The Australian cattle dog, also known as the Blue Heeler, is a popular working dog and pet and is well known for its high energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence.
The Australian Cattle Dog is muscular and active, making the ideal for herding and obedience trials, but will need enough room to run and exercise.
The breed first emerged as an independent entity a little over a hundred years ago, when a breed of dog known as Smithfields was used in Australia to herd cattle.
Because these dogs were too noisy and too rough with the cattle, they were crossbred with the Australian wild dog known as the dingo.
This resulted in a dog that was quieter, but still had a tendency to bite too hard, so at that point, collies, who were used to herd sheep and therefore were a bit gentler were bred into the mix, with some bull terrier also bred in to give the breed a little more aggression
The Australian cattle dog became almost instantly popular as sporting and guard dogs at the turn of the 20th century.
“Australian cattle dogs have cool heads under pressure and are absolutely fearless when it comes to cattle.”
They were bred to move herds where they were wanted and did so by weaving through recalcitrant animals and nipping lightly at their heels to get them moving.
This is herding instinct can get troublesome as these dogs may also try to herd humans and other animals like horses. If you decide to adopt an Australian cattle dog, this is a behavior that you might have to spend some time curbing.
Australian cattle dogs, since they were originally bred to be working dogs, have a high energy level and require a great deal of exercise. They are most happy when they are at work whether that means herding cattle or participating in obedience trials or competitions
To keep their active minds interested, the owners of Australian cattle dogs should make sure that their training routines does not become dull or repetitive.
These dogs are naturally wary of strangers and tend to bond early in life with an individual or an older dog. When adopting an Australian cattle dog, make sure that you quickly impress upon it that you are the pack leader. Ideally, they are kept in a situation where they have a job and can do it every day.
While they can be excellent guard dogs due to a combination of the their strength, speed and intense distrust of strangers, they may make good family dogs.
Although this breed does work well with other herding dog breeds as well as with members of their own breed, they can be quite aggressive when it comes to strange dogs.
In terms of health, the Australian cattle dog is quite hardy although they can be prone to musculoskeletal disorders as well as to infertility.
- Alert, Curious, Pleasant
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 55 of 193
- Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-16 years
- Group: Herding Group
Australian Cattle Dog Club of America
American Kennel Club Standard for the Australian Cattle Dog
General Appearance – The general appearance is that of a strong compact, symmetrically built working dog, with the ability and willingness to carry out his allotted task however arduous. Its combination of substance, power, balance and hard muscular condition must convey the impression of great agility, strength and endurance. Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault.
Characteristics – As the name implies the dog’s prime function, and one in which he has no peer, is the control and movement of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous and trustworthy, with an implicit devotion to duty making it an ideal dog.AustralianCattleDog-club-flier
Originally posted 2016-11-21 08:35:50.