Australian Cattle Dog Info & Australian Cattle Dog Breeders
The Australian Cattle Dog is a herding dog developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. In the 19th century, New South Wales cattle farmer Thomas Hall crossed the dogs used by drovers with dingoes he'd tamed. The resulting dogs were known as Halls Heelers. After Hall's death, the dogs developed into two modern breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
Australian cattle dogs can be the friendliest of companions and quick to respond to the emotions of its owner. They are energetic, highly intelligent, and fiercely loyal. The bond that this breed can create with its owner is strong, typically resulting in the dog never being too far from the owner's side. Cattle dogs feel very protective and will protect their owner and family with their life and without command. Cattle dogs are not naturally aggressive but will not back down from a fight if provoked or if protecting home or family. The breed can be known to bite if a stranger comes between the dog and it's owner. If properly socialised from an early age they are usually comfortable in the company of a variety of people and strangers. The breed is also strong willed and needs a firm and respectful owner. They do not respond well or learn through harsh treatment or any measure of cruelty. They learn well and thrive on structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging.
When at home, cattle dogs are happy, affectionate, and playful. In general, as long as they are in the company of their owner or family they are content and happy. They are naturally cautious in new and different situations and can be reserved and suspicious of people they don't know which makes them excellent guard dogs when trained for this task. Dogs are good with older, considerate children, but may nip at heels - particularly that of younger children when they run and squeal.
Good Cattle Dog Breeders will always breed for sound temperament, with other breed standards important but not the primary consideration.
Australian Cattle Dogs rank 10th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, rated as one of the most intelligent dogs ranked by obedience command trainability.Cattle Dogs needs plenty of exercise, companionship and a job to do, so a non-working dog might participate in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities that engage its body and mind.
The Australian Cattle Dog is medium-sized and short-coated, occurring in either brown or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat, which gives the appearance of a "red" or "blue" dog. It has been nicknamed a "Red Heeler" or "Blue Heeler" on the basis of this colouring and its practice of moving reluctant cattle by nipping at their heels.
Cattle dogs are easy to groom and maintain, requiring little more than brushing during the shedding period. The most common health problems are deafness and progressive blindness (both hereditary conditions) and accidental injury. Otherwise, it is a robust breed with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Australian Cattle Dogs now participate in a range of activities beyond the herding they were bred for, including competing with their owners in sporting events and working as assistance dogs.
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