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The Dogs of Australia
When one thinks of Australian dogs, no doubt their mind first jumps to either the Australian wild Dingo, or one of the many dogs that have “Australian” in their name. True, many dogs fit within the second category, the Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Silky Terrier, and Australian Terrier to name a few. Other Australian dog breeds are less known, such as the Australian Kelpie and the Koolie, both herding and cattle dogs like their well known cousins. In fact, few of the dogs that were originally bred in Australia are not cattle dogs. Of course, other dogs call Australia home and some were highly developed there, such as the Border Collie, but were originally bred in another country. Whether we think of the wild dogs or the cattle dogs, both are important to Australia’s dog history.

The Dingo, contrary to popular belief is not a native Australian animal. The Dingo is a highly primitive dog, however, and was brought to Australia most likely around 3000 BC. This date, no doubt, adds to the thought of the Dingo being native, although they most likely came from South Asia, the earliest Dingo evidence being found from some 5,500 years ago. The introduction of the Dingo in part has led to some of the native Australian species distinction, such as the Tasmanian Tiger.

Cattle dogs have been extremely important to Australian farmers for years, having aided them in driving their cattle and sheep. Even here you will find the influence of the Dingo, however. Many of the native Australian dog breeds have Dingo blood mixed in their veins, be in intentionally or by accident. In truth few pure Dingoes still reside in what has become their homeland; persecution has pushed ”Australia’s Native Dog” to its last refuge on Frasier Island.

Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Kelpie
Australian Silky Terrier
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Australian Terrier
Miniature Fox Terrier
Tenterfield Terrier

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