66 – Australian Dogs

From a land with no native domesticated dogs, nearly 230 years after colonists’ brought their first pets & hunting dogs on the first fleet, Australia now has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world.

Almost half of Australian households kept at least one dog in 2022, but lets take a look at the history & development of the uniquely Australian dogs we created along the way.

(45 mins)

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The Dogs that made Australia by Guy Hull
Top Dogs by Angela Goode
Kangaroo Dogs (https://nationalpurebreddogday.com/the-kangaroo-hound/)
Australian Terrier ~ 1915 (Wikipedia)
Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler (DogsAustralia)
Australian Kelpie herding sheep (American Kennel Club)
Bluey (2018 TV series)
Red Dog statue Dampier (Cjmaddock_20201020_Dampier_004-web)
Kelpie Pups (Audience submitted Wandabar Stockdogs ABC News)

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For those who might like to hear an indepth and very thorough retelling of the story of the Wreck of the Dutch merchant Ship the Batavia, which occurred across the Houtman Abrolhos reefs & islands off the coast of Western Australia in 1629.  The heritage website calls the Batavia story “a fascinating tale of maritime treachery, murder and heroism, unparalleled in Australian maritime history”.


HULL, GUY, 2018. The dogs that made Australia.  Sydney, NSW: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-1-4607-5645-4.

PARSONS, TONY, 2021. The Kelpie: the definitive guide to the Australian working dog.  2021. Viking Australia. ISBN 978-1-76104-567-7.

MORRIS, DESMOND, 2002. Dogs : the ultimate dictionary of over 1,000 dog breeds Online. North Pomfret, Vt. : Trafalgar Square Pub. [Accessed April 2023]. ISBN 978-1-57076-219-2. Available from: http://archive.org/details/isbn_9781570762192

AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB, [no date]. Australian Terrier Dog Breed Information. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-terrier/

AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB, [no date]. Australian Kelpie – Dog Breed Information. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-kelpie/

Wikipedia: Kangaroo dog. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kangaroo_dog&oldid=1134205882

GOODE, ANGELA, 2014. Top dogs: a celebration of great Australian working dogs.  Sydney, NSW: HarperCollins (ABC Books). ISBN 978-0-7333-3328-6.

ABC NEWS, 2018. The real origins of Australia’s famous cattle dog.  Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-25/history-of-the-australian-cattle-dog/10390626

ABC NEWS, 2019a. The history of the working dog, an “indispensable” Aussie icon. Online. 25  [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-26/working-dogs-history-of-an-aussie-icon/11096742

ABC NEWS, 2019b. All kelpie: Study finds no dingo DNA in iconic working dog breed. Online. 27  [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-06-28/kelpie-study-finds-no-detectable-dingo-dna/11250106

ABC NEWS, 2019c. Why these kelpie breeders stopped breeding after Red Dog fame. Online.  [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-06/red-dog-breeders-stopped-breeding-after-movie-franchise/11773060

BANKS, JOSEPH. The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0501141h.html

BRITANNICA, 2023. Australian Cattle Dog | Description, Temperament, Images, & Facts | Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/animal/Australian-cattle-dog

BUELVA, ALMA, 2022. National survey reveals Australians spending on pets. PetfoodIndustry. Online.  [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.petfoodindustry.com/news-newsletters/pet-food-news/article/15469415/national-survey-reveals-australians-spending-on-pets

DOGS AUSTRALIA. Dogs Australia. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://dogsaustralia.org.au/

Animal Medicines Australia.  Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/report/pets-in-australia-a-national-survey-of-pets-and-people-2/

CLARK, Noreen and HEWSON-FRUEND, Helen. Australian Cattle Dogs. Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://www.adcb.com.au/adogforthejob.html

FILLIOS, MELANIE A. and TAÇON, PAUL S.C., 2016. Who let the dogs in? A review of the recent genetic evidence for the introduction of the dingo to Australia and implications for the movement of people. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Online. 2016. Vol. 7, p. 782–792. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.03.001.

THE WORKING KELPIE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA. Origin of the Kelpie. Online. [Accessed April 2023 a]. Available from: http://www.wkc.org.au/About-Kelpies/Origin-of-the-Kelpie.php

THE WORKING KELPIE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA. The Forbes Sheep Dog Trial and Kings Kelpie. Online. [Accessed April 2023 b]. Available from: http://www.wkc.org.au/Historical-Trials/Forbes-Trial-&-Kings-Kelpie.php

KELPIEGALLERY.SE. Colours of kelpie. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.kelpiegallery.se/colour-genetics/colours-of-kelpie

MATTINBGN, 2015. Monument to the Australian Kelpie at Casterton, Victoria. Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Australian_Kelpie_monument,_Casterton

Wikipedia.  Red Dog (Pilbara). Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Red_Dog_(Pilbara)&oldid=1154282268

SHIPMAN, PAT, 2021. What the dingo says about dog domestication. The Anatomical Record. Online. 2021. Vol. 304, no. 1, p. 19–30. [Accessed April 2023]. DOI 10.1002/ar.24517.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY. Strewth! Turns out your kelpie is not a dingo. Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/05/27/strewth–turns-out-your-kelpie-is-not-a-dingo.html

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY. ‘Come by’ the working dog survey page. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/news-and-events/2018/10/02/come-by-the-working-dog-survey-page.html

WIKIPEDIA:  Bluey (2018 TV series). Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bluey_(2018_TV_series)&oldid=1159526459

WIKIPEDIA: WORLD DOG SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS, 2022. World Dog Surfing Championships. Wikipedia. Online. [Accessed June 2023]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=World_Dog_Surfing_Championships&oldid=1117362835

CASTERTON KELPIE ASSOCIATION, [no date]. The Origin of the Kelpie. Online. [Accessed April 2023]. Available from: https://castertonkelpieassociation.com.au/the-origin-of-the-kelpie/

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