(Australian Heeler, Blue Heeler, Australian Cattledog, Queensland Heeler, Hall’s Heeler, Australischer Treibhund) Australian Cattle Dogs have a stout, well-built body that is agile and strong. They are a compact working dog with exceptional stamina and endurance. Australian Cattle Dogs have a body that is just longer than it is high. Their front legs are straight when perceived from the front. Australian Cattle Dogs have a wide head that is sloped between their wide-set, semi-pointed, pricked ears. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite and their oval-shaped eyes are dark brown in color. The breed’s tail is curved and reaches to the hock. Australian Cattle Dogs have a double coat that is weather resistant and features a short, straight outer coat and a short, thick undercoat. Their coat is either blue speckled or red speckled. Blue speckled coats may or may not have black, blue, or tan markings. Red speckled Australian Cattle Dogs should be evenly speckled all over the body with darker markings on the head.
Some pure bred Australian Cattle Dogs exhibit a white marking on their forehead called a 'Bentley Star'.
Australian Cattle Dogs are a working, herding dog that isn’t accustomed to living alone or spending its days in a small backyard. They are highly intelligent and full of energy, so they can become bored without a job to do. This boredom can lead to behavior problems and destruction. Australian Cattle Dogs love to be part of the action and they do best with lots of space. They are extremely intelligent, loyal, and alert. They make terrific guard dogs as they are very courageous and trustworthy. Australian Cattle Dogs make happy, dependable pets if they are rigorously trained from a young age. This breed tends to gravitate and obey one person, and they can be suspicious of strangers. Australian Cattle Dogs have a propensity to be aggressive towards other dogs, and they generally aren’t suited for children. Some Australian Cattle Dogs might nip at people’s heels in an attempt to “herd” them. Potential owners of this breed should avoid having the strict working lines of this breed as household pets. Australian Cattle Dog puppies that have been firmly trained and socialized from a young age make acceptable and loving household pets.
Most Australian Cattle dogs are born with the instinct of aggression. They natural will claim territory and defend it. If one of these dogs begins to show aggression and starts misbehaving, the worst thing to do is put them in a pen. Penning them up with strengthen their aggression and will not help them improve. It is best to properly train and socialize this breed from birth. This breed may not be suitable for first time dog owners.
Australian Cattle Dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, PRA, and deafness. Typically, this breed lives for 12 to 15 years, and they average 5 puppies per litter.
Originally developed to herd cattle on large ranches, the Australian Cattle Dog was constructed from a mix of breeds like the Smithfield and the Old Smooth Collie. Pioneer settlers in the 19th century brought dogs with them from Europe and began to experiment with new crosses. The Australian Cattle Dog is primarily derived from the smooth, blue speckled Collie and wild Australian Dingoes. Breeds like the Australian Kelpie, the Bull Terrier, and the Dalmatian were also added to the mix. The end result was the versatile and hardy Australian Cattle Dog. A man by the name of Robert Kaleski formed a standard for the breed in 1893, and it was later approved in Australia in 1903. In 1980, the Australian Cattle Dog achieved full recognition by the AKC.
Australian Cattle Dogs have a short, weather-resistant coat that needs little maintenance and grooming. Brushing with a firm bristle brush and bathing only as necessary are sufficient. Australian Cattle Dogs shed their coats once or twice per year, depending on the dog’s gender and region.
Australian Cattle Dogs need a significant amount of exercise as they are a breed with incredible stamina and energy. Without rigorous exercise, the Australian Cattle Dog is likely to become bored and destructive. For this reason, Australian Cattle Dogs are not recommended for a small household or apartment. They do best with a large yard and a job to do.
The Australian Cattle Dog is an active breed and may require at least two hours of exercise each day.
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