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Australian Cattle Dog Dog Breed Profile

Other Names
Blue Heeler, Hall's Heeler, AuCaDo 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Australian Cattle Dog belongs to the pastoral group and is used for cattle-herding, as a companion and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
This dog is relatively easy to feed, only really requiring greater nutrition during its rapid growth period between 9 to 12 months of age. The breeder will be able to advise on the appropriate diet. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost around £400. 
9 - 15 years
Australian Cattle Dogs will live to 14 years of age. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes vary from 1 to 7 puppies, the average being 4 or 5. 
General Physical Description
Dogs of great stamina and endurance, Australian Cattle Dogs are a picture of strength and agility, with intense watchful eyes. They are compact and symmetrical and should look well-muscled, with a double coat. The undercoat is smooth, short and dense; the outer coat is hard, straight and weather-resistant. They move freely and tirelessly with powerful drive from the hindquarters and are capable of quick and sudden actions.

Height Min Max
Bitch 43cm (17") 48cm (19")
Dog 46cm (18") 51cm (20")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 16kg (35lbs) 20kg (44lbs)
Dog 16kg (35lbs) 20kg (44lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Bitches will measure between 43 to 48cms at the withers, dogs between 46 to 51cms. Both will weigh between 16 to 20kgs. 
This breed is largely free from genetic conditions and has a low susceptibility to disease. Proper selection for breed type is important as conformation problems e.g. cobbiness, weediness, straight shoulders and stifles can arise. Check the thick undercoat regularly to avoid skin problems. PRA can develop later in life, between the ages of 6 and 8, and so it is important that the parentage has been tested. 
Common Ailments

Susceptibility To Illness
The Australian Cattle Dog is the outcome of a deliberate breeding programme. Various dogs with specific abilities were crossbred over a period of 60 years. During the 1830's a collie type dog was crossed with the native wild Dingo. The result was a dog, called Timmon's Biters, that barked less and was better at driving the herds. In the 1840's 2 blue-merle smooth coated collies were crossed with the Dingo, the best of the resulting litter  
Australian Cattle Dogs are very intelligent and eager to work and learn, making them very easy to train. However, temperament changes through adolescence are common, especially a lack of self-confidence, and so owners must be consistent and reassuring at these times.< 
Show Characteristics
The skull should be broad and slightly curved between the ears, with a slight but definite stop. The lips should be tight and clean with strong jaws and a complete scissor bite. The eyes should be oval, medium-sized, alert, intelligent and dark brown in colour. The ears should be smaller rather than large and moderately pointed. The neck should be exceptionally strong and muscular, adjoining strong, sloping, well-laid back shoulders. The back should be strong and have a level topline. The front legs should be straight and strong, with rounded bone. The hindlegs should be broad, strong and muscular. The feet should be round with well-arched, short, strong toes and the tail set on low, following the slope of the croup and never carried over the back. The preferred colours for the show ring are blue, blue mottled or blue speckled with or without black, blue or tan markings and red speckle with or without dark red markings on the head. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
This breed needs copious amounts of exercise to keep it in good physical and mental condition. Competition work, as in agility trials, would be ideal. As puppies, the breed experience a rapid growth rate between the age of 9 to 12 months and during this period exercise may have to be adjusted. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
AuCaDo's are extremely courageous and hard-working, always being alert to the job on hand. They will behave in an exemplary manner towards children and other household pets if adequately socialised when young. They are a quiet breed, barking very little and are very loyal to their handlers. They are versatile dogs, giving lots of satisfaction to their families and enjoying being involved in all family matters, They generally prefer to be the only dog in the household. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
< Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
AuCaDo's require very little grooming; an occasional brush or comb is all that is required. 
The only colours in this breed are blue and red-speckle with black, tan, red or blue markings on the head. 
Suffers From Allergies

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