Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog


Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Denise Leo. Post first published on October 20, 2021.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a herding breed that originated in Australia. These dogs are very intelligent and easy to train, making them excellent pets for families with children. However, they do best if they have another dog as a companion because they love the company of other animals. This article will help you understand everything about owning an Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are a wonderful dog breed that often gets mistaken for other breeds. They have a friendly and sweet temperament, but they may not be the best family pet if you want a dog to cuddle.

This naturally bob-tailed breed; the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, is a rugged breed with incredible stamina that is very low maintenance. However, they are incredibly loyal and will stay by your side no matter what. They don’t require much grooming, but they need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. If you’re an active person, this might be the dog for you.

Find out more about this dog’s personality and what it needs to thrive!

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Facts

  • The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog originated in Australia
  • This breed has many typical nicknames: Blue Heelers, Queensland Heeler, Heeler, Stumpy Tail Blue Heeler, Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Stumpy-Tail, Stumpy Tail Heeler, Blue Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, and just plain Stumpy. However, he commonly also gets called the Stump Tail Cattle Dog.
  • The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is known for its unusual coat color, which typically ranges from blue or red and has speckles or merle patterns.
  • A Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, also known as a “cattledog” is an adorable Australian dog breed. These energetic canines need physical and mental stimulation to stay happy! Unfortunately, they’re not good candidates for a tiny home without a large fenced yard because they’ll start creating destructive habits when bored or lacking in exercise – so look into getting land if you want one (or more).
  • Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are loyal, but they don’t typically lavish affection on their owners. The Stumpys can be very protective, though – just like a guardian.
  • The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is an excellent companion to children, but they’re better suited for older kids and teens.
  • The Stumpy is a heavy shedder during shedding season, making them an unfortunate choice for allergy sufferers.
  • The Stumpy has strong herding instincts, so it is best to curb these behaviors with consistent training and plenty of exercise.


Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog vs Australian Cattle Dog

Is there a difference between the Cattle Dog and the Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog? The Stumpy is the dog with no tail, this is a naturally bob-tailed breed. So it’s easy to tell them apart from their blue Australian Cattle Dog counterparts.

A blue Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is not just an Australian cattle dog with no tail,  there are many differences between these two dog breeds. The blue Stumpy has no tan markings, but the Australian Cattle Dog does. So other than tails (or lack thereof), the apparent difference between these two dogs is color. The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog doesn’t have the markings or brown points that you can see on the Australian Cattle Dog.

The Cattle Dog ( also called Blue Heeler) is heavier (proportionally) with shorter legs than the Stumpy Cattle Dog. The Australian Cattle Dog is longer than he is tall. This makes it easy to distinguish between him and his square dog brother, the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. An Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has more leg length than body depth, unlike the ACD, which is roughly 50-50.

The Stumpy appears to resemble an Aussie Cattle Dog at first glance; however, on closer examination, many major differences can be found between these two dog breeds.

The ears of the Stumpy are moderate in size, pointy, and set higher on its head than those of The ears of the Australian Cattle Dog. The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has a more ‘sculpted’ and less ‘heavy’ head than the Australian Cattle Dog.

He’s a medium-sized breed and you shouldn’t confuse him with the Australian Cattle Dog (also known as the “Queensland Heeler Australian cattle dog “).

The two breeds have different gaits due to the variation in height-to-length ratios. The Australian Cattle Dog has more angulation and, therefore, a longer stride, while the Stumpy tends toward an ambling movement at slow speed.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Breed History

The Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog was developed to herd cattle in Australia and has ancestors that have been a mix of the Australian dingo and European herding dogs. The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is thought to result from crosses between wild dingoes and herding dogs brought to Australia by colonists.

The Australian Stumpy Cattle Dog’s ancestors were English Smithfield herding dogs. Early in the 19th-century breeders traveled to Australia with these dogs which were cross-bred with the dingoes. There aren’t many reliable records from that era and a variety of stories regarding this breed’s actual development.

These ancestors were the founders of both Australian Cattle Dogs and Stumpy Tail Cattle dogs. Selective breeding led to their own breeds.

One story was told about Timmins, a drover living in Bathurst, New South Wales did cross-breed his dingoes with the Smithfield dogs, creating a working dog, aptly called Timmins’ Biters. To reduce the dingo characteristics and to make handling the dogs much simpler, another crossbreed occurred, this time using the Scottish Smooth Collies and producing dogs with blue and red speckled dogs, frequently missing their tails when born.

Noreen Clark wrote a book titled, “A Dog Called Blue,” which supported a particular premise about the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog and the Australian Cattle Dog (aka “Queensland Heeler“).

Her premise was that both dogs had the same ancestors at one point. These new dogs were Halls Heelers, named after Thomas Hall. He owned a huge cattle business back in the 1830s. The divergence happened in the late 20th century. Today’s selective breeding for the short tail or tailless dogs has permanently corrected that aspect.

The ANKC ( Australian National Kennel Council) opened up the breed register to preserve this dog in the 20th century as the Stumpy almost became extinct. In 2010 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Currently the American Kennel Club (AKC) has this dog included in their Foundation Stock Service.

Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Appearance

The Australian Bobtail Cattle Dog’s breed type is typically proportioned and has a rugged look. His pricked ears stand and his legs are long. The tail’s uniqueness is what makes him stand out from many other breed choices. The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog either has no tail or it’s a bobtail.

Can Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs have tails? If he does have a tail, it’s undocked and only about four inches long. The high-set undocked tail of the Stumpy should not be longer than four inches in length.

At birth, Australian Stumpy Tail pups are usually nearly all white.

The Stumpy Tail Blue Heeler has no tan on the legs or face. Due to the absence of black and tan in its makeup ( this breed does not possess a Black and Tan gene)thus, its color is blue, blue speckled, or blue mottled.

Both the body and head may have black markings, but there must be no brown/tan ones present at all.

In the 1970s, tan markings were accepted for a short while. It is said that the presence of this indicates backcrosses to the Australian Cattle Dog. It is believed some breeders did cross their ACDs with Stumpys in the early days; however, it wasn’t acceptable then and isn’t now either.

The red speckle must be a good, darker-red all over. This breed is allowed to have darker markings on the head. His coat is short and is either blue mottled or red speckled in color.

The average height for a Stumpy is 18-20 inches (46-51 cm).

Australian Bobtail Cattle Dog Temperament

The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog temperament is watchful and alert, is wary when strangers are around, but responds well to his owner. The Stumpy Tail Heeler dog is naturally a very aloof dog and can often be suspicious of strangers. This characteristic is often attributed to the Dingo.

If you plan to show him, his temperament needs to be amenable or it won’t work. All breeds of working dogs must start socialization early in his life and he requires consistent training right through his life.

This dog breed has very strong herding instincts. In dog sports, this rugged dog competes in noncompetitive herding tests, obedience training, herding trials and is recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council, and is shown in the working dog group at ANKC events.

These dogs are born with basic herding instincts and usually stand out in any herding events

Stumpy Health Issues

Just like people, dogs can be subject to certain health conditions. Understanding the potential risks associated with Stumpy ownership is essential for those considering this breed. Stumpy tail cattle dogs can suffer from a number of common health problems.

As the Stumpy carries the deafness gene, all pups should be BEAR hearing tested. In addition, inherited eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Primary Lens luxation can affect your pup’s vision later in life unless the pup’s parents have been DNA screened before breeding begins.

Stumpy Care Tips

Your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog will need regular veterinary checkups to detect any potential health concerns. Your vet can help you develop a health care routine that keeps this proud and hearty breed healthy.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are well known for their high energy levels and tendency towards weight gain. To keep your Heeler healthy, make sure they get at least two half-hour long walks per day with plenty of active playtimes added.

Pet Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are both adorable and prone to weight gain. Make sure your pup gets at least two half-hour walks per day as well as some playtime, with brief strolls mixed in for good measure.

Trimming your dog’s nails is a must before they get too long. If left unchecked, their claws might start clicking against the floor, which can cause discomfort for the dog.

A good rule of thumb with this maintenance task would be once or twice per month, depending on how active their lifestyle has been since the last grooming session. Your groomer should offer tips when asked about trimming the nails.

Always keep your dog’s teeth clean by brushing them regularly or feeding a meaty bone from the butcher. Your veterinarian can help you brush correctly.

Feeding Tips

A well-formulated Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog diet will be helpful for a medium breed with high energy levels. Without exercise, this dog can quickly gain weight and become obese.

Good advice to keep your dog healthy is to limit treats, measure their food, and feed them twice a day rather than leaving it out all the time. The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog’s nutritional requirements will change from puppyhood to adulthood and continue to do so as they grow older.

A veterinary professional can recommend the best dog food for your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.

Grooming Tips

Stumpies have a double coat which means they shed. People with allergies should avoid this breed because it is known to cause allergy problems. Daily brushing with a firm bristle brush will help quickly remove the shed hairs.

How Long Do Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs Live?

This dog’s life expectancy is 12 – 15 years.

Final Thoughts on the Stumpy Tail Blue Heeler

It’s essential to know the origins of your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog and what they require from an exercise standpoint. If you don’t, it could lead to some unexpected problems down the line.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was originally bred in Australia as a working dog that would herd cattle by nipping their heels or biting them on the hindquarters if needed. They are energetic dogs with high intelligence.

Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are a unique breed that’s full of personality. If you’re considering adopting one, it’s essential to understand what owning this dog entails.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are intelligent and very energetic canine companion who loves spending time with their humans (and other dogs!).

This social animal thrives on attention, so make sure your pup has plenty of opportunities to get out and play every day. While they might not be well suited for tiny homes or apartments, these active animals will love running around in a large yard or on a rural property all day long – especially if there’s another playful friend.

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References and Further Reading:
[1] ANKC Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog Breed Standard
[2] Noreen L Clarke ‘A Dog Called Blue’

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Blue Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
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Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog




  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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