The Australian Cattle Dog is a very intelligent and energetic breed that loves going on adventures with its owner. These dogs develop strong bonds with their owners and make great family pets with early socialization and training.
Australian Cattle Dog History
Australian Cattle Dogs are descendants of British Cattle Dog breeds brought to Australia during the British settlement in the 1800s. The dogs the British brought with them, a breed known as the Smithfield, had trouble dealing with the high temperatures, rough terrain, and long distances between settlements. British stockmen quickly began developing a breed that could deal with these hardships by breeding Smithfields with the feral Dingo and other herding breeds. A man named George Elliot bred Dingoes with Collies and sold puppies to farmers. This combination was close, but it wasn’t until these early Australian Cattle Dogs were bred with Dalmatians that we got the Australian Cattle Dog we see today.
Australian Cattle Dog Characteristics
Appearance and Coat
Australian Cattle Dogs are medium-sized, compact dogs that usually weigh around 35 pounds. They are muscular, strong, and agile, traits needed to herd and avoid running cattle. They have thick undercoats and short, weather-resistant top coats. Their coats are usually blue or red and can be mottled or speckled with black or tan markings.
With the proper training, the Australian Cattle Dog is a loyal family breed. They are extremely intelligent and independent by nature, so proper training is essential to curbing that independent behavior. They grow strong attachments to their owners and don’t like being left alone for extended periods of time. They are naturally suspicious of new people and make great guard dogs. They can be great with children but have a tendency to try to herd them, proper training can stop this. They love to exercise, especially if there is a job or game associated with the exercise.
Australian Cattle Dogs are a hardy breed and are typically very healthy. Despite that, there are some health concerns owners should be aware of. They may be prone to deafness, OCD, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia.
Caring for an Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dog’s Ideal Home
Australian Cattle Dogs do best when they have plenty of room to run and exercise, so a rural home with a fenced-in yard is ideal. That being said, Australian Cattle Dogs can still thrive in urban environments as long as they get the proper amount of exercise.
Training Best Practices
The Australian Cattle Dog is a very intelligent breed that requires early training to reach its full potential. They do well with positive reinforcement, so be sure to have plenty of treats on hand. They train well when they are given clear objectives and jobs to complete due to their cattle-dog nature.
Australian Shepherd Dogs are extremely energetic and need lots of exercise every day to stay happy and healthy. If you don’t exercise more than a daily walk, the Australian Shepherd Dog may not be the breed for you. They love accompanying their owners on runs, and participating in dog sports is a great way to get their minds and bodies moving.
Grooming & Hygiene
The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to be out in the elements, so its coat requires very little maintenance to stay healthy. A brushing every few weeks should do the trick, and a little more often during the heavier shedding seasons. Their nails should be clipped regularly, and their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections.
Do you think the Australian Cattle Dog is the right breed for your family? Browse Australian Cattle Dog puppies today!