The Australian stumpy tail cattle dog breed

The Australian stumpy tail cattle dog breed originated in Australia, thought to be around the beginning of the 19th century. There are two schools of thought regarding its ancestors, but they have one thing in common; this dog has the dingo (wild dog native to Australia) in its ancestry.Β  It is the typical Australian short-tailed mountain dog.

The first hypothesis speaks of a breeder Thomas Simpson Hall who crossed cattle dogs from the north of England, the smithfied with dingoes. This first crossbreed was given the name Hall’s Heeler. The second hypothesis is that a cattleman named Timmins of Bathurst crossed a smithfield with a dingo at the beginning of the nineteenth century and hence the progeny of red anuran dogs known as timmins biters. These dogs were hard workers, but tended to bite excessively. They were then paired with a short-haired blue merle collie and the result was a perfect all-round dog, which would be the ancestor of today’s stumpy tail cattle dog.

From the smithfield it has taken the very short tail, in some cases absent, from the dingoes the robustness and the ability to adapt to any type of environment, some even count the dalmatians among its ancestors; it is a fact that the stumpy tail (which from now on we will call thus for convenience) is an excellent shepherd dog and guard dog and is bred mainly in the vast inland rural areas of Australia, while in the rest of the world is almost completely unknown.

Character of the Australian stumpy tail cattle dog breed

The stumpy tail is a reliable, loyal and very hardy dog. It was born as a working dog, and it performs its duties very well with regard to guarding livestock and also with regard to guarding the house and property. It is not an indoor dog, it needs to be outdoors a lot and also needs daily exercise.


It has a lifelong relationship of trust and love with its owner. It has a good temperament, although it is not very prone to cuddles; it is happy when its owner is satisfied with it. However, it is also a good companion for the family and also for the children, if they belong to its household it happily plays with them, but with strangers it is indifferent.

He is wary of strangers and his constant attention and watchfulness make him an excellent watchdog, and he will immediately alert his master when he sees a stranger.

It is included in the herding and cattle dogs, and the work it does best is that of guarding and keeping livestock. It does not like living indoors, preferring to be outside with its kennel in a sheltered place.

The training of this breed is very simple, although it must be started from puppyhood. It is a very intelligent dog, so with the right discipline there will be no problem in training it. It loves to please its owner and never tires in training sessions, always giving its best.

Appearance of the Australian stumpy tail cattle dog breed

The stumpy tail is a medium-sized dog, the height at withers of a male reaches about 50 centimetres and weighs 23-25 kilograms; the female usually a little less.

It has an agile and easy gait and its slender build makes it capable of quick and agile movements. The back is straight, broad and strong, the neck is exceptionally powerful, muscular, of medium length and arched. The tail is squat, practically absent. The limbs are very muscular and end in round feet with hard, thick pads. Its general appearance is robust and muscular but well-proportioned, it is a dog accustomed to withstand intense workloads even in very particular conditions.

The skull is broad and flat, the muzzle is of medium length, well filled under the eyes with powerful jaws that narrow into a strong blunt muzzle. The truffle is black, the eyes are oval-shaped and medium-sized and their colour is generally dark brown.Β  The ears are rather small but wide at the base and end in a pointed shape.

It is a short-haired dog and is very distinctive both to the touch and to the eye. The coat is double and smooth, with a short and dense undercoat, a little hard but waterproof. It is longer under the body and on the limbs, on the head and feet the coat is shorter. This is because this dog spends a lot of time outdoors. The colour of the coat can be blue, marbled blue or spotted blue. Sometimes there are also black, blue or flecked spots on the head, while the forelimbs are fire-coloured up to the middle and then fade away.

Care and health of the Australian stumpy tail cattle dog breed

The stumpy tail is a dog that enjoys excellent health, it is hardened to all types of temperatures and no congenital disorders or predisposition to various diseases have been found. Its life expectancy is very long: it is around 16 years old, but many dogs can easily reach 20 years.

As far as the care of its coat is concerned, it is very resistant and is characterised by short hairs that do not require any particular care. It is sufficient to brush it every so often to keep it shiny and thick. The Stumpy Tail moults only once or twice a year.

Feeding does not require any particular specifications, a mainly protein diet is sufficient and in any case balanced, it regulates itself very well.



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