This hunting dog from Australia also makes many fans happy in Europe. That’s not surprising: the Australian Cattle Dog is a colorful four-legged friend. In addition, he also has a peculiar character and a sporty spirit. Potential owners should like exercise and appreciate the independence of this breed.
The medium-sized dog has a sporty and compact appearance. The larger males can reach a height of up to 51 cm at the withers. The pointed ears are attached to a broad skull. The Australian Cattle Dog has a dense undercoat. The short hairs can be spotted blue or red. However, the puppies are white spotted when they are just born and more and more spots are added over time. The harmonious overall appearance of this breed exudes strength and dynamism.back to menu ↑
The ancestors of the Australian Cattle Dog are as colorful as their appearance. This breed derives from several dogs that came to Australia with European immigrants. The dogs were energetic helpers for the farmer, who also worked with large herds of cattle and who drove across large tracts of land across the continent. Presumably, the first dogs of this hunting species looked like the ancestors of today’s Old English Sheepdog, but a long-haired coat was disadvantageous in the Australian climate.
A pioneer of Australian Cattle Dog breeding is Thomas Simpson Hall. In the first half of the 19th century, he not only imported and successfully bred hornless cattle from Great Britain but also established a dog farm. Before that, he crossed spotted working dogs, the so-called Drover Dogs, with tame Dingoes. The resulting Hall’s Heelers were very successful hunting dogs.
After Halls died, these dogs were crossed with other four-legged friends, including the Australian Kelpies. This was mainly to achieve a more harmonious appearance, as the Heeler’s puppies already met the needs of many farmers who owned large herds of cattle and had a lot of work for the four-legged friend. Thus the modern Australian Cattle Dog was born. The first pedigree standard appeared in 1903, later there was a strong separation between working and show dogs.back to menu ↑
Courage and endurance characterize the Australian Cattle Dog as an excellent hunting dog. But what about his qualities as a service dog? This handsome powerhouse also has advantages: he is smart, eager to learn, he likes to work and he is loyal to his pack. Towards strangers, he behaves, typical for sheepdogs, especially aloof. The Australian friend can make an excellent watchdog and is a good, animal friend for sporting activities.
However, it is generally a four-legged friend with a sharp edge. As a hunting dog, he is used to working independently and tends to push his will. Ranking and a permanent place in the order are therefore very important for this dog. He puts himself well under the boss of the pack and scores points with loyalty and great commitment to this person. It can happen that an Australian Cattle Dog mainly fixes on 1 person in the family and belongs to him. In addition, male dogs, in particular, can have a tendency to be impatient with other dogs.back to menu ↑
In addition to consistent behavior, assured conduct is also important to keepers of this breed, as the Australian Cattle Dog smells uncertainty and is quick to exploit it to challenge leadership. After all, he knows exactly where to go! So always be calm and confident when you are around your Australian. As a result, hardness is not the secret to success as excessive hardness is more likely to block the dog. In a good relationship, however, this dog wants to please her owners.
It is important that the dog comes from a breeder where the puppies have already learned a lot so that your animal relative is not so easily upset. Take your new dog to puppy class and dog school so that your little friend gets to know different dogs of different breeds and thus already strengthens his social competence as a puppy.
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With an Australian Cattle Dog, you have many opportunities to keep busy: adult dogs of this breed make excellent companions for horseback riding and cycling. They take advantage of the fact that they have hardly any hunting instincts, but they do like to follow. These are optimal properties for joint trips. A lot of dog sports make the Australian happy. Do something that you both enjoy. You can choose from Dexterity, Obedience, Flyball, Dog Dancing, or Dog Frisbee.
During sporting activities, remember to take age into account. Do strenuous activities with the adult dog and then adapt the training to your four-legged friend, without overloading him mentally or physically. Smart four-legged friends are also suitable for training as therapy or rescue dogs. And last but not least: they are of course still excellent herding and herding dogs, eager to fulfill their original duties on large tracts of land.back to menu ↑
Nutrition of the Australian Cattle Dog
You are doing your four-legged friend with its past as a predator a favor if you give food with high-quality protein in the form of meat. Meat should be at the top of the list of ingredients and inferior grains should not be included at all. The amounts of dairy food that manufacturers indicate are only guidelines. Adjust these amounts according to your animal friend’s build and activity. Some Australian Cattle Dogs are relatively greedy, so keep an eye out. Make adjustments in time to keep your four-legged friend’s slim body that way by reducing the daily calorie intake. A calorie-free diet will only make him sick.
Be careful with snacks to go with it: it is best not to give these or replace them with dry food that is already included in the daily diet. Give every now and then dry chews such as tripe or beef ears to give your dog the opportunity to chew extensively. Always provide fresh drinking water for your dog.back to menu ↑
A healthy Australian Cattle Dog is very robust. However, in some lines, there is a predisposition to certain hereditary disorders, which are more likely than average in dogs. First of all: a reputable breeder is the best protection against hereditary disorders. Something to keep in mind with this breed is the potential for deafness associated with color expression. More than one in ten Australian Cattle Dogs is deaf in one or both ears. Therefore, only buy your dog from breeders who perform audiometric hearing tests. Large face masks and body patches also reduce the risk of deafness. The breed’s eyes can also be affected, for example by lens luxation (PLL). In this condition, the lens in the anterior eye socket is lowered. If not treated, this can lead to cataracts and blindness in your four-legged friend. The disease can be ruled out by genetic testing.
In addition, other hereditary disorders in the Australian Cattle Dog are diseases of the spine, namely spondylosis and Forestier’s disease (DISH). Spondylosis is not always a hereditary condition. Responsible breeders should be able to predict Forestier from parental X-rays. An increased bone mass should then fall on this. The breeder must also have tested the hips of the parent dogs negative for hip dysplasia. A completely healthy Australian Cattle Dog can reach the age of 14 years or more.back to menu ↑
Grooming an Australian Cattle Dog is easy: Brush his coat once or twice a week to remove loose hair. During the molt, it may be useful to brush more often, but you will still find dog hair all over the house. This breed loses a lot of hair. Only give your four-legged friend a bath with mild dog shampoo in an emergency. In most cases, it is sufficient to let the dirt dry and then brush it out. Check regularly whether eyes and ears need to be cleaned with a special cleaner. Also, pay attention to the claws: if they are not used enough – which can be the case especially with older animals – use nail scissors. If you prefer not to do this yourself, you can have it done by your vet.back to menu ↑
Conditions: house, garden, and heart!
To whom and where can an Australian Cattle Dog live a full, happy canine life? What is clear in any case: it is a breed that likes exercise and therefore does not belong in a city home. This dog needs space to romp, to make long trips in nature, and preferably a large piece of land to watch over. The connection with the family is also important for the four-legged friend. In addition to the spatial conditions, canine friends who want to take in an Australian Cattle Dog should also have a lot of time every day for their new family members. Joint walks and exercise with the energetic dog are on the daily agenda after withdrawal.
Only those who care about occupation, education, and care will be able to live together for years in peace with this active sheepdog. Responsible and inquisitive beginners can also own a dog of this breed with that attitude. Before you bring this dog into your home, you should think about your dog’s provision in case of illness or when you go on vacation. Tip: Many hotels today welcome your well-behaved dog. Also take into account the additional costs in the form of animal nutrition, dog tax, liability insurance, and the vet.back to menu ↑
Before your Australian Cattle Dog makes his debut, you should pay attention to the basic equipment so that he feels good in his new home. This includes a water/food container and harness or collar with a lead. In order to transport the dog safely, you should think in advance about the safest mode of travel for the dog in the car. Whether it’s about transport box, gate or leash for furry passengers, the most important thing is safety! Make your new roommate comfortable with a dog blanket and basket. Make him happy next door with exciting toys, which you can best replace afterward, to provide variety. Finally: prepared the care of your four-legged friend. A brush and massage glove, mild dog shampoo, nail scissors, ear, and eye cleaner, and a drawing pen make useful basic equipment for a completely clean life. Don’t forget the lint brush.back to menu ↑
Reliable puppy sales
As indicated above, many details also come into play when breeding the Australian Cattle Dog. A breeder needs extensive knowledge about this breed to develop optically and characteristically suitable breeding targets. He then tries to realize them with his own breeding stock. He spares no expense to have the necessary examinations done because the health of the puppy is obviously very important to him. In addition, in the first year of life with the breeder, the puppies are extensively prepared for everything that happens in everyday life, so that they grow up to be social and calm dogs.
A good breeder will not entrust their puppies to everyone but will assess the puppy’s new home thoroughly. Of course, young dogs from a serious breeder also have the price, but don’t let this discourage you from buying a dog from an affiliated breeder. However, it is not immediately sufficient when a breeder is connected. When looking for the puppies, do not hesitate to check the health measures and pay attention to the environment and whether adult animals in the area leave a healthy and open impression.
We hope you enjoy your smart Australian Cattle Dog!