Cavapoos’ long, wagging tails, besides their teddy bear looks, are an endearing and informative character feature.
Dogs can tell us so much by what their tails are doing and how they are wagging them.
But is your Cavapoo’s tail normal and what do Cavapoo tails look like?
Do breeders dock Cavapoo puppy tails and is this acceptable?
Why should your Cavapoo even have a tail?
How do you handle it if your dog’s tail has been injured?
Let’s dive in!
- What Do Cavapoo Tails Look Like?
- How Common Are Cavapoo Tail Injuries?
What Do Cavapoo Tails Look Like?
Cavapoos are known for their long, fluffy tails, which, when relaxed, typically stick straight out behind them.
Cavapoos are a mix breed that takes traits from both the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, therefore their tails can appear very different according to whichever parent dog that take after.
While the tails of some Cavapoos are able to curl elegantly from their backs, the tails of other Cavapoos are more like those of Cavalier Spaniels and hang behind them.
Some Cavapoos have tails that are able to stand straight up on their own similar to a Poodle’s tail.
If your Cavapoo only has a stubby stump for a tail, then it has most likely had its tail docked.
How Long Is A Cavapoo Tail?
The average length of a Capoos tail is between 8 to 10 inches.
However, because of the mix breed side of things, they can range from anything from 3.5 inches to 16 inches in length.
If your Cavapoo has a docked tail then it should be around 4 inches long.
Do Cavapoos Have Curly Tails?
Some Cavapoos have a slightly curled tail that can extend over their backs.
While others can have a very curly tail like a piggy tail.
Why Do Cavapoos Have Tails?
There are 3 main reasons why dogs have tails: They help with balance, they keep them warm and they are an essential tool in communication.
Tails Provide Balance
Dogs’ tails serve as a crucial counterweight when they have to jump and maneuver through tight places.
In order to improve the direction of their jump and, ideally, let them land on their front feet, they fling their tail upward as they leap to clear something.
Tails Provide Warmth
Just like with cats, when your Cavapoo is cold, they will cover their noses with their tails to keep warm.
Tails Help With Communication
You can tell a lot about how your dog is feeling by how it is using or displaying its tail. I will cover this in more depth later on in the article. Your dog ‘talks’ with its tail.
Are Cavapoos Tails Docked?
No, Cavapoo tails should not be docked. Neither the Poodle nor the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s tails are docked so it makes sense that a Cavapoo’s tail should also not be docked.
These days the docking of a dog’s tail is more and more frowned upon.
My opinion is that tails should never be docked unless it is a working dog like a working spaniel that needs to have their tails docked to prevent injury.
Otherwise, a tail is an important tool for a dog’s balance and as a way of communication.
There is the very rare occasion when a puppy is born either without a tail or with a very short stumpy tail.
This is obviously acceptable as it is birth defect and it has not been removed surgically.
What Is Tail Docking And How Is It Done?
The term “tail docking” describes the process of amputating a portion or the entirety of a dog’s tail.
This operation was typically performed on the dog when it was still a very young puppy, somewhere between the ages of 2 and 4 days old!
If a breeder did not want the expense of surgery then they could dock the puppy’s tails themselves using the two options below.
Both options are very traumatic, painful and inhumane.
The first way is that breeders would simply use scissors to remove the excess length of the tails of their Cavapoos.
The second way is that breeders would make use of a thick rubber band that would be tightly wrapped around the puppy’s tail in order to cut off the blood flow.
Both these methods in my eyes are cruel and unnecessary.
When Should A Tail Be Docked?
As I mentioned before, it is common practice to dock a working or hunting dog’s tail as it can be badly injured while the dog is performing its daily chores.
I fully understand and support this as it prevents nasty injuries from brambles, thorns and tree branches.
The only other reason to dock a Cavapoo’s tail is if it has been injured in some way.
Maybe, it was stepped on by accident or it was slammed in a door (which can happen).
Then if the injury is too severe then the Vet might have no choice but to amputate the tail.
How Common Are Cavapoo Tail Injuries?
Tail injuries are relatively common in any long tailed dog.
Below is a list of the most common injuries and conditions that can affect your Cavapoo’s tail:
Abrasions – These are typically simple scrapes that can occur if your dog scrapes its tail against an abrasive surface like concrete or they catch their tails on an object or item like wire fencing.
If the abrasion is small and shallow then you can apply antibiotic ointment to the area.
If the wound is bleeding badly or is swollen then it is best to have your dog seen by a Vet to make sure there is no muscle or skin damage.
Lacerations – A laceration is a deep cut that exposes underlying muscle and bone.
There is a high risk of infection so veterinarian care is needed.
Your dog might need stitches to close the wound and a course of antibiotics.
Happy Tail – This term is misleading because ‘happy tail’ is anything but happy.
The term refers to the fact that your dog is always wagging its tail causing them to constantly hit objects like chairs, coffee tables and walls.
The constant bashing exposes delicate nerves and is quite painful so veterinarian attention is required.
In order to prevent infection, soothe the nerves, and allow the tail to heal, it is sometimes necessary to bandage the wounded area in addition to administering antibiotics and pain medicine.
In severe and chronic cases in which the wagging will not cease and the injury will not heal, surgical shortening of the tail is the best remedy.
Although this will alter the dog’s appearance, having a shorter tail that wags will make it less likely that the dog would injure themselves.
Fractured Tail – The tail is actually an extension of the spine and has vertebrae and discs.
Vertebrae in the tail can fracture just like any other bone in the body.
When a dog is hit by a car, falls off a porch or bed, or has his tail smashed in a door, the result could be a fractured tail.
The severity of the fracture might vary greatly depending on where the break occurred.
If the fracture is at the very end of the tail, it will normally heal properly without any treatment; however the tail may develop a hump or a kink at the location where the fracture occurred.
In the event that the bones in the tail are crushed, it may be necessary to amputate a portion of the tail.
Damage to the nerves is common in injuries that occur close to the base of the tail, making these injuries more severe.
If you suspect that your Cavapoo has fractured its tail then please have a vet check it out.
Cavapoo Tail Wagging And Communication
A cavapoo may wag its tail for a variety of reasons.
It plays a significant role in their communication with you.
Not all animals that wag their tails are happy. They can also be expressing other feelings like anxiety or fear.
The following are some things your Cavapoo may be trying to tell you with its tail.
Tail in its natural position – Normally indicates that your dog is calm and relaxed
Big expressive tail wag – Your dog is greeting you and is happy
Gentle Wagging – He can be curious or unsure and needing assurance
Tail Between The Legs – This indicates that your dog is nervous or scared.
Tail rigid and in the air – This is an aggressive stance that can be accompanied by growling.
Fast care free wagging – Your dog is happy and excited. Your dog could also be wiggling it’s body and moving in circles.
As you can see, a Cavapoo’s tail not only adds to their appearance and cuteness, it is an essential aid in communication.
Cavapoo tails also aid in balance and movement helping your dog move freely and correctly.
I love my dogs tail.