The Bobtail Karelian

The Karelian Bear Dog is an extremely attractive breed, and as a Spitz type dog, a tail curled over the dog’s back a hallmark of the breed, right?

Au Contraire.

In the breed are naturally occurring bobtails which were once only tolerated. In fact, the percentage of puppies born bobtailed or with virtually no tail is 10-15%  The FCI breed standard allows bobtails,  and in a show ring, dogs with such tails should be considered to be of equal value as dogs with natural long tails, though some sources suggest it’s not desirable.  It’s a naturally occurring mutation in the T-box transcription factor T gene resulting in a shortened tail, and UC/Davis recommends genetic testing to verify and validate the natural bobtail status of dogs in a breeding program as a natural bobtail is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.

Image: Karelian Bear Dog by Pablo Romera

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