Australian Cattle Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

AKC Group: Herding Group

The Australian Cattle dog is a working dog. But it has been known to pick up after itself and even put its things away! It can make a good pet if properly trained.


The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) was trained in Australia for droving and mustering cattle. They have been known as the Red Heeler, The Queensland Heeler and the Blue Heeler.

Precise origins are unknown but they seem to have appeared as today's ACD about 1897. In the 1840's as a result of breeding the cattle dog with the Collie and the Bull Terrier, the breed of dog became more aggressive, slightly heavier and more muscular. Today, it is a more agile and less aggressive breed as it has also become a pet in addition to retaining its skills as a working dog.

Physical Features

This breed is a rugged, medium-sized short coated-dog with a lot of energy. The usual Australian Cattle Dogs come without any trace of weakness or fragility. It is also intelligent and has an independent streak.

It is about 17-19 inches tall and weighs about 30-60 pounds. Australian Cattle dogs exhibit two primary colors: red and blue, neither is solid in coloration. It is the result of white and gray hairs integrating with the red or black hairs.

The head is broad and slightly rounded; the ears are widely set and moderately pointed or pricked. The oval eyes are dark brown and medium sized while the muzzle is of medium length.

The teeth meet in a scissor like bite. The neck hair is longer and thicker and their chest is deep and broad; the top line levels to a strong back.


Generally good with children who are willing to spend time playing with the ACD. They will dominate those who don't act as the authority figures. It can be playful and will even put away its toys. The breed is very affectionate. Good with children.

Common Health Problems

Australian Cattle Dogs can be prone to deafness, elbow dysplasia; spondylosis and blindness.

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