The Australian Cattle dog is a medium sized dog with a short cat, developed in Australia. The purpose of developing this type of dog was to help the wealthy owners who had a lot of cattle. Thus they made this dog with a specific purpose of herding. The breed is high intelligent and highly trainable. Besides being good at herding, they excel at dogs sports and agility training. The Australian Cattle Dog is also a good pet but will require a certain amount of training to keep around children. The breed is used even today for cattle herding and is probably the best kind of a dog that you can use for that.
History & Origins
The Australian Cattle Dog was bred in Australian back in the 19th century. Herders and owners of large cattle ranches needed dogs to help them with large numbers of cattle that they had. So they managed to develop a breed which would help them do that and as we can see today they have succeeded. The Australian Cattle Dog is probably one of the most deserved pieces of raising the Australian beef industry.
The settler who came to Australia brought a lot of English dogs with them, but none of them was up to the standard required for herding. Thus they started breeding them with a mixture of dogs and eventually crossbred them with a dingo. This brought to the necessary characteristics that were needed and it is why the modern version of the Australian Cattle Dog looks almost like a dingo, minus the color.
Ranchers mostly preferred blue dogs for herding, which were also called Blue Heelers. The dogs were very popular in Queensland, so they were also often called Queensland Heelers or Queensland Blue Heelers. In 1893, Robert Kaleski drew up the standards of how an Australian Cattle Dog should look like. It was accepted four years later while in 1980 the breed was accepted by the American Kettle Club, making it eligible for dog shows and competitions.
Australian Cattle Dog Characteristics & Temperament
First of all, the Australian Cattle Dog is probably one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. Its high intelligence makes it very trainable and allow it to participate in many dogs’ sports and challenges. It is always important to start their taring early on and you will see that they excel in it pretty fast.
They are generally very obedient and affectionate dogs. That is why the will form an attachment with their owner and will probably always be close to their side. They are good with children but as they are problem to biting it is best to train them well before you allow them near small kids. As they are train to herd cattle by snapping, they are prone to biting people on their heels as if they are trying to herd them. They make excellent watch dogs are very alert. Since they are weary of strangers and will only accepted them once they are introduced, makes them great at protecting your homes.
Appearance, Colors, Size
The appearance of the Australian Cattle Dog gives us an impression that we are dealing with a dog that possess agility and strength. They are compact, muscular and sturdy. They have a brad skull with muscular cheeks, with a medium sized muzzle in between. Their eyes are oval in shape and ark in color. The shoulders are strong and muscular while the forelegs stand straight and parallel while the feet area wide and arched.
The size of the dog ranges between 43–48 centimeters in height for the male ones while the females grow to be 46–51 centimeters. Their weight goes between 15–22 kilograms.
According to the established rules, the Australian Cattle Dog comes in two colors. They can be either brown or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat. This actually gives an appearance of a red or a blue dog.
Australian Cattle Dog Health
Based on the size and the characteristics of the Australian Cattle Dog, they have a pretty standard lifespan. Based on the calculations that were made, these dogs have a life expectancy of between 11 to 13 years. Some reports say that some dogs may live up to more than that if they are in peek condition and good health.
But as with every breed, there are some conditions which are considered as very risky for this breed. The common health factors almost always include deafness, as it is a hereditary conditions which may affect them. They also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, which will most likely lead to blindness if the conditions progresses enough. Also, hip dysplasia, spondylosis, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis are also possible.
Grooming & Shedding
The Australian Cattle Dog is a low maintenance dog. They sometimes refer to it as a “wash and wear” dog. They shed minimally and will only increase their shedding once a year when they drop their entire coat. At that point you have to brush and groom them every day. During regular periods, they really do not need much. You can brush them from time to time and give them occasional baths. This way the doggy odor will be kept at bay, even though it is not so much problematic. Even if you try to showcase your dog, maintenance is still minimal. Other forms of cleaning includes dental hygiene and nail clipping.
Price and Breeders
Of course the most amount of breeders of the Australian Cattle Dog are found in Australia. Since they are still being sued for the purpose of herding, it is only normal that they continue to breed them there. But wherever people have cattle and need specific dogs for help, you will probably find some quality breeders to buy a dog from. Their price ranges between 500 and 700 dollars per puppy.
Australian Cattle Dog Rescue
With the rise of popularity of Australian Cattel Dogs, rescue organizations have also rose as well. There are a number of organizations which will allow you to adopt and get a puppy of your own. But probably the best one working currently is Australian Cattle Dog Rescue, Inc., where you may find a lot of perfect specimens of this dog to get for yourself. Try checking their pages for more information.