Australian Cattle Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Australian Cattle Dog Overview

The Australian Cattle Dog has a medium build, which allows it to combine high endurance with bursts of speed and remarkable agility required in cattle herding. This dog is strong and compact, with a body that is somewhat longer than it is tall.

The Australian Cattle Dog’s gait is elastic and untiring, and it must be able to move quickly and suddenly.

The weather-resistant coat is made up of a short, dense undercoat and a somewhat short, straight, medium-textured outer coat.

Australian Cattle Dog Highlights

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  • The Australian Cattle Dog is very active, both mentally and physically. He requires consistent work or activity to keep him occupied, exhausted, and out of trouble.
  • The Australian Cattle Dog’s natural nature is to nip and bite. Professional preparation, socialization, and supervision can help to reduce this potentially harmful trait.
  • The Australian Cattle Dog is a “shadow” dog, meaning that he is extremely attached to his owner and does not want to be parted from them.
  • Raising the Australian Cattle Dog around children and other pets from a young age is the most significant approach to help him get along with them.
  • Avoid buying a puppy from an unprofessional breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. Look for a reliable breeder that checks her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of hereditary illnesses that could be passed on to the puppies and have good temperaments.

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                               5 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           5 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  4 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                         4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    2 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     2 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               4 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                          5 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:          2 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                           3 Star
VOCALITY                                          5 Star

Australian Cattle Dog Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Herding Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be between 17 and 20 inches tall.
  • Weight:  30 to 50 pounds
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years
  • Type: Purebred
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  Australia
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1800s
  • OTHER NAMES:  Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, Hall’s Heeler, ACD, Cattle Dog, Red Heeler
  • Temperament: Aggressive, Alert, Energetic, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Responsive
  • Activities: Agility, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking
  • Color: Red speckle or blue
  • Litter Size: 1-7 puppies, commonly on average of 5
  • Puppy Prices: $400 – $1000 USD on average

Australian Cattle Dog Health:

A reputable breeder will test breeding stock for health issues like deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, which promotes vision loss, and hip dysplasia.

An ACD’s ears should be cleaned on a regular basis to remove foreign matter and wax buildup, and his teeth should be brushed on a regular basis.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • BAER Testing
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test
  • PLL DNA Test

Australian Cattle Dog Grooming:

The weather-resistant exterior coat of the Australian Cattle Dog is short and straight, with a rich undercoat.

The average Australian Cattle Dog does not shed all year, but rather “blows” his coat once or twice a year (think of a snowstorm). The undercoat sheds in clumps in just a few weeks.

The Australian Cattle Dog has blue or red speckled fur. Blue or blue-mottled markings on the head include black, blue, or tan markings; partially tan patterns on the forelegs, chest, and throat; and tan markings on the jaw and rear legs.

The undercoat is sometimes tan, with a blue outer coat. Red speckle indicates that the animal is red all over, including the undercoat and, in certain cases, dark red marks on the head.

The Australian Cattle Dog doesn’t need much primping, but he does need some grooming to stay clean and healthy.

Brush him once or twice a month to disperse oils and remove dirt. However, as he sheds, brush him frequently to remove the dead hair. Bathe him as needed — essentially, when he’s filthy or smells terrible.

Brush your Australian Cattle Dog’s teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar and the bacteria that live within it. Brushing twice a day is even preferable if you want to avoid gum disease and foul breath.

If your dog’s nails don’t wear down naturally, trim them once a month. They’re too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Short, properly trimmed nails keep the feet looking beautiful. Dog toenails include blood veins, and if you cut too deeply, you may cause bleeding – and your dog may refuse to comply the next time the nail clippers come out.

So, if you’re not used to clipping dog nails, get advice from a vet or groomer.

His ears must be examined on a weekly basis for redness or odor, which can suggest an infection.

When cleaning your dog’s ears, use a cotton ball wet with a moderate, pH-balanced ear cleanser to help avoid infections. Do not attempt to place anything into the ear canal; instead, clean the outside of the ear.

When your Australian Cattle Dog is a puppy, start accustoming him to being brushed and examined. Handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and look into his mouth.

Make grooming a pleasurable process full of praise and prizes, and you’ll build the framework for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

Check for sores, rashes, or symptoms of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, and eyes, and feet while you groom.

There must be no redness or discharge in the eyes. Your thorough weekly examination will assist you in detecting potential health issues early on.

Australian Cattle Dog Exercise:

The Australian Cattle Dog, an extremely active, high-energy dog, requires more than a quick walk and yard playing.

ACDs require a job in order to be happy and healthy. This may not be an issue on a working farm, mainly if there are animals to herd.

Going for runs with his owner every day, or almost daily, is an excellent outlet for his enthusiasm for other living conditions.

Participation in dog sports, in which the Australian Cattle Dog and owner participate in dog games such as obedience or agility, is an excellent choice since it channels the breed’s drive and copious energy in a pleasant way.

Australian Cattle Dog Training:

The Australian Cattle Dog allows immediate socialization and obedience training. The ACD is a very clever, active dog that is only truly content when working.

As a result, ongoing training and involvement such as obedience, herding, or agility is strongly advised.

This can require a significant time obligation on the part of the owners, but participation together develops a link between you and your dog and is enjoyable for both of you.

Remember that if an intelligent, energetic dog is not kept entertained, he will become bored, and the restless, hyperactive dog can be harmful.

Australian Cattle Dog Food and Nutrition:

1.5 to 2.5 cups of greater dry dog food each day, divided into two meals, is the recommended daily quantity.

His size, age, determines the volume of nutrients your adult dog consumes, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs, like people, are individuals who do not require the same amount of food.

A very active dog will require more than a dog who is a couch potato. The type of dog food you opt-out to is also essential – the more refined the dog food, the farther it will go toward feeding your pet and the less of it you will demand to shake into your dog’s plate.

Rather than putting food available all the time, maintain your Australian Cattle Dog in good form by estimating his food and serving him twice a day. If you’re not sure if he’s overweight, give him the eye and hands-on tests.

First, take a glance down at him. There should be a waist visible. Then place your hands around his back, thumbs down his spine, fingers stretched downward.

Without pressing too much, you should be able to sense but not see his ribs. If you can’t, he should eat less and exercise more.

Australian Cattle Dog Temperament and Personality:

Intelligent, hardy, independent, persistent, tenacious, active, and untiring—all of these qualities are required of a driver of headstrong cattle, and all of these qualities are possessed by the Australian Cattle Dog.

This dog is among the most attentive and obedient of canines when given challenging mental and physical activity on a daily basis.

The Australian Cattle Canine is a very energetic dog that requires continual mental and physical stimulation. He might be destructive when he is bored or lonely.

He has a habit of chewing and tearing up things he shouldn’t. If you decide to keep an Australian Cattle Dog as a pet, be prepared to keep him busy – and tired.

He’s less likely to get himself into problems if he’s weary. The Australian Cattle Dog is possessive of his territory and would defend it if necessary.

He’s likewise reserved (though not necessarily hostile) about strangers. He is, nonetheless, dedicated to his owner and family.

Once bonded, he prefers to accompany his master wherever he goes; in fact, punishment for the Australian Cattle Dog is a complete barrier from all those he loves.

He’s intelligent, but he may be difficult and willful at times. Consistent, positive instruction aids in reining in his independent streak.

Australian Cattle Dog Care/Upkeep:

The diligent Australian Cattle dog thrives in an environment that provides both physical and mental activity. He is not well adapted to apartment life or being left alone for extended periods of time.

When he’s bored, he’s destructive, and he chews a lot. He requires a house with a securely enclosed yard, as well as a country farm or ranch.

If you are planning on purchasing an Australian Cattle Dog, be sure you can give him a good outlet for his boundless energy and sharp mind. Because he was bred to herd and chase, he will herd and chase just about anything, including cars.

Consider canine sports if you aren’t a sheep or cow farmer. This dog enjoys the energy and difficulties that sports provide.

The Australian Cattle Dog requires socialization and training from a young age. He, like any dog, can grow fearful if he is not properly socialized as a puppy.

Early socialization ensures that your Australian Cattle Canine develops into a well-rounded dog.

His proclivity to mouth, chew, nip, and bite must be treated with caution. He must be taught not to chew on people, but only on proper chew materials such as strong toys.

Australian Cattle Dog Relationship with Children and Other Pets

The Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent family dog, however, he works best with children if he is trained and embraces them as part of his household from an early age. In such situations, he is both playful and protective.

However, the breed’s predisposition to be mouthy — even to nip and bite — can be an issue with children. When children play too rough, he may seek to herd them with harsh nips or bite.

An adult Australian Cattle Dog who has not had much experience with youngsters will not know how to handle them and may be excessively rough.

Some dogs are wary of youngsters; because they do not behave like adults, canines may regard them as menacing.

The majority of issues can be avoided by carefully socializing the Australian Cattle Dog puppy with youngsters and teaching him biting inhibition.

The Australian Cattle Dog gets along and bond well with other dogs, mainly if he’s been raised with them since puppyhood.

However, because he is so committed to one person in a household, the Australian Cattle Dog and other dogs may develop jealously or squabbles.

As for cats and other small pets that the Australian Cattle Dog normally considers prey: if he is reared with a cat or other animal since he is a puppy, he will most certainly accept it as a member of his household and leave it alone.

If he doesn’t, he’ll likely chase, catch, and even kill.

Australian Cattle Dog Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01CharlieLucy
02MaxBella
03CooperCoco
04JakeRoxy
05RileyLola
06DukeMolly
07LouieChloe
08BusterMia
09OscarLayla
10DexterZoe

All About Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is an energetic working dog. He is not a couch potato — let us say it again: he is not a couch potato. He prefers to stay active and busy the majority of the time.

His energy must be focused or he may become bored and turn to naughty behavior, such as rummaging in the garbage or digging up your beautiful garden.

The Australian Cattle Dog is definitely loyal to its owner and family. He usually ties closely with one individual and connects less closely with the others.

He’s sometimes referred to as a “Velcro” dog since he adheres so strongly; he prefers to maintain constant body interaction with his preferred person.

The Australian Cattle Dog is mouthy because he was bred to herd and herd with force by biting. He tends to nip anything that moves, including animals, children, pets, and cars.

Even when he’s playing, he has a greater tendency to bite. When he is a puppy, this inclination must be carefully directed through socialization and training or develop into dangerous behavior.

His intense prey drive is another aspect of the breed’s nature. Squirrels, cats, and other small animals pique his interest.

If the Australian Cattle Dog is socialized with other pets, including cats, from puppyhood, he may be trusted to live happily with them in his house. Those outside his household, on the other hand, are likely to be fair game.

The Australian Cattle Dog is usually amiable, but he is protective of his family and territory, and he is apprehensive of outsiders.

Australian Cattle Dog History:

Australian immigrants developed the Australian Cattle Dog in the nineteenth century to herd cattle on vast ranches.

By gently but aggressively herding the sometimes unmanageable, almost feral cattle with nips and bites, this breed was essential in helping ranchers establish the Australian beef industry.

The Australian Cattle Dog of today is the result of numerous breedings and cross-breedings. Ranchers wanted a tough canine that could withstand Australia’s severe environment and working circumstances.

Because the dogs brought from England were not up to the task, they were bred to the native Dingo. Countless breedings by various ranches eventually resulted in what are thought to be the modern-day Australian Cattle Dog ancestors.

Blue-colored dogs were the most preferred among ranch owners and drovers, and they were dubbed Blue Heelers. They were particularly popular on cattle runs in Queensland, where they were dubbed Queensland Heelers or Queensland Blue Heelers.

Robert Kaleski began breeding Blue Heelers in 1893 and began showing them in 1897.

Kaleski created a standard based on the Dingo, feeling that this breed best adapted to the Australian desert. (Except for color, today’s Australian Cattle Dog resembles the Dingo.) In 1903, the Kennel Club of New South Wales approved his standard.

This breed was first recognized as the Australian Heeler, then as the Australian Cattle Dog, which is now the official name in Australia and abroad. Some individuals still refer to them as Blue Heelers or Queensland Heelers.

The Australian Cattle Dog was approved for registration by the American Kennel Club in May 1980, after taking quality time in the Miscellaneous Class.

In September 1980, he became qualified for display in the Working Group. In January 1983, the breed was handed to the Herding Group.

Where to Adopt Australian Cattle Dog:

Blue Heelers in need of families can be found at your local animal shelters and rescue organizations.

A number of Blue Heeler rescue organizations across the country offer internet resources to help you discover a dog, including:

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

Make sure you seek to find time in research before deciding on a Blue Heeler.

To learn more, speak to other Blue Heeler owners, trustworthy breeders, and rescue organizations.

If you’re looking for similar breeds, examine the benefits and downsides of these:

Australian Cattle Dog Fun Facts:

  • Australia needed good herders.
  • They have some dingo in them. 
  • Watch out for unwanted herding. 
  • They have colorful coats. 
  • They’re robust.
  • One of the oldest dog in the world.
  • They’re survivors. 
  • They make good cowboys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are Australian Cattle Dogs hostile?

Australian Cattle Dogs are not aggressive, according to their owners. They are, nonetheless, brave and will stand their ground when necessary.

How do I get my cattle dog to quit nipping?

To begin, use toys to train your dog the command. Reward and praise desired actions while disregarding undesired behaviors such as snarling or nipping. If your dog does not growl or nip, lavish him with praise and rewards.

Is it possible to let Australian cattle dogs alone?

Australian Cattle Dogs are noted for being exceptionally attached to their owners, however this makes them vulnerable to separation anxiety. Cattle dogs must never be left alone or in a confined space for extended periods of time.

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