Height: Male: 18-20 inches, Female: 17-19 inches
Weight:Male: 32-35 lbs, Female: 30-33 lbs
The origin of the Australian Cattle Dog lies in Queensland, Australia. In the olden days, the breed was primarily used for herding cattle over long distances. The breed was first developed by the Hall family in the early part of the 19th century. Drovers such as the Dalmatians were crossbred with the dingoes to develop a breed that had the capacity to herd cattle over long distances and rough terrain. At that point of time, the breed was named as the Halls Heelers. Back then, the breed was restricted to the Hall family only. It was only after the death of Thomas Hall in 1870 that others in the area had access to the breed and hence, the breed spread. It was first recognized by the AKC in 1980.
The ACD is a medium sized dog with a compact, well proportioned body. It has a long head which is in proportion to the body; medium shaped eyes which are oval in shape and dark brown in color; medium sized ears which are pointed and prick shaped; a strong, deep muzzle which slightly tapers towards the end; a black nose; taut lips which are black in color with teeth which meet in scissors bite.
This breed has a low set tail which is feathered. The tail is carried down when relaxed and may be carried in a horizontal position with a slight curve towards the end when in action. However, it is never carried above the level of the back. It has medium length, muscular legs with round feet. It has a double coat with a water resistant, straight, coarse and flat outer coat and, a short and dense undercoat. The color of the coat can be red or blue either in mottled or speckled pattern, and may have black, blue or tan markings on some parts of the body. Puppies are generally born white and their colors change slowly.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a loyal, hardworking and protective breed. It is good with kids and makes for a good companion dog. However, it can be aggressive with other dogs and pets if not socialized at an early age. It is slightly reserved with strangers and has strong protective instincts, which makes it a very good guard dog. It is easy to train and can be easily obedience trained. However, this breed is not recommended for people who cannot devote enough time to the dog. It requires a lot of mental and physical exercises to avoid behavioral issues. As this is a busy breed, it does not do very well in an indoor environment and hence, it is not well suited to an apartment life.
Australian Cattle Dog Care & Grooming:
The ACD is a seasonal shedder. It has a weather resistant coat which requires occasional brushing. Brushing once in a week with a firm bristle brush is sufficient to maintain a healthy coat. It should be bathed only when necessary using a mild shampoo. Its eyes and ears should be cleaned regularly and nail should be trimmed properly.
It is a high energy breed which requires lot of daily exercise. Long walks several times a day are vital for mental and physical needs of the dog. These should be supplemented with jogging or running on a regular basis to help the dog spend its pent up energy. Mental exercises such as fetching games are also essential to keep the dog busy.