Do Dog Have Pain Receptors in Their Tails?

Adrienne Farricelli

Whether dogs have feelings in their tails is something we may wonder about.

Dog tails have feelings, but not in the sense that they can feel emotions as if they were an entity of their own, but in the sense that dog tails are sensitive and therefore capable of transmitting sensations to the dog's brain.

Do Dog Have Pain Receptors in Their Tails?

Dog tails are an extension of the dog's spine. They are made of skin, muscles (which allow dogs to dog raise, curl, wag, and tuck their tails under), tendons, several highly mobile vertebrae and sets of nerves.

This means that dog tails have feelings and are quite sensitive due to the presence of pain receptors.

Painful Tail Conditions

Accidentally step on a dog's tail or have the dog's tail stuck in between a door and you have proof that dogs have feelings in their tail; indeed, most dogs will react by emitting a strong yelp and some dogs may even snap.

There are also many painful tail conditions in dogs which attests that yes, dog tails are sensitive. Take for instance, acute caudal myopathy in dogs, a condition affecting to muscles of a dog's and causing dogs a great deal of pain.

There used to be belief that docking puppy tails in newly born puppies was not painful, but there is now evidence that tail docking is painful to puppies.

Natural Instinct

Protecting the tail from harm is a natural behavior. The tail is at the far end of the dog and not easily accessible, therefore it's a self preservation instinct to keep it safe from harm.

Be gentle with your dog's tail. If you have a puppy, get him used to gentle handling, by touching his body parts and feeding high-value treats as you touch sensitive areas such as your dog's tail, paws and ears.