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Australian Cattle Dog dog breed information




Australian Cattle Dog color

Blue Or Blue-mottled With Or Without Other Markings; Red Speckled. Puppies Are Born White But Get Their Color Within A Few Weeks.

Australian Cattle Dog height

Male: 18-20; Female: 17-19 Inches

Australian Cattle Dog weight

35-45 Lbs.

Australian Cattle Dog description

The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Australian Heeler, Hall's Heeler, Queensland Heeler and the Blue Heeler, is a sturdy, compact working dog, well-muscled, powerful, yet very agile. The body is a bit longer than high with a slightly curved tail reaching approximately to the hock. The front legs should be perfectly straight when viewed from the front. The head is broad and slightly rounded between the widely set, moderately pointed pricked ears. The oval eyes are dark brown. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The weather-resistant double coat consists of a short dense undercoat and a short straight outer coat. It comes in blue or red speckled. The blue speckled is with or without black, blue or tan markings on the head with tan points. Black markings on the body are not desirable. The red speckle variety should be evenly speckled all over, but may have darker markings on the head.

Australian Cattle Dog origin

The Australian Cattle Dog was developed by pioneer settlers in the 19th century to herd cattle on large ranches. Dogs the settlers brought with them from Europe, called Smithfield and the Old Smooth Collie (not the smooth collie known today), were not able to handle the long distances and inhospitable climate of the new continent. So ranchers began experimenting with new crosses. The Australian Cattle Dog primarily derived from a mix of smooth, blue speckled Collie imports from Scotland and wild Australian Dingoes. Australian Kelpie, Dalmatian, and Bull Terrier were also added. The result was an excellent herding dog, with few equals, who worked the stock quietly yet forcefully, willing and able to drive cattle across vast distances under harsh, hot dusty conditions. With superior stamina, it was well suited to Queensland. Both its guarding and herding instincts are very strong and may extend to people and other animals. Robert Kaleski drew up a standard for the breed in 1893, which was finally approved in Australia in 1903. The Australian Cattle Dog was fully recognized by the AKC in 1980. The Australian Cattle Dog has also been known as the Australian Heeler, Hall's Heeler, Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler. "Heeler" refers to its herding skill of snapping and biting cattle's heels. Its talents are retrieving, herding, guarding, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.

Australian Cattle Dog temperament

A working, herding breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is not suited to life alone in the backyard. One of the most intelligent breeds, it can become easily bored, leading to serious behavior problems. These dogs need to be part of the action! They are loyal, protective and alert. An excellent guard dog. Brave and trustworthy. Very good in the obedience ring and in herding and agility. Firm training from the start and lot of daily attention will produce a fine and happy pet. It is absolutely loyal and obedient to its master, but it is something of a one-person dog. They are sometimes suspicious of people and dogs they don't know. It can be very dog aggressive, for its dominance level is high. Not good with children except for family members it has known since puppyhood. Some tend to nip at people's heels in an attempt to herd them. If you are buying a pet, avoid strictly working lines, as these dogs may be too active and intense for home life. Australian Cattle Dogs are very easy to train. Puppies are born white (inherited from the early Dalmatian crosses), but the adult color can be seen in the paw pads.

Australian Cattle Dog health problems

Prone to hip dysplasia, PRA, and deafness.

Australian Cattle Dog living conditions

Not recommended for apartment life and does best with at least a large yard. Does best with a job to do.

Australian Cattle Dog exercise

These animals have incredible stamina and will enjoy all the activity you can give them. Exercise is of paramount importance - without enough they can become bored and destructive.

Australian Cattle Dog life expectancy

About 12-15 years.

Australian Cattle Dog litter size

1 - 7 - Average of 5 puppies

Australian Cattle Dog grooming

The short-haired, weather-resistant coat needs little care and is very easy to groom. Just comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. This breed tends to shed their coats once or twice per year (depending on sex status and region).

Australian Cattle Dog recognition


Australian Cattle Dog pictures

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