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  • Temperament: Alert, Trainable, Comical
  • Height: 18-20 inches (males), 17-19 inches (females)
  • Weight: 38-45 pounds (males), 32-35 pounds (females)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog head facing right outdoors.

About the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is not an Australian Cattle Dog with a docked tail. There are major structural differences in breed type between the two breeds of cattle dogs. Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are a natural bob-tail breed. Some Stumpy Tail pups are born with long tails and should not be discarded from a breeding program if they are of structural quality, but rather bred back to quality natural bob tails.


Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Society of the United States

Denyse Adams:

Lori Graham:

Kim McDonald:

Kevin Nicholson:

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog puppy outdoors.

Find a Puppy: Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

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AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Puppies



Good quality foods that are formulated to all life stages is recommended. Feeding amounts will vary depending upon the activity levels the dog gets daily. Two Meals equally spaced during the day will suffice. Free feeding can be done as long as the dog does not get overweight. A high energy feed that has non-GMO grains seems to work well with these dogs. Transitioning from puppy food to adult foods is really not necessary.


Requirements for grooming are minimal. Weekly gentle brushing to remove excess shed hair and dirt. Bathing should be done as needed. Facial whiskers should not be removed, no trimming of tail hairs as this is a ‘natural’ breed. Toe nails need weekly attention as they tend to grow quickly and sharp. Coat length is 1 to 1.5 inches. Slight feathering on outer thighs. Coat should lay flat and close to the body.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Weekly Brushing




The “Stumpy” has a very high energy level and therefore needs daily exercise, a secure place to run, and mind stimulating work. With a high level of stamina, this breed can work stock all day in adverse condition for which it was developed. Hiking, backpacking, and obedience training is essential for healthy body and mind for the lifetime of the dog.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Easily trained using reward based methods. Problem solving and comical in nature. Temperament ranges from people friendly to a bit wary of strangers. Great with known persons. Can be a bit of a watch dog and alert owners to strangers nearing their property. Amenable to judges exams in the show rings


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training




The Stumpy is a relatively healthy breed and can live 12 to 15 years. All pups should be BEAR hearing tested as this breed carries the gene for deafness. Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Primary Lens luxation are inherited eye problems and all breeding pairs should be DNA screened to make good breeding decisions.


Recommended Health Tests:

  • PRA-RCD 4
  • BAER Hearing Testing
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Hyperuricosuria DNA
Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog head in three-quarter view with its tongue out.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog working a flock of sheep.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog working a flock of sheep.
Three Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog puppies peeking out from a dark doorway.
Two Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog puppies romping around in the grass outdoors.
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog puppy standing in the grass outdoors in the sunshine.


There are two schools of thought regarding the development of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. During the 1840s, two stockmen in separate states of Australia began crossing local working dogs with imported drover’s dogs that may have carried the natural tailless-ness. It is believed that the Stumpy was the first breed developed in Australia. After a few more breeds were included into the development process, the Australian Cattle Dog came to be.

The Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog developed from the same ancestors of early Halls Heelers and Timmons Biters. Breeding emphasized working ability and stamina. By the 1890s, the Cattle Dog was exhibited and early classes included both long-tailed and stumpy-tailed varieties. By 1917, the stumpy-tailed Cattle Dogs comprised of 50% of the Cattle Dog entrants in some shows.

Immediately after WWI there was a decline of the Stumpy as a benched breed and by the 1960s only one registered breeder remained. By the ’80s, the Stumpy as a registered breed was nearing extinction. A redevelopment program by the Australian National Kennel Council began in 1988 and has been successful in preserving the breed in Australia.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was introduced to North America after WWII along with the Australian Cattle Dog. However, documented dogs that were registered with the ANKC were not introduced until the year 2000.

Did You Know?

The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog was added to the Foundation Stock Service in May 2018.
The Stumpy was Australia’s first home-bred “invention.”
Among the AKC’s first recipients for the Canine Paw of Courage award was a blue male Stumpy named Betcha, who was a member of the Vermont Sheriff’s Department.
The Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog can be born with a long tail.
Although the Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog is the same height as the Australian Cattle Dog, the Stumpy has longer legs.

The Breed Standard


Shall be that of a well proportioned working dog, rather square in profile with a hard-bitten, rugged appearance, and sufficient substance to convey the impression of the ability to endure long periods of arduous work under whatsoever conditions may prevail.


Broad between the ears and flat, narrowing slightly to the eyes. Stop is slight but definite. The foreface is of moderate length, well filled up under the eye, the deep powerful jaws tapering to a blunt strong muzzle. Nose is black, irrespective of the colour of the dog. Muzzle is blunt and strong. The teeth are strong, sound and regularly spaced. The lower incisors close behind and just touching the upper. Cheeks are muscular without coarseness. The eyes should be oval in shape, of moderate size, neither full nor prominent, with alert and intelligent yet suspicious expression, and of dark brown color. The ears are moderately small, pricked and almost pointed. Set on high yet well apart. Leather moderately thick. The inner side of the ear should be well furnished with hair.


The neck is of exceptional strength, arched, muscular and of medium length, broadening to blend into the body, free from throatiness. The length of the body from the point of the breast-bone to the point of buttocks should be equal to the height of the withers. Back: Level, broad and strong. Loins: Deep and muscular. Chest: The well sprung ribs taper at the lower half, to a deep moderately broad chest. The tail is undocked, of a natural length not exceeding 10 cm (4 ins), set on high but not carried much above the level of the back.


Well-boned and muscular. Viewed from any angle they are perfectly straight. Shoulder: Clean, muscular and sloping. Elbow: Parallel to the body. Forefeet: The feet should be round, strong, deep in pads with well arched toes, closely knit. Nails strong, short and of dark color.


Broad, powerful and muscular. When viewed from behind the hind legs from hock to feet are straight, and placed neither close nor too wide apart. Thigh: Well developed. Stifle: Moderately turned. Hock joint: Strong, moderately let down with sufficient bend. Hind feet: The feet should be round, strong, deep in pads with well arched toes, closely knit. Nails strong, short and of dark color.


Hair: The outer coat is moderately short, straight, dense and of medium harsh texture. The undercoat is short, dense and soft. The coat around the neck is longer, forming mild ruff. The hair on the head, legs and feet, is short. Color: Blue: The dog should be blue or blue mottled, whole colored. The head may have black markings. Black markings on the body are permissible. Red Speckle: The color should be a good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat (not white or cream), with or without darker, red markings on the head. Red patches on the body are permissible.

Australian Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog illustration.

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Blue Check Mark For Standard Color 037
Blue Mottled Check Mark For Standard Color 438
Blue Speckled Check Mark For Standard Color 439
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Red Mottled Check Mark For Standard Color 455
Red Speckled Check Mark For Standard Color 440


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 002
Red Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 023
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