Australian Cattle Dog

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.



Bitches will measure between 43 to 48cm at the withers, dogs between 46 to 51cm.


16 to 20kg.

Agility, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking

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.

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.

13 to 15 years

The only colours in this breed are blue and red-speckle with black, tan, red or blue markings on the head.

The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to work outdoors and has a smooth, double-layer coat that protects him from the elements.

This coat has no odor or oily residue, so an Australian Cattle Dog generally needs just a quick brushing once a week and an occasional bath. Keep in mind, though, that the ACD sheds his undercoat twice a year. During shedding season, every few days he will need a thorough brushing-out to remove the dead hair, using a short-bristle brush and possibly a comb as well.

As with all breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog's nails should be trimmed regularly.

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., their cobbiness, weediness, straight shoulders and stifles can arise. Check the thick undercoat regularly to avoid skin problems. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) can develop later in life, between the ages of 6 and 8, and so it is important that the parentage has been tested.

This dog is relatively easy to feed, only really requiring greater nutrition during working periods.

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 was kept. These dogs were known as Hall's Heelers. Timmon's Biters, Hall's Heelers and Dingos were used in further breeding experiments. One experiment involved a male Dingo being bred with a blue merle collie.

A Dalmatian was then introduced which made the breed good with horses but not as good at herding. The Bull Terrier was then added but made the dogs too rough, so they were bred out. They can still be seen, ever so slightly, in the AuCaDo of today, in their head shape and temperament.

Later on the black and tan was added, this reintroduced the original herding capabilities. This was the final dog to be used in the breeding programme and the AuCaDo has been bred true since 1893.

The Australian Cattle Dog has helped the beef industry of Australia thrive by enabling farmers to maintain huge herds. Australian Cattle Dogs are born completely white.

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