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Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, with ears that stand up straight or droop down, with various colorings and coat textures, and of course the position, length, and curl of their tail. A “permanently” curled tail is probably the most adorable characteristic in certain breeds and those breeds can be either small or large.
So, what are some large dog breeds that also have a curled tail?
There are different varieties of curly tails among dogs, and large dog breeds that have curly tails include the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Chow Chow, Norwegian Elkhound, Tibetan Mastiff, Eurasier, Samoyed, and Afghan Hound, as well as the somewhat less curly-tailed Bernese Mountain dog, Black Russian Terrier, and Bouvier des Flandres.
If you want to know the types of curly tails that dogs can have and explore our list of 12 large-sized dog breeds with curly tails then keep on reading!
Different Types Of Curled Dog Tails
There are different types of curly tails in dogs. Tails that are tightly curled, so tightly that they form a complete loop are usually called corkscrew tails and they may remind you of a pigtail. Smaller dogs like the English Bulldog, Basenji, or Pugs are known for this corkscrew-type tail.
While the snap tail is not as tightly curled, it still curls up and back over the dog’s spine, with certain variations between breeds and dogs. Breeds with this type of tail can be small or large and usually have medium or long coats, creating a mesmerizing plume, basically a feathered tail that’s carried over the back.
Not all breeds of dogs have tightly curled tails, but they still have a curve even if they don’t form a perfect circle. Dogs with this type of tail, also known as “sickle”, can display great variation from one curly tail to another, but their tails are still considered curly nonetheless.
12 Large Dog Breeds With Curly Tails
Most dogs on our list have snapped tails, and there are a few that are more on the sickle side, but it’s important to mention that each dog’s curly tail may differ even if they are part of the same breed.
So, let’s dive deeper into each breed!
The Akita is a noble breed from Japan and it’s an undeniably gorgeous large and powerful dog with a plush, double-coat that comes in many colors, including white. One of their defining characteristics is their thick, curly tail, which arches over their back and perhaps their curly tail is what also makes them so adorable.
Akitas have a quiet, dignified manner, often described as cat-like. They’re reserved, intelligent, and courageous, and despite their aloof nature, they do form strong bonds with their families, especially their owners. Akitas require moderate exercise, enjoying daily walks and regular playtimes. Due to their protective nature, early socialization and firm, consistent training are vital.
They can be good with children in their own families but may be wary of outsiders, people, and other dogs and pets alike. This is not an easy dog to train, so an Akita might not be the best choice for a first-time dog owner. They can live happily in an apartment as long as their exercise needs are being met daily.
2. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, boasts a sturdy body built for stamina and strength. Their bushy, curled tail is often carried over the back when they’re not at work and it simply makes this breed incredibly beautiful.
Malamutes are friendly, affectionate, and social dogs, great with kids, and being pack animals they can adapt to living with other dogs if properly introduced. If you’re an active individual or your family enjoys outdoor activities, running, and long walks then the Alaskan Malamute may be a great addition. You need to remember that this breed is highly active and requires daily exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
Despite their many wonderful qualities, training can be challenging due to their independent and stubborn nature, so they’re better suited for experienced dog owners. Their size and high energy levels make them less ideal for apartment living, but they will thrive in a house with plenty of space and an active family.
3. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are native to Switzerland, and they are known for their beautiful tri-colored, thick double coats and sturdy physique. Their tails are more on the straight side compared to the majority of breeds on this list, but many individuals do display an upward curl, especially toward the tip.
These dogs are usually calm, good-natured, and very loyal, making them excellent family pets. They’re gentle with children and are generally sociable with other pets. This is a working dog so they should be kept busy, regular exercise is also important for the Bernese Mountain Dog, but they’re not as hyperactive as some breeds.
Early socialization is key, but training is usually straightforward given their eager-to-please nature. Despite their size, they can adapt to apartment living provided they get sufficient exercise, but a home with a yard is optimal.
4. Siberian Husky
Originating from the harsh environment of Siberia, the Siberian Husky is a robust and resilient breed, after all, it was bred to be a hard-working sled dog. Similarly to the Alaskan Malamute, they are distinguished by their wolf-like appearance, and perhaps even more so. Their appearance is captivating with their vibrant blue or multicolored eyes, and their bushy tail that curls over their back steal the show!
In other words, Huskies are simply striking.
As highly energetic dogs, they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, making them a great fit for active families. Huskies are known for their friendly, gentle nature, and they generally do well with children and other dogs. These dogs are also considered quite weird, and they are quite dramatic and vocal if things don’t go their way.
Training can be a challenge due to their independent, somewhat stubborn nature, so they’re not ideal for first-time dog owners. Though adaptable to various living conditions, they’d prefer a house with a yard to burn off their energy over an apartment setting, as long as you have a high fence to keep them from running away.
5. Chow Chow
With their lion-like mane and distinctive blue-black tongue, Chow Chows are an impressive breed from China. Their tails are thickly coated and curl over the back which makes them look even more fluffy and cuddly.
Despite their cuddly appearance, Chow Chows are not known for their huggable nature, instead, they are known for their dignified, reserved demeanor and are fiercely loyal to their families. They require moderate exercise and enjoy daily walks and playtime, so you don’t have to be super active, but definitely a dedicated owner.
Socialization is crucial for this breed from a young age as they can be standoffish with strangers and sometimes aggressive with other dogs. Additionally, they may not be the best choice for families with small children due to their aloof nature.
Since they can be stubborn, they’re more suited for experienced dog owners. I want to note that everything said above doesn’t mean that these dogs aren’t affectionate and each Chow Chow will express their appreciation in their own way.
Their adaptability to colder climates means they are the perfect dog for someone who lives in a Northern country or state, and their low barking tendency is a great plus which makes them suitable for apartment living, as long as they get adequate exercise.
6. Norwegian Elkhound
The Norwegian Elkhound, one of the ancient Northern Spitz-type breeds, is a hardy and sturdy dog though it might not be the largest on this list it still weighs around 50 to 60 pounds. This breed has a tightly curled tail carried over the back, a characteristic of its spitz heritage.
As a hunting dog, this breed is known for its courage and they are extremely loyal to their families. They are friendly, and intelligent, and usually do well with children, making them a great choice for active families. However, they can be independent and somewhat stubborn, so consistent, patient training is essential, preferably from someone with prior experience.
Elkhounds are energetic dogs that require regular, vigorous exercise, and while they are adaptable to various living conditions, they will thrive best in environments where they have plenty of space to roam and explore, making them less suitable for apartment living.
7. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is the largest and probably the most impressive breed you will find here. This gentle giant with a noble bearing, is known for its dense coat and a heavily feathered tail that curls over its back, making them appear even larger.
These dogs are independent, protective, and intelligent. Their calm and quiet demeanor at home can quickly change if they feel their family is threatened, revealing a brave, determined protector. This breed requires moderate exercise, so they will be happy with going out for daily walks and some playtime to stimulate them mentally.
Due to their size and protective nature, they are not well suited for apartment living, preferring a home with a large, securely fenced yard where they can patrol their territory.
They are generally good with children and family pets, but early socialization is crucial, especially since they are very big and that can lead to unwanted accidents. Their stubborn nature can make training a challenge, so they’re best suited for experienced dog owners.
The Eurasier is a medium to large breed developed in Germany. They are well known for their thick, fluffy coats and equally fluffy tail that curls up over their back.
As family pets, Eurasiers are calm, gentle, and extraordinarily attached to their owners, which might make them a bit too clingy, so separation anxiety is not uncommon with this breed.
They respond well to training based on positive reinforcement but can be somewhat reserved towards strangers. On the other hand, they are great with kids but as with all dogs, they should not be left alone without supervision. They can live peacefully with other pets if they were raised with them and provided they have been appropriately socialized.
Eurasiers need moderate daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit, daily walks, and active play with other dogs are great ways for these dogs to pass their time. This breed can adapt to apartment living, provided they receive enough exercise, but they’ll love having access to a yard.
Known for their friendly ‘Sammy smile’, Samoyeds are delightful dogs. They are not the largest breed on this list, but they still weigh between 45 to 65 pounds. They have a fluffy, white coat and a tail that curls over the back, making them look extremely majestic.
Originally bred in Siberia for herding and pulling sleds, Samoyeds are robust, versatile, and energetic dogs. They are incredibly friendly, gentle, and devoted to their families, getting along well with children and other animals, especially if they are raised around them.
Due to their high energy levels, they require plenty of exercise and enjoy participating in activities like agility, herding, and weight pulling. They can be strong-willed, so patient, consistent training is necessary, preferably at the hands of an experienced dog owner. While adaptable to various living situations, they are active dogs and would appreciate a house with a yard.
10. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is a large breed that probably has one of the most distinct long, silky coats and a tail that curls upwards into a ring. Their curly tail is very unique and looks nothing like the curly tails on this list. This is truly an elegant dog and it requires lots of grooming, though you may be pleased to hear that they are considered hypoallergenic.
This ancient breed was originally used for hunting in the rough terrain of Afghanistan, so they have a strong prey drive that is not easy to control and they require regular exercise, however, they are also content to lounge in luxury when it’s time to rest.
Afghan Hounds are known for their dignified and somewhat aloof personality, though they are affectionate with their families. Still, early socialization is important, as is a gentle yet firm approach to training.
While they are not an easy breed to train, they can get along with older children and can adapt to living with other pets, as long as you are experienced in dog training and are a patient individual.
While the Afghan Hound can adjust to living in an apartment if given sufficient exercise, they’re ideally suited for homes with a safe, enclosed space where they can stretch their legs.
11. Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier, or “BRT” for short, is a large, robust breed known for its dense black coat and powerful build. While their tail has been traditionally docked, an undocked tail is thick, set high, and carried in a curve.
BRTs are intelligent, confident dogs, protective of their families, and somewhat reserved with strangers. Early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement-based training are crucial for this breed. That doesn’t mean the BRT can’t be friendly and lovable, they generally do well with children and can get along with other pets when properly introduced.
While adaptable to various living conditions, their size and exercise needs make them more suited to homes with spacious yards. They need plenty of physical and mental exercise to keep them happy and well-behaved.
12. Bouvier des Flandres
The Bouvier des Flandres looks a lot like the Black Russian Terrier probably because it’s also a powerful, rugged dog, although it’s much hairier and comes in different colors like fawn, brindle, grey, or blonde, and not just black. Their tail is also typically docked, but when left natural, it’s long with a slight curve at the end.
The Bouvier was originally used for farm work in Belgium. That’s why Bouviers require regular exercise, but their activity levels are generally moderate. This breed is calm, rational, and brave, showing great loyalty to their family.
Early socialization is key to a well-rounded Bouvier, and their intelligent nature means they respond well to training, though a firm, consistent hand may be needed from someone who has prior experience.
They can be good with children if raised with them, and they often get along well with other animals as long as they are properly socialized. Bouviers can adapt to a variety of living situations, including apartments, but they need to get enough physical activity to stay happy, and a home with a yard might be more ideal.
I know fluffy, curly tails are mesmerizing especially when you see the dog wagging it this way and that, but don’t let their tails fool you. Before you decide on a breed you need to make sure that you got what it takes to care for this dog, and whether it will fit into your everyday lifestyle or not. If you’re looking for other specific characteristics, whether that’s a short coat or a certain weight, we have you covered there too!
There are 12 breeds on this list so choose a dog that is perfect for you!