What is a Gay Tail in Dogs

Some Proverbs states that a dog’s tail can never be straightened but why to straight it if the breed standards allow it?.  While talking about what is a gay tail,  one must know that it has nothing to do with a dog’s gender or sexual preferences, it’s that whirl of a tail that hangs on a dog’s back. So what is a gay tail in dogs?

what is a gay tail in dogs

What is a gay tail?

In a dog’s anatomy, the tail is an extension of the spine having its bone,  muscles, and cartilage. It’s just more flexible. A gay tail is a curvy part of the tail that hangs upward on the dog’s back. In Golden Retriever, the gay tail fails them to be on breed standards and prevents them from being a part of show rings.

According to breed standards, if the tail is thick on the base and it’s naturally round the tail is fine. Also if the tail is moderately upward curved with natural inclination the tail meets the breed standards.

Gay tail is genetic so one should know that even if you cut or trim down the tail in your puppy,  there is no guarantee that the next breed from the puppy won’t get a gay tail.

There are two types of dogs. Ones who have a genetically upward tail and secondly those who do it habitually. Dog parents also get worried that the tail might look awkward.

What causes a gay tail?

Sometimes the puppy has a habit to curl its tail. This needs training and the puppy needs to learn how to behave. Dogs can be trained to carry their tails in certain ways.

Also, the Mostly gay tail is genetic, and in small terrier breeds,  it’s considered “beauty”. So either the dog was born with it or it learned to carry the tail in a way that it becomes a gay tail.

Gay tail on Golden retrievers

Golden retrievers usually have a more noticeable gay tail. Also,  their tail has a naturally prominent C-shape curve which can be misunderstood as a gay tail. So you need to see if it’s a ‘gay tail’ or the dog has curled it up.

When your Golden retriever has a round tail, you might get worried if it’s a gay tail. Now if the tail is not looking awkward and meets the breed standards there is nothing to be worried about.

Even if the tail is not very curly or straight and falls within breed standards, owners tend to groom it.  Especially while training your Golden retriever so that the Golden retriever can pass through the ring without actually touching the ring. If it’s a gay tail consider the fact that this is genetic. Don’t try to groom it to meet the breed standards.

How much tail is considered gay tail on Golden retrievers?

Any tail that is too much curvy or straight is a gay tail for a Golden retriever. If a tail is normally round and sets up well on a Golden retriever, it’s not a gay tail.

When a Golden retriever is anxious or happy it curls up the tail. Now if that tail is all-around making an O shape or it is all straight and stood up like a flag, the tail is gay.

Gay tails are not considered very desirable in some breeds.  Not only because of beautifying purposes but also while doing show rings the tail needs to be trimmed.

The tail characteristics are different in variant lines of Golden Retrievers. Despite the line of breed from which the golden retriever belongs,  the tail size should meet certain standards. This means the tail should be long enough till the joint that is between the knee and fetlock. This can be 3-12 inches long depending upon the size and age of the golden retriever. Red retrievers have comparatively less fluffy tails than golden retrievers.

When the Golden retrievers reach the age of 2-3 months,  the tail gets fluffy. With time, the hair on the tail grows more and more making it lustrous and thick.

Which tail is NOT a gay tail on your Golden retriever? 

Golden retrievers start communicating with their parents at an age of 2 months so this is the time when they will use their tails to express different emotions. When a dog is showing any emotion, try to understand it instead of thinking of it as a gay tail.

Almost all the dogs show their expressions through tail movements. For example, a wagging tail is a sign of an anxious or excited dog. This means moving the tail is a way to depict body language. However, a Golden retriever tends to shake its tail instead of wagging it. We can interpret their emotions with their tail movements.


During the fun time, Golden retrievers tend to show how happy they are by wagging their tail. Golden retrievers are clever ones. Never interpret their wagging tail as happy moments only because not every wagging tail means a happy dog. When golden retrievers are happy, their tail is more inclined to the right and when they feel sad the tail is more inclined to the left.

You must also know that when golden retrievers are happy they don’t wag at normal speed. They either get super excited resulting in more wagging tail or you will see a super slow tail that will remind you of “evil grim”.  When happy,  their tail will be inclined more downwards.

Relaxing mode

When the tail is more inclined towards a  lower position or is in the natural form it means the Golden retriever is feeling relaxed. The tail will tighten up when the dog is attentive.


Golden retrievers are very energetic dogs. They tend to become angry more easily. When they are offended,  they hang up their tails in an upward position. Higher the tail,  aggressive is your little golden monster. Stay away, people!!


Fear is scary and when your Golden retriever feels nervous or scared it will hang down its tail. Try to soothe him with your love. If they are not socially well trained, Golden retrievers may get frightened in social gatherings too. A little hug from your side will do the trick.

These were the tales that a golden retriever’s tail can tell with its position. When a tail is at a certain position due to emotional hypersensitivity,  it will be back to normal when the dog becomes emotionally fine.

Also, Before deciding if the tail is gay, look for possible problems too. Sometimes the dysfunctioning tail can also be interpreted as a gay tail. These could be

Dead tail

This is a common problem in Golden retrievers. A dead tail is a muscle injury usually due to sudden trauma that sucks out the life from the tail. This trauma could be due to excessive exercise or physical activity or due to sudden extreme changes in body temperature.

Dead tail is reversible. As it is caused by working so with proper rest and some off days the dog tail can get back to normal.

Broken tail

In Golden retrievers, a tail can dislocate due to fracture or accident.  This problem can be treated but the recovery depends on the severity and place of the fracture. If the tail is broken from the very end, it gets better without any medical treatment. However,  for bone fractures more medical attention is required.

A bald tail

Due to allergies or food intolerances,  the Golden retriever can lose hair from its tail. The dog scratches the tail due to itching and it can get hairless. Hormonal diseases can also be a reason for hair loss from the tail. Hypothyroidism is a major cause of hair loss, especially in the tail area.

So if your dog is showing emotions or the tail has some medical problem, this is NOT a gay tail.

Why does a Golden retriever chew its tail? 

A Golden retriever chews its tail when depressed or under stress. Dogs can also have anxiety or depression-like human beings. Just as we humans tend to bite nails,  dog chews their tails when they have psychological issues.

Sometimes when the Golden retriever is alone and feeling bored,  it may chew its tail to kill boredom. Don’t leave them alone or contain them in small places.

How to fix a gay tail?

A gay tail may be considered”fault” in some breeds like Golden retriever, Greyhound, or pit bull terrier. One must know that a gay tail doesn’t need a fixture. It’s genetic and fixing a gay tail may need cosmetic surgery. Which is cruel in so many ways.

Sometimes when the puppy grows,  the tail becomes normal. We can say that the puppy learns to “handle” the tail. However, if even after few months the puppy still has a gay tail then it doesn’t meet the breed standards. One should contact the breeder because there is a high chance that the puppy was not purebred.

At last, the tail is an important part of dog anatomy and a gay tail in a Golden retriever means that Golden retriever doesn’t meet the breed standards. But never try to fix the tail by removing the part of it. This is inhumane.

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