Australian Cattle Dog vs Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

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These two dog breeds have some similarities, however, they also are two very different breeds. The Australian Cattle Dog vs Stumpy Cattle Dog both are members of the herding dog AKC group so both are herding dogs.

The Stumpy Tail Cattle dog is sometimes called ‘heeler’, ‘stump tail cattle dog’, ‘stumpy’, and ‘stumpy tail’. The Australian Cattle Dogs are also referred to as ‘blue heelers’ or ‘red heelers’ depending upon their color.

Australian Cattle Dog Puppy - Australian Cattle Dog vs Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

They are similar in size, with the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) at a height of 17 to 20 inches and weighing from 30 to 50 pounds. The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has the same range in height and weight. However, they are not built exactly the same. They both have an undercoat which means they shed quite a lot.

Appearance Differences

According to the breed conformation data on the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, they are only supposed to have a color that is blue, blue speckled, or blue mottled. The head and body can have black markings, but tan markings are not allowed. A Stumpy’s ears are more pointed and set higher on the head than the ears are on the Australian Cattle Dog, and are set wide apart.

The Australian Cattle Dog is more angular, so, it has a longer stride than the stumpy. The Stumpy moves a little slower than the ACD. Both dogs have a similar life expectancy with the ACD from about 12 to 15 years and the Stumpy from 13 to 15 years.

Temperament and Trainability

Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog - Australian Cattle Dog vs Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

They are both very hard-working herding dogs that should have great endurance. Both dogs are able to herd cattle through some pretty rough country. They are also both very intelligent dog breeds that definitely need to be trained and not left alone for hours or they will get into trouble.

The Australian Cattle Dog has a unique personality and needs a human with a real understanding of cattle dogs. The ACD should begin training as a young puppy so she will know what is allowed and not allowed.

An Australian Cattle Dog is more likely to push you around the house in order to get something he wants. He is more likely to nip and bark if he learns that he can get his own way by doing that. So don’t let her get away with this type of behavior.

If your dog is not getting enough exercise, she may get bored and very destructive! One thing you really don’t want is a bored ACD!

An Australian Cattle Dog owner that knows what they are doing, will be someone with patience and has done their research so they know what these dogs require to be happy and fulfilled.

She will also be knowledgeable, especially about different training methods. She must know what method of training will be most effective and will lead to a change in behavior. 

One thing that makes the ACD easy to train is their love of food. They are very much food-driven and will respond quickly to commands when offered food!

Adaptability to Heat and Cold

Both ACD and the Stumpy Tail were developed to thrive while herding cattle in the hot, rough terrain of Australia. They also are able to do well in the cold, so they are very adaptable to weather conditions.

Just be aware when it is hot that your dog will need to cool off and drink plenty of water. Also, watch for signs that your dog is getting overheated.  You want to avoid heatstroke at all costs! Also, be aware of the temperature if it is very cold. When the temperature drops to 25 ºF or less, it is dangerous for your dog to be outdoors very long.

Having your dog out in the very cold weather could end up in hypothermia, frostbite, and paw injuries.

What they don’t adapt well to is living in an apartment and being left alone for hours. So being adaptable doesn’t mean being adaptable to everything.

Origins of the Australian Cattle Dog

The ACDs of today originated as a crossbreed of blue merle collies or Old English Sheepdogs, with tamed dingoes. The result was the ancestors of the Australian Cattle Dog of today. This version of the ACD was in turn bred with Dalmatians, Bull Terriers, and Australian Kelpies.

Over time, breeders developed a tireless, intelligent, and courageous dog breed. This dog can herd the most headstrong cattle in extreme conditions. ACDs are not all that popular worldwide. However, the people who live and work with Australian Cattle Dogs love this breed and always praise their amazing qualities.

Origins of the Stumpy Cattle Dog

This breed of dog descends from crosses between European herding dogs and the Australian dingo. All herding behavior is modified predatory behavior. Through selective breeding, humans have been able to minimize the dog’s natural inclination to treat cattle and sheep as prey while still maintaining the dog’s hunting skills, thereby creating an effective herding dog.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog was the first breed developed in Australia. The first dogs were a mix of Smithfield, an English herding dog, and an indigenous Australian Dingo. This version of Stumpy dogs was too rough with the cattle. To correct this, they bred the rough version of Stumpy to blue merle collies to get a gentler temperament.

Final Thoughts

The Australian Cattle Dog and the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog are both great dogs – for the right owner. They are not recommended for first-time dog owners. If you know what to expect from these dogs and are ready for it, then they will be great dogs!

If you enjoy hiking, swimming, and living an active lifestyle then you will probably really love having a cattle dog. Just be sure you train her and let her know her boundaries.

Do you have any experience as a cattle dog owner? Please share your experiences or questions below.

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