By Mr Li Fook Wah
complete english Translation by Peony Wong, November 2013
The Wire Tail – The root of the tail is flat and wide and the end is thin, arises from the top of the back; wags with a lot of life, and plenty of strength.
The “Gold Coin Tail” was trendy in the 30’s because the majority of dogs with this kind of a tail were considered direct attackers. The major function of the tail is to balance the force from the waist (during hip checking). The Gold Coin Tail curls into a bun, thus too short for this balancing function. That was the reason why it lost its popularity. A good tail should measure 1/3 of the length from the root of the tail to the withers. If it exceeds 1/3, the tail gets heavy. If shorter than 1/3, balancing is hindered. At the beginning of a fight, the Gold Coin Tail will be able to keep it up when energy level is high. Towards the end when energy level goes down, the dog will need a good tail that wags left and right to balance that force from the waist. The Gold Coin Tail is too short for that. Without that strength from the waist, the dog will back down and lose the fight very quickly.
The erect “Javelin Tail” was popular in the 40’s. At the start of a fight, the tail presses down caudally. Later on when energy level gets low, the tail slowly falls backwards, till it is tucked between the legs; the dog backs down and loses the fight.
The “Big Hanging curtain” is a tail that bends and presses down slightly forward. It was popular in the 50’s. When a dog with a good Big Hanging curtain tail encounters a prey or an opponent, it bends its tail till it touches the back. It rarely droops. And that is why this type of tail is popular to this day. Because, a dog with a drooped tail, we jokingly called it a “five-legged dog”.
Pics ABCD are all “Hanging Curtain tails. When the Curtain hangs over on the left side, it is called a Left Hanging Curtain; over on the right is called Right Hanging Curtain. When the curl is more pronounced, resembling the hook of a [Chinese] balance, it is called a Balance Hook tail. If the tail hangs over the left – Left Balance Hook; over the right – Right Balance Hook. We favour Hanging Curtain over Balance Hook. Our most favourite tail of choice is, however, the Big Hanging Curtain.
Picture H is a Fishing tail. It is slightly curved at the end and looks just like a fishing rod. Hence the name Fishing tail. I and J are Big Hanging Curtains. They are straight tails with a very slight curve. The best is the one with the tail that is almost touching the back. K is a Flagpost tail. It is a straight tail that does not tip forward or backward; the shape looks just like a post for hanging a flag. L is a Javelin tail. The Javelin leans back slightly looking just like a man/soldier carrying a Javelin on the shoulder. We favor the Javelin Tail over the Flagpost. Why? When a dog sees an opponent, its tail jolts forward. The Flagpost tail is constantly jolted tightly forward. So when it sees an opponent, there is no more space for the tail to jolt forward, making it less agile compared to the Javelin Tail.
F and G are Gold Coin tails. The one that has it right in the center of the back is called a Gold Coin. The one that falls over on the side is called a False Gold Coin. Once upon a time we called the False Gold Coin a Cow Dung tail. Since Cow Dung does not sound nice, we call it False Gold Coin.
E is a False Gold Coin.