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Australian Cattle Dog


Basic Information

Breed Group
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches


Australian Cattle dogs as their name suggests are native to Australia where they are highly prized as working dogs all thanks to their strength of character, stamina and ability to work for long periods of time. Over the years these attractive dogs have fast become a popular choice in a home environment not only in Australia, but here in England and other parts of the world too.

They are often called Heelers because of the way they herd livestock which is by nipping at their heels and although they can be wary around strangers and protective of their "family", they are loyal and highly intelligent dogs that boast an implicit devotion to any jobs they are asked to do.

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Australian Cattle Dogs have been around since the eighteen hundred’s in their native Australia, but only arrived on British shores in 1979 when John and Mary Holmes imported the very first dog from Australia. However, two puppies were also imported to the UK at around the same time by Malcom Dudding and it is these dogs that boast being the foundation stock of the ACD we see in the UK today.

ACDs are the result of careful, albeit intensive, crossbreeding in their native Australia when it was found that dogs bought over from other countries were not up to herding and controlling cattle when they were taken to market. This involved long treks across difficult terrains which imported dogs were just not up to. The dogs that were used to create the breed were Dingos, Kelpies, Dalmatians and Bull Terriers, but as previously mentioned ACDs have been around since the mid eighteen nineties when dogs were needed on ranches in the outback. A farmer called Thomas S Hall crossed a Dingo with two blue merle Collies he had imported from the UK. At the time, the dogs he produced were called Hall's Heelers, Blue Heelers, Red Heelers or Queensland Heelers.

The first breed standard was established in 1903 after which time more records were kept of these dogs by a man called Robert Kaleski who also wrote many books on the breed. Being very independent thinkers, ACDs soon earned themselves the reputation of being highly intelligent and capable of working on their own without the need to always rely on people to tell them what to do when herding livestock over vast distances.

Today, the Australian Cattle Dog is still highly prized and regarded as a very skilled working dog in their native Australia, but they have also made a name with people all over the world for being wonderful companions and family pets as well as working dogs.

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