Welcome to another of my lists.
This one is all about black dogs with curly tails and I have nine terrific breeds that I want to highlight today.
And there are quite a variety.
I mean, they are all available in a solid black colour but they are very different in size.
The largest dog on my list is the Tibetan Mastiff which stands about 76 cm or 30 inches tall and weighs a colossal 161 lbs or 73 kg.
The smallest dog on my list is the teenie tiny Pug, which is about 33cm or 13 inches tall and weighs up to 18 pounds or 8 kg.
And there is quite a variety in how curly their tails are…
But let’s start looking at each breed individually and first up is a real heavyweight and one of my favourite breeds.
 Black Russian Terrier
This breed, also known as BRT’s, is only available in a solid black colour and a subtler salt and pepper shade of grey.
But it isn’t a terrier at all and is more closely related to an Airedale or Giant Schnauzer.
And I can see the Airedale influence in the dense curly coat that the BRT has.
And in terms of the tail, it is like the rest of the dog- thickset, with a definite curl at the end.
Some Black Russian Terriers also have their tails docked- a practice which is becoming much less frequent nowadays.
This breed was bred by the Russian military in the late 1940s to guard and protect people and property.
Standing at up to 72 cm or 28 inches high and weighing a mammoth 150 lbs or 68 kgs, it goes without saying that these dogs need to be owned by people who are very experienced in keeping large breed guard dogs.
And they are a lot of work from day one as training and socialisation need to be done on a daily basis.
Also, they need lots of exercise and they will form a strong attachment with one person and follow them around.
Like most large dogs they will also create a lot of mess- partly because of the beard which will drip water and trap food.
But it has a coat which is a magnet for mud, leaves and twigs and will then be dropped all over your home.
But in return for all of this hard work, you will get yourself a loyal friend for life.
 Tibetan Mastiff
Now for my largest example of a black dog with a curly tail.
The Tibetan Mastiff which stands about 76 cm or 30 inches tall and weighs a colossal 161 lbs or 73 kg.
It is heavier than a BRT by quite a bit and you can definitely see that in the photos.
If a BRT is thick set, a Tibetan Mastiff is gigantic.
It has a very thick coat of quite fine hair and a tail that is so curly that it curls over a Tibetan Mastiff’s back.
Another striking feature is the massive head, with large floppy ears and a huge snout.
The Tibetan Mastiff was bred thousands of years ago to protect the property and herds of nomadic tribes and to guard monasteries.
Nowadays they are more likely to be performing the role of adored family pet or show dog.
Other coat colours that this breed comes in, includes black and tan and various shades of red.
And if you can face a large food bill, lots of slobber and making sure that they don’t accidentally knock over small children, the Tibetan Mastiff are true gentle giants.
 Bouvier des Flandres
This dog is a lighter version of a BRT.
A BdF stands a few centimetres shorter at a maximum of 68cm or 26 inches but an adult male will only weigh up to a maximum of 40 kgs (88 lbs) compared to a BRT’s weight of 68 kgs.
The BdF has a much denser curly coat than the BRT although their tails are very similar in that they both hang down, have a curl at the end and are thick and bushy.
Other coat colours include a salt and pepper and a black and brown.
Developed in Germany in the Middle Ages to hunt boar and deer, this breed was crossed with the Bulldog to create the Boxer dog.
Despite their size, they are not an aggressive breed by any means and they are very calm and accepting of both young children and other pets- if this is managed properly…
 Chow Chow
Well if you thought that a dog’s tail could not get more bushy or curly, let me introduce you to the Chow Chow.
Chow Chows are an ancient breed of dog, thought to originate in Northern China a few thousand years ago.
A direct translation of Chow Chow means “puffy lion dog”, which describes the whole dog really!
But as a massive fur ball, it is the very distinctive thick fur around its neck which draws a comparison to a lion.
And it is most often seen in a shade of red, not black.
But it does come in a wonderful solid black colour as well as a cream and a blue.
For a dog with such a unique look, you would be wrong to think that it ends there.
Just exercise one enough to get them panting and you will see that this breed has a distinctive blue black or purple tongue.
I kid you not.
 Afghan Hound
If there was a breed of dog most suited to supermodel looks and lifestyle, it must be the Afghan Hound.
With a coat as long as that, it would probably need to be groomed for hours everyday to maintain that incredible beauty.
And the tail- it is thin and with a curl that keeps going round and round.
It looks more like a piece of wrought iron on a fancy gate, than a dog’s tail.
But the funny thing is that these dogs were bred to thrive in unimaginable harsh conditions- in the Afghan mountains.
And a coat which wouldn’t seem out of place in a shampoo advert, was originally developed primarily to keep the dog warm.
You see, thousands of years ago, Afghan Hounds were bred to hunt large game such as antelope.
And don’t be mistaken into thinking that this breed likes to stand still whilst someone fusses over it with a brush.
They are real athletes with an amazing turn of speed.
Any wannabe owner needs to recognise that they are hard work.
Their coats need lots of attention even if they are not destined for the show world
And although they don’t need lots and lots of exercise, they do need the opportunity to run and stretch their legs frequently.
But this does need to be in a large, enclosed area just in case they see an antelope in the distance…
Their coats come in an amazing array of colours- solid black, and shades of cream and red being some of the most common examples.
There will be no need to use a large and enclosed area for our next breed, the Pug.
Many of these dogs will manage on the rough and tumble of indoor play to meet their exercise needs.
The Pug’s motto is “multum in parvo”, which means a lot in a little.
Standing a mere 30 cm (12 inches) high and weighing no more than 18 pounds (8 kgs), this is another small breed of dog with an inflated sense of self- importance.
But, when you were bred to keep Chinese Emperor’s entertained, what do you expect?
As well as black, this breed comes in Apricot or Silver.
The tail is tiny and curls over the back of the dog.
These are great dogs for young families to own because they are very tolerant of children, love to be fussed and are physically robust enough to withstand all the attention.
 Shar Pei
If you thought that there can’t be another breed of dog originating from China that looks as quirky as a Chow Chow, wait till you meet a Shar Pei.
Meaning “sand skin” in English, what is most noticeable about these dogs when you first set eyes on them, is that they are just a mass of wrinkles.
If Michelin Man had a dog, it would be a Shar Pei.
And to think that they were bred as guard dogs- wouldn’t you just collapse in a heap laughing your head off at them instead of trying to break into a building?
I don’t know…
Anyhow, standing up to 51 cm (20 inches) tall and weighing up to 20 kgs (44lbs), their coat colour can be any solid colour except white although black and fawn are two very common varieties.