The Stumpy Tail v the Australian Cattle Dog

News flash! The difference between an Australian Cattle Dog and the Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog is (wait for it) – the tail!   But you know us, nothing is as simple as all that. These are two distinctly different breeds that have in common an origin (Australia), their job (herding and stock control), a bit of history, and a work ethic (work until they drop).  The Stumpy Tail, however, is squarer with a shorter back, a lighter body,more wedge-shaped head, and longer legs than the ACD  (their length of leg is more like the dingo’s so as to allow the distance from the elbow to ground to be more than half that from the withers to ground). This influences the breed’s gait insofar as it having a tendency towards a more rotary action of its hindquarters, and ambling at a slow speed. With more angulation, the Australian Cattle Dog has a greater length of stride. A Stumpy’s ears are almost pointed, set higher on the head than the ears are on the Australian Cattle Dog, and are wide apart.  Also, Stumpies cannot have tan points.

One will find varying opinions on the suitability of a Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog as a general farm dog. Some sources like to remind us that in the breed’s history came some crossbreeding wild dingoes which are known to scavenge like a wolf.  This can lead to problems when the dog is around smaller animals such as chickens, ducks, cats or lambs. Others refute this and claim that all dogs need to be trained.  There is little disagreement that this is a tough breed, but a marvelous one when in the right situation.

An interesting insight into the breed’s appearance in the United States comes via American soldiers who’d been in the Pacific during World War II and stopped over in Australia for “R & R” on their way home.

Once home, these men quickly realized that their livestock had become quite wild. A few of the former soldiers who’d seen “blue and red heelers” working stock in the outback believed they would be an asset on their ranches and imported a few heelers for themselves. The first groups of imported dogs included both “Stumpy Tails” and “Australian Cattle Dogs” because in Australia, both breeds were often simply referred to as heelers, and logically, that’s what the Australians sent over.  There was no registry for either breed in the US at the time, and in the end, the Americans just wanted tough working dogs to control their stock.

The breed is recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club,  FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), and the New Zealand Kennel Club.

Image of an Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog by Wendy Hodges and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license of Wikipedia

188 thoughts on “The Stumpy Tail v the Australian Cattle Dog”

  1. The ASTCD is very aloof and this characteristic is atributed to the Dingo.

    • We think our 3 year old is a stumpy. He was a rescue. Can the breed test tell us?

    • I have a stumpy! We didn’t rescue her, we wanted this particular breed! She is six months old. She is so smart and always solving problems. It gets her into trouble sometimes. These guys are definitely more aloof than other more cuddly breeds. And certainly the most stubborn dog we’ve ever had. But also very trainable despite her lack of desire to please- it’s there, it’s just not constant.

      • Jade, she’s lovely, and it’s heartening to hear that not all Stumps are rescues, but are purpose purchases. They are indeed remarkable dogs.

        • This is my heeler. But everyone ask what kind of dog she is. She has all the features of a stumpy. But she has a tail. Does anyone have an answer for me.

          • To be accurate, Gina, we would guess a Stumpy Tail expert would have to get their hands on your dog because there are major structural differences in breed type between the two breeds of cattle dogs. That said, some Stumpy Tail pups are born with long tails, so it’s possible.

          • She’s Beautiful One of the things I Love about the breed is the different variations in colors my Red Heeler and Blue Heeler with a stumpy Tail I Love this breed sooooo much

          • She is a blue heller with a tail !!!!! Great guard dog n family dog ! This bred must be kept busy and rewarded for work well done .
            The tail is of little consequence !
            Need any help contact me, I have trained 4 blue Heelers !!!

    • We’d love to feature the Stumpy Tail as a Purebred of Interest, Czar – are there many of you who own these dogs?

      • I have a stumpy tail. Greatest dog. She is a mix of a red and blue heeler. Great coloring and great temperament.

        • I have one too and he is such a doll! Lives to run and run. People always ask what he is and I say a blue red heeler – cos he looks like both. He’s so damn handsome!!

          • He really is handsome, Lisa!

          • He’s a purple, blue + red =. 😉

            I can’t tell if mine is a stubby or just an Aussie or a cross of the 2?

          • So, we have been owned by ACD for 11 years now and she got really sick, we are trying to help to stay with us as long as possible, she is my girl. We also have corgi mix and we know she will be devastated if Hurley goes to doggie haven. Some time ago I started to look for another ACD since I only would have another one of those. So I did find Oreo and he was classified as a blue heeler mix, now I am starting to think he might be a stumpy tail blue heeler. He is in 9 months old rescued from kill shelter in Alabama, we live in Florida and it took some effort to get him. Can someone tell me if I am right or wrong?

          • We’re not breed experts, but to our layman’s eyes, it’s a real possibility. We ask our vast readership to weight in: Is this lass a Stumpy Tail?

          • William, the color is stunning for sure, BUT, do your homework on this hard working breed to make sure it’s the right fit for you. These dogs need a job

      • I have a stumpy tail! Her name is LuLu. Our Veterinarian has a particular interest in this breed and he said she’s one of the best he’s ever seen. We actually rescued her at age 2. She’s 4 now. We love very much!

      • Sadie, Around 2yr got her in Florida. She is the best companion.

      • Ranger is our Stumpy. He is a mix of red and blue. Very protective and loyal, but also extremely intelligent (maybe to smart). Great companion and watchdog. Lives to go to the dog park and get other dogs to run, so he can chase and “heel) them.

        • I know this is an old thread but my stumpy just passed. His name was Wolfie. From what I am seeing I think he was a mix of red and blue. I miss him so much he was a character! Funny and smart- I am looking for another Stumpy. I already have 2 blue heelers.

      • Can anyone give me an opinion on my girl, Sissy? She came to us at 1 ½ yrs old so I’m not sure if her tail was docked or natural. I’ve always assumed she was a blue heeler but she doesn’t “check all of the boxes”. She’s more slinder at the hips than a typical heeler and no speck of red on her (although I know that’s not mandatory)

        • Let’s see if any of our readers can offer an opinion, Jeannie

          • Can anyone please help me find a Stumpy? Wolfie passed and he was our silly gentleman- he was smart, knew his roles here at the farm and taught the others but he has now passed. I am having the dilemma of people in my area almost insisting that the heelers they have are Stumpys and they are not. I am in Florida can you help? Thank you

          • We’re so sorry for your loss, April. We don’t see a national club affiliated with the AKC, but there is a Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Society of America ( and they may be able to set you in the right direction for a breeder.

        • She looks like a true version of the Stumpy tail to me, even more so now I have researched more, she is lovely 🙂

        • That’s a stumpy for sure. Stumpies are either blue, like yours, or red, but never any tri-color. Some of the ACDs and STCD have been crossbred, as some of the pictures here show… so some have no tails but look more like ACD. The stumpy is more slender, pricked ears, longer legs. Like yours! Just look at Wikipedia and it will tell you all about both types.

  2. This is my Stumpy named Wildfire. He was a rescue from Alabama. He is the best EVER! He does act a little aloof as another post mentioned. He only actually plays with a handful of dogs he’s met and usually sticks by my side whenever I take him to a dog park.

    • LOL, we can see how Wildfire has stumbled into a miserable life with you, Jason (where’s the personal hand maid?). Kidding aside, he’s very handsome!

    • Jason, Stumpy probably stays by your side to protect you. These dogs are amazing protectors. I rescued my Australian Cattle Dog (she is not a Stumpy) in 2005 – she had been badly abused when I found her. My vet had to come to my house to catch her. It took a long time to gain her trust, but now she lives to protect me. I’ve only had two other dogs as smart and wonderful as Tobi. Like David Geib posted about his Sadie, Tobi is the best companion I have ever had – human or animal!! People need to be advised that this breed is very energetic – especially when they are puppies. Tobi destroyed EVERYTHING, even the kitchen floor. When she turned a year old, all the destruction stopped, but she still had to have a lot of exercise.

  3. I love the ASTCD. I told my husband that I must always have one, they’re an amazing dog that keeps you on your toes. They’re not for the faint of heart but they are one of the best partners.

    This is Burleigh, she is a purebred ASTCD. She is almost 5 and we got her as a pup.

    • She’s just lovely, Zoeller. How did you find yours? And can you “flesh out,” for us what they’re like to live with?

  4. I have had Stumps for a long time and so love the breed of dog.. this is Gilhi Cherokee for dog (Gilley) every one that I kow that has ASTCD are the best people too.. 🙂

    • They strike us a handsome, and super bright breed, Buddy. How did you find yours as I gather they’re not too common in the US?

      • Their is a breeder from Texas, and theirs are directly from pure Aussies origin. Silver park, you can also get one from Australia and ship it to you, last I checked the shipping is only around $300- 500.

    • This guy showed up about a year ago. We’d love to get another one to keep him company.

  5. This is our Rio. We adopted him from a herding breed rescue group. He is perfect! So sweet and playful but leary of strangers.

    • He’s wonderful, Mico. How did you get interested in the breed?

      • We have had blue heelers on our farm for over 30 years as we used to have show cattle. After getting out of the show cattle we still had our blue heelers. After we lost our last heeler to liver cancer we contacted the herding breed rescue and Rio was the dog we “clicked” with. There is definitely a difference but we are very happy with our stumpy!

  6. This is our Rio. We adopted him from a herding breed rescue group. He is perfect!

  7. This one lives in Portugal and have 1y old.
    Her name: stop that, but from time to time she replies with Rafa.

    • José, she’s wonderful! And we also have a dog named, “Stop that!” Other names include, “QUIT BARKING” and “DROP THAT.”

    • Hi there!! Yours looks very similar to mine- I was just looking into the difference between the two types of Aussie Cattle dogs as mine has been found to be Stumpy X German pointer. Have attached a pic! On Google I can’t seem to find any stumpys with these markings and thought they were the pointer in her. Is yours a mix too? Love the name!! Mine is Zara.

      • Hi,

        We rescued what we believe is a stumpy. We would love to do DNA testing to find out what she is, but haven’t found a test that has the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog in its database. Can you recommend a test if you used one?

        Your dog is adorable!


        • If we may interject? Lisa, our frustration with DNA tests is that until they have a database that includes EVERY breed in the world, we think they’re somewhat unreliable. We’ll be curious to see what Lucy says….

  8. this is our sweet rescue stumpy, laika. she has a shadowy past, but is truly the best partner anyone could ask for. she loves to herd her people by biting their ankles, and is occasionally overcome by her need to herd the pack of dogs at the dog park. she will play with other dogs, but only one-on-one. she can learn anything after just one try, and follows me from place to place all day.

        • Such a wonderful face, Lucy! Thanks for sharing Zara’s picture!

      • Your sweet Laika looks just like my Buddy! (Here he is pouting at my feet in the garage because I wouldn’t let him “help” me get the laundry out of the clothes dryer.)
        I LOVE the stumpy tails!

      • He’s quite darling, Katie. Let’s hope one of our readers can help identify him!

  9. We have a male his name is Fenrir we got him from a random person that had adopted a brother and sister but realized quickly they couldn’t handle them both. We LOVE him! We thought we were getting an ACD but as he grew realized he was a bit different luckily I met a woman with an ASTCD and we figured it out. Hes smart, loyal maybe a bit too much as he can be a bit of a sick to other people. Is very selective of his dog friends as well. He mostly stick with other cattle dogs or herding dogs it’s kind of weird.

    • He’s lovely, Rachel! That a dog recognizes his “own” kind isn’t unusual. We’ve noticed it with our dogs, too. They absolutely recognize their own breed and get far more excited to meet them than others dogs. Funny, eh?

  10. We rescued “Freckled Girl” Pecosa last Christmas… she has been the joy of our lives. We didn’t know she was a stumpy until recently… prior to that, we felt bad that someone had abused her by cutting off her tail… what a relief to know that wasn’t true. She is a smart, stubborn, funny dog. When we adopted her, her name was Pickles. We re-named her Pecos. She’d lived with a young family full of kids, dogs and cats. She was too much for them; and started to act out of boredom. Queen Pecosa is her new job.

    • She’s wonderful, Sue, and bless your heart for taking her in and giving her a new job!

  11. We have a cattle dog that has adopted us. He came to our property and fell in love with our 130 lb male dog. We also have another rescued female that came to us about 7 years ago. she is 25 lbs.
    Our cattle dog has mostly black on him with some tan markings and a short tail. He is very timid and I am thinking he has been abused. We live in the country in Tennessee and have 40 acres but no cattle. We have two cats, also rescued. So far he has not had any accidents in the house and does seem to wait to go out.
    Does anyone have any recommendations for me. We will have him neutered. He will be going to our vet this week to get shots and to be looked at. Our thinking is he is no older then one year.

    • Mary, we’re not sure what kind of recommendations you’re asking about – whether your dog could be a stumpy tail? Send a picture?

  12. My little Stumpy Freya. Best and most challenging pup ever. Helps me herd sheep and cow and my other dogs and the cat…you get the picture…:)
    Incredible sense of humor and intelligence beyond belief. I have Autrailian Cattle dogs too…and while they are awesome, Freya leaves them in the dust…?

    • Freya is wonderful, Jen, and we appreciate hearing a “compare and contrast” viewpoint from someone who knows both breeds!

    • I too have a rescue Stumpy named Freya and they look so similar!! That is so ironic! My Freya was originally named Laverne and she’s about 2 years old. I rescued her from Kentucky, where she and her sister were found in a dumpster 🙁 she is the most loyal, playful, sassy and snuggly little bean. She punches me when she wants something though but she has been the best companion I have ever had. She is wary of strangers (but lots of socialization and introductions to loads of people and other dogs helped a lot) and is a total ball of energy but she also sleeps in with me sometimes. I take her hiking and she has her own little backpack to carry her things which she absolutely loves.

      • Great comments Great Dogs! I have had 4 . I was fishing from a pier when a neighbors Doberman broke his chain @& took off toward me with bad intentions as it growled & bark !
        My Heeler Elsa cut the dog off her head even with the Dobermans throat & took it down in seconds. She did not kill it just held it pinned to the ground ! Dr Jack Grenan

  13. Just adopted my rescue from Arkansas. No tan on him. Lean body. Two years old, about 40 pounds. Do you think he is ACD or ASTCD? Regardless, I love him

    • Hard to say from the picture, Laurie, but his head is very ACD-ish (to us, anyway). He has a lovely face!

      • Absence of tan and ears indicate Stumpy tho 🙂 Likely a mix, showing the best of both!

    • He looks just like my Stumpy Shadow! (I just learned she was a stumpy from this article…)

  14. Enjoyed reading all your comments ………. this was my stumpy called Lily and she was 7 months old when this photo was taken. She was a rescued dog, and I adopted her because she was deaf and not everyone knows how to train and handle a deaf dog (especially if they are a stumpy!). We live on a 100 acre property, which is totally natural and located near the Barrington Tops in NSW Australia. One of her favorite pastimes was chasing kangaroos and nearly caught one. She tried to outrun me while I was driving on our dirt road and I was able to clock her running at 50kph (approx 31 mph).

    • That’s incredible, Jenny! “Lily” was quite lovely, and you were a hero for taking in a “special needs” dog. She was lucky to have you and a wonderful life!

    • She was beautiful!… a poster dog for the ASTCD breed!
      Our stumpy Arabela looks very similar but her ears are a little floppier, and she has black patches on the merle background.
      She would be chasing rabbits and squirrels if we let her off the leash, but we are waiting a year before that!

  15. Our boy, 13 yr. old Quigley……Soooo….smart!!! Adopted him at age 3. Loves my hiking girls. Amazing off leash.

    • What a great name for this dog, Bonnie! He has a wonderful face!

  16. Adopted our boy Quigley at age three, now thirteen; however still plays and act like his three year old self. Soooo….smart. Loves hiking and is perfect off leash. Not so fond of kids, need to be mindful around them. Has given us great joy! Family vacations are spent in SD, with daily visits to the dog beach on Coronado Is. He LOVES swimming in the ocean

  17. This is Buford “Bud”. He is actually quite tall for a healer, suspect he is a mix between stumpy and a healer. He was born with a tail but it was docked at birth which was the practice on the ranch he was born on in Montana. These dogs are not hard to train or limit from destructive behaviors. It requires an experienced firm owner. Definitely a Velcro dog. But are among the most trainable breeds available. These are smart stubborn dogs. You have to be more stubborn than them! Bud is 8years old and well socialized to all people as long as his Master greets them. These dogs typically only bond with one person. Not to say that he is not very friendly and loving to his momma and our kids the youngest of is now 16. He will always follow the command of his master, and always prefers to be by my side. I can heel him or control him in any situation including encounters with strange aggressive dogs. He will never disobey. These are quite simply the best dog you will ever had, if trained properly!

  18. I found a salt and pepper stub tail hiding under my deck one summer day. She was hungry, lost and scared. I named her Shade because she was hiding out of the hot sun and she became the love of my life. She has been gone three years now and I still can hardly think of her without a tear in my eye. The most loyal, intelligent and loving dog I’ve owned.

    • Poor little thing, and bless your heart for taking her in, Dave. These dogs do grab us by the heart and soul, do they not? We’re sorry for your loss and understand it. Most dog lovers do.

    • I think that sweet girl found you! Isn’t it perfect to have such a beautiful soul appear in your life and make such an impact…..They teach us a lot and are such a gift with the loyalty you could find nowhere else!!

  19. This is Arabela. She will be two in June.
    She found us at a rescue event June 2017 in Rhode Island.
    She is named after the town in New Mexico she was found near.
    She is quite simply the best!

    • I got my heeler one month ago when she was 4 months old. I was told she was a Queensland heeler. Now I am thinking maybe due to her long legs and thinner frame she is maybe stumpy ?

      • Puppies go through a whole lot of stages before they reach adulthood, Eliot. Your pup is still just a baby. Give her time to see if she doesn’t grow into those legs and fill out.

  20. Introducing Emma, our red-specked stumpy-tailed Australian Cattle Dog (RSSTACD?) She’s a rescue and was very timid when we first brought her home. But now that she’s comfortable with us, she’s a hoot! She could chase balls all day and will herd her balls into groups and hide them in various locations. She has a very intense stare. When I’m walking with her, people sometimes ask, “Does she want to eat my dog?” I just tell them no, she wants to herd their dog.

  21. This is Arlo he’s 14 weeks not sure what kind he is could someone give me some clarification on him

  22. This is Blue, my 13 year old stumpy tail. Rescued him when he was two and he had been glued to my side ever since. I love this dog so much! He’s absolutely the best.

  23. This is Malone my Grand puppy. We thought she was an Australian Cattle Dig and just realized she is a Austrialian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Smart, Sweet, loyal, good watchdog and endless energy! Never goes off duty!

    • Don’t you just love surprises,Cynthia? LOL, we think you’ll discover that there is a large community of Stump Tail owners equally besotted with their dogs – and can there ever be a better endorsement for a breed than loving owners and fans? We appreciate your note, thanks for writing!

  24. Hey all. Meet Gus. 10 months old and best buddy to our 3yo American Staffofordshire. This little guy is a bundle of energy.

    • CF, could Gus BE any cuter? That face! Thanks for sharing him with us, he’s a sweetie!

  25. We just rescued this stumpy doll. But due to her short legs we believe she is a mix of something, but can’t tell what. She has been wonderful! So smart, she was already house trained, stays right by my side always, and has been wonderful with other dogs, cats, kids and strangers. She is perfect

    • How very lucky, Toni, that your little lady has found her way into your heart. She’s a love!

    • How beautiful she is. I just got my Stumpy puppy Abby and I hope she has the short legs like your girl. My black lab – Shapei mix isn’t fond of her yet.

  26. Hi everyone! I love the pictures of the pups 🙂 I am currently searching for a Stumpy tail of my own, but am not having any luck in the US. Anyone have a breeder I can contact or know of any for sale?

  27. My red stumpy Chief is my absolute best friend! I have had him from a pup straight from his Mum and Dad and he is now 5 years old. The loyalty he shows me and his (human) pack is amazing. Chief is fiercely protective and just as sweet and loving, he is always at my heel, even at a dog park he will have a quick sniff and straight back to my side, he is obedient, eager to please, brave and alert. The most amazing thing is his ability to ALWAYS be aware of my moods and emotions as if we are super in sync…..If a person gives me the creeps, He will watch them intently and stand in front of me if they come close, if I’m scared or nervous he will sit in front of me facing out in a guarding position, If I’m angry with my partner or anyone really he will lay over my feet with both paws and head covering them protectively and if I am grieving or sad he will lay close by my side and look up at me (almost with a concerned look) consistently. Chief has never bitten anyone although he has warned many and I trust him 100% Needless to say I absolutely LOVE my red boy

  28. This is Winter. She was rescued from the streets about a month ago. She’s a handful and we’re currently experiencing a lot of hand, ankle biting. She’s very smart and learns new tricks within 2 treats. She is extremely social and wants to be best friends with every person (esp kids) and animal she meets. She’s still working on “convincing” her older cat bros to be pals, but she’s getting there. She can also be very stubborn and pouty. I call her my velociraptor – she’s so smart. So sweet…esp when sleepy. We love her!

    • “Winter” is a looker, Erin, and the ankle biting, we’re pretty sure, is part and parcel of being a herding breed. She’s lucky to have you!

      • We have a rescued Blue Healer who we feel was abused. He showed up at our house and has never left. He has attached to me and to our 130 lb Great Pyrenees/Mastif mix. He is also an ankle biter and hand hand biter..I to believe it is part of the working dog behavior. He is also very skittish and protective.

  29. This is our stumpy tail Murphy and heeled mix Marley. He has been such a wonderful addition to our family. Love the breed so much.

  30. Best dog I’ve ever had. So full of energy and so sweet. They have quite the attitude and can be trouble sometimes, but if you give them a job and exercise every day, they will love you unconditionally! This is Boomer. He is 9 months old. I am just learning that his tail want actually docked?! He already weighs 55 lbs and has the longest legs… Bigger than any other heeler we’ve met! But this makes more sense now! We are learning how to do some joring together and he loves to pull me around!! 😁😆🥰

    • Boomer is quite the looker, Brynn, and you’ve hit upon an important part of owning such a dog: Exercise. A tired dog is a good dog, and dogs all need a job to do, even if it’s guarding your lap.

    • Just because I love to show him off! I just adore his flare around his head! So handsome! Rescued him a couple months ago! He was too much for his previous owners – they weren’t able to train him and exercise him enough! Boomer is my soul hound!

  31. I rescued my stumpy from an animal shelter. She was relinquished twice for being fearful. I think it’s just that she’s been through some trauma and those people just didn’t have the patience to work with her. She’s come a long way in the 6 short weeks I’ve had her. She was already named “Sweetie”, which I think is a misnomer. She’s a total ball of energy and she’s here to stay.

    • Great story, Maria, and lucky for “Sweetie” that you understood her needs and gave them to her!

      • Just learning that our new rescue girl might actually be a stumpy. A mini heeler/stumpy mix. She is only 20lbs. And is the 2nd blue stumpy ive come across in my life. The previous was one of the best dogs ive ever known. Our Xena isnt 2yrs yet, but I have high hopes at giving her a great life. Thanks for the info and for feeling like we arent alone in this journey.

  32. This is CASH! Got him from a herding dog rescue. He is a stubby tail cattle dog. I also have a 14 year old cattle dog. I love my Velcro dogs. They never leave my side when I’m walking 3 miles or just hanging around the house. Best Breed ever!

  33. This is Samuel My stumpy tail Red cattle healer. Very intelligent and funny character with every sense ofbyhe word. Love him to bits.

  34. Here’s Tesla. His dad was a mutt, but he takes after his mama. Love this good boy!

  35. I am fostering a 2 y/o 1/2 Border collie, 1/4 stumpy, 1/4 cattle dog. (per his DNA test) His last foster family said he killed snakes and was extremely efficient at it. Is this his dingo ancestry showing up? Were they bred to dispense of the dangerous reptiles in Australia or is he a self made man? I have not seen him be aggressive to anything else (cats, dogs, horses, people) and is one of the nicest, easiest to get along with dogs we have fostered, but the only heeler mix.

    • Cheryl, our sense is the dogs in Australia have learned (and been bred, in the case of the Australian Terrier) to dispatch snakes, so it very well could be the dingo ancestry showing up!

  36. My ASTCD owns me.
    Be warned, they are the best and worst thing that ever happened to you. Extremely smart, energetic, too damn protective, loyal, athletic, bites, wait…nips/strikes everyone except me. Not a pack dog, will eat anything scavenged, large prey drive. Her default position is always 6″ behind me which is annoying. Loves water, swimming and retrieving anything, great frisbee dog, won’t leave the yard even w gates open. That said, you will never have a more loving loyal companion who looks to you for instruction just because they want to please you. They want to always be by your side, like within 3′ of you, ready to do what your doing, like a 5 year old. Like there’s an invisible 3′ string attached to you and your Stumpy.
    Also, they respond to positive reinforcement, as they are very sensitive and just want to do whatever you want them to do correctly.
    Oh, and you will have to start running half marathons w your Stumpy, just to tire them out. Perfect outdoor dogs. Physical exercise is only half of what they need. If you can’t mentally stimulate them, get ready for them to start mysteriously figuring out how to open doors, cupboards, move stuff, get up and over stuff.

    • Wonderful insights, Mannuel, and a great picture, thank you for sharing both!

    • Hi,
      I live in Florida and our male Stumpy recently passed. My mom said if there were a way to “clone” Wolfie, she would want Wolfie for herself. He was magnificent and a complete clown. He always seemed to be the joker- or the mayor.. he needed people to recognize him when he came into view. Can someone please help me find another Stumpy? Wolfie entered our lives as his companion was dying, he had wandered onto our friend’s land. No tags no marks no tattoos no chips-100% trained. For the past 9 years that he was in our lives we still cannot understand how such a magnificent canine got lost and no one came looking. I guess he was meant to be with us. Now we would like another Stumpy and I have people contacting me but they have heelers and I don’t want to try and explain the difference. Can anyone put me in contact with a US breeder?

  37. My Stumpy adopted us almost 9 years ago, just showed up on our porch and decided that he wanted to live with us. Found out later that he belonged to the people up the street but they had chained him to a moving crate, obviously he decided that a home with his own bedroom was a better choice, he only has to share with our granddaughter when she comes for the weekend… Very intelligent, I have never had a dog that could problem solve the way he does. Sadly, we just found out that he has IVDD and it is slowly cutting off
    the nerves to his back legs. But he still needs to follow me everywhere I go and even though he has trouble with the stairs, it has shown him that he doesn’t have to do everything “by myself”. In this photo he is about 3, loves to play ball in the house, especially when I vacuum…

  38. Adopting a stumpy tail was a huge commitment. These dogs are no joke! Mine is insanely smart, athletic, courageous, loyal, alert, and super tough. One day I was heading home from fishing with my dog Shauni and we passed by a ranch full of cattle. The window was down and she was barking her head off at them. Next thing I know she leaps out of my window trying to go after the bulls. I was driving 60 mph and by the time I was pulled over down the road she was on her way to get back in the truck. She had zero injuries and barely any road rash. I thought she was gone and my mind is still blown to this day

    • What a harrowing story, Sam, and a great ending that could have gone really differently!

  39. I just had my Stumpy tested – half Stumpy; half ACD. Buy on Ebay the most commonly shown one that had a huge, black DNA on package. Cost is around $45. By now you probably have had it all done as this is last year – oh well.

  40. I rescued this guy because he was causing a lot of ruckus for his past owners. I thought he was a Heeler but he is much taller. Stumpy maybe? I want to rescue another, anyone know of a good rescue in the US?

  41. Heelers are truly amazing my two amaze me everyday they are super smart with so much energy they truly make me laugh everyday with there silly behaviour, My stumpy girl Storm is the mother to boof she had a litter of 11 pups! her first and last time which I’m glad she had because otherwise i wouldn’t have this amazing boy, and storm wouldn’t have this amazing relationship with her son they are besties.

  42. I’m looking for a brindle female stumpy tail pup. I live in Franklin Indiana.

  43. This guy showed up about a year ago. We’d love to get another one to keep him company.

    • Bless you for taking him in, Karie, he’s wonderful!

  44. So, we have been owned by ACD for 11 years now and she got really sick, we are trying to help to stay with us as long as possible, she is my girl. We also have corgi mix and we know she will be devastated if Hurley goes to doggie haven. Some time ago I started to look for another ACD since I only would have another one of those. So I did find Oreo and he was classified as a blue heeler mix, now I am starting to think he might be a stumpy tail blue heeler. He is in 9 months old rescued from kill shelter in Alabama, we live in Florida and it took some effort to get him. Can someone tell me if I am right or wrong?

  45. I posted fe days ago and my photo didn’t attach, so here it is

      • this is Eva. Got her from a lab rescue group. great dog. great watchdog, companion, loyal. very smart and trainable. hoping to find another as companion for her. she is almost 6.

  46. This is my girl Miss Mercy. Rescued her 7 weeks ago from the desert. My original plan was to give her to a rescue, but she stole my heart after just a few hours. Not sure if she is a stump tail or if she was docked. Learning all the in and outs about her that that I can. She is high energy, but I now have walking buddy. She tires out after about 2 miles.

  47. We love our girl. She’s just turned 2. Such a brilliant dog. Not a rescue dog we’ve had her since she was a pup.

  48. My girl Aurora (Rory) is great a feisty stumpy tail puppy (4 months old). I loved seeing all these dogs & I learned so much from everyone’s insights. We exercise Rory 2 hours a day & she is a fast learner- 6 tricks and counting. She barks, jumps, and bites and I’m hoping to find tips and tricks for those things/ otherwise we keep her busy and remember that she will only be a puppy for…. 3 or 4 years according to those in the know here (lol).

    • She’s wonderful, Ruth! How did you come to own a less common breed?

  49. We just got a stumpy! So excited he is about four months. Never owned this breed and was wondering if anyone here had one as a pup. Our guy is shokingly calm. Sure he chews on things he shouldnt but listens once we tell him to stop. He isnt super well coordinated took him a couple of times to figure out how to jump on the couch. I wonder if i am being overly worried about those two things and he is just fine. But he did come from an amish puppy mill and am worried they overbred him. We would never get rid of him and love him dearly but i was just curious if others had similar experiences since he is new tous 😉

    • Congratulations, Sofia! You have a remarkable breed, but if we could just mention something. At four months old, his joints are still strengthening, but vulnerable. He’s too young to be jumping off of heights like a couch. He’ll be “gangly” (uncoordinated) well into his teens, and he’ll chew on everything, but give him “allowed chew toys,” and enjoy this time as it will never come again.

  50. Meet Kali, my first Aussie Stumpy Tail, We didn’t know about this breed and was told she is Blue heeler, we rescued her from a elderly lady whose daughter gave her this breed, it was too much for her. I was sad thinking her tail was cut but realized later that was not the case. I have had dogs over the years, but not like this one, not sure if the breed but this one very loving, full of energy, loves cuddly, so funny, very stubborn, very affectionate, love to play fetch, with a slide and flip, never have seen a dog do that. When people see her at the parking doing that it becomes like a circus dog, she get audience.

  51. Hi, we have a lovely boy who came with CKC registration as an ACD. However, he is a natural bob tail and he looks body wise, a bit different from other ACD’s I see (not as thick, longer legs, etc.). AND, I read somewhere that Stumpys love to rub their heads on their owners and he is the first dog we’ve ever had that did that! We call him our kitty dog – he just burrows his head on us in bed or just whenever he’s feeling especially loving. He ‘accidently’ bred to our Australian Shepherd and every one of the puppies was a NBT! The only thing is that he does have tan on him – I was thinking of re-registering him with AKC as a Stumpy but, not sure if he meets the criteria. Can you help?? Thanks!

    • Here’s maybe a little better picture showing his body structure and coat.

  52. This is Chase. He is absolutely perfect in every single way and I honestly don’t think I could live without him. He’s my best friend. He’ll be 6 months old next week. I rescued him from his abusive previous owners when he was 3 months old. Originally, I bought him thinking that he was ACD. I quickly realized that that wasn’t quite right, though. I did some researching to look for answers and that’s when I 1st learned about ASTCDs. I saw pictures of them online and was amazed by how beautiful they were! I also couldn’t deny the strong resemblance (in build, color and personality) that Chase seemed to share with the dogs in the photos. I’ve never seen an actual stumpy in real life, though, and I know how rare they are, so I keep thinking maybe I made a mistake. What do you guys think?

      • We’re not experts on Stumpy Tails, Jennifer, but perhaps one of our readers can help!

        • Hi this is Butch our 4 month old. These dogs are incredible. So much fun and so intelligent..

  53. Butchy boy again. He loves chicken, minced roo, carrots and potatoes. Loves the water too. But these dogs need excercise every day and training from an early age. If you’re thinking of getting a Stumpy think long and hard before hand

    • Butch is wonderful, Lee, thank you for sharing his picture and also sharing a bit of advice. There is nothing like hearing from an experienced owner!

  54. We found Banjo in the woods 12 years ago. We were told he was a blue heeler, but always thought he was built differently. And he has what we thought was a docked tail. Could he be an ASTCD?

  55. This is Luna! I saved her from petland when she was just 10 weeks old. On her paperwork it says she is blue heeler but she has no brown only black white and grey. They also told me both her parents are 20 lbs. I just wanted to see what y’all thought she is? Also she does have a tail.

    • Kristen, we always defer to breed experts and hope that one of them will weigh in on your question, but the ACD standard does say that blue-mottled is an acceptable coloring for the breed, and that what Luna’s coloring looks like to us. That said, her parents are pretty light weight for both Stumpy tails and Australian Cattle Dogs.

  56. Yogi was a rescue from Texas. We could not get any more information about his background, apart from the fact that his owner could no longer care for him. We got him sight-unseen, and wondered if he was feral, if he had been abused, but he had clearly been loved and cared for. Still, we were a little nervous about taking him to an off-leash park. We needn’t have worried; he is so playful with every dog there, and at least five people have told us their dog never plays with other dogs, but Yogi seems to bring out the puppy in them all.

    • We love to hear that your gamble paid off, Ted, and that Yogi is a wonderful companion and “plays well with others!” A delightful photo, thank you for sharing it.

  57. I can’t tell with my Brodie! He is a year now. He is absolutely nuts, playful, loyal and bossy. Those ears have a mind of their own too.

    • Brodie is a looker, Krista. Thanks for sharing those ears with us!

  58. Meet Buck, our stumpy who just had his 1st birthday! Got him from a ranch in Central Valley, CA and he is obsessed with us, tennis balls and digging in the sand in San Diego! No leash necessary with this dog, he is obedient, smart, athletic, watchful and velcro-like. We love him.

  59. Hello wonderful people ~ What a lovely, long thread. I learned so much, and feel so happy to learn about what my dog may be. For 5 months I have had her. (She was 10 weeks alone in a room, while all other dogs had a dog roommate, and she was returned on 11/12/2022, after being adopted on 11/11/22;
    I met her 11/15/2022, at the Santa Fe, NM humane society and
    I took her home 11/16/2022;
    we’re moving to Scotland to design regenerative farming communities, so she’ll have sheep and more!).

    Strangers who see her say she is beautiful all day, every day and they are thrilled to tell me:
    “She is a Catahoula Leopard dog mixed with Blue Heeler,”
    and a breeder said she looked like his pure bred Heeler bitch, and
    my brother thought she is a Stumpy, so…I am open to more input.

    I only know she is my Sacred service Dog, and keeps me tethered to this beautiful earth in joy, walking, running, playing and always smiling, because she is by my side, or running back to me, all the time.

    Meet Lady Tarkine “Tarkina” Snowfire. Tarkine means “Belonging To” in Aboriginal language, and
    I had BELONG on my license plate, and named her before I knew the meaning of Tarkine.

    Belonging is what we are all about.
    Aloha, Claire

    • A wonderful story, Claire, thank you for sharing it with us! Tarkina is lovely, and she will have such a good time working in Scotland!

  60. My mind was blown today. I stumbled across this page and realised my puppy is a Stumpy that explains why he’s so different to my older ACD and to make things more confusing the puppy has a pretty long tail too. And longer legs. And a floppy ears at 10 months. Definitely a handful but he’s amazing

  61. I have a blue heeler but I’m starting to think he is a stumpy tail. The man I bought him from said some of the pups were born with no tail and they had the tails docked off the rest and he couldn’t remember if my Yogi was born with or without the tail. Anyways, Yogi is my best friend, he is absolutely wonderful except for when he growls at my kids or me when I try to dry him off, give him a bath, cut his nails, doctor a cut, etc. I don’t know how to correct his behavior. Most of the time he acts this way because he is literally scared but he’s never been beaten so I don’t understand why he is so scared. The other times he growls or nips is when my kids will try to get on my bed or if I sit on my son’s bed he’ll growl at me. He gets this wild look in his eyes as well which is quite scary, I have to calm him down and then the look subsides. I don’t understand how he can go from the most loving dog and goofy dog to a complete different dog over simple things.

  62. This is my boy blue! I always thought he was a purebred ACD but he has to be a STCD cause he has no brown on his at all and is so different! But His tail is very long and white

  63. I’m a volunteer at my local shelter in Athens, GA and I think we have a Stumpy boy available for adoption! His name is Achilles, we all love him and he’s such a character. He’s in desperate need of a new home – his intelligence has gotten him into scrapes at the shelter. If you want to adopt him, we can arrange transport to get him to you! Please contact us at

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