Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you thinking about welcoming the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog into your life? Before you do so, there are some things to know about the breed first. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
17 to 20 inches
35 to 51 pounds
Life Span:
13 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is the original Australian working dog, and one of the oldest Australian breeds.

Known as ‘the Stumpy’ this dog is known for a black and white rough-coated ‘bobtail’.

They were used to herd just about everything from ducks to cattle. This loyal dog loves to be in control and to have work to do. The Stumpy is always alert and devoted to his owner.

He will be reserved toward strangers. Of medium-size, this well-proportioned dog is overall a healthy breed, although there should be regular eyes check.

If you like the breed’s traits but you are worried that grooming may take too much of your time – fear not, because with this breed maintenance is low.

A weekly brush with the proper grooming tools is more than enough to keep Stumpy’s coat healthy, clean, and shiny.

This dog will not tolerate being left alone and will try to outsmart and dominate the inexperienced dog owners.

This is the main reason why this breed is highly recommended to experienced dog owners.

Quick Facts

Real name: Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Other names: Stumpy, Stumpy Tails, Heelers
Origin: Australia
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 35 to 51 pounds
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
Litter Size: 4 – 6 puppies
Color: Commonly blue, red, or tan, with merle patterns or speckles
Coat: Short, dense, and double coat

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog History

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is an Australian working dog, and one of the oldest ones.

In fact, this hard-working dog was developed before the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Kelpie, another famous Australian dog.

The Stumpy is a descendant of a small ‘bobtail’ dog who is known as the Smithfield, a breed from England.

Smithfields were all-around hunting dogs, as they were used to herd almost anything, from ducks to bigger animals.

These active bobtails dogs were used to create a new breed, today known as the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.

Breeders started developing this breed in the mid-19th century, and the result of their breeding is the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog that we know and have today.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Physical Appearance

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a compact and powerful dog of strong posture.

One look at this breed is enough for experienced dog lovers to understand just how active this breed is. They are always well proportioned, with a straight back, stumpy tail, and broadhead.

Their muzzles are of medium length and their jaws are strong. Ears are prick and always set straight, while the nose should always be black.

Coat commonly comes in two colors, blue or red. The coat may be mottled, merle, or solid. In this breed, ten points aren’t allowed.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Personality

The best way to understand a dog’s personality is to understand his initial purpose. This means that by knowing for what a dog was bred for you will better understand his character and even deliver more purposeful training sessions.

For example, this sturdy dog was bred to be active all day long and work hard long hours. Moreover, they were carefully bred to endure hot weather and high temperatures that other dog breeds cannot handle.

This doesn’t mean that you should leave your Stumpy outside all day long in the summer, or in the care – dogs are highly prone to heatstroke no matter how well they handle hot weather.

These farmer dogs are working dogs, energetic, driven, and great buddies with other animals.

Since their work ethic is so intense, they are not full-time pets, but more of working dogs even today. They can be found as full-time pets, but with experienced owners with a strong background in owning a herding dog.

This is not a breed for first time dog owners, and meeting their physical needs is something that even experienced dog owners fin challenging.

As family dogs, they are a bit aloof, but they will be loyal. This is not a lap dog, so a dog bed should serve perfectly for him to have his corner.

They will always be suspicious around strangers. This breed should always be supervised with smaller children as toddlers know to pull dogs’ ears or tails which can lead to non-desirable accidents.

No matter how well-behaved you Stumpy with your child, never leave them alone.

If your home is a multi-pet household, make sure that animals are well introduced from puppyhood, otherwise, expect some moments of aggression.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog home.

Dogs are more than capable of learning basic commands at eight weeks of age.

By the time the socialization window ends, your dog should know basic commands such as ‘stay’, ‘come’, ‘no’.

During the socialization period, you should do your best to prepare your Fido for the outside world.

This is a period when vaccination is important, so make sure that you follow through with veterinarian guidelines.

Have enough training toys on hand, have treats, and well-created training sessions.

For maximum outcome, make training sessions fun, short, and consistent, Always read well-performed tricks with a nice treat.

Be careful when it comes to treats. It is easy to give them extra treats when they look at you with those big puppy eyes, but you should keep it in moderation.

Serve treats as an occasional thing, and never like a whole meal.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Exercise

Keep your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog fit by providing enough exercise time. This breed needs a fair amount of running, playing, and overall being active.

They love being outdoors and being active. Having a job to be done is something that will keep this breed satisfied both mentally and physically.

An hour of intense activity daily is what should keep your Stumpy happy, and that is the case if you provide many daily walks.

Are you passionate about hiking? Your Stumpy will be next to you! Are you an early morning runner? Your Stumpy will be also!

Any activity that can help your Stumpy burn off that extra energy is more than fine. Just keep it consistent!

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Grooming

The Australian Stumpy Cattle Dog will demand weekly brushing. With a double coat, this breed is still low maintenance breed.

Their outer coat is short, dense, and soft on touch. In another word, this type of coat means that the Australian Stumpy Cattle Dog is a shedder.

Expect more intense shedding during the shedding season, in spring and autumn. They aren’t the best choice for those who suffer from allergies.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails once a month
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check gums, eyes, and ears weekly
  • Learn how to clean dog’s ears

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Health

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are often described as healthy canines.

Like with any other breed, it can happen that they develop certain conditions.

For example, most common health issues seen in this breed are:

  • Eye issues
  • Deafness
  • Hip Dysplasia

This doesn’t mean that your Fido will get any of these diseases, but that you should know about these conditions more.

Do your research on the most common health concerns and provide proper care. Prevention is what can keep your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog healthy and fit in the long run.

Veterinarian check-ups are crucial when it comes to creating a proper care routine. Prevention is the best way to keep your Fido healthy. These active dogs are prone to weight gain.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and you don’t want your dog to be part of these statistics. If you manage to provide proper conditions, suitable nutrition, and exercise requirements, your Stumpy can live up to 15 years.

If you are dealing with responsible breeders you should get a healthy puppy.

Responsible breeders will always present you with medical documentation on the breed, inform you of possible future conditions, and ask you a long list of questions to make sure that you’re a suitable dog owner.

Feed The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Right Way

To keep your dog active, agile, and fit for many years, you need to be mindful of nutrition.

Feeding your dog the right way is the only way to provide proper nutrition. Know how much you should feed your dog, how often, and with which foods.

Dogs should be fed with food that is specially designed for them, for their size, age, and activity level.

There is not much point in feeding your senior dog with puppy food. They may feel like their stomach is full, but nutritional value for them will be non-existing.

Dogs can get enough nutrients only from proper food. Be mindful of that and provide high-quality food.

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