Characteristics of an Australian Cattle Dog

  • 25/10/2010

An Australian Cattle Dog is also known by the names Queensland Blue Heeler, Red Heeler and Blue Heeler. The breed hails from Australia where it was bred for driving cattle and other working purposes. Like many dogs of this class, the Australian Cattle Dog has a high level of energy and a very active mind; the dogs need something to do which engages the body and brain. It is important for an owner to show the dog they are the alpha from the very beginning, otherwise the dog may not know who the boss is.

The coat of an Australian Cattle Dog comes in blue and red, which is the result of cattle ranchers inbreeding the dogs with native dingoes and other breeds. Finding a dog breed that could handle the responsibilities of a cattle herd and with the stamina needed to withstand harsh working conditions was necessary. Over time, the Australian Cattle Dog emerged and made a name for itself, by being a breed that could withstand the tasks required. With a stocky build, confident nature and fixed gaze the dog could hold their own against even the most wild of animal herds. The Australian Cattle Dog can also outwork dogs of other breeds, making it a valuable tool to have on a ranch.

While many Australian Cattle Dogs can be found chasing the herds, the dog has also become a great choice for people with an active lifestyle. People wanting a walking buddy or a dog that will enjoy accompanying them on jogs, the breed is the perfect companion. Many owners report that while the breed exhibits a stubborn streak, they enjoy having an intelligent dog that will do anything to protect the household.

Once a Cattle Dog attaches himself to the family, they can expect to have a loyal and loving companion for many years to come. In order to deal with large cattle, part of the traits of the Australian Cattle Dog breed is being able to appear intimidating. A Cattle Dog will go to great lengths to stand its ground in any given situation, the dogs were built to handle a tough environment and this tendency is still present even now. Whether in the home or field, an Australian Cattle Dog can be found trying to herd anything it can, even other dogs and small children.

A number of people who own Australian Cattle Dog's dock the tail; there is a big debate over whether or not the practice of docking is humane or needed. When in the field tending cattle or simply chasing a ball around, the dog will use its thick tail as a form of propeller. Back in the days when the breed was used for primarily herding, a group of the dogs would work together but were often led to fend for themselves as far as finding food. This meant pack life was very important to the breed's survival.

Many owners notice the importance of establishing their place in the pack from day one. Once the person allows the dog to get the upper hand and act out bad behavior, it is hard to turn things around. Early obedience is a must and the dog needs early socialization as well to avoid reacting negatively to periods of isolation. Taking all these things in mind before deciding to bring an Australian Cattle Dog can help determine whether or not the breed would be well-suited to your family.

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