A Tale of Two Heelers
Red and Blue Heelers are known throughout the world, prized for their work as cattle drovers. It is not uncommon for those outside the realm of kennel clubs to not recognize this breed as the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD). Still bred in many countries and regions for their working ability rather than a standard the name Heeler is fitting, even without the Red or Blue based on coat color.
Many are surprised when they learn that Australia is home to a second heeler, this one far overshadowed by its ‘cousin’. The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog (ASTCD) is sometimes confused as a docked ACD, but in fact they are both separate breeds. Even if they share a muddled history.
Like many dogs, the ancestry of the ACD (and the ASTCD) is debated. It is said Dingoes, Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, Kelpies, and Collies all exist within its makeup. In reality, this is a simplified answer. Kelpies were still in development themselves at the time and the collies used were a type, not a specific breed as we know them today. The Bull Terrier and Dalmatian were each a single outcross, and some have argued if the Dalmatian is but legend. But the Dingo, they are the one certainty.