AUSTRALIAN WORKING DOGS    - Continued From Page 1

GERMAN COOLIES (German Collies, or Coulies)

Coolie's are a very old and rare breed, brought to Australia by german workers it is believed that they were breed from German collies and Highland Collie, pictures of these two breeds look remarkably like the German Coolie, though there is no documentation the Coolie is a purer breed, and breed to type, in other words produce puppies with the character and color as the parent's. In many cases the Coolie is reffered to as the best working dog. This breed is also the ancestor of the Australian German Shepherd, which can look identical but has no tail and is taller.

German Coolie Standard/Type: Color's range from an under coat of white or grey/smoke with splashes of black or red, they have four white socks, a white tip on the top of their tail, a destinct line from their forehead to their nose and a white slash under their neck to their chest.

When breeding German Coolie's it is advised to breed only with strong colored one's, breeding with light or faded colored Coolie's can produce deaf and/or blind puppies, breeding Coolie's of the same color will produce puppie of the same color.

Size: No larger than 550mm for a male, 500mm for a female.

Chacteristics: Gental in nature, cannot take harsh treatment, needs kind patient handling to reach full potential, once confident and sure of it's role excels in all fields from Obedience, Agility, Tracking to working sheep in the paddock or yard. Marvelous family pet, energetic, loyal, responsive, non- aggresive.

I have a registrar which I hope to fill with the name of other owners and breeders in the hope of having them placed upon the Australian national Kennel Control, if you are thinking of breeding or know others who might be interested or wish to be a part of the Coolie club, just Email me information and a picture if you have one of your coolie.

Submitted by:
Kerrie Challenger
tjukurpa@river.net.au
Tjukurpa Kennels
Victorian Canine Association
Obedience Judge

The Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog

Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dogs look a lot like Australian Cattle Dogs, with the most obvious difference being their naturally short tail. Their tails are not docked. Pups are born with tiny stumpy tails which, according to the standard, may not exceed four inches when fully grown. The Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog has a squarer build than its long-tailed 'cousin'. (The Australian Cattle Dog is a little longer in the body in relation to its height at the shoulder.) The blue Stumpy-Tail does not have tan markings like the Australian Cattle Dog, even though the standard suggests otherwise.

Origins of the Stumpy-Tail

The absence of tails in working dogs goes back centuries in Britain, where a farmer or drover was exempted from paying taxes on his working dogs if they had docked tails. This system was abandoned in 1796 because many other dogs had their tails docked to avoid the tax. The custom of docking survived though, and is still carried on with many breeds today, especially sporting dogs.

In early Britain, most short-tailed droving dogs were known as Curs. Some had docked tails and others were born with short tails. 'Cur' was not always a negative term- they were prized animals. Welsh herdsmen thought their curs were 'of equal value to an ox'. The word 'Cur' is thought to have come from the Swedish word for 'dog','Kurre'. When early droving dogs had their tails docked, it was known as 'curtailing', a word used nowadays to mean 'cutting short'. Curs were quick, courageous and intelligent, and were used mainly for droving cattle. They were larger, stronger and fiercer than shepherds' dogs, with smoother, shorter hair. They were mostly black and white, with half-pricked ears and many were born with short tails. The McNab breed in the United States bears a strong resemblance to early Curs. It is likely that the McNab and the Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog share a common ancestry in the Cur.

Clearly, the similarities between the Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog and the Australian Cattle Dog indicate similarities in their breeding. Both have Dingo and Blue Merle Collie blood. There is no evidence of Black and Tan Sheepdog or Bull Terrier in the Stumpy-Tail. The main difference is that the progenitor of the Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog is the Timmin's Biter (the cross between a Smithfield and a Dingo mentioned in the Australian Cattle Dog story). This cross was abandoned by those who bred the Australian Cattle Dog from Hall's Heelers. The Smithfield that Timmins crossed was most likely a Cur, since the result was a bob-tailed litter. They were called Red Bobtails as well as Timmin's Biters.

Next the Timmin's Biter was was mated with a Smooth Haired Blue Merle Collie in an attempt to breed out the vicious bite of these animals, for heeling cattle. The cross did soften the bite, and produced the blue mottled and red speckled coats we see today.

Only short-tailed dogs were then mated to retain the stumpy tail characteristic. This has eliminated any long-tailed strain. Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dogs breed true to type- all litters are born without tails or with very short tails.

Another name for the Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog is the Smithfield Heeler, supposedly given to it by a family who helped develop the dog, and who lived on the Queensland- New South Wales border. It seems likely, however, that the 'Smithfield' refers to the British working dogs of that name.

The Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog is just as effective with cattle as the Australian Cattle Dog. It is relatively uncommon, but held in high esteem in country areas. It is a silent worker with high endurance, loyalty and courage. It is gaining in popularity overseas, especially in Canada, where it is useful on the larger cattle properties.

References:
"Australian Cattle Dogs" by Narelle Robertson.
"The Complete Book of Australian Dogs" by Angela Sanderson


If you've got a working dog, having descriptive dog tags and collars will ensure that your dog will be returned if he strays too far. You can find all sorts of sterling silver charms and tags online. Whether you're looking new tags for your puppy or silver jewelry for yourself, you can find great deals on just what you're looking for!

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