Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattledog

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a little-known breed used in the development of the Australian Cattle Dog. Stumpies are primarily found working stock in the USA, and unlike the ACD they aren't recognized by the American Kennel Club. This means they are still primarily being bred for their working ability rather than their appearance or tendency to win conformation shows. They're a bit like a grittier, more intense ACD.
ASTCD puppy working stock

The most striking feature of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is their natural bobtail. Most of them are born with tails less than 4" long, though they occasionally have a bit more tail. In comparison, Australian Cattle Dogs are supposed to have full tails. ACDs are not supposed to have their tails docked, but this is very common for working dogs in the USA. A possible explanation for this is that both breeds were imported from Australian to the American southwest at the same time, and early ranchers didn't realize they were separate breeds and though the natural bobtailed dogs had been docked.

Another major differences between the breeds is the colors, tan points are only allowed on Australian Cattle Dogs and not stumpies. Therefore the ACD can be red ticked, blue ticked with tan points, or just blue ticked. The ASTCD can be all red, or all blue, but not both at the same time.

Australian Cattle Dogs should be a bit longer from neck to tail than they are tall at the withers, giving them a rectangular outline. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are supposed to be equal in these measurements, giving them a square outline. This means stumpies have longer legs and shorter back than ACDs.
ASTCD on stock

Developed in the 1800's in Australia, stumpies supposedly predated the Australian cattle dogs with tails and were used in their development. Australian kelpies were also used to develop the ACD, this is where the tan points came from. Stumpies were not derived from kelpies, and do not have tan points.

ACDs and ASTCDs have been crossbred quite a bit since the very beginning, and stumpies were in danger of going extinct as a distinct breed until the 1980's. The years of crossbreeding mean that an occasional stumpy with tan points crops up.

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