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Australian Stumpy Tail Cattledog

Until recently considered by some to be a sub-type of the popular Australian Cattledog, even though it is an older and distinct breed, the Stumpy Tail has finally received separate recognition in 1988 by the ANKC and is presently gaining acceptance outside Australia as an amenable pet and serious working dog. The breed was developed in the early 1800's and shares some of its ancestry with the Australian Cattledog, but believed to contain very little, if any bully blood. Many working dogs of Australia are of British origin, but the majority of them were crossed with the native Dingo in the 19th century to establish a stock of resilient, healthy and silent livestock herders and guardians better suited for the climate of the country. The Stumpy Tail Cattledog is a result of crossing a few strains of herders in the 1830's, two of the most influential bloodlines being the Timmins Biter and Hall's Heeler, descended from the old Northumberland Collies, although the role of Hall's stock is sometimes disputed by the majority of breed fanciers, who claim that the Stumpy Tail is simply a continuation of the Timmins Biter. The naturally short tail of the breed is believed to come directly from the Timmins Biter, but it is also likely a trait inherited from the working variety of the Smithfield Herder, enriched with local Cur blood, which served as the foundation for quite a few of early Australian farm working strains. The Stumpy Tail was given the name of Australian Stumpy Tail Cattledog in 2001, but the breed itself has been a valued livestock controlling dog for many decades, but it was never bred for looks or the Show Ring, being fairly unknown outside Australia and marginalized as a regional variety of its more famous cousin until a few years ago, when it received proper attention, well-deserved popularity and official recognition in 2005 by the FCI.

This is a strong, agile and driven breed, prized for its resilience, speed and intelligence. Naturally territorial and suspicious of strangers, the Stumpy Tail makes a good watchdog, but it isn't a vicious or overly aggressive protector. When raised and socialized properly, it can get along with other dogs, but it still requires supervision, since some males are quite dominant. It is trainable, playful and devoted to its master, making a good companion for experienced and responsible owners. The compact body is lean, muscular and well-boned, with a deep wide chest and sturdy legs. The head is moderately broad, with a strong muzzle and moderately small erect ears. Dogs are born bobtailed. The nose must be black.

The coat is short, hard and dense, coming in either red mottle, red speckle, blue mottle or blue speckle colourings, with or without small black markings. Average height is around 19 inches.


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This profile gives a very accurate description of the origin, purpose and current status of the breed. You may find some of the information published here to be different from what you will read in breed books, published encyclopedias and on other websites. Unlike the articles usually found in most of those sources, the MD breed Profiles are a result of many years of actual research and travelling around the world. However, since most of the Profiles have been written over the course of the past 15 years, some of them might need to be updated. We do not distort the information, but rather state our perspective on the breeds based on our extensive research and contributed information. If you have any additional info that you believe we might find interesting, feel free to let us know about it. Constructive feedback is welcome - disparaging remarks are not. Enjoy!
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