Australian Shorttail Cattle Dog - Origin, Traits and Traits

Australian Cattle Dog short tail: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog is an excellent...

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The Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent working dog that stands out for its vitality and intelligence. Always ready to please their guardians, this breed was bred to spend long days tending herds in the countryside, but today it is perfectly possible to see Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dogs taking part in a multitude dog sports and others who perform any type of task.

If you are a lover of this type of dog and you live with (or would like to live with) a Short-tailed Australian Cattle Dog, you cannot miss this article from PlanèteAnimal in which we analyze, among other things, its main physical and behavioral characteristics.


  • Oceania
  • Australia

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group I

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Strong
  • Society
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Affectionate

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • Shepherd
  • The guard
  • Sports


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • Hard
  • Big

Origin of the Australian Cattle Dog Short Tail

The origins of this dog can be traced back to the vast Australian plains of the early 19th century, when English Sheepdogs of the Smithfield breed began to be crossed with Australian Dingoes.The aim of the breeders was to create a breed of dog suitable for field work, guiding and controlling herds. They wanted a breed that was independent, hardy and capable of making its own decisions, but still obedient and very loyal, the result exceeded expectations and so the Australian Shorttail Cattle Dog was created.

These early Australian Shepherd dogs were called hall's heelers, and although they could never stop working, they had a tough temper that led them to frighten and even hurt sheep. This is why the breeders decided to cross it with a third breed, the short-haired collie. The introduction of collie genes made the hall heeler more versatile and gentler with livestock. Over time, the breed has evolved and become more refined, with each generation selecting dogs with a shorter tail, which has become one of this dog's most distinctive characteristics.In 2001 the breed was renamed Australian Cattle Dog or Australian Stumpy Tail in English and in 2005 the standard was officially established.

Characteristics of the Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a very robust dog that stands out for its great endurance, as it is, whatever the conditions to which it is exposed, able to withstand long days of work in the field. Its most notable physical characteristics are, in the first place and as its name suggests, the total or partial absence of a tail, which, if it exists, must not exceed ten centimeters in length. In contrast, its ears are medium-sized, erect and triangular, and its eyes are very expressive, giving the animal an alert and intelligent appearance. The Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog also has a broad skull and very strong limbs that allow it to move with great skill over any type of surface.

In terms of physical proportions, adult males average between 46 and 51 centimeters at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller, measuring between 43 and 48 centimeters. The average weight of both sexes is between 16 and 23 kilograms, which makes the Short-tailed Australian Shepherd a medium-sized dog.

Colors of the Short-tailed Australian Shepherd

It is not only the tail that is a distinguishing feature of the breed, but also the inimitable coat, which is short, hard and dense. The Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog can be shown in blue or spotted red.

Australian Cattle Dog Character

The stumpy tail has an innate predisposition for field work and is an excellent herding dog. Dogs of this breed tend to be very brave, inquisitive, observant and constantly alert to what is going on around them.They are also very intelligent and active dogs, who need an experienced guardian who can train them through play and positive reinforcement.

With good socialization from a young age, Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dogs are very docile and sociable animals, who do not usually come into conflict with other dogs and who, although somewhat independent , are very affectionate and loyal to their human family. However, they tend to be wary of strangers and can be quite sensitive, so you'll need to treat them tactfully.

Caring for an Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog

As this is a herding dog, the person who adopts an Australian Cattle Dog should know that this dog needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Therefore, daily sniffing work, walks, interactive toys, learning tricks, challenges, challenges and decision making or introduction to dog sports are good ideas for having an active dog in good he alth. he alth.Although it is ideal to have a large garden or area that the dog can access, if the guardian meets the stimulation requirements and adequately covers the dog's needs, this short-tailed dog can adapt without problems to the environment. living in an apartment or a small house.

It is very important to provide the dog with a very good quality diet that will provide him with the nutrients and daily calories he needs. Whether in the form of kibble, homemade meals or a BARF diet, the food must be adapted to the dog's life stage, level of daily activity and state of he alth.

On the other hand, it is advisable to brush the Australian Cattle Dog at least once a week and to remove all the dead undercoat. This not only helps prevent hair loss at home, but also improves the hygiene and quality of the coat and the good perspiration of the skin. If the animal does not have dermatological problems, baths can be done monthly or every two months.

Raising an Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog

The Australian Shorttail Cattle Dog is very attentive and intelligent, which means that it learns with incredible ease if trained in the right way (positive reinforcement). This dog loves workouts, especially if it's play-based.

" It&39;s important to start your education at an early age. During the sensitive period of socialization (and also after), the animal must gradually and positively learn to know itself and to interact with all the stimuli that it will have to face in adulthood, such as other animals, people with different characteristics, noises, means of transport, etc. In this way we will prevent him from acquiring fears and phobias in the future and we will make him gain security and self-confidence. Likewise, Walking with a harness and leash must be well worked out, since it is a very strong dog with great vitality, which makes it prone to pulling on the leash The training of the Call and bond with the master is also essential, especially when the dog is walked off-leash in the countryside or in the mountains.Be sure to check out our How to Train a Puppy article for more tips."

The level of activity required by this breed does not make it ideal for people with little experience in dog training. Indeed, if not properly trained, the Australian Shorttail Cattle Dog can very easily develop behavioral problems due to fear, stress or frustration.

Short-Tailed Australian Shepherd He alth

The breed's high endurance is also reflected in its he alth, as the Australian Short-tailed Cattle Dog is, as a rule, a very he althy and long-lived dog. However, the fact that it is a working animal that usually spends a lot of time in the countryside and outdoors makes it vulnerable to diseases transmitted by external parasites such as mosquitoes, fleas or ticks. . It is therefore very important to protect him throughout the year by using repellent products such as collars or pipettes, to check his body well when you return home and to go to the veterinarian in case of symptoms or suspicion of illness.In this other post, we explain how to deworm a dog.

On the other hand, it is important to protect their pads and always keep them hydrated and in good condition, as well as to examine the dog after walks to spot any tips that may have gotten stuck between the toes, in ears or any other part of the body.

The most common pathologies affecting Short-tailed Australian Shepherds, especially those of advanced age, are those of the osteoarticular type, such as dislocations, fractures or dysplasia of the elbow or hip. This last condition is the most serious and although it can be treated and controlled, in some cases surgery is required to correct the problem.

Remember that to ensure a long and happy life for this dog, it is very important to respect the annual schedule of vaccinations, to deworm him correctly and to give him a complete check-up at the veterinarian at the less than once a year.With proper care, the Short-tailed Australian Shepherd's life expectancy is approximately 14 years.

Where to adopt a short-tailed Australian Shepherd?

The Australian Shorttail Cattle Dog is a very popular breed in several countries, including, of course, Australia, its country of origin. However, in France, this dog is not very well known and there are few specimens, which means that it is not very common to find them in shelters or animal protection centers. However, as is the case with many dogs used for field work, sometimes the animal's guardians abandon it if the dog does not bring them the expected results. Some animal protection associations specialize in rescuing this type of dog. We therefore recommend that you contact different rescue centers and let them advise you on adopting your new best friend.You might not find a purebred dog, but maybe a mongrel dog looking for a second chance.

Pictures of Australian Cattle Dog Short Tail

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