Although the bobtail in the classic Christmas carol refers to “the style of the horse’s tails—a tail cut short or a tail gathered up and tied in a knot,” the fashion is not limited to horses. In fact, some dog breeds also sport a bobtail—and some animal owners been known to artificially dock a dog’s tail to conform to a breed standard.

DDC’s Veterinary Division now offers a DNA test that will determine if a dog is a Natural Bobtail—that is, if it is really and truly genetically short-tailed.

The bobtail trait is controlled by a dominant gene that follows a somewhat revised version of Mendelian inheritance—dogs with one copy of the dominant Natural Bobtail gene will exhibit a short tail, while dogs with two copies exhibit long tail. Two copies of the recessive gene are considered lethal for dogs—the embryos do not survive to term.

The DNA test will allow animal owners and prospective buyers to determine whether the a dog is a Natural Bobtail or has been artificially docked. It will also help breeders to manage mating patterns and make selection decisions.

For more information, visit DDC Veterinary or call them at 1-800-625-0874

Happy Holidays from all of us at DDC!