Australian Shepherd Short tail Dog – My Animals

australian shepherdThe Australian Shepherd short tail is an excellent working dog that stands out for its vitality and intelligence. Always willing to please their guardians, this breed was created to spend long days herding flocks in the countryside, but today we can find short tailed Australian Shepherds competing in a multitude of canine sports and doing all kinds of work, including animal work. company, thanks to its versatility and notable ability to adapt.




20-23 inches (male) 50-65 pounds (male) 12-15 years
18-21 inches (female) 40-55 pounds (female)

If you are a lover of this type of dog and you live (or would like to) with a Australian Shepherd short tail , you cannot miss this article in which we analyze, among many other things, its main physical and behavioral characteristics.

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Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd short tail

Origin of Australian Shepherd short tail

The beginnings of this dog date back to the vast Australian plains of the early 19th century when English Smithfield sheepdogs began to be crossed with Australian dingoes. The objective of the breeders was to create a breed of dog ideal for working in the fields guiding and controlling the flocks, which was independent, resistant and capable of making its own decisions, but, at the same time, obedient and loyal to the shepherd.

These first Australian sheepdogs were called hall’s heelers and, although they were tireless workers, their character was very strong and sometimes they scared or injured the sheep. For this reason, it was decided to cross these dogs with a third breed: the short-haired collie . The introduction of collie genes made the hall’s heeler a more versatile and delicate dog with livestock. Over time, the breed evolved and was perfected, and in each generation the specimens with the shortest tail were selected, which became one of the most distinctive characteristics of this dog. In 2001, the breed was renamed the Australian shepherd short-tail or stumpy tail Australian shepherd and in 2005 its standard was officially established.


The Australian Shepherd short tail is a very robust dog that stands out for its great resistance, as it is capable of withstanding long days of work in the field, regardless of the conditions to which it is exposed. Its most notable physical characteristics are, first of all and as its name indicates, the total or partial absence of a tail which, if it exists, does not exceed ten centimeters in length. Thus, this Australian Shepherd is born without a tail, it is not amputated since this is prohibited. On the other hand, its ears are medium-sized, erect and triangular, and its eyes are very expressive , giving the animal an alert and intelligent appearance. The short-tailed Australian Shepherd also has a wide skull and very strong limbs that allow it to move with great skill on any type of surface.

Regarding their physical proportions, adult males have an average height that ranges between 46 and 51 centimeters at the withers, while females are slightly smaller, reaching between 43 and 48 centimeters high. The average weight of both sexes is between 16 and 23 kilograms , so the short-tailed Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog.

Short-tailed Australian Shepherd Colors

Australian Shepherd

Not only is the tail a distinctive feature of the breed, its unmistakable coat also stands out, made up of short, hard and dense hair. The short-tailed Australian Shepherd can come in blue or mottled red .

Character of the Australian Shepherd Short Tail

The stumpy tail has an innate predisposition for work in the field and is an excellent livestock dog . Dogs of this breed usually have a very brave temperament , they are curious , attentive and remain constantly alert so as not to miss details of what is happening around them. They are also very intelligent and active dogs , so they need an experienced guardian who can train them through play and positive reinforcement, as well as getting them to do enough physical exercise.

With correct socialization from an early age , short-tailed Australian Shepherds are very accommodating and sociable animals , which do not usually come into conflict with other dogs and, despite being somewhat independent, they are very affectionate and loyal to their human family. including children. Of course, they tend to distrust strangers and can be very sensitive , so you have to treat them tactfully and understand their language well when interacting with them.

Australian Shepherd short tail Care

Being a sheepdog, the person who decides to share their life with a Australian Shepherd short tail must be aware that the dog needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation , since it has been selected to spend long hours doing work in the field. . Therefore, doing daily olfactory work, taking walks, offering the dog interactive toys, training skills, proposing challenges and working on decision-making or introducing the dog to a dog sport are good ideas to keep the animal active and healthy. Although the ideal is to have a large garden or land that the dog can access, if the tutor meets the stimulation requirements and correctly covers the dog’s needs, the stumpy tail can adapt to living without problems in an apartment or small house. .

It is very important to offer the dog a very good quality diet that allows it to obtain the nutrients and daily calories it needs, since it is a very strong and energetic animal. Whether in feed format, homemade cooked food or BARF diet , the diet must be adapted to the dog’s life stage, its level of daily activity and its state of health.

On the other hand, it is advisable to brush the Australian Shepherd short tail at least once a week and remove the entire layer of dead undercoat. In this way, not only is hair loss prevented at home, but the hygiene and quality of the coat and the correct perspiration of the skin are improved. If the animal does not have any dermatological problem, baths can be done monthly or bimonthly.

Australian Shepherd Short tail Education

The short-tailed Australian Shepherd is very attentive and intelligent, which means that it learns with amazing ease as long as it is educated correctly, understanding and respecting its language and behavior and using respectful methodologies based on positive reinforcement. This dog really enjoys training with his guardian, especially if he does it through play and if his natural herding instinct is taken advantage of.

It is important to start his education when he is a puppy and is adapting to our home. During the sensitive period of socialization (and also after this), the animal must gradually and positively know and relate to all those stimuli that it will have to face in its 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 ensure that he gains security and self-confidence. Likewise, walking with a harness and leash should be done well , since the stumpy tail is a very strong dog with great vitality, which makes it prone to pulling on the leash. Training the call and the bond with the guardian very well is another essential, especially when walking the dog without a leash in the countryside or the mountains. Don’t miss our article on How to Train a Puppy for more tips.

The level of activity required by this breed does not make it the most suitable for people with little experience in dog training, because if it is not educated properly, the short-tailed Australian Shepherd can easily develop behavioral problems derived from fear. , stress or frustration.

Australian Shepherd Short tail Health

The great resistance of this breed is also reflected in its health, since the Australian Shepherd is, as a general rule, a very healthy and long-lived dog . Now, the fact that it is a working animal that usually spends a lot of time in the field and outdoors makes it vulnerable to diseases transmitted by external parasites such as mosquitoes, fleas or ticks, so it is very important to protect it throughout the day. year using repellent products such as collars or pipettes, check your body carefully when you get home and go to the vet if you have any symptoms or suspicions of illness. In this other post we explain how to deworm a dog .

On the other hand, it is important to protect its pads and always keep them hydrated and in good condition, as well as check the dog after walks to locate possible spikes that have been stuck between its fingers, in its ears or in any other part of its body.

The pathologies that most often affect short-tailed Australian Shepherds, especially those of advanced age, are those of the osteoarticular type, such as dislocations, fractures or dysplasias 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 necessary to correct the problem.

Remember that, to ensure a long and happy life for this dog, it is very important to keep the annual vaccination schedule up to date, deworm it correctly and have a complete check-up at the veterinarian at least once a year. With all the necessary care, the life expectancy of the short-tailed Australian Shepherd is around 14 years.

Where to adopt a short-tailed Australian Shepherd?

The short-tailed Australian Shepherd is a highly appreciated breed in several countries, including, naturally, Australia, its country of origin. However, in Spain this dog is not well known and there are few specimens, which means that it is not very common to find them in shelters or animal shelters . However, as is the case with many dogs used for field work, sometimes those responsible for the animal discard it or abandon it if the dog does not provide the expected results. Some protective associations specialize in rescuing these types of dogs, so we recommend that you contact different rescue centers and get advice from them when adopting your new best friend. You may not find a purebred dog, but you will find a mixed breed dog wanting a second chance.

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