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Discussion Starter #1
My GSD is 8 months (just turned) old and huge. The past month, he has been curling his tail. I researched and it is called a "gay tail." Give me your opinion, it is a sign of happiness/dominance, or is it bad genetics/breeding??????

- 6 months

- 4 months

- 7 months
 

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its nothing wrong. Some GSDs carry their tails like that so they dont touch the ground when they walk. A lot of the time its just natural for them. Nothing to worry about. The tail angle in the 7 months picture can be attributed to anxiety, trying to make himself look bigger, sometimes it can be taken as an invite to play, sometimes it can be dominance. Really not a huge thing to worry about.

The 7 months picture with his tail curled like that and his head angled over the back of the other dog, i would stop that behavior as its a sign of dominance.
 

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Thank you thank you. He normally rolls on his back and lets the smaller dogs be the more "dominant" playmate. But good thing it's not bad breeding!!!
 

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no its not bad breeding. I've seen so many dogs from good lines and bad lines curl their tails. My guess would be for some its just comfortable and others its just habit they developed to keep the hair at the end of their tail from touching the ground which can tickle. Even my current girl, who i'm convinced has no real feeling in her tail, curls her tail when she's walking or laying. It just naturally does it. Nothing to worry about.
 

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Thank you thank you. He normally rolls on his back and lets the smaller dogs be the more "dominant" playmate. But good thing it's not bad breeding!!!

this is good. Sounds like a good boy.
 

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The GSDs tail should have a slight curve to it when they're walking about and the like.

Your dog looks to have a high tailset, which is what causes a gay tail (which is a fault....the tail should never break the horizon of the back line).

A dog can also carry its tail correctly when relaxed, but have a "gay tail" when it is going though a dominance display (my little bitch has correct tail carriage unless she's agitated, and then it will raise high and straight behind her).
 

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Define "fault" please.
Tail bushy, with the last vertebra extended at least to the hock joint. It is set smoothly into the croup and low rather than high. At rest, the tail hangs in a slight curve like a saber. A slight hook- sometimes carried to one side-is faulty only to the extent that it mars general appearance. When the dog is excited or in motion, the curve is accentuated and the tail raised, but it should never be curled forward beyond a vertical line. Tails too short, or with clumpy ends due to ankylosis, are serious faults. A dog with a docked tail must be disqualified.

taken from akc gsd standard . hope this helps --
 

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@horsegirl, no it didn't, I asked to explain what fault means, not explain how a fault is described... as in give me another synonym besides fault
 

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@chelle... I have done a lot of research the past few days and it seems two different things... They are extremely happy and excited, and also they can be showing dominance. I've seen both parents and have no doubt that he's pure. What the other person said down there about them carrying the tail to avoid hitting the ground, that makes sense too. Post a picture please.
 

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Lots of GSDs carry their tails too high in certain situations and aren't necessarily faultly. Many if not most carry them high during protection and many during obedience also. My young male's tail is held up during both of these phases, not quite as much curl as say a Husky but definitely curling and above horizontal, yet when he is not doing bitework or obedience in drive he carries it normally and has never been faulted for his tail in conformation. It just depends whether the tail is always like that or in certain situations. If the tail is carried above horizontal when the dog is being shown then yes it is faulty.

Recent pic of my Pan and a friend at flyball, his tail curled up


Same dog, tail at rest


Pretty normal tail carriage though if he's really high in drive it goes up
 

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Let me ask this. My dog, when going for walks or runs, holds his tail (from the base) down, with a slight hook/slight curl.

When he is standing still, it is normal. Always

When he walks around my house, plays with other dogs, or is super excited, it curls (sort of like Liesje's Pan). Ever since I've had him, I've noticed his tail is up a lot. I attributed this to a gay tail. But my K9 cop friend, who is also a trainer, said his tail is normal and that he's just dominant.

From my description, does it sound like a gay tail? Or just dominance? Because he is definitely dominant. Here are some pics
 

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He could be posturing with the tail, it's not uncommon though we can't really say without watching and I don't think there's anything unusual about it sometimes being up, sometimes down.
 

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Lots of GSDs carry their tails too high in certain situations and aren't necessarily faultly. Many if not most carry them high during protection and many during obedience also. My young male's tail is held up during both of these phases, not quite as much curl as say a Husky but definitely curling and above horizontal, yet when he is not doing bitework or obedience in drive he carries it normally and has never been faulted for his tail in conformation. It just depends whether the tail is always like that or in certain situations. If the tail is carried above horizontal when the dog is being shown then yes it is faulty.

Recent pic of my Pan and a friend at flyball, his tail curled up


Same dog, tail at rest


Pretty normal tail carriage though if he's really high in drive it goes up
a curly tail no matter what is a fault. When the actual tail curls like your picture, that is a fault according to the akc GSD standard. My male holds his tail up when excited or feeling dominant , but it never curls over the vertical. a curly tail is a fault , not a huge one , but it id distracting to me.
 

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Some GSDs have dead tails. I mean, the tails just hang there like a rope, perfectly to the standard, at any situation or dog's state of mind. Well, I don't know if I like that. I rather have a dog with an expressive tail like Pan. By the way, LIes, this flyball pic is the best done picture I've seen on the board in a while! Love the color scheme and the composition.
 
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