The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a medium-sized Australian dog breed that was originally bred for herding cattle. Although it is still used in working roles, it is now often kept as a family pet. Unless you are from Australia, you have probably never heard of this breed as they are not well-known internationally. To help you learn a little more about them, here are ten interesting facts about the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
1. It is Known by Several Names
The name of this dog is sometimes hyphenated, so it is sometimes written as the Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog. It is also known by several other names, such as Stumpy, Stumpy-Tail, Stump Tail Cattle Dog, or Heeler. It is often mistaken with the Australian Cattle Dog, but these are completely separate breeds.
2. It is Related to the Dingo
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is related to the wild Dingo. They were bred by crossing Dingos with Smithfield Herding Dogs that had originated in England in the early 19th century. Farmers wanted the traits of both breeds to use them as working dogs, often herding cattle.
3. It Has Been Recognized as a Breed Since 1988
Although this breed has been around since the early 19th century, they were not recognized as a breed by the Australian National Kennel Club until 1988. The New Zealand Kennel Club soon followed suit. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was not recognized as a breed by the FCI until 2005, although only provisionally accepted, and the United Kennel Club in 2010.
4. Some Have a Tail
As the name of the breed suggests, the most distinctive feature of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is its lack of tail. Most dogs of this breed have no tail at all, just a small stump that look similar to when a dog has had its tail docked. However, some dogs of this breed do have a small tail, but these are rarely longer than four inches.
5. They Come in Two Color Varieties
There are just two color variations of this breed available. The two color variations of this breed are speckled blue and speckled red. Unlike the Australian Cattle Dog, this breed does not have brown points.
6. They Compete in Sports
As this breed is easy to train and very agile, they are ideal for competing in a range of dog sports. Some of the sports in which the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is known to participate include herding events, agility trials, flyball, tracking, showmanship, and obedience.
7. They Make Good Family Pets
Due to their excellent temperament, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog makes a great family pet. They are loyal to their owners, playful, good with children, and affectionate. This means they are good in most home environments. However, it is important to note that they do need socialization during their training while they are still pups.
8. It is Classified as Either a Herding or Working Dog
Depending on the country of registration, this breed is classified as either a herding or working dog. Both the Australian National Kennel Club and the New Zealand Kennel Club classify this breed as a working dog. The Canadian Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club classify this dog in the herding dog groups. Although it has only been provisionally accepted by the FCI, they have classified the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog as a cattle dog.
9. They Need Lots of Exercise but Little Grooming
Like most breeds, there are pros and cons to choosing the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog as a pet. On the upside, they are easy to care for as they do not need a lot of grooming due to their short-hair and weather-resistant coats. They also do not cause a lot of grooming as they are not known to shed a lot. On the downside, they need regular exercise, such as long walks. They are not a good choice for people living in apartments as they need lots of space to run around and play.
10. They Don’t Have Many Health Issues
While some dogs have many health issues associated with them, this dog is not prone to any specific health conditions. An Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years.