The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle
Dog was one of the first working dogs and possibly the very first
purebred dog to be developed in Australia specifically for Australian
conditions. The ASTCD was developed to assist the early settlers
and stockmen to bring in wild and semi wild cattle from some of
the harshest and most remote areas of the colony, as the dogs brought
out from England in the early days of colonization were unable to
bear the climate and rough terrain and were unused to working with
cattle that were not domesticated.
The ASTCD and the ACD were shown
up until the mid to late 1920’s in the same classes and were
registered as “Cattle Dog“(Long Tail) and “Cattle
Dog“(Stumpy Tail). It was not until 1927 that the two breeds
were recognized, and subsequently, exhibited as separate entities.
During the mid 1900's, the Stumpy
Tail began to die out. However, one family in Queensland, the Heale
family, of GlenIris Kennels continued breeding ASTCD maintaining
the purity of the breed. For some considerable time their dogs were
the only pedigreed, registered dogs in all od Australia. The breed
appeared to be destined for extinction
In 1988, the Australian National
Kennel Control, fearing the loss of Australia's first working dog,
formed a Development Register in an endeavor to rescue the breed.
The Development Register was based on a grading system. Owners of
the dogs closely resembling ASTCD were invited to take their dogs
to Grading Days. Three conformation judges graded the dogs presented
from A to D. Those dogs most like the ASTCD receiving an A grade.
Subsequently two A grade dogs could be mated and their progeny could
enter the show ring with a pedigree.
Without the foresight and commitment
of those instrumental in instigating the Redevelopment Scheme, the
ASTCD would have been lost as a registered breed and may well have
faded from the rural scene as well.
December 2006 saw the closure
of the grading scheme for the breed as it is obvious by the number
of dogs now registered, (in the vicinity of 4000), that the foresight
of the ANKC has been instrumental in getting Australia’s oldest
breed of dog back on its feet.
The ASTCD has great working proficiency;
biting low and immediately dropping to the ground to avoid the otherwise
resulting kick. The breed is very popular on the land for working
cattle as it is a very hard, loyal working dog with great endurance.
From their humble beginnings,
the “Stumpy” is still proving to be an invaluable asset
on the land as a hard working, loyal cattle dog.
“The Stumpy” now stands proud in whatever discipline,
whether it be representing in the breed ring – obedience –
agility – herding – working or just as a family pet
and faithful companion/mate.
little care is needed for their coarse, shorthaired, weather-resistant
coat, a brush and a bath when necessary.
these dogs have incredible stamina and enjoy whatever activity you
can give them. Without exercise and things to do they become bored
This breed is extremely hardy some may suffer from hereditary deafness
and some eye problems. For Diet and other general dog health information