Also known as the Queensland Heeler, Australian Heeler, Blue Heeler, and Red Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is an energetic and intelligent breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
While the origin of the Australian Cattle Dog has not been well documented, the breed can be traced back to 1897 Australia, when a breeder named George Elliott began experimenting with crossing Collies and Dingoes. Two brothers, Jack and Harry Bagust, purchased specimens from Elliott and sought to experiment with the breed themselves. The Bagust brothers bred these dogs with the Dalmatian and the Black and Tan Kelpie, and the Australian Cattle Dog was finally born.
Throughout its history, the Australian Cattle Dog has been most commonly used for herding and driving cattle, and as a guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work for hours on end.
In 1980, the Australian Cattle Dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club and categorized into the Working Group. The breed was transferred into the Herding Group in 1983.
Today, the Australian Cattle Dog has attained world wide popularity as both a working and companion breed.
Best known for its energetic and outgoing nature, the Australian Cattle Dog loves to work and stay busy. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trainable, loving to learn. These dogs are protective of their owners and very territorial. As a pet, the Australian Cattle Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed enjoys time spent outdoors and playing games such as fetch, frisbee, and tug-of-war.
Due to its eagerness to please and impress its owner and its willingness to learn, the Australian Cattle Dog generally responds well to basic training and commands. This breed is very bright, enjoys learning, and has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Australian Cattle Dog. This breed responds best to a stern yet gentle approach by a confident and strong handler.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning an Australian Cattle Dog, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This breed is very active and often quite entertaining to watch while at play. The Australian Cattle Dog is very intelligent and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Australian Cattle Dog gets along well with small children and other pets. These dogs are very protective of their owner and territory and make excellent guard dogs and deterrent to would-be intruders. The Australian Cattle Dog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an amazing family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning an Australian Cattle Dog. These active and energetic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. An Australian Cattle Dog not receiving the proper amount of exercise will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Australian Cattle Dog has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are very quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Australian Cattle Dog must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
Common Health Concerns
While the Australian Cattle Dog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: elbow dysplasia, various joint problems such as arthritis, likeliness to develop cancers, infertility, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an Australian Cattle Dog? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.