Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

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blue or blue mottled, with black markings; red speckle
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • extremely sturdy

  • great herding dog

  • formidable guardian and alert watcher

  • easy to train

  • not friendly towards other dogs

  • prone to herd other pets and kids

  • needs a great deal of daily physical exercise

  • for an experienced owner


The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a proficient working dog, which is famous for its ability to effectively handle cattle several times larger than its size. The most distinctive trait of this Australian breed is its naturally short tail. It’s still mostly bred for working purpose and remains virtually unknown outside its native land.


At the dawn of XIX century the Australia was an extremely challenging place for cattle breeding. Diverse landscape, inhospitable climate and enormous uncultivated spaces made herding and controlling livestock a highly daunting task. British immigrants who sailed up to this continent at that time quickly found out that their herding dogs aren’t adjustable for such a hard living and working conditions. Furthermore they had serious difficulties at managing Australian half-feral and fairly unpredictable cattle.

In 1830 Timmins, a drover from Bathurst, New South Wales, had performed the mating of the Dingo with the Smithfield and the first version of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was born. The Dingo is an indigenous Australian dog, which is perfectly accustomed to severe conditions of this land. The Smithfield is a working dog native to England with a naturally bobbed tail and a square physique. The dog that resulted from the cross of these two breeds was marked by a superb working drive but also had a nasty propensity to brutal biting. Of course, this habit was very undesirable as it undermined the market price of the cattle. Consequently the Smooth Coated Collie was added to the mix in order to correct this fault.

There is another suggestion about the ancestry of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. It’s speculated that it was originally bred by Thomas Simpson Hall who crossed his Northern English herding dogs with Australian native Dingo. His dog was initially referred as a Hall Heeler.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog appeared on the verge of total extinction in 20s of the XX century. Thankfully, a family in Queensland remained faithful to this dog and stuck to proper breeding practice. In 1988 the Australian National Kennel Club stepped in to guarantee the survival of this unique canine variety. The dogs that looked similar to a Stumpy received grades. Only grade A specimens were allowed to leave progeny of officially pedigreed dogs. This grading program was finished in 2006 since the breed’s population grew very significantly.

The majority of today’s Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are owned by Australian farmers and stockbreeders and serve as their dependable assistants and companions.


The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is first and foremost a hard worker, which is characterised with great stamina and dexterity. The breed forms close bonds with its human family although it likes to express its affection in a rather discreet fashion. It’s commonly fine with familiar kids if they show enough respect for the dog’s personal space. Nonetheless this dog has very powerful impulse to nip at the heels of every moving creature, including children. That’s why the specimen that hasn’t been properly exhibited to children must be thoroughly supervised around them.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is apt to demonstrate the outmost suspiciousness when it meets strangers. The well-brought-up dog will never turn on a guest in your house but it will be fairly reserved and cold with him/her. This breed is very vigilant and attentive and can become an excellent watcher. Thanks to its innate desire to protect its favourite people and territory it can also be turned into a highly trusty guard dog. It will not only try to scare away an intruder with its resounding bark and aggressive behaviour but also will attack him with incredible fierceness if the situation calls for it.

On the whole the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is fairly unfriendly with other canines. Severe canine aggression may become a stern issue for the owner of its specimen. Early socialisation is the best remedy from this problem but it’s still recommended to keep this dog as an only pet. Because of its well-developed prey drive the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has bad reputation with other types of domestic animals. Naturally it does well with those individual pets with which it has been lived together since an early age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· eye problems;

· canine hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia;

· demodectic mange

· deafness.


The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is an easy-to-groom breed. It will never need a professional care, only a very rare brushing. Be mindful though that this dog is an extremely intense shedder which will completely change its fur during spring and fall. It’s considered as a hyper allergic but it won’t make an agreeable pet for an allergic sufferer or a person who can’t stand cleaning up dog hair.

The rest is routine care, which consists of regular nail trimming, weekly teeth brushing and occasional bathing. Remember to examine the dog’s ears on a weekly basis and clean them as needed.


The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a bright and curious animal that can be taught to perform very complex tricks. It competes with invariable success in all sorts of herding trials as well as in obedience and agility contests.

Despite the fact that this dogs usually makes an eager learner its training can become a true challenge for an inexperienced master. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog definitely has a mind of its own and will never obey the handler’s order unthinkingly. Only strong-willed and reasonably firm person will achieve adequate results in its training. Be aware that this dog hates repetitive and dull tasks so make your lessons fun and short.


The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is an exceptionally vigorous animal with huge need in physical activity. Prepare to devote at least several hours every day to active pastime with your pet. That’s why it’s fair to say it’s very hard to keep this dog in an urban environment. A spacious, but safely enclosed yard is mandatory requirement if you don’t plan to charge your pet with herding responsibilities.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog also has sharp intellect, which should be offered regular stimulation, preferably in a form of advanced training program. Without great amount of physical outlet this dog will never be fully satisfied with its life and express its frustration in destructive and even aggressive behaviour.