Australian Cattle Dog


Brief History
The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Blue or Red Heeler or the Queensland Heeler, was developed in the 19th century as a working dog to suit Australia’s harsh climate.  Selective breeding over the early years, even using Australian Dingo, resulted in a dog with stamina, resilience and tenacity.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 12 to 16 years.

Alert, watchful and extremely intelligent. Whilst devoted to the family, he may be suspicious of strangers. As he is a guardian of stock, owners must be vigilant as he will be protective of his yard and his family.

General Breed Description
The Australian Cattle Dog is a strong, compact and active breed.  His head is strong and powerful. He is bred for great endurance and the ability to work long hours in the heat, rough terrain and keep under control the most cantankerous of bulls and cows.   Cattle Dog colours are blue, blue speckle, blue mottle and red speckle.

Coat and Care Requirements
The Cattle Dog has a short, dense, weather resistant coat which does not require a high level of grooming. A brush and comb once or twice a week, with bathing as required. Coat is shed once or twice a year. The breed should be socialised with other animals and people from an early age. Whilst the Cattle Dog can be stubborn or mischievous, the owner should be firm with training. Obedience training would be recommended.

Height: Males 46 to 51cms (18 to 20ins), Females 43 to 48cms (17 to 19ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Cattle Dog is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Primary Lens Luxation (PLL), Hip Dysplasia (HD) and Elbow Dysplasia (ED) 

Suitable pet for someone who wants an active dog. Despite the Cattle Dog being a devoted companion, as with any breed, it should never be left alone with children. Elderly people may find the breed a handful. This is not the lazy man’s dog; if he is not kept busy and stimulated, he may become destructive and antisocial.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.


Link to Dogs Australia Breed Standard: