The Stumpy Tail has lets say rugged appearance. This is an athletic light and wel proportioned dog with average height between 17-20 inches which is 43-51 cm and weight between 35-51 pounds, which is 16-24 kg. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
As the name suggest, this dog breed has distinctive tail. They are called Stumpy tail, because it is common for the dog to lack the tail. But, the tail should not be docked. When the Heeler has the tail, it should be set high, but not carried above the level of the back and according to the official breed standard, its length should not exceed 10 cm.
This dog has oval shaped eyes in dark brown color, very muscular neck, erect ears that are set wide on its head. If we compare this breed to the Australian Cattle Dog, than the Stumpy tail is lighter breed with longer legs, and they should not have any brown markings on their body.
Speaking of color, you can find them in blue and blue mottled. Black markings are allowed. The second color variation is red speckle. The blue color variation can not have any red patches on their body. The coat is straight, dense and harsh.
The temperament of the Stumpy Tail fits their utilization perfectly. This dog lives for controlling and herding the cattle and they can do it in any weather and they can do it in both, wide or confined areas. They are extremely good at this job and it is mostly thanks to their intelligent, always alert, courageous, loyal and watchful temperament.
Because of their alert and watchful personality, they can be suspicious towards strangers. But they are totally devoted and friendly with their family and they are great fit for active people, because this courageous dog is always ready for any adventure. The suspicious temperament is also a reason why they need proper early socialization, especially if you are planning to have them as family companions.
Because of their high energy level and intelligence, this dog just need some kind of a work. If you are not using them for herding a lot of additional exercise is needed, it can be long walks or jogs, task oriented playtime, longer training sessiosn or just anything that will occupy them. If their exercise needs are not met, they can develope some unwanted behaviour, like destruction.
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle dog was developed in the early 19th century in Australia. They were developed from English Smithfield herding dogs and the indigenous Australian Dingo. This new dog was called the Timmins Bitter.
These dogs showed very good herding skills, but they were little bit too rough and severe towards the cattle and also, because of their dingo ancestry, pretty hard to manage, which is a reason why they were later bred with Scottish Smooth Collie as well.
They were officially recognized by the Australian National Kennel club in 1988 and by the UKC in 1996. But honestly, outside the Australia, this breed is virtually unknown.
Health and Grooming
In general, the stumpy is a healthy dog breed with good lifespan between 13-15 years. Just like all dogs, they can suffer from some health issues, for example hip dysplasia, dental problems, progressive retinal atrophy or deafness.
If we are not talking about the exercise, than the maintance is not hard. Their weather resistant coat can keep itself in good condition, altough weekly brushing or combing will help it. This is a pretty high shedder, especially during the shedding season, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing is a must. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.