If you are asking yourself what does it mean when a pug's tail Is down? this may be a sign that something is not right. When a pug’s tail is down, it can be due to age, mood, fear, illness, and injury. The pet’s tail can be pretty communicative and tell owners how they are feeling. Pugs are no different from other dogs when it comes to the position of their tail.

The pug is a small breed regarded as lap dogs that normally sleeps at the feet and whose curly tail makes them special since it gives them their distinctive appearance. The shape normally has the form of a spiral, sometimes single or double, which is usually tightly packed on the haunch.

Why Is Your Pug’s Tail Down?

Pugs do convey messages when having their tails down. This part of the body is extremely important to owners since it will let them know whether they feel well or not. There are main causes related to this tail placement.


With time, this breed loses the ability to curl its tail or maintain them curled. Old pugs are likely to keep their tail down or straight most of the time. Given that their muscles are not firm anymore, they cannot control the positioning of it.

This is also the case with elderly pugs that do not fulfill their nutritional needs, leading to a lack of strength which prevents them from curling their tail. As they are weaker, they are no longer capable of holding the peculiar form of it naturally.


Sometimes, the pug’s mood may determine the shape of its tail. When they feel exhausted, they are very likely to put it down. There was enough playtime for the day and pugs need to retreat so that they can have some rest and relax.

Tails being down can be also a sign that they feel sad and lack appetite and energy.

However, this mustn’t last for many hours as the reason for this placement can be another and more serious. The best course of action is to take them to the vet when people see that this position persists for long.


When they are scared, pugs tend to put their tail down. This is the result of being exposed to a situation that seriously affected them. Maybe, they were mistreated or somebody has been yelling at them.

Every time owners raise their voices to correct their pets’ behavior, it may be counterproductive. This will only cause fear in them and make them live terrified most time. While it is true to say that sometimes dogs need to be scolded, violence is not the way to do so.

At the end of the day, the pug will only try to flee from the owner because he does not feel loved or treated kindly.  


It can lead to a change in the position of the tail. There are different conditions such as hemivertebrae and hip dysplasia that are common to this breed. 

Hemivertebrae is a congenital malformation in which a vertebra is wedge-shaped and therefore cannot line up with the normal vertebrae. The most alarming fact about this condition is that hemivertebrae can compress the spinal cord. This can twist the spine and lead to paralysis in the legs.

Even though hip dysplasia is normally related to bigger breeds, more than 50% of Pugs are affected by this disease. Hip dysplasia is an abnormality in the hip joint that causes the bone of the leg to move excessively in the joint. Under these circumstances, pugs may not need surgery, but painkillers and a better diet will be required to cope with this illness.


An injury may be a cause for having their tail down. Considering that they are hurt and feel pain when curling the tail, they will be unable to do so. Even though this is not very typical, injury can happen when pugs have accidents involving their tails.

For example, when they play rough with other pets, fall on their backs and their tail is slammed by a door. In addition to this, it can be dangerous if somebody tries to untwist their tails. This is the case with kids, and therefore never leave your pug and children unsupervised when they are alone.

Why Pugs’ Tails Are Curly?

The reason why they have curly tails is that their spine has deviated. These dogs are born with a malformation in the vertebrae in which the bones are wedge-shaped. This results in pugs having a natural curly tail.

Despite this can be considered a negative trait, the fact is that this condition provides them with the distinctive aspect of the breed. On the other hand, the reason why most dogs have straight tails is that their spines do not have any abnormalities.

Do All Pugs Have Curly Tails?

All pugs have curly tails because this is a feature common to this breed. However, they are not born with this tail shape. It takes some weeks and even months to acquire the curly tail.

Do pugs like having their tails touched?

They dislike when someone tries to touch their tail. Not only do they feel pain but they also may suffer from health issues in their spine. That’s why people must never pull their pugs’ tails.

Remember that pets are not toys and therefore you should not play with their bodies.

What people should do is to check what the tail looks like regularly and clean it to avoid infections in the skin folds in the same way you do on the other wrinkled parts of the dog's body.


These dogs are a unique breed whose tail is very important due to the meanings it can have depending on the position. Always, consulting a vet is the most recommendable action since they will be able to specify the overall well-being of the pug.