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Australian Cattle Dog

Strong, fast and tireless, with perhaps some Dingo ancestry


BREED ORIGINS

The Australian Cattle Dog, originally known as the Queensland/Blue Heeler, was specifically created by early ranchers in Australia who needed a dog capable of handling sheep and cattle in the wide open spaces of that country. (A Heeler is a dog that works the cattle by nipping at their heels.) In the 1830’s, a hardy, yet noisy, breed known as the Smithfield was crossed with the quiet, steadfast wild dog of Australia, the Dingo. The result was a quieter dog but also more unruly and a strong biter. This dog was crossed again with other breeds such as the Blue Merle Smooth Collie to regain control, the Dalmatian to regain temperament, especially around horses, and the Australian Kelpie to regain herding instincts. The final result was a manageable herding and working dog with superb temperament and intelligence, able to work tirelessly over large areas in harsh conditions and very high temperatures, and in wide or closed spaces. The breed was officially recognised in 1903 by the New South Wales Kennel Club, when it was renamed the Australian Cattle Dog.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Blue Heeler, Queensland Heeler, ACD, Red Heeler


LIVING WITH THIS BREED

Australian Cattle Dogs are loyal and tireless hard workers who are devoted to protecting their owners, herd and property. This very active, high-energy dog, needs more than just a quick walk and playtime in the garden. They are most happy when they have a job to do for you and perform excellently in agility, herding, tricks and obedience. They are great for people that are active and they are affectionate and loyal to their family. Australian Cattle Dogs are naturally cautious of new people and situations, making them a talented guard dog when properly trained. They are a herding dog and will naturally try to herd children, cars and other animals. They will herd by nipping or biting at their quarry, if this behaviour is allowed to occur, this dog can become a nuisance to their family. Proper training and consistency is important along with plenty of exercise and activities to keep their mind sharp. It is not a hyperactive breed, and once one has had its exercise, it is happy to lie at its owner’s feet, or to rest in its bed or crate while keeping an ear and eye open for signs of pending activity. The Australian Cattle Dog is an adaptable dog that can accept city or indoor living conditions, if its considerable exercise and companionship needs are met. Although they will be affectionate to the entire family, they are famous for choosing just one person to attach themselves to forever. They will be almost obsessed with that one person who they’ve has chosen to be most loyal to, and at times will live up to the characterisation of being a “Velcro” dog.  That one person may never be alone again. 


BREED INFORMATION

This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

COUNTRY OF ORIGINAustralia
PURPOSE BRED FORCattle Herding, Guarding
OVERALL SIZEMedium
TEMPERAMENTIntelligent, Alert, Devoted
EXERCISE NEEDEDMore than 2 hours per day
HEIGHT – MALE46-51 cm / 18-20 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE43-48 cm / 17-19 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEShort, Double Coat
GROOMING NEEDSWeekly
RARE BREEDNo
LIFE EXPECTANCY12-15 years

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Their puppies are born white (except for any solid-coloured body or face markings). Puppies start getting colourful quickly and you can see their pattern strongly by six weeks.
  • Their coat has no odour or oily residue, so an Australian Cattle Dog generally needs just a quick brushing once a week and an occasional bath. They do shed twice a year though.
  • The blue Australian Cattle Dogs can be blue, blue speckled, or blue mottled with or without black, tan or white markings. The red variation are evenly speckled with solid red markings.
  • They can be used as service dogs for people with a disability, therapy dogs, work for customs agencies in drug detection, police dogs, and some work as scat-detection dogs tracking endangered wildlife species.
  • These alert pups are not barkers but will sound an alarm if strangers come near their property.

LINKS TO KENNEL CLUBS

Click the buttons below for more information about this breed


PHOTO GALLERY

Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow


VIDEOS

Enjoy this video about Australian Cattle Dogs, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


WEBSITES ABOUT AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOGS

Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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