The "set-on" is as important as the tail itself and affects the manner in which it is carried.
We should remember that the tail is not just something which is stuck on the dog, as for example the ears are. It is the natural and continuous extension of the spinal column and as such is connected with the whole back from the withers onwards, and through the pelvis to the whole of the hind leg.
From this it follows that where a tail is badly set on, a dog often moves in the most unattractive fashion behind. It is not, of course, the badly set on tail which is affecting movement. Not being properly constructed, the dog would move indifferently in any case; the badly set on tail merely draws attention to this, being all a part of the same condition.
A dog's character is provided by a good tail, ears provide expression and the two coupled together supply style.
Stanley Dangerfield, Our Dogs - 1958
ANTIC, Spring 1983
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