AKC Classification: Herding UKC Classification: Herding Dog Prevalence: So-so
The Australian cattle dog is sturdy, compact and solid on its feet.
A strong head and slightly curved, broad skull herald the dingo ancestry. Cheeks are muscular, and the muzzle and jaws powerful in appearance. Their medium-sized, pricked ears, suspicious glint and strong teeth give the cattle dog a slightly intimidating demeanor.
The Cattle Dogs neck is exceptionally muscular and somewhat stocky. The shoulders are broad and the chest deep. The tail is set low and hangs to the level of the hocks. Their solid frame is 17 to 20 inches at the withers, the males slightly larger than the females.
The dual coat consists of an outer protective layer of moderately short, straight, medium-texture hairs, and a short, dense layer below. Cattle dogs come in two different color schemes: red speckle and blue. “Blue heelers,” as the latter variety is sometimes called, are blue or blue mottled, with black, blue or tan markings on the head; while the undercoat is often tan. The red variety has an even, red speckle, (from its Dalmatian genes), with or without darker red markings on the head.
1. The Australian Cattle Dog is instantly recognizable by his thickset, powerful build and unique markings, which are found on no other breed.
4. This herding ability isnt surprising, given the breeds history. In the 1800s, an Australian breeder crossed a dingo with a blue merle Collie to create a hard-working herding dog. Later crosses instilled not only herding skills, but produced a dog with a fondness for horses, which was useful for cattle drovers. Even more important, the ACD also forms a deep attachment and loyalty to his owner.
2. Their coats and markings come in two distinct colors, with some variations in marking: blue, which may also be blue mottled or speckled, and red, which may be speckled. This may be why there are other names for the breed, including “blue heeler” and “red heeler.” But theyre all Australian Cattle Dogs through and through.
3. What really sets him apart is his unmatched herding skill. He can move and control cattle or other livestock in the field and on the farm. In fact, Australian Cattle Dogs (ACDs) play a crucial role in the success of the Australian beef industry.
9. His intelligence is unmatched, and a smart owner will keep him engaged and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Hes always ready for the next adventure or job.
Length: Short Characteristics: Double coat, straight Colors: Blue or blue-mottled with or without other marking, red speckled Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate