Australian Cattle Dog Training and Temperament
As a working, herding breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is not suited to life alone in the backyard. They are intelligent and can become bored which will lead to behavior problems. Being loyal, protective and alert they make an excellent guard dog. They are totally loyal and obedient to their master. They can be suspicious of people and dogs they don't know.
They perform very well in the obedience ring, in the herding and agility sections. They need firm training from the beginning. Lot of daily attention will produce a fine and happy dog.
As with all dogs, Australian Cattle Dog training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
A medium size dog with a square muscular build. Permissible colors are mottled blue, with or without markings in black, blue, or tan; or speckled red with or without darker red markings.
The History Of The Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is also known as Queensland Heeler and the Queensland Blue Heeler. They originated in Australia during the 1800's.
In the tropical north of Australia, a tough, short coated dog was required to herd big semi wild cattle in the outback. Beginning with a British foundation stock, the Smithfield Heeler, the stockmen added Dingo strains and Kelpie while seeking the desired traits.
The result is a solid working dog which is good at its job. Few, if any other breeds could drive cattle long distances in such heat.
Description Of The Australian Cattle Dog
Dogs stand 17 - 20 inches at the shoulder, and bitches 17 - 19 inches.
Dogs weigh around 32 - 35 pounds and bitches 30 - 35 pounds.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a sturdy, compact working dog, well muscled yet agile. The slightly curving tail reaching approximately to the hock. Front legs should be straight when viewed from the front. The broad head is slightly rounded between widely set, moderately pointed and pricked ears. The oval eyes are dark brown and the teeth should meet in a scissors bite.
Coat & Grooming
The short-haired, weather resistant coat needs little care and is easy to groom. Simply comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. They tend to shed once or twice a year.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Australian Cattle Dog is around 12-15 years.
Reported health problems are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), some genetic deafness.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
This dog is not suited to life in an apartment and needs a large yard or bigger.
These animals have naturally high energy levels and will benefit from all the activity you can give them. Exercise is vital, for without enough they can could become bored and destructive.
For More Information on the Australian Cattle Dog
To get more information, check out the Australian Cattle Dog web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
This is the longest lived of all breeds. One working Australian Cattle Dog worked cattle and sheep for twenty years before dying at the age of 29 years and 5 months. (Source - Guinness Book of Records).
In Australia, these dogs ride with the “jackaroos” on motorcycles and leap from the moving bikes to work the cattle. "Heelers" work the cattle by nipping at the heels and nimbly avoiding any kicks coming their way
Australian Cattle Dogs are also valued for their ability to kill snakes. They seem to have a particular hatred for them... probably their Dingo strain coming through.
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