Meet the Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler)
The Australian Cattle Dog is an alert, active and extremely intelligent dog breed. The Australian Cattle Dog is related to Dingo (the wild dog from Australia). This dog is sturdy with a burst of speed and extreme agility. Other names for the Australian Cattle Dogs are Blue Heeler and Queensland Heeler.
The Australian Cattle Dog - Dingo
The Australian Cattle Dog is a result of many breeding and crossbreeding. They were bred by the Australian settlers in the 19th century. First cattle dogs in Australia were Smithfields who were brought from England, but they weren’t up to for the job. They were unsuited for high temperatures and rough Australian terrain, so they were bred to native dogs – Dingos and other such breeds. Those countless breedings resulted in what we believe were the ancestors of today’s Australian Cattle Dog. The first name of the breed was Australian Heeler. Today the name Australian Cattle Dog is accepted throughout the world although some people still call them Queensland Hellers or Blue Heelers.
FUN FACT: Australian Cattle Dogs were accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1980.
The Australian Cattle Dog - characteristics
The Australian Cattle Dog is medium size breed and males members of this breed can reach from 46-51 centimeters, while the females can reach from 43-48 centimeters. The Australian Cattle Dog weighs can range from 16 to 23 kilograms.
FUN FACT: Australian Cattle puppies are born white.
Does an Australian Cattle Dog shed?
The Australian Cattle Dog has a smooth, double layer coat which is the key protection for all the elements. The Australian Cattle Dogs can have a blue or red speckle coat. Both coats variants feature distinctive mottling or specking patterns. The coat is water-resistant and doesn’t shed year-round. They need a quick brush once a week and an occasional bath. Be aware that during shedding season (twice a year) you will need to brush him every few days to remove dead hair. The rest is basic care: trim his nails when needed, brush his teeth weekly and check his ears more often for redness which can indicate infection.
Training an Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dogs are very active dogs with high energy drive. They need more of just occasional walks. For them to remain healthy they will need a job to do. They demand plenty of physical and mental stimulation. The Australian Cattle dogs are not best suited for the apartment living and they don’t love if they are left alone for a longer period. Always make sure that you provide them with the proper amount of exercise for their level of energy or they will become bored and destructive. The best choice for Australian Cattle Dog owner and his dogs are canine sports where they can take part together and abundant energy in a fun way.
FUN FACT: White patch on Australian Cattle Dogs head is called “Bently mark”.
The Australian Cattle Dog - herding
As they were bred to herd and chase, that is exactly what they will do most of the time, herd and chase anything so it’s very important to socialize them from an early age. Socialization will secure that you end up with a well-rounded dog. They tend to be aggressive with the other dogs and may display dominance toward children. They are reserved towards strangers and are very protective of their territory. You need to expose your dog to many different people, sights, and sounds while they are young.
The Australian Cattle Dog - intelligence
The Australian Cattle Dogs are very intelligent and will gladly learn new things. Training is essential to keep this dog happy. For this breed is highly recommended participating in many canine activities such as obedience, herding, and agility. You need to find a way to keep your dog busy and satisfied or he will become bored.
FUN FACT: Australian Cattle Dog holds the record for the oldest dog.
Are Australian Cattle Dogs good pets?
The Australian Cattle Dogs are good family members that are good with kids if raised together from the start. This breed loves to nip and bite and that can be a problem with the kids, so it’s important to watch every time your kids are playing with the dog. If the play became too rough he will want to bite them and became too rough because he will not know how to treat them. That is why is so important to teach your kids how to properly approach the dog and play with him.
The Australian Cattle Dog - health
The Australian Cattle dog is generally a healthy dog with a life expectancy of 12-16 years but like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems. Some of the health problems are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), deafness (an inherited condition in the Australian Cattle Dogs). You need to know about them and it doesn’t mean that your dog will get any of these diseases.
There are few recommended health tests you should perform to ensure that your Australian Cattle Dog is healthy: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation, BAER testing, and PRA Optigen DNA test.
The Australian Cattle Dog - breeders
It is very important if you decided to buy an Australian Cattle Dog that you find a responsible breeder who will periodically test his breeding dogs. Always ask the breeder to show you health certificates of puppy parents. This way you will reduce the possibility that you will end up with the dog who will later in life develop some health problems.
World Dog Finder team