You haven't seen a working dog until you've seen an Australian Cattle Dog. These are tough dogs and they can herd cattle like it's nobody's business. Back in the beginning, these dogs were first bred to, as their name suggests, herd cattle in Australia. The thing is, they didn't just herd cattle here or there. They herded cattle over huge distances and never seemed to get tired. Today, things have changed somewhat and these wonderful dogs are not only herders, but incredible family pets as well. They're medium sized dogs, quite muscular, and very adaptable to their surroundings. Whether they live in the most elegant of homes or in something much more rough and tumble, they'll adapt and be just fine. And not only that, these pups are aware, curious, and love to be on their own. Blue and Red Heelers are good with families, but can be somewhat suspicious of strangers, so keep that in mind when introducing him or her to someone he or she doesn't yet know. Be sure to begin training your Australian Cattle Dog early in puppyhood and as the dog gets older, keep it busy with tasks and mental stimulation. These guys like lots of exercise and to be kept up with their training. They'll tell you if they don't like it or if they get bored. It's your job to read their signals and to stimulate them so they don't go off and get themselves into trouble.
Continue reading to learn more about the Australian Cattle Dog, otherwise known as the Red and Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler (related to the Dingo).
Popularity: Somewhat popular.
Trainability: Australian Cattle Dogs are playful, energetic and highly intelligent, but can get bored easily when it comes time to train them. While these dogs do take well to training, they are extremely curious and can easily get themselves into trouble if not kept entertained. Extremely trainable though. Suggested you have training experience because these dogs are excitable and can be somewhat aggressive.
Size/Weight: Medium sized dogs, weighing in at an average of 25-50 pounds.
Origin Location/Date: Originated in Australia early in the 19th century as a mix between the Dingo with the Blue Merle Collie. Used on farms to herd cattle.
Energy Level: High energy, playful and affectionate, requires exercise every day in the form of a good long walk, run or rigorous play time. Also requires mental stimulation.
Temperament: If not trained properly, these dogs can be somewhat aggressive and can even bite. It's not suggested that this breed be your first if you have no experience with dog ownership or dog training. If raised and trained properly, this breed can make for a wonderful household pet.
Necessary Space: This dog requires lots of exercise. It will likely take all you can give it due to its breeding for running across large fields and great distances. It's tolerance for exercise is great, so you'll need to make sure you can keep up with it. Be warned though that this breed can be aggressive around other dogs it encounters. Due to the fairly substantial exercise requirements for this dog, it's best to keep them in larger, more spacious living situations such as a farm or a large house with a yard. Not particularly well suited for small apartments. Needs as much walking, running or playtime as you can handle per day.
Talents: If you are an avid runner and are looking for a running partner, this is the dog you want. It's cute, curious and mischievous and can be a wonderful companion to those who love exercise. Great for farmers who need a herding dog.
Life Expectancy: 12-16 years.
Group: Herding group.
A few terms and phrases to describe the typical Australian Cattle Dog puppy and dog: cute, mischievous, curious, great at running, needs exercise, can be aggressive, can get bored, needs stimulation, playful, inquisitive, intelligent, obedient, independent, alert, loyal, friendly, affectionate, reserved, suspicious, defensive, good guard dog, good watch dog.