AKC Dog Breeds: Australian Cattle Dog

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Herding Group
Height: 43-51 inches   Weight: 25-50 pounds  Color: blue, red speckle.

The Australian Cattle Dog breed is the hard worker of the dog world. Australian Cattle Dogs are always ready and able to get the job done, whatever the job may be. Dogs in this breed have the benefit of their physical strength and agility. They also have the benefit of intelligence, vigilance, courage, and reliability. The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Australian Heeler, Hall's Heeler, Queensland Heeler and the Blue Heeler, is a sturdy, compact working dog, well-muscled, powerful, yet very agile. This breed was developed in the 1800's in Australia because stockmen needed a dog with the stamina to handle the harsh conditions in their country. Robert Kaleski drafted the standard for the breed in 1893, which was finally approved in Australia in 1903. The Australian Cattle Dog was fully recognized by the AKC in 1980.

General Appearance
The Australian Cattle Dog coat has a double coat, the short, straight protective outer and the short, kinky but dense undercoat. The outer coat is straight hair that lays flat and is rain resistant. It is well muscled and very powerful, but agile. Its body is a bit longer than it is high and has a slightly curved tail that reaches just about to the hock. The head of the Australian Cattle Dog is quite broad and slightly rounded, and flattens to a slight but definite stop. Ears are widely set, and moderately pointed and pricked. The medium size oval eyes are dark brown and the foreface is broad and well filled in under the eyes. The muzzle is medium in length, very deep and the skull and muzzle are on parallel planes. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. This is crucial for this herding dog that heels or bites at its livestock to move them.

Dogs of the Australian Cattle Dog breed are not just hard workers. They're also often the guardian angels of their families, loyal and protective. Always looking out for the chance to stare danger in the face, these dogs are generally good companions for people who live active lifestyles. ACDs are usually reserved with strangers and fiercely protective if they perceive their property and/or people are being threatened. Hard headed and stubborn, once an ACD has taken a shine to you, they are your friend for life. Make no mistake about it though this friendship must be earned. ACDs are also affectionately referred to as Velcro or shadow dogs because they are stuck to you like glue. Anywhere you go they are dogging your footsteps. This is not a good dog with children unless it has known the children since puppyhood. Many tend to nip at people's heels in an attempt to herd them. Avoid strictly working lines if you are looking for just a pet, as these dogs are too active and intense for home life.


Australian Cattle Dogs don't shed year round, instead they blow coat about once a year just before the summer months. The Australian Cattle Dog with its short hair and highly weather resistant coat, needs very little grooming and coat maintenance. If you brush it regularly with a firm bristle brush and they receive good nutrition, the coats will stay healthy. Since these are herding dogs, their feet really important. Their nails should be kept short to maintain their strength and the pads inspected regularly for cuts or bruises and other foreign matter. Keep the ears clean as well. The ACD sheds up to twice a year

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The lifespan of the Australian Cattle Dog is around 10-15 years. There are a number of health problems that are commonly associated with this breed, and these include glaucoma, lens luxation, and deafness.

Activity Level
A working, herding breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is not suited to life alone in the backyard. One of the most intelligent breeds, it can become easily bored, leading to serious behavior problems. These dogs need to be part of the action! They are loyal, protective and alert. An excellent guard dog. Brave and trustworthy. Very good in the obedience ring and in herding and agility.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

the afen is one of dog encyclopedias most popular dogsalaskan malamute at dog encyclopediathe great american beagleairedale puppyakita doggolden retrievers make great pets

Australian Cattle dog on Dog Encyclopedia
Australian Cattle dog profile on Dog Encyclopedia