Australian Cattle Dog Image

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog, also known as Blue Heeler, was developed to assist with the cattle industry’s development in early Australian conditions. The principal requirement was a strong biting dog capable of mustering and moving wild cattle. The long distances to be traveled made it essential that such a dog possesses great stamina. Although there is still some disagreement about the actual breeds used, it is generally thought that the Cattle Dog developed chiefly from cross-breeding a Dingo and the Blue Merle Collie.

Australian Cattle Dogs Image

Australian Cattle Dogs

Australian Cattle Dogs

Australian cattle dog FAQs Frequently Asked Questions:

Let us seek some answers related to the Australian cattle dog breed. Questions that a potential Australian cattle dog owner may be concerned about.

Are Blue Heelers one-person dogs?

Blue Heelers, like most herders, can be one-person dogs. They also have unique independence, not requiring much in the way of cuddling or affection. Though tough and resolute, they will definitely appreciate the positive feedback and good treatment. Sometimes their herding instincts can suddenly come into play.

Do Australian cattle dogs make good therapy dogs?

Cattle Dogs are very active, robust, agile, herding dogs. They can be very good with children because they are naturally protective and not at all fragile. … Heelers can become very excited by running children and may try to “herd” them by nipping at hands and heels.

Do Australian cattle dogs bark?

Australian Cattle Dogs are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. This breed should not be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some Cattle Dogs have intense, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.

Do Australian cattle dogs like other dogs?

The Australian Cattle Dog gets along with other dogs in his household, especially if he’s been raised with them from puppyhood. However, because he is so devoted to one person in a family, there can be jealousy or squabbles between the Australian Cattle Dog and other dogs.

Can Australian cattle dogs be left alone?

Australian Cattle Dogs are especially close to their owners, but this means that they are susceptible to separation anxiety. Cattle dogs should not be left alone or confined for long periods of time.

Do Australian cattle dogs like to cuddle?

Australian Cattle Dogs tend to be one-person dogs. Their independence means they are not the kind of dogs who enjoy cuddling on the couch and watching TV with you. This does not, however, mean they don’t enjoy spending time with you. They enjoy their time with you in a different way than dogs who like to cuddle.

Why do Blue Heelers bite so much?

Many Cattle Dogs bite out of boredom. They are full of energy, so if they don’t get enough exercise, they can act out. Make sure your keen dog gets a long walk every day. Try throwing a ball for him as you walk.

Are Australian cattle dogs easy to train?

Early socialization and obedience training is a must for the Australian Cattle Dog. The ACD is a brilliant, energetic breed that is only really happy when on the job. Therefore, continuing training and participation in obedience, herding, or agility are highly recommended.

Are Australian cattle dogs good off-leash?

Our ACD is pretty good off-leash, unless there are distractions, in particular other dogs. So, recall is not 100%, and at least for our dog, we’d like it to be much closer to 100% before we can really trust him. … They don’t wear a leash. We have 1 in the bag but don’t use it.

How smart are Australian cattle dogs?

Also known as the Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is a tough herding dog known for his endurance, intelligence, and independence. That combination can mean that though they are smart as a whip, they can sometimes be stubborn and challenging to train.

Do Australian cattle dogs like to swim?

Most Australian Cattle Dogs love the water and are excellent swimmers. It is not a hyperactive breed, and once one has had its exercise, it is happy to lie at its owner’s feet or rest in its bed or crate while keeping an ear and eye open for signs of pending activity.

How often should I bathe my Australian cattle dog?

Bathe your dog as needed. The Australian cattle dog generally doesn’t need a bath more often than every four to six weeks; bathing more often washes away needed oils and can cause skin problems. However, if your dog likes to engage in activities that get his coat dirty, you may need to bathe him more frequently.

Are Blue Heelers dangerous, aggressive dogs?

Blue Heelers have one of the worst reputations among any breed for biting people. In particular, it is well known that a Blue Heeler will let anyone into a house, yet not let him or her out. They will attack the person’s heel, true to the name “heeler.”

Do Blue Heelers kill cats?

Blue Heelers and Red Heelers are intelligent dogs who are easy to train. He will get along with other dogs if he has been raised with them from puppyhood. The same applies to cats that the Blue or Red Heeler has been raised with buy they may chase and kill other cats and small animals.

Ok, so let’s assume you have chosen the Australian cattle dog as the best dog breed suitable for yourself. You have decided to find yourself an Australian cattle dog puppy as your next family member. How will you choose the best pup? Let us look at some standard characteristics of the Australian cattle dog breed which will help you select the right puppy. Keep reading.

Choosing a good Australian cattle dog puppy

The definition of the best Australian cattle dog puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Australian cattle dog can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; herding cattle, obedience; smart guard or watchdog; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in the one Australian cattle dog puppy you are planning to buy, it is seldom possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Australian cattle dog puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation of the Australian cattle dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline includes breed standards and gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance.

Look for the following characteristics while choosing an Australian cattle dog puppy.

Australian Cattle Dog General Appearance

The general appearance is that of a sturdy, compact, symmetrically-built working dog. With the ability and willingness to carry out any task, however strenuous, its combination of substance, power, balance, and hard muscular condition to be such that it must convey the impression of great agility, strength, and endurance.

Australian Cattle Dog Temperament

The utility purpose is assistance in the control of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Ever alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous, and trustworthy. With an implicit devotion to duty, making it an ideal dog, its loyalty and protective instincts make self-appointed guardians to the stockman, his herd, his property, whilst suspicious of strangers, must be amenable to handling in the show ring.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog Breed

Australian Cattle Dog Size

The desirable height at the withers to be within the following: (a) Dogs, 18-20 inches (45-51 cm). (b) Bitches, 17-19 inches (43-48 cm). Dogs or bitches over or under these specified sizes are undesirable. Dogs over 20-1/2 inches (52 cm) or under 17-1/2 inches (44 cm) and bitches over 19-1/2 inches (50 cm) or under 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) are disqualified. Desirable weight: 33-50 lb. (15-23 kg).

Australian Cattle Dog Colours

Australian Cattle Dog Coat and Color

The weather-resisting outer coat is moderately short, straight, and medium texture, with a short, dense undercoat. Behind the quarter, the coat is longer, forming a mild feathering. The tail is furnished sufficiently to form a good brush. The head, forelegs, and hind legs, from hock to ground, are coated with short hair. The Australian Cattle Dog should be shown in a natural state. The coat is not clipped or trimmed.

There are two recognized colors in the Australian Cattle dog breed:

Australian Cattle dog puppies blue and red
Image: Blue and Red Australian Cattle dog puppies.

Blue Australian Cattle Dog

The color should be blue or blue mottled with or without other markings. The permissible markings are black, blue, or tan markings on the head, evenly distributed for preference, the forelegs tan midway up the legs, the hindquarters tan on the inside of the hind legs and inside of the thighs, showing down the front of stifles and broadening out to the outside of the hind legs from hock to toes. Tan undercoat is permissible on the body, providing it does not show through the blue outer coat.

Red Australian Cattle Dog

The color should be of good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat (not white or cream), with or without darker red markings on the head. Even head markings are desirable. Solid red or solid black markings on the body are not desirable.

Australian Cattle Dog Puppy
Blue Australian Cattle Dog Puppy

Australian Cattle Dog’s Head

In balance with other proportions of the dog, a blunt wedge-shaped head, and keeping with its general conformation is broad of the skull, and only slightly curved between the ears, flattening to a slight but definite stop. The cheeks are muscular but not coarse or prominent. The underjaw is strong, deep, and well developed. The fore face is broad and well filled in under the eye, tapering gradually to a medium length; a deep, powerful muzzle. The nose is black irrespective of the color of the dog. The lips are tight and clean. The teeth should be sound, strong, and regularly spaced, gripping with a scissorlike action, the lower incisors close behind and just touching the upper. The undershot or overshot jaw should be disqualified. The eyes to be oval-shaped and medium-sized, neither prominent nor sunken, and must express alertness and intelligence: a warning or suspicious glint characteristic. The eye color is brown with a very dark pupil. Yellow eye is disqualified. The ears should be of moderate size, preferably small rather than large, broad at the base, muscular, pricked, and moderately pointed (not spoon or bat ears). Ears are set wide apart on the skull, inclined outwards, sensitive in their use, and firmly erect. The inside of the ear should be fairly well furnished with hair.

Australian Cattle Dog’s Neck

The neck is of exceptional strength, muscular and medium length, about 1/3 the body’s length, broadening to blend into the body and free from throatiness.

Australian Cattle Dog’s Forequarters

The shoulders are broad, sloping, muscular and at the point of the withers should be well laid back. The upper arm is well angulated to the shoulders. The lower arm should have strong round bone, extending to the feet. They should be perfectly straight viewed from the front. The pasterns should have no weakness between the feet and lower arm and should show a slight angle with the lower arm when regarded from the side. The feet should be round, toes short, strong, well arched, and held close together. The pads are hard and deep, and the nails must be short and strong (cat paws). Dewclaws are found on the front feet only and may be removed.

Australian Cattle Dog pic
Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog’s Body

The body’s length from the point of the breastbone in a straight line to the buttocks is greater than the withers’ height as 10 is to 9. The topline is level, back strong, with ribs well sprung and ribbed back (not barrel-chested). The chest is deep and muscular, and moderately broad. The loins are broad, deep, and muscular, with deep flanks and strength joining the fore and hindquarters. The croup is slightly sloping, broad, strong, and muscular. The abdomen does not cut up into the flank.

Australian Cattle Dog’s Hindquarters

The line from the hip point to the point of the buttock is rather long and sloping. The upper thigh is long, broad, and well developed. The lower thigh is long and well-muscled. The hocks are strong and well let down, and when viewed from behind the hind legs, from hocks to the feet are straight and placed neither close nor too wide apart. They should have a moderate bend of stifle.

Australian Cattle Dog’s Tail

The set of the tail is low. Following the croup’s slope and at rest, the tail should hang in a slight curve of a length to reach approximately the hock. During normal movement, it may be raised, but a gay tail should be severely penalized. The tail is never docked.

Australian Cattle Dog’s Gait

Soundness is of paramount importance. The action is true, free, supple, and tireless. With the powerful thrust of the hindquarters, the movement of the shoulders and forelegs should be in unison. The capability of quick, sudden movement is essential.

Faults were observed in the Australian Cattle Dog Breed.

Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault. Ears: ears other than pricked. Colour: solid red or black markings on the body. Tail: the gay tail is a fault. Other: Stiltiness, loaded or slack shoulders, straight shoulders, weakness of elbows, pasterns or feet, straight stifles, cow or bow hocks must be regarded as serious faults.


(a) Mouth: overshot or undershot jaw.

(b) Eye: yellow eye. Size: bitches over 19-1/2 inches (50 cm) or under 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) and dogs over 20-1/2 inches (52 cm) or under 17-1/2 inches (44 cm).

Australian Cattle Dog Puppies

Australian Cattle Dog Puppies

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Australian cattle dog breed. You may consider sharing your views in the comments section below. Inputs and priceless experiences from dog owners, Australian cattle dog breeders, and dog lovers, in general, help us better understand our most loyal friends. Thank you for your interest.

2 thoughts on “Australian Cattle Dog”

  1. The Australian cattle dog is one of the best herders out there. Their loyalty and intelligence make them great dogs on the farm or in the home.

  2. Working livestock, agility, jogging, biking, chasing balls, and playing Frisbee are productive outlets for this breed’s high energy. Cooping him up with nothing to do will lead to destructive behaviors and obsessive barking. With strangers, the Australian Cattle Dog is watchful and often suspicious which makes it a watchdog.

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