are also common in German Shepherds, including hip dysplasia, bloat, skin infections, and epilepsy.

Depending on the nature and severity of the disease, there are several treatment options available, including surgery, medication, and physical therapy. It’s crucial to consult with a vet to develop a treatment plan that is ideal for your dog.

How to Groom and Care for Your German Shepherd’s Tail

One of the most well-liked dog breeds in the world is the German Shepherd, and one unique feature of these dogs is their tails. However, a lot of people don’t know how to care for their German Shepherd’s tail properly. Mats, tangles, and even infections are just a few issues that can result from this. You can maintain the greatest appearance for your German Shepherd’s tail with a little time and work. The following tips can help you take good care of the tail of your German shepherd:

  • To keep dirt and debris from accumulating, routinely wash your German Shepherd’s tail using water and detangling shampoo.
  • Regularly trim your German Shepherd’s tail.
  • To avoid tangles, routinely brush your German Shepherd’s tail.
  • To avoid any skin irritation, moisturize your German Shepherd’s tail.
  • At the very least once every week, try to maintain regular tail grooming.

Make sure to follow the care tips to keep your German Shepherd’s tail healthy and well-groomed, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any irritation, redness, or inflammation.


A German Shepherd’s tail is an important part of its anatomy. It is used for balance, communication, and propulsion. When choosing a German Shepherd, it is important to pay attention to the tail. A healthy tail should be thick at the base and taper to a point. The tail should be free of kinks or bends. If you are looking for a German Shepherd, be sure to ask the breeder about the tail.

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Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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