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Australian Cattle Dog

australian-cattle-dog

A Problem-Solver

Energetic, independent, steady

Australian Cattle Dogs are confident, loyal, and smart, medium-sized dogs. Also known as Australian Heelers, these dogs have strong protective instincts, and may be aggressive with other dogs and dominant with children. It is important to keep these dogs mentally stimulated. This breed can live in most climates, and make good travel companions. Australian Heelers should not live in an apartment, but make great companions for families, hunters, singles, cattle breeders, and active individuals. These dogs have incredible amounts of endurance and will benefit from every physical and mental activity that comes their way. Without plenty of vigorous physical and mental exercise, these dogs can get bored and destructive.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:17-20 in. Weight:35-45 lb Lifespan:12-13 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
5

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
5

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Australian Cattle Dogs are very smart with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. Their weather resistant coat needs its natural oils, so don't over bathe them.

Dental: Australian Cattle Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Give Australian Cattle Dogs a problem and they will solve it. They can work long and play hard. 

Positive Traits:

  • Well suited as a companion, family dog, or working dog
  •  Confident, steady, and fearless
  • Plenty of stamina
  • Has a short, easy-to-care-for coat
  • Well suited as a companion or working dog
  • Small, but sturdy

Negative Traits:

  • Aggressive toward other animals
  • Has a tendency to herd, including small children
  • Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly
  • Strong herding instinct can lead to chasing cars and small animals
  • Determined and has a mind of her own

Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Cattle Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Cattle Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Cattle Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues an Australian Cattle Dog could encounter:

Australian Cattle Dogs were developed in the 1800's to protect and herd cattle under severe environmental conditions. Cattle Dogs are intelligent, loyal, devoted, courageous, and hard-working. Because they have strong protective instincts, they may be aggressive with other dogs and dominant with children. They should be socialized with children and pets while young. Cattle Dogs are good watch dogs, and enjoy human companionship. They have high exercise needs, and are best suited for families with an active lifestyle and a large fenced yard. Australian Cattle Dogs have a life span of 12-13 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Cattle Dog shows signs of the following: 

  • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Bumping into objects, startles easily

  • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Weakness and excessive clumsiness in the rear legs

  • Care

    Routine Care: Australian Cattle Dogs are very smart with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. Their weather resistant coat needs its natural oils, so don't over bathe them.

    Dental: Australian Cattle Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Give Australian Cattle Dogs a problem and they will solve it. They can work long and play hard. 

    Positive Traits:

    • Well suited as a companion, family dog, or working dog
    •  Confident, steady, and fearless
    • Plenty of stamina
    • Has a short, easy-to-care-for coat
    • Well suited as a companion or working dog
    • Small, but sturdy

    Negative Traits:

    • Aggressive toward other animals
    • Has a tendency to herd, including small children
    • Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly
    • Strong herding instinct can lead to chasing cars and small animals
    • Determined and has a mind of her own
  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Cattle Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Cattle Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Cattle Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues an Australian Cattle Dog could encounter:

  • History

    Australian Cattle Dogs were developed in the 1800's to protect and herd cattle under severe environmental conditions. Cattle Dogs are intelligent, loyal, devoted, courageous, and hard-working. Because they have strong protective instincts, they may be aggressive with other dogs and dominant with children. They should be socialized with children and pets while young. Cattle Dogs are good watch dogs, and enjoy human companionship. They have high exercise needs, and are best suited for families with an active lifestyle and a large fenced yard. Australian Cattle Dogs have a life span of 12-13 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Cattle Dog shows signs of the following: 

    • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily

    • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Weakness and excessive clumsiness in the rear legs

Australian Cattle Dog Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Australian Cattle Dog breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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