Australian Cattle Dog Puppies
Information, Behavior, Training and More
If you are looking for the perfect working dog, Australian Cattle Dog puppies are the perfect candidates for getting the job done.
With the right guidance and training, these promising pups will soon bloom into intelligent, courageous dogs that will work for you all day.
Hold your horses though - as appealing as these fellows can be, if you are unable to provide them with oodles of exercise, they will soon find their own forms of entertainment, and, rest assured, you will not appreciate it!
Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.
Australian Cattle Dog Breed Information and History
Also known as Australian Heeler, Hall's Heeler, Blue Heeler, Red Heeler and Queensland Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog originated in Australia in the 19th century and is the product of years of selective breeding to obtain the ideal herding dog.
Using their unique herding style, these dogs have helped Australian cowboys and ranchers expand the beef industry. No unruly cattle had the option of being stubborn with these dogs, unless they didn't care about having their heels repeatedly nipped! By the way, the word "Heeler" refers to this dog's herding skill of nipping and biting cattle's heels.
A good part of this dog's heritage is attributed to the work of Thomas Hall. Mr. Hall crossed several blue merle Collies with some Dingoes that he had tamed. Other contributing breeds included the Dalmatian, Black and Tan Australian Kelpie and, most likely, Bull Terrier.
The products of Mr. Hall's selective breeding programs were known as Hall's Heelers. These dogs were then further developed into two different breeds - the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
Though its name may sound similar to the Australian Shepherd, these are two distinct dog breeds.
In 1893, an Australian, Robert Kaleski, developed a standard for the breed. It took another 10 years before that standard was approved in Australia. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1980 and categorized under the herding group.
Australian Cattle Dogs come in red and blue speckled coats with distinct markings. Overall, the impression is of a strong, powerful working dog with a great determination to carry out arduous tasks.
This breed has a strong, compact body with good proportions. The muscular neck is of medium length and blends nicely into the body. The deep chest leads to well-sprung ribs and a strong back. The tail is set moderately low, but during movement or excitement, it may be carried high.
The strong shoulders lead to straight, parallel forelegs with flexible pasterns. The hindquarters are muscular, with strong hocks. Feet are round and have well-arched toes.
The overall expression is of alertness and intelligence. The oval eyes are dark brown in color. The nose is black. The ears are, preferably, small, pricked and set well apart, ready to capture the faintest sounds. The strong teeth must meet in a scissor bite so to allow proper heeling and biting.
The coat in this breed is double, with a short and dense undercoat and a straight, hard top coat that is rain-resistant. Accepted coat colors are blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with black, blue or tan markings on the head and red speckled with or without darker red markings on the head. Because of the gene they inherited from the Dalmatian, all Australian Cattle Dog pups are born white.
Depending on coat color, Australian Cattle dogs are often referred to as Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog Red Heeler.
|Male||18 to 20 inches||35 to 50 pounds|
|Female||17 to 19 inches||33 to 45 pounds|
This is the perfect farm dog that enjoys working with cattle. A ranch, farm or home with some acreage is heaven on earth for these active fellows.
With strangers, this breed is on the aloof side and doesn't seem to lend itself to immediate friendships. To help prevent excessive suspicion and sharpness, Australian Cattle Dog puppies should be socialized during puppyhood.
This breed fairs well with older children, but it's best if Australian Cattle Dog puppies are exposed to children from an early age. With small children, much caution is needed because of this breed's predisposition to herd, nip and play rough.
If allowed to be pack leaders, these dogs may exhibit aggressive behavior towards other dogs. If Australian Cattle Dog puppies are raised around other dogs from a young age, they may be better accepting of them.
Unless they were raised along with them, other pets, including cats, need to be kept safe from Australian Cattle Dogs.
Because they are devoted pooches that have a tendency to attach to one special person in the family, they may be quite jealous at times.
Though they are easy to train, Australian Cattle Dog training may pose some challenges, especially for meek owners. While this breed is equipped with a good brain, it can also be quite stubborn and hard-headed. But if you are consistent, firm and learn how to motivate your pup though positive training, you should obtain good results.
Best Owner and Living Conditions
In the right hands, Australian Cattle Dog puppies have the potential to flourish into splendid working dogs; whereas, in the wrong hands, this breed may become too much too handle.
The best owner is somebody who fully understands this breed's needs and how to meet them. Too many dogs of this breed end up surrendered in a shelter or an Australian Cattle Dog Rescue.
The best living environment for Australian Cattle Dog puppies and dogs is a large farm with some acreage. Still as of today, this breed is often used on farms for its excellent herding capabilities.
If you live in the city or in an apartment, you are better off looking for a mellower breed.
Activity and Exercise
Forget about leaving this fellow unemployed; this is a working dog that needs lots of space and a job.
If you interested in owning an Australian Cattle Dog, you must find a way to channel this breed's energy. Hiking, jogging, accompanying you on bike rides, a game of Frisbee or some fun in the sport of dog agility may help take a good amount of steam off; after all, a tired Australian Cattle Dog is ultimately a good Australian Cattle dog!
At a minimum, your Australian Cattle Dog will need to be taken on several long walks every day.
While this breed doesn't shed all year long, you must be ready for those weeks when it does. The term "blowing the coat" describes quite well the explosion of clumps of fur you will find tenaciously attached to your carpets, upholstered furniture and clothes.
Thankfully, you can keep this natural process under control by frequently brushing your dog's coat. Bathe only when necessary.
With a history of being selectively bred to be strong and resistant to diseases, the Australian Cattle dog breed is, overall, a healthy breed. While your Australian Cattle Dog puppies may never develop any of the following medical conditions, it's important to recognize the diseases and hereditary conditions this breed may be prone to.
If you are considering adopting Australian Cattle Dog puppies, you should be concerned about progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia and deafness.
Luckily, reputable Australian Cattle Dog breeders can reduce the chances of your dog developing such disorders by health testing their breeding stock.
Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.
The average life expectancy for healthy Australian Cattle Dog puppies is 12 to 15 years. But that's just an average - a dog named Bluey lived to be almost 30 years before he died in 1939. He was the oldest dog that ever lived.
If you are considering this breed, keep in mind that you may find a purebred Australian Cattle dog or Australian Cattle dog mix at your local shelter. Too many people purchase Australian Cattle Dog puppies without a true understanding of what goes into owning them; don't be one of them.
Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?
If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Australian Cattle dog rescue and adoption center. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.
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Want to learn more?
Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Australian Cattle Dog Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.
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