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• High energy level
The Australian cattle dog has an interesting history, with strong determining genetics that make him an active, tireless, hardworking breed. He thrives on physical and mental challenges and once trained, this breed makes an excellent companion. His playfulness may have him giving the odd nip to someone who is fleeing his presence (herding behavior), but he is a great watchdog and is extremely loyal.
It is vitally important that this breed experiences much more exercise than the average dog. Without proper mental and physical activity he may become bored and potentially destructive. The Australian cattle dog is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, and is now recognized by the AKC.
| Australian cattle dogs will never be satisfied with just taking a walk. Activity is a way of life for this breed, requiring both mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Sign this breed up for obedience lessons and be prepared to let him run (or run with him). This is not a breed for apartment living; he needs to be busy or he will get bored and may become destructive. Give him a brush once a week, and a bath only when necessary. Cool to temperate climates suit them well.
Major Health Concerns:– OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia) and deafness
Minor Health Concerns:– cataracts, lens luxation, PPM (Persistent Pupillary Membranes), vWD (Von Willebrand Disease)
Test for:– hips, eyes and hearing
Life Span:– 10 to 13 years
Additional Notes:– litters from this breed tend to produce an average of five puppies
Originally bred to replace European herding breeds in Australia in the 1800s, the Australian cattle dog was originally named Hall’s heelers, after the man who crossbred blue-merle Highland collies with dingos to produce a breed that could withstand rough terrain and travel long distances. They were also able to control cattle without barking which was an excellent trait for a herding dog.
As these dogs gained popularity and became vital to the cattle industry, especially in Queensland, they became known as the blue heeler, the Australian heeler, and eventually the Australian cattle dog. Recognized by the AKC in 1980, this breed is now a show dog as well as a pet and herder.