Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs
The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is believed to be one of the oldest purebred breeds of dog in Australia.
They are one of the best working dogs ever bred.Their origins have been somewhat shrouded in mystery.Thanks to some diligent research we now have a fair idea of their inception.
In 1802 a man named George Hall, his wife, Mary and their four small children immigrated to Australia. A year after their arrival, George was granted an 100 acre property on both sides of the Hawkesbury river. In less than twenty years, George acquired over 8oo acres. His cattle empire was up and running.
George Hall and Old Jack Timmins both had sons With a great interest In droving dogs. Both would have a huge influence in the development of Australia's working dogs.
In 1836, 170 convicts started work on the Great north Road which would take a decade to complete. It ran through 160 miles of wilderness. This would prove to be the perfect droving route for the Halls to take their cattle to market.
George's son, Thomas Hall knew that they needed a better droving dog for Australia's harsh climate. Using his connections, he set about acquiring blue mottled curs from a relative in Northumbria, England. These curs had a keen bite and always went for the heels. They had a squarish body and long legs, a bobtail, and half-pricked ears. Thomas then crossed the cur with the Australian native dog the Dingo and with selective breeding, the Australian Cattle Dog was Born. They had a protective double coat from the dingo, a fine, dense undercoat, and a longer weather-proof outer coat.
At first they kept the red colouring from the dingo, which included red speckled or mottled. The undercoat having solidRed patches. Subsequent back-crossing to the cur, to strengthen the working instinct also gave them the blue colouring We see today. They often had tan patches on chest, legs, inside their ears and under the tail with the occasional bob-tail.
Once Thomas had bred the type of dog that was suitable, he would have then distributed them throughout the family properties which extended up into Queensland, covering 305 000 acres. There the Station Managers would have taken responsibility of breeding the dogs needed for their Station.
Of course, when the cattle were taken to market these dogs would have bred with any bitch in season, subsequently producing a type called the Smithfield heeler. This particular type did not last very long but the term Smithfield has persisted particularly for the Stumpy Tail Cattle dog.
Then we go to Old Jack Timmin's son, Young Jack Timmins,who was working as a stockman/farmhand on a property adjoining the Hall's properties of Weebollabolla and Bulleroo Stations. A year after Thomas Hall's death in 1871, Jack took possesiion of Rocky Holes Station. Jack knew the shortcomings of the Bobtail's and at some point probably acquired a couple of tailless heelers, as up until then the Hall's Heelers belonged only to the Hall Stations, but upon Thomas's death the dogs became available to other Stations. It is thought that at some stage, Jack must have acquired some of the Hall's tailless dogs. He then went on to breed what was known as Timmin's Biters. His selective breeding produced a different type which consistently produced tailless dogs although to this day you will still get tailed dogs in most litters.