Australian Cattle Dog
Other names: ACD, Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler
The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is a breed of herding dog native to Australia. It was originally bred for its ability to drive cattle across the vast plains of the Australian continent but is now more commonly seen as a companion pet. The ACD is said to be one of the most intelligent dogs of all.
Key facts about the Australian Cattle Dog
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Playful Intelligent
Origins and history
The Australian Cattle Dog first arrived in the UK from Australia in 1980. Its popularity gave rise to an influx of the breed from countries other than down under. The breed was soon recognised by the Kennel Club and its popularity as a pet has steadily risen ever since.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 2 : Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Physical characteristics of the Australian Cattle Dog
Female : Between 17 and 19 in
Male : Between 18 and 20 in
Female : Between 44 and 66 lb
Male : Between 44 and 66 lb
The ACD is found with a coat of blue, blue and tan, black, blue and tan or red and tan.
Type of coat
The Australian Cattle Dog has a double coat comprising a short, straight top coat and a short, fine and dense undercoat.
A sturdy and muscular dog of great agility; the powerful muzzle and strong haunches belie a gentleness of character. The ears are medium sized and pricked.
Good to know
This breed has been popular among famous dog-parents, including Matthew McConaughey and Mel Gibson.
The Australian Cattle Dog is extremely affectionate and forms a very close bond with its owner.
The ACD is playful with people it knows although it may try to herd and dominate.
The Australian Cattle Dog is not a nervous dog and does not easily scare.
The ACD’s exceptional intelligence lends itself to excellent obedience and responsiveness.
Australian Cattle Dogs are herding dogs. They do not have an instinct to track prey but they will enjoy herding other animals and people.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Australian Cattle Dog is wary of strangers; the dog’s want to protect the family comes to the fore when meeting unfamiliar humans. An owner’s gentle encouragement is required.
This dog is in all respects independent, so much so that it is likely to try to dominate others of the household if it sees a chance to do so.
Behaviour of the Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog will tolerate solitude but only in small doses.
Easy to train / obedience
A strong-willed animal is the Australian Cattle Dog and one that is easy to train. However, being independent the Australian Cattle Dog requires a stronger-willed leader who is confident and consistent.
This dog is known for its excessive high-pitched barking.
Tendency to run away
Reinforcing the ‘recall’ command is always worthwhile with this dog even though the dog is, on the whole, exceptionally obedient.