Country of Origin: Australia
Life Span: 10 – 13 years
Bred For: Cattle Herding
Coat: Hard, smooth, short
Color: Blue, blue mottled with other markings. Puppies are born white then the color changes within a few weeks
Height: Male: 18-20″ Female: 17-19″
In the early part of the 1800s immense acreages in Australia supported uncontrollable cattle that conventional European herding dog breeds had difficulty containing. Ranchers required a dog breed that could journey long distances across harsh terrain in hot weather, and that could command cattle without barking. Barking typically resulted in making the cattle even more uncontrollable. Crossbreeding between European herding dogs, dingos, and different other dog breeds created a dog breed with the herding instincts of the Collie and Kelpie, the endurance, toughness and quiet style of the dingo, and the gumption and protectiveness of the Dalmatian. As the Australian Cattle dog became more and more critical to the cattle industry of Queensland, they acquired the name Queensland Blue Heelers. They later were called Australian Heelers, and then finally Australian Cattle Dogs. The standard for the breed, that emphasizes its dingo features, was created in 1897. The AKC acknowledged the breed in 1980.
Australian Cattle Dogs are intelligent, rugged, independent, bull headed, unyielding, responsive, lively, and tireless. All of the mentioned traits are key to a dog that has to drive and herd difficult and headstrong cattle. Australian Cattle Dogs need to have a job to do our else they become difficult. This dog breed might nip or bite at the heels and feet of running children.
The Australian Cattle Dog requires a large amount of physical and intellectual activity. A long jog or walk each day is crucial. The coat requires grooming every week to get rid of dead hairs.
The health concerns with Australian Cattle Dogs are hip dysplasia, PRA, deafness and elbow dysplasia. It is suggested to have the hearing, eyes, hips and elbows of the Australian Cattle Dog tested.