Dismiss Notice
Hello Guest, Welcome to the new version of Sheltieforums.com. If you have any questions regarding the new software, please post in the following section: Forum Upgrade

How severe a fault is a short, kinked tail?

Discussion in 'Getting Started in Conformation' started by StormHaven, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. StormHaven

    StormHaven Forums Regular

    11
    0
    0
    Jul 18, 2013
    SD
    Was going to do conformation with my new pup but he has a short kinked tail. How severe a fault is this?
     
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    5,518
    585
    260
    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    A kink in the tail is a fairly serious fault. If you post a photo of the tail for us, perhaps we can give you a better idea. Here is what the AKC Sheltie Standard say about tails:

    The tail should be sufficiently long so that when it is laid along the back edge of the hind legs the last vertebra will reach the hock joint. Carriage of tail at rest is straight down or in a slight upward curve. When the dog is alert the tail is normally lifted, but it should not be curved forward over the back. Faults - Too short. Twisted at end.
     
  3. StormHaven

    StormHaven Forums Regular

    11
    0
    0
    Jul 18, 2013
    SD
    That's what I thought. He is only ten weeks old, but the very tip of his tail has a z in it--- I will take him to the vet and see if it was an injury that occurred after birth, but it makes his tail hang slightly above the hocks. He carries it beautifully, but it has that wacky z at the end. I will upload a photo to another server and then post the link.
     
  4. StormHaven

    StormHaven Forums Regular

    11
    0
    0
    Jul 18, 2013
    SD
  5. StormHaven

    StormHaven Forums Regular

    11
    0
    0
    Jul 18, 2013
    SD
  6. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

    1,660
    90
    115
    Aug 28, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The thing to keep in mind is that dogs are judged on the balance of their qualities. A truly outstanding dog may be forgiven a few faults. Likewise, if a dog is lacking in overall quality, you can't really hone in on one particular fault ("If my deep-headed, bird-footed, ewe-necked dog just had all his premolars, he would've finished!").

    If you are growing out this puppy to show, you really need to continuously and objectively evaluate his quality. A short tail is just one part of the picture. Do you have a mentor, someone who breeds and shows Shelties, who is working with you through this process?

    As an aside... I heard a great joke at last year's national... "If you're having a problem with short tails in your dogs, it's easy to fix - just breed for longer hocks." :wink2:

    (For heaven's sake, please don't breed for longer hocks!)
     
  7. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    5,518
    585
    260
    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    The other thing to remember if that since he's only 10 weeks old, he will change. His tail could grow with his body. I don't see the kink in the photos, so perhaps it's not that pronounced. If you think he's a good prospect otherwise, it might be worth waiting it out and evaluating him again at 16 or 20 weeks.

    As TofuPup said, asking your mentor or an experienced Sheltie breeder active in conformation will give you a better idea of his prospects.
     
  8. SheltieLuver

    SheltieLuver Forums Enthusiast

    781
    6
    75
    Aug 31, 2008
    South Carolina
    Bless it! It is a short tail. As he grows in his adult coat it will be less noticeable, but judges tend to check where the bone is in accordance with the hock. He doesn't look like he has real good rest angulation, but it could just be the way he is standing. As long as he has other wonderful virtues, nice conformation, I would not worry terribly about the tail. This has been a real problem with some of our sables... but at this years National I thought it has improved some.
    If everything else turns out with him and he becomes your future show dog... Make sure that any future girlfriends to be have nice long tails.
     
  9. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

    1,354
    0
    0
    Jan 4, 2012
    Brantford, On
    A kink in the tail is usually caused by a hemi vertebrae which is more triangular in shape than rectangular. They are very difficult to breed out. Personally, if everything else is lovely then I would consider showing the dog but would not breed it.
     
  10. sable

    sable Premium Member

    2,246
    110
    105
    Oct 2, 2008
    Ohio
    I read this about Lucky's tail, it was called a gay tail. The tail goes up in the air
    when he runs.

    I don't know if its a kink, but maybe it means he is just happy.
     

Share This Page