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Australian Cattle Dog Breed InformationSelect a Breed
Quick Facts
Life Span:12-15 years
Litter Size:1-7 puppies
Group:Herding, AKC Herding
Recognized By:CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color:Red and blue, some crosses display both colors at the same time. Many have what is called the Bentley mark on their foreheads - a white blaze.
Hair Length:Medium
Size:Medium, Large
Shedding:Moderate Shed
Male Height:46-51 inches
Male Weight:35-50 pounds
Female Height:43-48 inches
Female Weight:25-50 pounds
Living Area:This dog is extremely active and therefore needs a lot of mental stimulation - much like the Australian Kelpie. A bored ACD is not only trouble, but destructive. It NEEDS to be with people and cannot be left chained or penned in the back yard. If the ACD is isolated like that, it leads to serious personality problems. These dogs need to be part of the action and needs to be constantly on the go.

Description

The Australian Cattle Dog is known for its compact size and its hard working nature. It is muscular in build and a very powerful dog. The body is long with a curved tail. The front legs are straight. They have a broad head with wide set ears that are pointed and leathery. The inside of the ears are quite hairy. They have oval eyes that usually dark brown. The muzzle is medium sized with a scissors bite. They have deep and hard footpads with short nails. They are very compact and well built overall.

Coat Description

The Australian Cattle Dog has a double coat. The outer layer is short and straight and the undercoat is dense and kinky. The outer coat is rain resistance. There is short hair on the ears, legs and feet. The neck hair is thick and long, taking on the appearance of a mane.

History

The Australian Cattle Dog came from Australia in 1800’s. It was bred to have good stamina and be able to handle the harsh conditions of the country. They were the creation of breeding experiments. The Australian Cattle Dog is a blend of the Dingo, Smooth Haired Scotch Merle Collie, the Dalmatian, the Bull Terrier and the Australian Kelpie. The Australian Cattle Dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1980.

Temperament

Australian Cattle Dogs are protective but shy. They will often back away from strangers and become very possessive and protective if they feel threatened. They can be stubborn, but are also very loyal. Their reserved nature means it takes them some tie to warm up to anyone, but once they become comfortable with their family they will be very affectionate. They tend to become like a shadow and will follow you wherever you go.

They make good guard dogs because they are alert, protective and brave. They are also very agile and do well in obedience competitions. They need to have trust and respect for their owner or they can be stubborn in nature. Training is usually easy when they can trust and respect their owner. They are highly intelligent and this is what often leads to any behavior or training problems. They just must be taught to obey.

They tend to be a one person dog, not a family dog. They will treat the family well, but will show one particular person the most attention and respond to them the best. They can be aggressive towards other dogs due to their dominate behavior and may not be the best around children. They are a herding dog and will often nip at people in an effort to herd them

Health Problems

The Australian Cattle Dog is hardy. They can suffer from problems like progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia and cataracts which are common canine ailments. They may also experience deafness, dermatomyositis, portosystemic shunt, and luxating patella and ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments. Good exercise, care and breeding will prevent most conditions.

Grooming

They are outside dogs that require very little grooming. Their coat is short and made for the outdoor conditions. They need regular brushing and good nutrition to stay in top form. They should be bathed when needed. Nail care is important since they are so active. They need to be kept short and the pads should be looked at often for signs of infection or problems. Longer hair can be trimmed with scissors as needed. They are generally very easy to groom. A little brushing and a bath now and then and they are good to go.

Exercise

The Australian Cattle Dog needs frequent exercise. They are great for runs or biking expeditions. Too much heavy physical exercise, though, for a pup can be damaging to their joints. They need to be on the go most of the time and should not be penned up where they can not move. They do well with tasks that require them to use their intelligence. They love sports and are great at catching. The importance of good exercise can not be overlooked. The Australian Cattle Dog is an active and energetic dog. Serious problems can develop if they are not allowed to use up their energy or if they are isolated from interaction. Exercise should take into consideration that they need to be stimulated physically, socially and mentally. A good rounded exercise program is essential.

Training

The Australian Cattle Dog is easy to train, but can show stubbornness. They must respect and trust the trainer in order to have a successful training. They also need to have varied training that does not bore them. They do not do well with reputation. They need a strong leader who will treat them with respect, but also be able to control him. Positive reinforcement works best and is quite easy since frustration is usually not a problem because this breed should learn fast.

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