Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog also goes by the names Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler and Red Heeler. It is a high-energy medium-sized dog bred to herd cattle.
The origins of the breed are unknown, although they probably began with a cattle dog, bread with a Dingo, and then bred to a Collie, then a Bull Terrier. The result of this was a cattle dog ““ slightly heavier and more muscular than a Border Collie and less temperamental. The Australian Cattle Dog or Heeler has great herding ability, can withstand temperature extremes and has the intelligence to forage and feed itself if lacking good. It has inherited its distinctive sandy leg color and pricked ears from the Dingo and its broad head and strong jaws from the Bull Terrier.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a substantial, muscular animal with good balance and agility. It should be from 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh roughly 35 to 50 pounds. The coat of the Australian Cattle Dog is coarse and oily with a fine undercoat. It comes in two basic colors, blue (recessive) and red (dominant), and a variety of patterns. It should have alternating white and colored hairs on most of the body, except for a few spots. The puppies are born white and grow darker as they mature. Most Australian Cattle Dogs have a stripe or spot of white hair on their forehead called the Bently Mark. They also tend to have white on their chests and the tip of the tail.
The Australian Cattle Dog typically lives around 11 years. The Australian Cattle Dog’s most common health issues are musculoskeletal (spondylosis, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis) and reproductive (pyometra, infertility, and false pregnancy).
The Australian Cattle Dog has a very high energy level; it needs some sort of job to do to keep it engaged. Training sessions should be varied in order to keep the Cattle Dog’s attention. Without attention or engagement in activity, the Australian Cattle Dog may become destructive. It can shred almost any toy in a matter or minutes.
The owner of an Australian Cattle Dog must establish himself as head of the household, or he will be overrun by the dog. The breed is highly intelligent and can be bossy and pushy. Dog agility is an excellent activity for this dog to keep it occupied.