Australian Cattle Dog - History of the Breed

  • 25/10/2010

The first settlers in the early colonization of Australia, set about to create a breed of dog to assist in the mustering and moving of cattle. In 1830, a man called Timmins crossed the Smithfield with a native Australian dog called a Dingo.

The result was a Red bob-tailed dog named Timmins Biters. In 1840, Thomas Hall imported two smooth coated blue merle Scotch Collies which proved to be reasonable cattle dogs but they had some undesirable traits. Hall then crossed the Scotch Collie with the Dingo and these then became Halls Heelers. Dingoes have a trait of silently creeping up on their prey and biting, the Heeler pups followed this style of behavior. They were welcomed for their ability to handle cattle, stamina to travel great distances over all types of terrain and their endurance in extreme temperatures.

In 1873 George Elliot of Queensland wrote that his two month old quarter Dingo worked so silently on cattle that he called her "Munya" which is aboriginal for silent.

Around this time, Alex Davis showed the ability of a pair of Hall's Heelers at the cattle saleyards in Sydney. Two brothers who bought puppies from Davis then set about improving the breed. They attempted breeding the Hall's Heeler with a Dalmatian. This changed the merle to red or blue speckles as well as the puppies being born pure white and gradually developing their colour from about three weeks of age, as in Dalmatian puppies. The purpose of this breeding was to breed in a love of horses and protectiveness of both owner and property. Unfortunately, this caused a loss of some of the working ability.

After seeing the Black and Tan Kelpie the brothers crossed the Kelpie with the speckled dogs. The result was an extremely intelligent, controllable working dog, built like a

Dingo but with strange markings seen on no other dog. Through selective breeding, came the forbearers of the present day Australian Cattle Dog.

In 1893, Robert Kaleski took interest in the breed. He went about to develop and stabilize it thereby drawing up a standard. The standard was then endorsed by the Cattle and Sheepdog Club of Australia and then by the Kennel Club of New South Wales in 1903. The Australian National Kennel Council approved and adopted the standard which included the very essence of the breed in 1963. The breeds name became officially known as the Australian Cattle Dog. Other names include Blue Heeler, Australian Heeler and even the Queensland Blue. From humble beginnings this breed has become one of the most popular dog breeds throughout Australia.

Please Help Us

We've got a small favour to ask. More people are reading IrishDogs.ie than ever, but far fewer are paying for it.

IrishDogs.ie takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters because it might well be your perspective, too.

Our future could be much more secure with your help. Please SUPPORT us by clicking on the Donate Button at the Top Right of your screen.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
(not publicly displayed)
Reply Notification:
Approval Notification:
Website:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image:
* Message:

Email to Friend

Fill in the form below to send this breed article to a friend:

Email to Friend
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
* Friend's Name:
* Friend's Email:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image
* Message: