Dog Breeds: an overview of the Australian Cattle Dog

australian cattle dog

A brief introduction to the Australian Cattle dog:

The Australian Cattle Dog is truly a hard working and sturdy dog. This highly intelligent dog was breed in Australia to herd cattle and is still used for that purpose today. But he is not only good at cattle herding. This pooch does well in agility and obedience competitions.


Nineteenth-century settlers needed a hard working dog that could put up with the harsh working conditions of Australia. Since dogs that came from England were not up to the challenge, farmers crossed them with the native Dingo. Over time, breeding by many ranchers resulted in what is thought to be the ancestors of today´s Australian Cattle Dog.
The blue dogs were the most popular among ranchers, so soon these dogs were known as Blue Heelers. The moniker comes from the fact that they herd by nipping at cattle´s heels.
People also called the breed Queensland Heeler or Queensland Blue Heeler.  The AKC officially recognizes the Australian Cattle dog in 1980.

Physical characteristics

The Australian Cattle dog has an appearance of an agile dog built into a muscular and compact body. This working dog has well-defined muscles, even if he is only a companion. His coat can be of two colors only: blue and red. Chocolate and cream colors also occur.
Males can grow up to be 18 to 20 inches tall and females are 17 to 19 inches tall. The weight of the cattle dog is somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds.


The Australin Cattle dog is a loyal and extremely intelligent dog. He is very protective of his territory and will defend it against anything or anyone. These dogs build a strong bond with their owners. Once they bond, they just want to be wherever their owner is.
This dog likes to be a part of all family activities. Punishing a cattle dog is separating him from those he loves.

Caring for an Australian cattle dog

If you plan to get an Australian cattle dog, you must be prepared for hard work as these dogs need to have something to do all the time. You need to constantly stimulate this dog, both physically and mentally. He is not suited for apartment life. If he gets bored, which he does easily, he will become destructive and with a tendency of chewing a lot.


This dog training must be consistent. He is extremely intelligent and will pick up commands easily.  He can be willful and stubborn at times, though.

Fun Facts

  • The ACD has been fundamental for the growth of Australian beef industry.
  • This dog is still known as Blue or Queensland heeler.

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