|Group classification: Herding||Country of origin: Australia||Date of origin: 19th century|
|Weight (M): 40 - 45 lb||Height (M): 18 - 20"||Life expectancy: 11 - 13 years|
|Weight (F): 35 - 40 lb||Height (F): 17 - 19"|
General Description of the Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is a medium-sized dog with a smooth, flat coat texture. Coloring is either blue or red speckle. If blue, the acceptable colors and markings are blue, black, white and tan that is distributed evenly. For red speckled Australian Cattle Dogs there should be red mottling with no cream or white. The head is proportionate to the rest of the body, strong and balanced. The muzzle is medium in length and neither pointed nor cheeky, with a pure black nose. The eyes are oval in shape and dark brown in color, and should convey alert intelligence. Ears are medium in size, wide set apart and moderately pointed. Teeth should be strong and scissor-like. The body is strong and muscular, while the tail is set moderately low with a mild curve.
Australian Cattle Dog Temperament
Because these dogs were bred to herd, they are energetic and enthusiastic. They are loyal and loving protectors and need a lot of fresh air and exercise. Australian Cattle Dogs can be great with children, as long as they are introduced to youngsters at an early age. They will often need to be directed not to nip at the heels of little ones, because this is a herding instinct that is ingrained within them. The Australian Cattle Dog is wary of strangers and can become aggressive towards them if not socialized properly as puppies. These dogs can be exuberant and stubborn, especially when they are young. They need firm handling and an owner that is willing and able to provide them with the direction and exercise they need. The Australian Cattle Dog needs wide open spaces in which to run and is definitely not a dog for an apartment dweller. If you have additional dogs or other pets, care must be taken to manage the dog's dominant tendencies.
Caring for an Australian Cattle Dog
One of the best things about the Australian Cattle Dog is how little grooming it requires. The short coat is highly weatherproof and only needs periodic brushing with a stiff brush. The coat may, however, need extra brushing during the shedding months. It is not necessary to bathe your Australian Cattle Dog very often, unless it gets very dirty. Known health issues include hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and elbow dysplasia.