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Australian Cattle Dog Breed

Australian Cattle Dog
In Australia around the 1840's, Thomas Hall bred a Blue Smooth Highland Collie with dingoes and named the offspring, Hall's Heelers. In 1870 another Australian, Fred Davis bred some Bull Terrier into the breed to increase its aggressiveness resulting in the Australian Cattle Dog.

Other Names:
Queensland Heeler. Halls Heeler. Blue or Red Heeler. Australischer Treibhund. ACD

Dog Breed Profile     Share this K9Obedience page

Origin: Australia

Breed Purpose: Herding and driving cattle

Kennel Club Dog Group: Pastoral

Height: Dog, 43cm-51cm. Bitch, 43cm-48cm

Weight: Dog, 15kg-16kg. Bitch, 14kg-16kg

Lifespan: 12-15 years

Exercise Needs: The ACD has immense stamina and extremely high energy levels. Exercise for these dogs is of paramount importance. A long walk is not enough. They need or almost demand to work and are excellent Frisbee catchers and excel at Agility. The ACD does not do well at competitive obedience competitions, this being too repetitive and frustrating for the dog's temperament and only a handful of dogs have ever reached championship level.

Diet & Feeding Needs: No special dietary requirements. This working dog thrives on a natural diet especially rabbits.

Health Problems: The Australian Cattle Dog is prone to musculo-skeletal problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia, Spondylosis and arthritis. Female dogs are prone to Pyometra and infertility.

Physical Description: The overall appearance of the ACD is one of a muscular, athletic medium sized dog. The head is broad with pricked ears and oval eyes. The tail is slightly curved and the body is stocky, slightly longer than it is tall. The weather resistant double coat is made up of a dense undercoat and a short outer coat. Australian Cattle Dog puppies are born white (a throwback to the introduction of the Dalmatian into the breed) and they develop their colour as they mature. There are basically two colours, blue and red. These come with a variety of markings and patterns such as speckling and mottling. The coat appearance should show an even disposition of colour apart from the markings. Most Australian Cattle Dogs have a white thin stripe on the forehead called the “Bentley Mark”. All in all, a stunning solid working dog.

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Summary:

This high energy dog is intelligent, loyal and fearless.

Brief frequent training sessions have more impact than infrequent longer ones as the ACD becomes frustrated with repetitive routines and will be unresponsive to its handler.

Australian Cattle Dog training is a challenge for most people so they need an owner who is well-versed in dog training methods. They do have a hereditary urge to nip, a trait that needs firm training to be redirected towards a toy.

In a multiple dog household the new ACD puppy will bond with an older dog instead of its owner so it is important that the pack heirarchy is established straight away.

They can be aggressive towards other dogs and ACD's from working lines may be too active if there are children in the family.

The Australian Cattle Dog needs an owner that understands the breed's requirements and has the time and energy to create a working environment in which the animal can thrive.
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