Breed Organization Australian Cattle Dog Club of America Website: http://acdca.org Native Country Australia Other Names Australian Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler, ACD Life Expectancy Approximately 12-15 Years Litter Size Average 1-7 Puppies Breed Group AKC Herding, Herding
Breed Appearance The general appearance is that of a strong compact, symmetrically built working dog, with the ability and willingness to carry
out his allotted task however arduous. As the name implies the dog's prime function, and one in which he has no peer, is the control and movement
of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous and trustworthy, with an implicit devotion
to duty making it an ideal dog.
Breed Description Head: Strong. Broad, slightly convex skull. Slight stop.
Muscular cheeks. Powerful, medium-length nose bridge. Tight, clean
lips. Ears: Moderately small, pointed, broad at the
base, muscular. Held erect. Eyes: Oval, medium size.
Dark brown color. Body: Longer than tall. Compact,
balanced construction. Exceptionally broad neck without dewlap.
Strong back. Chest well let down and muscular. Ribs well sprung.
Shoulders broad, sloping, and muscular. Deep flanks. Horizontal
topline. Broad, muscular loin. Queue: Hangs down forming
a slight curve at rest. Richly clad (brush). Hair: Weather-resistant.
Short (2.5 to 4 cm), straight, smooth, close-lying, dense, harsh.
Double coat. Longer on the back of the legs and on the underbody.
Short, dense undercoat. Coat: Blue: blue, blue-mottled
or speckled, with or without black, blue, or tan markings on the
head. Red speckle: small, even red speckle all over the body.
Size: Dog: 46 to 51 cm (18-20 in). Bitch: 43 to 48 cm (17-19
in). Weight: 15 to 20 kg (33-44lb).
History This breed is thought to be the result of crossbreeding of the now
extinct Smithfield (closely related to the Old English Sheepdog),
the Dingo, the Collie, and the Bull Terrier. Around 1840, Dalmatian
and Kelpie blood may have been introduced. The Australian Cattle Dog
is also called the Heeler for his ability to nip at the heels of
cattle without injuring it. The breed was recognized around 1890,
but it was not introduced in the United States and Europe until the
Behavior Like many herding dogs, Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and
active minds. They need plenty of exercise and a job to do, such as
participating in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities
that engage their minds. Some individuals find repetitive training
frustrating and dull, so owners should aim to make training sessions
varied and more exciting in order to keep their dog interested.
Health Prone to hip dysplasia and PRA. The merle-colored dogs are prone to deafness.
Advice The shorthaired, weather-resistant coat needs little care and is very easy to groom. Just comb and brush with a firm bristle brush,
and bathe only when necessary. This breed tends to shed its coat once or twice per year (depending on sex status and region).