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Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog


Dogs taken from temperate Europe in the early 19th century wilted in Australian heat. Legend has it that Thomas Smith Hall of Queensland crossed heat-tolerant dingoes with British breeds including Smooth Collies and a droving dog known as the Smithfield, after the London meat market. In another version a drover named Timmins in New South Wales made the crosses.

The dogs were bred for endurance, toughness and herding abilities. While Australia’s cattle industry was developing these dogs were well suited to the wild terrain and the feral elements of the cattle. Over the years they have been less and less useful because of their roughness. These days cattle are more quiet and dogs such as kelpies and border collies are far more adept at handling livestock in a quiet way. Australian Cattle Dogs rarely find a place as a working dog anymore. Despite their waning appeal as working dogs the Australia Cattle Dog remains a lasting representation of Australian bush culture. They are instantly recognizable and their legend for toughness and loyalty will live on. They are one of the three most popular dog breeds owned in Australia.


The Australian Cattle Dog is very intelligent and willing to work, well-balanced, barks little, is loyal to its handler, brave, hardy, alert, opti­mistic, and active. While wary of strangers, the breed bonds closely to its family, though the owner must establish themselves as the pack leader.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a eager to learn and ready to work so training is therefore easy. You will be unfair to it if you do not work with it. Agility skill trials are an ideal activity, but the dog will equally enjoy fly-ball, or other sports. Provided you keep it intensively active, it will not disappoint you. A bored Australian Cattle Dog will be a major problem and will find ways to amuse itself that will not endear it to you.

This breed’s behavior towards its own kind, other pets, and children is a perfect example for other dogs. This model behavior can only be achieved though if the dog is adequately socialized when very young.  They are a “heeler” herding by nipping at the heels of the herd, and will exhibit same behavior towards people if not exercised.

This breed needs lots of exercise and plenty to occupy it to keep it in good physical and men­tal health, and in top condition. If you are seeking a family dog with which you do not have to be very active, then forget this breed.


The Australian Cattle Dog does best with an active owner in a rural or suburban home. The bond that this breed can create with its owner is very strong and will leave the dog feeling very protective towards the owner; typically resulting in the dog’s never being too far from the owner’s side. If put in any situation where the dog feels threatened, and/or uncomfortable, it will usually resort to aggressiveness towards other, unknown dogs.

This breed is a medium-size, sturdy, and muscular dog that is longer than it is tall. It has a strong, broad head and a medium-length, tapering muzzle. The almond-shaped eyes are brown and the large nose is black. The medium-size ears are naturally erect. This dog has a muscular neck, deep chest, and muscular hindquarters. The brush tail is long. The double coat has a dense undercoat and a smooth, hard outer coat. It is medium length, longer at the thighs and the neck.


The coat of the Australian Cattle Dog does not require much attention. An occasional groom­ing with brush or comb is sufficient. Bred to withstand the rigors of the Outback. As an energetic working dog, this breed requires plenty of exercise.

For more information on the Australian Cattle Dog

More handy Australian Cattle Dog Links

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