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Australian Cattle Dog

Dingo's grandson... (other names: Queensland Heeler Blue Heeler, Hall´s Heeler)

Australian Cattle Dog
origin:Australia
date origin:19th century
life expectancy:12 to 14 years
classification:Working
height:43 to 51 cm
weight:16 to 20 kg
exercise: Demandingclimate: Hotfeeding: Mediumsize: Small-Medium
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History [ edit ]

For the Australian Cattle Dog it all started in the nineteenth century when the English settlers made their way to Australia. They had livestock to look after and the dogs they brought with them, called Smithfield – the Old Smooth Collie, not the one we know today - didn´t adapt to the hot, dusty and hash environmental conditions of Australia.

It took sixty years and lots of crossings between breeds to produce this herding dog. The ancestors of the Blue Heeler, as it´s also called (due to it´s color and herdind skills), aren’t precise, since there´s still some controversy about the breeds that were crossed, especially concerning the Bull Terrier. More peaceful seems to be the presence of the Collie, the Dingo, the Kelpie, the Dalmatian and the Highland Collie in the Australian Cattle Dog’s blood.

As the name states, this is a fearless herding dog, able to work the stock quietly yet forcefully, by nipping their heels to keep the cattle moving.
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General appearance [ edit ]

Strong, compact and powerful are the first impressions of the Australian Cattle Dog. His height varies between 43 and 51 cm and his weight ranges from 16 to 20 kg.

The coat is smooth, short and dense with straight and hard hair. What strikes someone the most about this dog are his colors. This breed can be blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings of black, blue or tan. But there’s also a red variety, of a solid red speckle, although darker red markings are admissible.

This dog of great stamina and agility has a broad and slightly rounded head between the moderately pointed pricked ears. The oval eyes are dark brown.
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Australian Cattle Dog is a working dog and herding is his way of living. Very intelligent, he gets bored easily and needs to have constantly something to do. The country is his home, since he doesn’t do well in the city, not even with a backyard. Some exceptions may occur if the yard is large and it is offered to the dog enough exercise.

Loyal, protective and alert, they need a good socialization, since their wary of strangers. They love their family with whom they like to do activities. They can make excellent guard dogs. They’re not suited to children and aren’t friendly with other animals, since he tries to herd them as he is used to do with livestock animals. If a properly socialization is given they get along well with more grown up Kids.

They bark very little and are easy to train. 
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Health [ edit ]

This dog is very healthy breed with a lifespan that can reach 15 years. However, the Blue Heeler is prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Hip dysplasia and deafness can occur.

The Australian Cattle Dogs tends to shed twice a year. Their coat is easy to maintain, a occasional brush is enough and the bath should only be given when necessary.  
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