|Group:||Working Dogs (Group 5)|
|Club:||Australian Cattle Dog Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Deb Thorne|
|Phone:||0402 203 294|
Background The Australian Cattle Dog breed began evolving in the early 1830s to meet the need for a dog that could work cattle in Australia’s very harsh environment. The breed today is the result of many years of careful thought and selective breeding. Five breeds of dogs went into the making of the Australian Cattle Dog. First there was the crossing of the Dingo with an English breed of dog, the Smithfield, and then the progeny from these matings were crossed with the smooth coated blue merle Collie. These were mated to the Dalmatian to put the love of horses and the protection of their master’s property into the breed. Around the 1890s the black and tan Kelpie was bred into them and so began a breed of dog that cattlemen, then and today, swear is one of the best working dogs in the world.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Cattle Dogs are exceptionally long-lived dogs, reaching 10 - 20 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament Australian Cattle Dogs are loyal, courageous and devoted and possess a natural aptitude in the working and control of cattle. They are suspicious of strangers and will protect the family and possessions with their life. They are not naturally aggressive but if provoked they will not back down without a fight. Australian Cattle Dogs love nothing better than to be able to spend time in the company of their owners, doing whatever is asked of them. Although the Australian Cattle Dog can sometimes be very stubborn or mischievous, an owner should always be firm without being cruel as the Australian Cattle Dog does not learn through harsh treatment.
Compatibility with Other Pets The Australian Cattle Dog will get along with other animals in a household as long as they are introduced slowly and without tension. The best way to do this is by allowing the animals to see and smell each other through a wire fence for a few weeks until they realise that there is no threat from each other.
Care Requirements Even though the Australian Cattle Dog is a working dog, it does well in a suburban household as long as its exercise requirements (this includes mental stimulation) are met. Obedience training of Australian Cattle Dogs is a must, as their brain needs stimulation of the right sort so that they don’t think things up for themselves - like digging, pulling washing from the line, pruning trees, landscaping, jumping fences etc. The Australian Cattle Dog has a naturally short coat that only requires five minutes grooming each day.
Please Take Note The Australian Cattle Dog can be very active and vocal at times so from the outset the dog should be taught that unnecessary barking is not allowed. While not usually a fence jumper, the Australian Cattle Dog can jump, so if you have low fences then perhaps a pen could be built for the dog for those times when it is home alone. This breed must be socialised with other animals and people from an early age and throughout their life.
Ideal Owner/s The ideal owner for the Australian Cattle Dog should be someone who likes to have an active dog. While the Australian Cattle Dog absolutely adores children, like all breeds of dog it should never be left alone with the unsupervised. Elderly people might find that the Australian Cattle Dog is a bit of a handful.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Australian Cattle Dog and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows 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.