Dog breeds: Australian Cattle Dog temperament and personality

Dog breed: Australian Cattle Dog temperament and personality

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle dog is a herding dog that thrives on working all the time and being close to his family. This is one intelligent and sturdy dog. He is very loyal and protective of his family and wary of strangers. 


Australian settlers of the 19th century breed the Australian Cattle Dog in order to obtain a dog that could withstand the cold weather and harsh working conditions of Australia. Ranchers used the dog to herd large amounts of livestock. Today´s Australian Cattle Dog is the result of many crossings.  

To obtain a Halls Heeler, a New South Wales farmer called Thomas Hall crossed the dogs that had been brought from England with dingoes. These later developed into today’s Australian Cattle Dog. The first name of the breed was Australian Heeler.

Physical characteristics

The Australian Cattle Dog is a compact, sturdy, and muscular dog. The accepted coats are the red and blue but chocolate and cream happen. Males are 18 to 20 inches tall and females stand at 17 to 19 inches tall. They can both weigh 30 to 50 pounds. 


This dog is highly energetic with an alert and keen mind. So he needs to be constantly working and active. If he gets bored he will get destructive.   

He is very protective of his territory and will defend it against invaders. He will bond with his family and cannot be separated from them. 

Caring for an Australian Cattle dog

The Australian Cattle Dog needs to live in a place where he gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A large fenced yard is great for him. He is not suited for life in an apartment. He does not do well if he is not being active and will chew a lot if he gets bored.

If you are planning to get this dog and you are not a farmer, then consider canine sports. This dog has to be active all the time.  It is within his instincts to chase things, including cars. 


This dog is smart, so training is not especially hard. He does need a firm and strong training hand since he has an independent and strong will. 

Fun facts

  • This dog has been very important to the Australian’s beef industry. 
  • People still call him Blue or Queensland Heeler today. 
  • It is in his instincts to nibble and bite. Proper training and socialization are important. 

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