How German Huetehunde became the German Koolie and the Australian Shepherd

Even in the days before international air travel and pet passports, people took their pets with them when they moved from one country to another. When early German migrants moved to Australia, they brought their Huetehunde or herding dogs. These dogs were superb workers and were used in Australia for herding animals as they were in their German homeland. Once established in Australia, their German owners began breeding them with other local dogs including Collies and possibly Dingos. Because they were so strongly associated with the German settlers in South Australia, other settlers began to refer to this new breed as German Collies and the German’s themselves began to refer to them as Koolies, which is how they are mostly known today.

At the same time, German settlers in the U.S.A. began breeding their Huetehunde where they became known as German Tigers. Once again, they were cross-bred with other dogs, including, it is believed, dogs brought from Australia. This is the most feasible explanation for the fact that a dog created by Germans in the U.S.A. is called the Australian Shepherd.

Those who are interested in taking their own dogs with them to Australia will probably find it easier with the help of a German NAATI translator.

“Dog And Sheep” by Rosemary Ratcliff