Life Expectancy:12 to 16 years
Australian Cattle Dogs are best for active, experienced pet parents. They need lots of exercise, so homes with large yards are a must. Blue Heelers also tend to do better in households with older children.
Australian Cattle Dogs were bred to be working dogs and are classified as members of the herding group. (Those dog born to herd livestock.) Most of these dogs are at their happiest when working, or at least staying busy. As such, this breed thrives in active households and hates being bored.
Because they’re herders, raising an Australian Cattle Dog means training and socialization are important. This is an independent breed who doesn’t want to share. So, start introducing your pup to people, other dogs and situations while they’re young to help them be accepting of new experiences as they grow up. When it comes to obedience training, consistency is important. Regular training sessions will help this tenacious breed be a well-behaved family member.Australian Cattle Dogs may sound like a handful, but with confident pet parents to channel their energy the right way, these dogs are unstoppable.
How to Care for a Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog breed has hard work and people-pleasing in their DNA, but that doesn’t make the breed low maintenance. Daily activity and training will take more time than grooming, but they’re happy to take up exercising with you as a substitute for farm life.
While the Australian Cattle Dog breed is known to have a sturdy constitution and a robust life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, it’s important to know there are some common health issues to look out for in the breed.
The origin of the Australian Cattle Dog began in the 19th century when the British brought the Smithfield sheepdog to Australia. This dog, however, did not fare too well on the rough terrain and sweltering heat, so Australian settlers quickly sought to create a herding breed to thrive in that environment.
Initially, Smithfields were bred with dingoes as well as the Scottish Highland Collie. The Blue Heeler we know today is a cross between a mixed dingo-Collie breed and Dalmatian.
While their history began in Australia, the breed first came to America in 1950. Australian Cattle Dogs were admitted to American Kennel Club in 1980, and they became a charter member of AKC Herding Group at its inception.
When looking for information on the Australian Cattle Dog, you’ll find this breed has plenty of aliases, including the Queensland Heeler (a nod to its origins) and Blue Heeler. The term heeler came to be associated with them as a clever reference to their herding style of nipping at the heels of cattle to move them along, while the term blue refers to their popular blue-gray speckled coats.
If you’re looking for an Australian Cattle Dog puppy, you can find reputable breeders at the American Kennel Club’s website. You can expect puppies to cost between $600 and $1,000, but they can go upwards of $2,000 for championship lines. For that price, you’re likely getting a pup who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers. If you’d like to adopt a pup, reach out to Blue Heeler rescues or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter.
Do cattle dogs bark a lot?
Barking. Australian Cattle Dogs are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. This breed should should not be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some Cattle Dogs have intense, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.
NO, Owners agree, Australian Cattle Dogs are not aggressive. … Things like: They need exercise, they bark, they are cautious or suspicious, they need a lot of socialization, they might chase anything that moves, they might show aggression towards other animals or people.