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Australian Cattle Dog: A Rugged Breed with a Beautiful Soul

Australian Cattle Dog: A Rugged Breed with a Beautiful Soul

If you are looking for a canine that is a true athlete and can easily tolerate the rough and rugged terrain and weather of Australia, the Australian Cattle Dog just might be the perfect dog for you. Here is everything you need to know about Australia’s very own rancher’s companion.


Breed Snapshot

Size Medium to large dog (16-23kg); 43 – 53cm height

Coat Short two-layer coat, moderate shedding of inner coat during the warm months.

Energy Energetic dog that should be walked daily for at least two hours.

Lifespan 12 – 16 years

Country of origin Australia

Breed type A true herding dog that was bred for working cattle ranches in the rough and rugged bush of Australia. This is an intelligent and curious breed that bonds quickly with his or her human family.

Other names “Cattle Dog” or “Blue Heeler” in Australia.

Great breed for:

  • Acerage and farms with a lot of room to roam
  • Families with kids

An introduction to the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a true working dog and it enjoys doing everyday chores such as herding cattle, protecting the land, and being a good family dog. This breed originated in Australia and is related to the Smithfield, Australian Wild Dingo, Dalmatian, and Highland Collie – making it a dynamic dog that seems to never get tired.

Australian Cattle Dogs were first bred in Australia during the mid to late 1800s and are favoured for their ability to navigate around the bush with ease. This dog is known for its intelligence as well as its kind-hearted soul. While the Australian Cattle Dog enjoys spending time indoors with the family, they prefer to be outside in nature.

A closer look at the Australian Cattle Dog

From puppyhood, this breed is adorned in a colourful fur coat that just keeps getting more spectacular with age. Each dog has its own unique colour pattern in distinct shades of red, brown, black, or white, which makes it stand out from most other dogs. Their fur coat is short sheds moderately during the warm months of the year and they have perky ears like those of a Corgi.

Dogs in this breed weigh up to 23kg and stand at up to 54cm in height; they are a medium to large size dog and are a distinguished member of the herding canine group. Australian Cattle Dogs have a muscular and stocky body, which makes them able to spend hours running around outside guiding the cows to where they need to go.

How often do I need to groom my Australian Cattle Dog?

The Australian Cattle Dog is a low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. They do not need to go to a professional grooming facility. Give him or her a bath after a lot of outdoor play, and trim the nails when they get long. The Australian Cattle Dog does not have oily skin so they do not have to strong doggy smell as some other breeds.

How much exercise does an Australian Cattle Dog need?

Australian Cattle Dogs need at least two hours of exercise each day to stay in great shape. Exercise is also important for this breed’s mental health as they tend to start misbehaving when they get bored. As long as you have a farm or a cattle ranch that needs to be tended to, your dog will get enough exercise just doing the work that they are bred to do.

How do I train an Australian Cattle Dog?

Training should start as soon as possible when this dog is still a puppy. Australian Cattle Dogs are witty and intelligent and are ready to learn all that you wish to teach them. Training should be done using positive reinforcement techniques as this breed loves to please people. Australian Cattle Dogs should be socialised with other people and pets when they are puppy as they can be very territorial and protected of their owners if they are not used to being around others outside the family.

Is the Australian Cattle Dog the right breed for me?

Australian Cattle Dogs are free spirits that need lots of space to roam around and a job to do. They are best suited to live on ranches and farms where they can help take care of the animals and the property. These dogs are not meant to live in small dwellings, such as apartments and townhomes. You should only get an Australian Cattle Dog if you can nurture their innate need to work.

Australian Cattle Dog FAQs

Are there any health concerns with this breed?

As with many dog breeds, hip dysplasia becomes a concern when the Australian Cattle Dog gets older. Physical fitness evaluations can be done during routine vet visits. Overall, this breed is very healthy thanks to its athletic personality.

What is the life expectancy of an Australian Cattle Dog?

Dogs in this breed can live 12 – 16 years with a proper diet and exercise.

Can an Australian Cattle Dog be left alone?

Like with many breeds, Australian Cattle Dogs form strong bonds with their human family and should not be left alone for extended periods of time as they experience separation anxiety. When you go to work, this dog wants to go to work with you!

How can I get an Australian Cattle Dog?

If you have decided that the Australian Cattle Dog would make the perfect addition to your family, congratulations! Australian Cattle Dogs can be adopted or you can purchase one from a private breeder. Check out RSCPA’s website where you can learn more about finding a responsible dog breeder or guides on how to adopt a dog in Australia.



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