Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog descended from the original cross of the Smithfield, being a black and white bob tailed dog with a long dense coat, and the dingo, by a drover named Timmins. The progeny were red bob tailed dogs which were known as Timmins Biters. These red bob tails were later mated with a blue merle smooth coated collie. This produced both red bob tail and blue or blue mottled bob tail dogs. The latter having black patches on the head and some black patched on the body. By selective breeding of bob tail to bob tail the absence of the tail became more or less ‘fixed’ in the breed.
Although the Stumpy tail is relatively uncommon around the show ring (even in Australia) it is held in high esteem in the country as a wiry, tireless and intelligent worker.
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog possesses the same natural aptitude in working and control of cattle as it’s cousin the Australian Cattle Dog, and is also a loyal and courageous companion.
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, while at first glance appears to resemble the Australian Cattle Dog. Closer examination reveals that apart from the absence of tail there are several major differences.
The body is square and thus appears leggier. It has length of leg like the dingo, so as to allow the distance from the elbow to ground to be more than half that from the withers to ground.
The ears are moderately small, pricked and almost pointed. Set higher on the head than the Australian Cattle Dog and as wide apart as possible.
The Stumpy Tail has a high set undocked tail. it is not to be longer than four inches, and not to be carried much above the level of the back.
Due to the absence of the black and tan Kelpie in the makeup of the Stumpy, it does not possess to Black and Tan gene thus the color is blue, blue speckled or blue mottled. Both the head and body may have black markings, but tan markings are not allowed. It is said that the presence of tan indicates the introduction of the Australian Cattle Dog. The red speckle must be a good red speckle all over, and darker red markings are allowed on head and body.
The gait of the two breeds is influenced by the variation in the height to length ratios, square as opposed to 10 is to 9. The Australian Cattle Dog has more angulation, therefore has greater length of stride. The Stumpy has a tendency toward an apparent rotary action of the hindquarter and an ambling movement at slow speed.
The breed was recognised by the Australian National Kennel Council in 1988. At this time there were not huge numbers of registered Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs but the numbers are growing as more people become aware of the versatility of the breed. The ANKC set up a grading system which is enforced by a panel of 3 judges who inspect each dog wishing to be registered. There are three types of classification: ‘Fully Registered’ being from two registered parents. ‘A Grade’ being from a registered dog or bitch and a non registered dog or bitch with the necessity to conform to type as per the Breed Standard as judged by the panel. ‘B Grade’ is a scondary classification for dogs which may not fully conform to the Breed Standard but have other attributes which clearly define them as an Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog and as being a distinctly different breed from the Australian Cattle Dog.
In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a breed in its own right, not a variety.