Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Breed_ Facts, Traits, Character and Look

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is more than an Australian Cattle Dog with a docked tail. They are bundles of energy with courageous, devoted, and loyal dispositions. This bob-tailed breed has several nicknames, including Stumpy, Stumpy Tails, and Heelers. This Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a rare gem and challenging to find in the United States.

If you manage to find a Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog puppy, you’ll likely need to make significant changes to your daily routine. Stumpy Tails need large amounts of mental and physical exercise to maintain their high energy and stamina levels. They will bond strongly with their human family members and become loyal companion dogs with the proper socialization and training. Once their protective instincts are triggered, you will be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated canine companion.

Stumpy Tails are perfect jogging, cycling, or skateboarding companions for those owners who are not looking for farm dogs to herd cattle, sheep, and other livestock. Their excessive energy and time-consuming exercise sessions may be why adult Stumpy Tails are sometimes found in rescue centers or shelters. The weight of Stumpy Tails ranges between 35 and 50 pounds, and they stand 18 to 20 inches at the withers. Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years, and the females have 4 to 6 puppies per year.

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What is the History of the Australian Stumpy Tail?

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is believed to be the oldest domesticated dog breed with its roots in Australia, although the breed’s origins aren’t precisely confirmed. According to researchers, 18th-century British colonists used Wild Australian Dingos to crossbreed with their herding dogs. They did that to resolve the issue regarding their British sheepdogs’ inability to tolerate the extreme Australian heat. 

The breeders aimed to produce a canine with the skills of their herders and protective Dingo coats. Their breeding resulted in some cattle dogs with tails while others sported stump tails no longer than 4 inches. Subsequently, selective breeding led to two distinctively different breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. After World War 1, the Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog was almost extinct before dedicated breeders reestablished the breed.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Australian Stumpy Tails?

Modern Australian Stumpy Cattle Dogs are not herding cattle and working on farms with the changing times. They have evolved into family pets and companion dogs. However, the changes did not affect the energy levels and mental stamina. Therefore, making sure your Stumpy canine companion gets enough physical energy, and mental stimulation is crucial. For Stumpy Tails, idleness causes boredom, leading to destructive behavior.

The characteristics and traits of the Australian Stumpy Tail breed are listed below.

Australian Stumpy Tails  



The Stumpy is a devoted, courageous, and loyal canine that possesses natural aptitude in the working and control of cattle. Stumpy Tails are suspicious of strangers and will protect their family and possessions with their lives.

Australian Stumpy Tails are not aggressive dogs, but they will not back down without a fight if threatened. Due to their high-energy natures, these dogs do best in a house with a fenced yard or an owner committed to regular trips to the dog park.

Adaptability Level

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don’t mind moving from one place to another with their owner.

Sensitivity Level

The Stumpy temperament is very responsive to her owner’s moods. As a result, if she senses from you that something is wrong, she will try to make you feel better. And if you’re walking past someone on the street, and she senses you are getting nervous, she may go on the defensive as well.

Affection Level

While the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a loyal breed, they are not overly affectionate. The Stumpy may enjoy napping in the living room while you watch TV, but they are not the type to hop on your lap or jump up to give you kisses.

Overall Friendliness

Stumpy Tails are “one-person” canines because they form close bonds with their owners, often one person in the household.  The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog shows they care with their alertness and wariness towards strangers. The breed isn’t prone to aggression, but they will not hesitate to defend you if they sense a threat. Early and consistent socialization can help keep your Stumpy from becoming overly protective.


Australian Stumpy Tails adore kids and love to play, although they may fall into some herding habits if not adequately trained and socialized. The Australian Stumpy Tails have innate herding instincts. Herding cattle involves a certain amount of nipping at heels, which kids would not welcome, even with no intention to cause hurt. Socialize and teach your dog early, and you’ll have a loving, furry family member.

Children should always be supervised with dogs, even when they are family, and they should be trained on how to interact with animals to avoid incidents. Socializing Australian Stumpy Tails early and teaching them to interact with new people and animals will help, and the earlier training begins, the better.


The Stumpy will get along with other animals in a household as long as they are introduced slowly and without tension. The best way to do this is by allowing animals to see and smell each other through a wire fence for a few weeks until they realize that they pose no threat to each other.

Exercise Needs

Even though the Stumpy is a working dog, it does well in a suburban household as long as its exercise requirements and need for mental stimulation are met. Obedience training with the Stumpy is necessary as its intelligence needs harnessing so that it doesn’t dream up activities for itself – such as digging tunnels, pulling washing from the line, pruning trees, and jumping fences.

Playfulness Level

Socialized Australian Stumpy Tail herders love to play with children and go for long hikes when not working. Keep plenty of toys available when you cannot devote time to them, or they can become destructive in your home. Being a Stumpy with an innate herding instinct, they require a sturdy fence to keep them from trying to herd vehicles, bicycles, or neighborhood children. Early socialization will make them more accepting of new situations and people. The Australian Stumpy Tail is not dog-aggressive and should do well in a home with multiple dogs.

Energy Levels

These dogs are highly energetic and active and need a great deal of attention and exercise. Australian Stumpys are never happy to be idle; instead, they must spend excessive energy. Inactive lifestyles can cause boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

 If your Australian Stumpy Tail no longer works on a farm, you must ensure your furry friend has enough space to run and play to spend energy. Vigorous walks, taking your Australian Stumpy Tail to join you when jogging, cycling, or skateboarding companion will provide enough exercise to ensure a calm canine for the rest of the day, instead of looking for something to destroy out of pure boredom.

Trainability Level

With their herding heritage, Stumpys take well to training and are highly intelligent dogs that respond well to commands. They are pack-oriented dogs that need a firm leader and will quickly take on the role if you do not. 

They are generally easy dogs to train and love the process with a firm but gentle hand and reward-based training methods. Early socialization is a vital but often overlooked is part of training with working dogs. Socializing your puppy from day one will go a long way in making the training process smooth and successful. Owning a working dog like a Stumpy is truly a full-time job and will require a great deal of patience, consistency, and dedication.

Intelligence Level

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a very intelligent dog that requires physical and mental activities and a close association with its owner. They need a lot of physical activity, so apartment living might not be the best living condition. Their owners are preferably active people who can take them for a daily walk or swim, as they love the water.

Barking Tendency

The Stumpy can be very vocal at times, so from the outset, the dog should be taught that barking is not allowed unless there really is something to bark about. And while not usually a fence jumper, it can be quite an accomplished hurdler when it wants, so if you have low fences a dog pen may need to be built for those times when you won’t be home.

What are the Physical Traits of the Australian Stumpy Tail?

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a medium to a large-sized, well-proportioned working dog that is rather square in profile. Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs have broad chests with well-sprung ribs, deep, muscular loins, and muscular hindquarters. Stumpy Tails have oval-shaped, medium-sized eyes with an intelligent but suspicious expression. 

Their moderately small ears are pricked and almost pointed. And per the breed standard, their undocked tails should not exceed four inches in length. The weight of Stumpy Tails ranges between 35 and 50 pounds, and they stand 18 to 20 inches at the withers. Their lifespan is 12 to 15 years, and the females have 4 to 6 puppies per year.

The coat of the dog is short to medium length, dense and straight, and could be speckled red or speckled blue. There can be no tan markings on the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. The Stumpy should be clean and tight and has a hard-bitten, rugged appearance. It is never fat but must be well-muscled to endure long periods of arduous work.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Australian Stumpy Tails?

Australian Stumpy Tails are popular in the United States, and their price could be anything between $500 to $5000. Adopting a Stumpy rescue pup typically costs no more than the expenses carried by the rescue facility to keep the dog. In contrast, buying a purebred Stumpy Tail pup with registration papers will be significantly more expensive.

The cost of a Stumpy puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the chosen breeder’s status and location, the sex of the puppy, the demand for the breed at the time. The puppy’s bloodline and parents’ pedigree could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price will typically be based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Australian Stumpy Tail.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Australian Stumpy Tail Stumpy and its wellbeing before adding your name to a waiting list. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $3,000 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,700 a year. 

The typical annual costs of having a medium-sized canine such as an Australian Stumpy Tail, food and medical only, excluding toys, food, and water bowl, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $650. The most regular monthly expenses for dogs similar to the Australian Stumpy Tail are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. In terms of grooming, the maintenance of the Stumpy is low, and a weekly brush is all that is needed, except for an occasional bath. In terms of exercise, however, the Stumpy is high maintenance. It is an incredibly intelligent breed with high energy levels; if an Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog gets bored, it will find ways to entertain itself, such as digging holes or pulling washing off the line. Grooming would not affect the maintenance costs because Australian Stumpy Tails are low maintenance, and their coat is easy to groom and maintain. You want to give him a good brush twice a week to get rid of loose hair, and Australian Stumpy Tails are moderate shedders.

The Australian Stumpy Tail is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Australian Stumpy Tail has a moderate risk of obesity, especially if working dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with premium quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

What is the best diet for Australian Stumpy Tails?

Your dog’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Australian Stumpy Tail’s diet on a medium to large breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages.

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as their Australian Stumpy Tails grow. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Australian Stumpy Tail from the table; all it does is add weight. Instead, follow the advice below to ensure your Australian Stumpy Tail friend’s optimal health.

The Australian Stumpy is an active, athletic breed type. It will thus need food that contains animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A working dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

Australian Stumpy Tail puppy’s portion depends on age, but 2 to 3 cups are appropriate. In contrast, an active, healthy adult Australian Stumpy Tail should have 3 to 4 cups, depending on the brand and formula of the food. Feeding Australian Stumpy Tails several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

A premium dry dog food should form the basis of your Stumpy’s diet. You can add variety by supplementing this food with fresh meat, bones, cooked eggs, canned wet dog food, and even fruits and vegetables, but keep these additions to no more than 10 percent of the dog’s daily diet. 

Premium dog foods are carefully designed to provide all the nutrients active dogs need to stay healthy. Feed your Australian Stumpy Tail a food formulated for large working dog breeds, recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand formulated for all life stages. 

Your Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog needs well-balanced food to fuel all that energy and joyful activity. The best food for Stumpy Tails is a high-protein, natural dry dog food.

The best dry dog food formula for your very active Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, available in 18 different recipes, all offering the list of benefits below.

  • Packed with real meat: A recipe made to satisfy your dog’s natural love for meat, this high-protein dog food features real chicken to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Healthy ingredients: BLUE Wilderness grain-free dog food, made with healthy carbohydrates including sweet potatoes and peas, helps fuel your adult dog’s active lifestyle. It also contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health.
  • Antioxidant-rich Lifesource bits: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance
  • A natural dog food: Blue dry dog food is made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals; Blue contains No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Below is a list of what to look for in the dry dog food formula when choosing the best nutrition for your Australian Stumpy Tail.

  • Lasting energy providers: Dog food made with premium meats like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and novel proteins like venison, bison, buffalo, and wild boar. Fiber-rich carbs and highly digestible proteins keep your Stumpy feeling energized and full throughout the day.
  • Ingredients for better health: Food that includes powerful superfoods like tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, along with their immune-boosting properties.
  • Optimizing Nutrient Absorption: Recipes with chelated minerals promote mineral attachment to proteins for maximized absorption during the digestive process.
  • Immune System Support: Formulas with prebiotics and species-specific probiotics with bacteria naturally found in a dog’s GI tract.
  • Perfectly Balanced Omegas: Contains just the correct dose of fatty acids, marine-sourced omega-3 and omega-6 from plant sources.

When Australian Stumpy Tails are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should an Australian Stumpy Tail Puppy Eat? 

The Australian Stumpy Tail is a large-sized breed whose pups under 12 weeks should get four bowls of food per day. When Stumpy puppies become three months old, owners can feed them three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Australian Stumpy Tail puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for medium-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Australian Stumpy Tail should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • Australian Stumpy Tails with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the common health problems of Australian Stumpy Tails?

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are generally healthy, but they can be subject to specific health conditions like all breeds. Not all Stumpy Tails will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s essential to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

The Australian Stumpy Tail is a healthy breed, but regular veterinarian checkups remain essential. The following list of health conditions should be monitored:

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Australian Stumpy Tail puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Australian Stumpy Tail grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.
  • Elbow Dysplasia is the most common cause of lameness in the forelimbs of active breeds like the Australian Stumpy Tail Stumpy.
  • Retinal atrophy, also called PRA, is an inherited progressive disease of the retina that leads to blindness in affected Stumpy Tails.
  • Collie eye anomaly (CEA) is a disorder caused by incomplete development of the eye. The severity of the anomaly ranges from no apparent visual defect to total blindness. A board-certified Ophthalmologist can easily be checked when the puppies are 6-8 weeks old.
  • Deafness: in dogs can either be a temporary, partial, or total loss of hearing—due to a wax build-up in the ear canals, or permanent hearing loss due to a host of causes such as severe, untreated ear infections, congenital defects, old age, and injuries.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion is also known as ‘bloat.’ A life-threatening disorder that happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
  • Muscle strains and injuries happen to any dog that works for a living. The Australian Stumpy Tail will have a higher chance of developing injuries over their lifetime than will companion animals or show dogs. Most commonly, they will be seen at a veterinary clinic for lacerations, claw injuries, soft tissue injuries, and fractures.

What are the nutritional needs of Australian Stumpy Tails?

The nutritional needs of an Australian Stumpy Tail include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for Stumpy Tails are listed below.

  • Protein: Australian Stumpy Tails need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for a Stumpy’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Australian Stumpy’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Australian Stumpy Tails need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Australian Stumpy Tail sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Australian Stumpy Tail puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Stumpy Tails by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Australian Stumpy Tail Stumpy.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Australian Stumpy Tails are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Australian Stumpy Tail’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Stumpy Tails.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Australian Stumpy Tail?

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a rare gem and difficult to find in the United States. If you do manage to find one, you’ll need to dedicate a ton of time to training and exercise, as these dogs have incredible amounts of energy and stamina and need a great deal of physical activity. With the right socialization and training, they can make great family dogs, have a powerful protective instinct, and bond strongly with their human companions

Stumpys are as loyal and dedicated as they come, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated animal. If you’re looking for a working dog on your farm or simply want an athletic companion to keep you company while you jog, cycle, or run, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a great choice, if you’re lucky enough to find one.

Finding a good breeder is the key to finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big profits. 

If you manage to track down Australian Stumpy Tail breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Australian Stumpy Tail puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Australian Stumpy Tail puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. Some options are listed below.

  • Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog of the US 
  • The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Club of New South Wales
  • American Kennel Club Marketplace
  • Salfid Rescue Inc. VA
  • Buy my Dog Rescues and Adoptions UK
  • Enchantment Australian Stumpy Cattle Dog breeders in German

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you might find an Australian Stumpy Tail puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries allow the importation of Australian Stumpy Tails may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Australian Stumpy Tail is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Australian Stumpy Tail?

The Australian Stumpy Tail, or simply Stumpy, is an Australian Stumpy capable of mustering and droving with little or no guidance. It is a medium-sized dog and comes in a variety of colors. The Stumpy has been exported worldwide and is used to muster livestock, primarily sheep, cattle, and goats. However, similar breeds are available, as listed below.

Australian Cattle Dog: Australian Cattle Dogs and Australian Stumpy Tail Cattledogs were both bred to herd livestock in Australia. Both are medium to large-sized dogs, with similar coat colors except that Stumpy coats contain no tan-colored hairs. The most significant difference is the Australian Cattle Dog long tail. 

Welsh Corgis: The body of a Welsh Corgi is muscular and compact like the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. It’s also known for its intelligence and focus.

Border Collie: Border Collies and Stumpy Tails are both excellent shepherds for livestock. They are also about the same size with an average weight of around 35 pounds. Border Collies require more grooming than Stumpy’s coats and can be more affectionate.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.