The Australian Cattle Dog is an Australian herding and herding dog. The blue or red speckled animals are considered robust, persistent, and extremely intelligent. Anyone who buys a dog – also known as an Australian Cattle Dog, Australian / Blue / Hall’s / Queensland Heeler, should, in addition to consistency in training, bring time to deal with the self-confident animal.
Appearance & Appearance of the Australian Cattle Dog – Mottled Blue or Red
Basically, the physique of a cattle dog is reminiscent of a dingo but is somewhat stockier and stronger in stature. Despite the robust physique, the dogs are very maneuverable and agile. The head looks a bit more robust and is usually characterized by a black spot on one side of the face. The ears are erect, pointed, and set wide apart. The dogs are born white and only change their color in favor of the blue or red-spotted color when they are a few weeks old. However, the grain is visible from the start. The coat color to be expected is first reflected in the coloring of the skin of the pads of the paws: these are also bluish or black in blue dogs and red or brown in red dogs. Both variants have brown eyes.
How Big and Heavy Do Australian Cattle Dogs Get?
Bitches generally remain slightly smaller at around 43-48 cm than males, which reach between 46 and 51 cm. At 14-18 kg, the weight is also slightly lower than that of the male animals, which weigh between 15 and 25 kg.
Where do Cattle Dogs Come From?
The Cattle Dog was bred as a drover dog capable of withstanding the extreme weather conditions of inland Australia. Since cattle breeding in Australia required dogs that did not approach barking from the front – as is usual with herds of sheep – but sneaked up silently to grab the rear legs of the cattle and then lay down flat, Thomas Hall crossbred in the 19th century the rarely barking dingoes into the cattle dogs. After the first dogs imported by settlers probably still resembled the Old English Sheepdog, whose long fur was completely unsuitable for the hot climate, this also became shorter over time.
Collies – then the generic term for herding dogs – were quickly recognized as the smartest dogs and one of the most valuable animals in Australia. On the way to the Australian Cattle Dog in its current form, other breeds such as Australian Kelpies were crossed. Interbreeding with Dalmatians and Bull Terriers is considered less certain, but this has never been clearly clarified.
Nature and Character – Robust, Loyal, and Alert
Alert and dutiful, the Australian Cattle Dog is alert, highly intelligent, and courageous. As herding and herding dogs, the animals are also persistent and are ideal as watchdogs, as they are used to watching over their herd.
As with all breeds, there are some pets that are easy to train, while other owners will need a working knowledge of the breed to train the dogs. Individual character traits such as compatibility, dominance, or even openness are difficult to predict in Cattle Dogs compared to other dog breeds (such as the Collie), with males most likely showing a strong dominant behavior. At first, most animals are wary of strangers.
In any case, consistent training is required so that the rank-conscious and extremely self-confident animals also recognize their pack leader. Sensitivity and justice also play a role here, the Cattle Dogs are truly free spirits and do not subordinate themselves due to pressure. Once the dog feels part of its pack, it is characterized by a very high degree of loyalty, so that it would defend its family to the end.
Training and Attitude – Not for the Faint of Heart
Cattle Dogs are very intelligent and confident dogs. This pedigree dog quickly picks up what it has been taught and puts it into practice. A consistent upbringing is therefore important. The four-legged friend must clearly know who the pack leader is. It is by no means a question of an inexorably hard hand, but of having more stamina. The four-legged friend has to understand who has the upper hand – otherwise, he will exploit every insecurity and refuse to follow. However, justice and sensitivity should always prevail, otherwise, the dog will hardly become a loyal companion. You can hardly expect submissiveness from this freedom-loving and free-spirited animal.
When training, it is important to consider the pack behavior of the animal. As a herding dog, the hierarchy plays a prominent role. The sooner the animal comes to you and learns its position, the easier it is to deal with each other. This is especially true when there are children living in the household.
Who is an Australian Cattle Dog suitable for?
In Australia, the Cattle Dog is popular as a domestic and family dog. In addition, the Cattle Dog is an enthusiastic riding companion dog, a tireless rescue dog, a reliable herding and driving dog, is suitable as a therapy dog in various areas, for exhibitions, and as a companion for all variants of dog sports. In any case, the dogs need a direct family connection. Keeping them exclusively in a garden or kennel is just as unsuitable for them as a city apartment without a garden of its own.
As a herding and cattle dog, the Cattle Dog needs a lot of exercise and activity, which you should be aware of when purchasing one. A normal walk is hardly sufficient for a species-appropriate workload for the dog, especially since the animals also love cognitive challenges. Agility, obedience training, or employment as a riding companion dog are suitable forms of dog sport. If the animal remains sufficiently busy, there is a risk of behavioral problems due to a lack of utilization.
The dog is also suitable for owners who can guarantee consistent training. If this does not happen, the team will hardly develop an intensive relationship to the satisfaction of both parties, since the four-legged friend feels every insecurity and will probably question the hierarchy again and again.
Australian Cattle Dog Care, Nutrition and Health
Although the fur does not grow very long, regular brushing of the animals, which have a dense undercoat, is recommended for fur care. A regular check of eyes, ears, and paws is also worthwhile.
A well-balanced mixture of nutrients, vitamins, and, with sufficient exercise, plenty of carbohydrates is suitable as feed. There are special mixtures for different age groups, each of which is tailored to growth and individual age-appropriate needs.