Which Dog Breeds Have Whip Tails?

Look at those tails! ⁴

Dogs have different types of tail, and each type of tail generally identifies the type of breed. The tail is the most expressive part of a dog, by looking at the tail of your canine, you can know exactly what your dog is feeling, whether she’s excited, frightened or upset. 

Some dogs have tails that are curled up like a corkscrew,  some have thick and full tails that resembles that of an otter, some have sickle tails that are curled and arch over the dog’s back pointing towards the head, while some others have thin and long whip-like tails. 

[1] What is a whiptail?

The thin and long tail of some animals that look very much like a whip is called a whip tail, this tail usually starts out thick at the base and gradually tapers as it stretches out to the tip. In the case of dogs, certain breeds have a characteristic whip-like tail usually covered with short hair, or completely hairless for hairless dog breeds. There are several dog breeds with whip-like tails and you’ll find a few of them below.

[2] Why do certain breeds have whip tails?

Why certain dog breeds have whip tails is similar to why dogs have tails in the first place. Dogs generally use their tails to communicate; a canine will wag happily to show excitement or tuck the tail between their legs when scared and uncomfortable. The tail of dogs isn’t just for communication, it also plays a major role in the natural qualities of the breed. 

For example, sighthounds like Greyhound, Whippets and Wolfhound have long, narrow and whip-like tails that act as air rudders and help the dogs maintain their balance and stability while running at incredibly high speeds. This whipped tail also acts as a brake during a high speed chase of vermin. Dog breeds like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes have thick and plumed tails which helps them tolerate extreme weather conditions as they haul heavy freight as sled dogs. 

Dog breeds with whip tails are mostly hunting dogs including many sighthounds and scent hounds. These breeds of dogs are adapted for visual acuity and speed. They have an incredible eye-sight for fast moving objects like the animals they hunt, long lean legs with a powerful muscular body for running at very fast speed as they chase down the prey, and a whip tail for maintaining balance throughout the chase. 

[3] List of dog breeds with whipped tails

[1] Pharaoh Hound

A Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is an ancient dog breed that’s been around for over 3,000 years. This dog breed was once the hunting dog for the Egyptian Pharaohs, and that’s how it got its name. Despite being the companion of kings, Pharaoh hounds are very affectionate, adaptable and great family companions. As hunting dogs, they’re also very athletic, a Pharaoh’s hound will have no problem snoozing all day after a high-speed chase. 

[2] Greyhound

A greyhound

These ancient sighthounds are lovable and great companion dogs. Originally bred for hunting, Greyhounds can sprint up to incredible speeds of 39 to 43 mph, and they have great eyesight for fast moving objects. The natural kind temperament of greyhounds makes them perfect for kids and family. Kylie Jenner keeps three Italian greyhounds; Norman, Bambi and Sophia.

[3] Manchester Terrier

A Manchester Terrior

The Manchester Terrier dog breed, also called the Gentleman’s Terrier, and originally bred from a whippet and a cross-bred terrier in Manchester, England. This terrier is a very active and spirited dog used for rabbits and rodents coursing. These dogs love to chase, and are very affectionate to their families. Their energy and high-spirits make the great companions for families with kids. 

[4] Porcelaine Hound

The Porcelaine is originally a hunting dog bred from highly intelligent French and English scent hounds. This dog breed has a shiny and stunningly gorgeous coat with a graceful pose and resembles a porcelain statuette. The Porcelaine is energetic and a fierce hunter but also makes an excellent house pet. Its other name is the Chien de Franche-Comté, named after a French region bordering Switzerland.

[5] Plott Hound

The Plott hound is North Carolina’s state dog. This scent hound is a relentless hunting dog and has a high-pitched and sharp voice. The Plott hounds are very loyal and trainable, and their excellent sense of smell makes them very good search dogs. The Guildford County Sheriff’s Department has two Plott Hound puppies as K9 deputies.

[6] Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan hound is a natural hunter with the elegance of a deer. Its long lean legs and a powerful body gives it strength and speed, coupled with its natural tenacity and focus, this dog breed is a wild hunter and has been hunting rabbits and small game for thousands of years. This dog breed is also very polite, calm and loving.

[7] Azawakh

The Azawakh (pronounced Oz-a-wok) is a West African hunting and guard dog. The lean body and legs makes it very swift as they hunt down hares and gazelles. They’re sighthounds and will be triggered into a chase by fast moving objects. Azawakhs make very good family pets, they can be proud but very loyal and protective of their family.

[8] Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario is a very lean, agile and athletic dog with a keen resemblance to the Greyhounds. Podenco in Spanish means hound, and they were once used in packs for hunting rabbits. This breed a great family dog, it’s smart, active and loves to play with kids. There are 7 recognized Podenco varieties including the Ibizan hound.

[9] English Pointer

English pointers were primarily bred as hunting companions, and they are very independent, naturally athletic and strong-willed. Pointers are also very loyal and highly teachable, this dog breed was used mainly for hunting birds due to their exceptional scenting ability and endurance. These dogs have been traced back to the 17th and 19th century paintings in Europe. As companions, these dogs are very fond of kids and can play all day.

[10] Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell’Etna (Pronounced “cheer-NECK-oh del et-na”) is a Sicilian guard dog and currently one of the oldest living dogs. They have very long, lean bodies making them very fast and able to hunt down rabbits and other small game. There’s a story that 1,000 Cirnechi (Cirnechi is the plural) were used to guard the temple of Adranos the fire god, in Mount Etna, Sicily. And that’s where the dog got its name. Cirneco dell’Etna has many other names, including Cirneco, Sicilian Hound, Sicilian Greyhound, Sicilian Rabbit Hound, and Sicilian Rabbit Dog. 

[11] Xoloitzcuintle

This dog breed is named after the Xolo, the Aztec god of fire and lightning, and itzcuintli, the Aztec word for “dog.” Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced  show-low-eats-queent-lee, or show-low for short) is a Mexican hairless dog that has been around for over 3,500 years. In the past, the Aztecs believed that Xolos have mystical powers and kept them around their houses to wade off evil spirits and intruders. The Xolos are also graceful hunters and helpful companions. 

[12] Thai Ridgeback

Thai Ridgeback is a Thailand dog breed that dates back to at least 3,000 years. This dog breed has a muscular build and about the size of a German Shepherd. They are a primitive breed and have evolved without human intervention, they were not bred and are actually closer to wolves than most other dog breeds. Thai Ridgeback is a very independent and smart dog with excellent hunting instincts, they are known to attack and kill cobras. When properly trained and domesticated, they make good companions and are very protective of their families.

[13] Peruvian Hairless Dog

This sighthound is similar to greyhounds or whippets, they’re great hunters and date back to 750 AD. They’re mostly hairless, but some Peruvian Hairless dogs are born with a full coat of hair in the same litter as completely hairless dogs. In the ancient Incan society, the hairless pups of the Peruvian Hairless Dog were kept as pets by royalty, while the pups with hair were left to work; mostly hunting and delivering messages. 

[14] Whippet 

Whippets are gentle and non-aggressive dog breeds, they are incredibly fast sighthounds and can reach speeds of 35 mph. The Whippet dog breed was originally used for hunting rabbits and other small game. This dog is calm and enjoys the company of humans, they make great pets. The English actress and comedienne, Jennifer Saunders, keeps two of these gentle creatures; Olive and Pip.

[15] Petit Bleu de Gascogne — Small Blue Gascony Hound

The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is a French dog breed used for hunting rabbits and hares in packs. Despite the name petit (which is French for small), this scent hound is not a small dog, the name actually comes from its use on small game and not the size of the dog itself. These dogs have distinct personalities, some are very shy while others may have an aggressive trait, but they’re generally friendly and make great companion dogs.

[16] Irish Water Spaniel

The IWS is a very soft and affectionate dog who loves to swim and has webbed feet and a two-layered, water-repellent coat, well adapted for swimming. The Irish water spaniel (IWS) is the only dog breed with a distinctly curly coat pattern. They were mainly hunters’ companions and would retrieve waterfowl when out on a hunt. Among the dozens of spaniel dog breeds, this spaniel is one of the oldest and dates back to the 7th century AD.

Photo Credits

¹ Photo by Nadine Schaeffer on Flickr

² Photo by James Pugh

³ Photo by Roger Ahibrand

⁴ Photo by Mark Galer on Unsplash

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!