Standing at 17” to 20” at the withers and weighing between 33 to 49 pounds, the Australian Cattle Dog is a medium sized dog. This sturdy, compact, muscular dog has a smooth, double coat, with a dense undercoat.According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, the coat should be blue, blue-mottled, blue speckled, red mottled or red speckled, all with or without markings. The permissible markings are black, blue or tan. The color of a red speckle ACD should have even red speckles all over. Due to its color, it is sometimes referred to as a Red Heeler or a Blue Heeler. It sheds, but requires minimal grooming in the way of occasional brushing. It is a healthy breed with a lifespan of 10 to 13 year. All breeds have certain health issues to watch for and the Australian Cattle Dog is no exception. These can include hip or elbow dysplasia, deafness, cancer, progressive retinal atrophy and other eye disorders. Keep all this in mind when looking for a puppy and make sure the breeder abides by recommended health testing.
The first cattle dogs imported to Australia from Britain were unsuited to the temperature and terrain of their new home. They also struggled with the vast distances they had to travel with the cattle. In an effort to breed a herding dog that could meet the challenges of the Australian countryside, various stockmen began crossing different breeds. Thomas Hall, a 19th century cattle farmer from New South Wales, crossed the dogs used by drovers from his parents’ county with tamed dingoes. The litters produced were known as Halls Heelers. Upon Hall’s death in 1870, the dogs became available to people outside the Hall family and its associates, and were developed into two breeds; the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. True to it’s Cattle Dog name, the ACD is second to none in its ability to control and move cattle. It is extremely intelligent, courageous, trustworthy and alert. It is driven and devoted to hard work. Therefore, like all herding breeds, it will not do well if kept solely as a pet without opportunities to burn off energy and stimulate its mind. Enrolling your pet ACD in a dog sport, such as agility or herding, will help keep his mind and body exercised. It is naturally suspicious of strangers and protective, and will resort to nipping in order to take charge of its environment, if necessary. It is not a recreational barker, but it will bark to sound alarm. It’s high-pitched, intense bark can also be a sign of frustration or boredom.
The Australian Cattle Dogs is highly trainable and has a strong desire to please its people. It is intelligent and capable of learning quickly after only a few training sessions. Once trained, it can carry out routine tasks without human supervision. It can solve complex problems and will not hesitate to do so. While the ACD is loyal, protective, energetic and active, it may not do well with small family pets or young children. For more information on this lovely breed or to find a breeder, go to the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America.
If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.
I haven’t been into the city in a while and was thinking about taking the ferry in. I love the city. I remember every trip I take into the big apple. I even remember one Friday years ago. This wasn’t one of my notorious PB&J adventures, no sir. This time I went in with Mom, [...]
Last year, the American Kennel Club launched its Trick Dog program. This exciting program encourages people to train their dogs to do a variety of tricks. Yes, your dog can now get titles for sitting, fetching and even for driving you to the grocery store to buy milk. There are five Trick Dog Titles to strive [...]
At Three Dog Bakery, we feel that every day with our dogs is a celebration! Of course, there are days that you might want to do something extra special for your furry BFF, like their birthday.But, what if you don't know their actual birthday? No worries! North Shore Animal League declared August 1 to be [...]
Are you looking for a fun and challenging, yet non-competitive, sport for you and your dog? Is your dog an American Water Spaniel, Barbet, Boykin Spaniel, Chesapeake Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, Drentsche Patrijshond, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, [...]
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This week I discovered feature films. I had no idea theaters existed. I mean, I’ve watched television many times and home videos, too. Chester loves going to the movies, and I thought it was high time I went, too. After begging him to take me, he finally gave in. The feature film we [...]
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Do you get up in the morning wondering how to motivate your employees? Well, wonder no more. The answer is simple: allow them to take their dogs to work. Research shows that taking their dogs to work makes employees more satisfied, active, productive and can even boost retention rates. [...]