The dog breed with the longest tail

Does your heart have a roving eye for dogs, or rather, a rover eye that compels you to obsess over every speck of every inch of a canine? Maybe you study dog drool, like that Pavlov guy, or you swoon over the pitter-patter of their paws, but the best part of man's best friend might be its tail, which is the butt appendage of the gods and the cutest part of a pooch's patootie.

A tail wag is worth a thousand barks — or zero, if the dog is one of those breeds that don't bark. Those furry fifth limbs function a bit like emotional semaphore, with different positions signalling different dispositions. A vertical orientation, for instance, is a red flag conveying aggression while a nervous or submissive dog might hold its tail lower than usual and tuck it between the legs. Obviously, tails come in various shapes and sizes, and on rare occasions, a puppy might have an extra tail on its forehead. But which breed has the longest tail?

The Irish wolfhound has a long tail to tell

Guinness World Records writes that the longest documented dog tail on Earth belongs to an Irish wolfhound named Keon, who lives in Belgium. Keon's butt flag measures an impressive 30.2 inches (76.8 centimeters), which is probably longer than human newborns placed end to end (unless they're unnaturally long, Shaq-esque babies), for those of you who need a useful and not at all random size reference. 

The previous record was also held by an Irish wolfhound, which makes sense when you consider just how large these canines are. Size-wize, the Irish wolfhound is the Shaquille O'Neal of dogs. According to the Canine Journal, it can stand up to seven feet tall on its hind legs, which is like the height of a bunch of normal human babies balanced on each other's shoulders or slightly fewer baby Shaqs stacked on top of each other. Contrary to what its name implies, the Irish wolfhound's origins seem to trace back to Rome, where all roads lead. Though they are wolf's bane, they behave like gentle giants towards people ... though there's a chance it will eat your pet rabbit.