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Australian Cattle Dog

Also known as: Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler, Australian Heeler

Breed origin: Australia
Original purpose: Cattle dog.

AKC recognized: 1980
AKC group: Herding

Size: Height: males 18 to 20 inches; females 17 to 19 inches
© Roadbully (Lee O'dell) | Dreamstime.com
Color: Blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings.

Life span: 12 to 16 years.

General characteristics/temperament: Autralian Cattle Dogs are alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous, loyal, protective and trustworthy, with an implicit devotion to duty. They are very high-energy dogs and do best in wide open spaces and when given a job to do such as herding, obedience or agility. They want to be active and busy all the time, and if bored, will find something to do on their own and quickly get into trouble. They are incredibly effective at herding cattle by nipping at their heels, but that also means that they are very "mouthy" and have the tendency to bite even if only playfully. They become intensely bonded to their family and will follow you everywhere - they are definitely not dogs you can leave in the back yard and forget about.

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Good with cats? No

Protective? Naturally

OK in apartments? No

© Roadbully (Lee O'dell) | Dreamstime.com
Intelligent? Extremely

Energy/Activity Level: High

Good jogging partner? Excellent

Suitable canine sports/activities: herding, obedience, agility, flyball, tracking, disc

Exercise requirement: Australian Cattle Dogs have very high energy levels and require a lot of exercise daily to be happy.

Grooming requirement: The Australian Cattle Dog's smooth, short coat requires only occasional baths and brushing.

Known health problems: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, deafness,


Additional photos of Australian Cattle Dog


Recommended books for further reading:


Australian Cattle Dog (A Comprenhensive Owner's Guide)
By Charlotte Schwartz
Published in 2004
160 pages

Australian Cattle Dogs (A Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
By Richard Beauchamp
Published in 2007
96 pages

A New Owner's Guide to Australian Cattle Dogs
By Narelle Robertson
Published in 1999
160 pages

The Australian Cattle Dog (An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet)
By Katherine Buetow
Published in 1998
128 pages


Show more books


Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Australian Cattle Dog Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page
Australian Cattle Dog Rescue



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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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