Australian Cattle Dog
dog training

Australian Cattle Dog

Often referred to as Heelers, Blue Heelers, Red Heelers or Queensland Heelers the Australian Cattle Dog is NOT the same as the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Cattle Dog was developed in the late 1800s. To withstand the harsh conditions of Queensland, the Australian Cattle Dog needed to be a relatively tough and healthy breed. Going by their different names, it is also obvious that the Australian Cattle Dog comes in two colors: Blue or red.

A medium sized dog, the Australian cattle Dog stands 17 to 30 inches tall and is a muscular dog. The Australian Cattle Dogs are born white, and their coloring emerges slowly. They have a double coat - a short, straight upper coat and a dense, short undercoat. The Australian Cattle Dog does not shed its coat all year round; instead it gets rid of its coat once a year. The body of the dog is a little long; the head is broad, with pointed ears. It has dark brown oval eyes.

As the name suggests, the Australian Cattle Dog is a hard working, herding breed. It is highly intelligent and easily gets bored. Being extremely loyal and protective, his alertness makes him excellent guard dog material. Somewhat of a one-person dog, the Australian Cattle Dog is suspicious of strangers. Since it is a dominating breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is very aggressive and may not be a good breed for children. Strictly working lines in this breed may not be suitable for domestic life, as they tend to be very intense and very active. The Australian Cattle Dog, being a herding dog has a tendency to nip at the heels of any moving thing. It also shows a definite tendency to shred things. The dog is prone to hip dysphasia, and does not do well in an apartment.

The Australian Cattle Dog lives for about 12-14 years. Grooming needs of this dog are bare minimum, the coat needing a good brush with a firm bristle brush. It is not necessary to bathe the dog regularly. This dog, as any good working dog, learns very fast, and is an agile and tough worker. But, it also has a strong will of its own. They are not pushovers when it comes to training. The Australian Cattle Dog can be very obstinate, manipulative and willful. It will not give in to leadership easily. It also shows a tendency to bark at the smallest hint of movement. This is what makes him an excellent guard dog.

The Australian Cattle Dog is first and foremost a herding dog. It has an inherent instinct to herd, if not cattle, then toys, objects etc. The dog should be given enough exercise to use up its excessive energy, failing which it gets bored and turns destructive. Acceptable outlets need to be found to satiate this crave to herd. Careful socialization of the pup from a very young age will teach him not to be suspicious of new things and people. The Australian Cattle Dog, being very intelligent, will soon learn to turn to you for guidance when it comes to new people and things.

Solid obedience training is a MUST for the Australian Cattle Dog. His intense energy and immense capacity to focus may lead him to cause injury to himself. The Australian Cattle Dog bonds very closely with his master. Proximity, interaction and physical contact are his lifeblood. Thus the Australian Cattle Dog is definitely NOT a dog to be left alone. Though the dog will test you many a time to get away with whatever pleases him, the Australian Cattle Dog ultimately aims to make his master happy. This is a very happy state of affairs if you train the pup properly.

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