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Australian Working Dogs

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Other Australian Working Dog breeds

photofairy photofairy 18 posts

(NOTE: All information presented here is for entertainment purposes only. We have endeavored to collect only the facts from reliable sources, such as “The Complete Book of Australian Dogs” by Angela Sanderson, but this is in no way meant as a definitive guide. All images used are sourced from free domain.
For all up to date information on these dogs, please consult your veterinary specialist.)


Koolies are very old and rare dog breed, often referred to as “the best working dogs”.
They were brought to Australia by German workers.
They are believed to have been bread from German collies and Highland Collie. They are also ancestors to Australian German Shepherd.

Physical characteristics
Koolies range from an undercoat of grey or white with splashes of black and red, have four white socks, a white tip on the top of the tail and a white slash on their chest.
They tend to be between 50 – 55 cm tall and of medium build.

Koolies are very gentle, loyal, energetic and non-aggressive. They do not handle harsh treatment well and do best with kind and considerate handlers. They are highly intelligent and interested in learning as well as excelling in all kinds of work, from Obedience/Agility, tracking to working with the sheep in the paddock or a yard.

They also make wonderful family pets.


These dogs look a lot like Australian Cattle Dogs (ACD) but they have naturally short tails due to their origins that can be traced back to short tailed British dogs. Apparently, dogs with short or no tails were exempt from taxes in Britain a very long time ago, so a lot of dogs had their tails cropped. Eventually, some of them started having naturally very short or no tails.
They also have slightly squarer build than normal-tailed Australian Cattle Dogs.

The two breeds not only look very similar but they share a lot of ancestry – both have Dingo and Blue Merle Collie blood, but Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog does not appear to have been crossed with Black and Tan Sheepdog or a Bull Terrier. Rather, they descend from the Timmin’s Biter (the cross between Smithfield and a Dingo).

Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dogs are as good in working with cattle as Australian Cattle Dogs, and they are held in very high regard. They have high endurance and are very loyal and courageous.

CJBEdwards CJBEdwards 1 post

Please note that the neither the ACD nor the ASTCD has any merle gene.
Timmin’s Biters did not contain any ancestry from Smithfields (an English dog). Smithfields were introduced to the line later on which produced the snub tail in the ASTCD.
Both the ACD and the ASTCD are descended from the original “Halls Heelers”.
German Coolies differ from Australian Koolies. Australian Koolies are not rare in Australia.

photofairy photofairy 18 posts

Thanks for your input! :)