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.
The Australian Cattle Dog can be the friendliest of companions and quick to respond to the emotions of its owner. The bond that this breed can create with its owner is strong and will leave the dog feeling very protective and they may defend them without command. There is a strong attachment, typically resulting in the dog never being too far from the owner's side.
When on home ground, the Australian Cattle Dog is a happy, affectionate, and playful pet. It can be reserved with people it does not know and is naturally cautious in new situations. It's attitude to strangers makes it an excellent guard dog when trained for this task. They can also be socialised to become accustomed to a variety of people from an early age as a family pet. It is good with older, considerate children, but may nip at heels - particularly that of younger children who run and squeal.
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.
The heelers have a high level of energy, a quick intelligence, and an independent streak. They respond well to structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging.
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.
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.
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