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Australian Cattle Dog

Personality:Alert, curious, and pleasant

Coat & Grooming:The short coat sheds only once or twice a year; it needs infrequent brushing

Energy Level:Very Active; These high-energy dogs need a job to remain happy

Originally: Australia

Nicknames: ACD

Size: Medium

Meet the Australian Cattle Dog

​The strong and muscular ACD, also called Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler, is related to an Aussie wild dog called the Dingo (the same type of dog that Meryl Streep accused of stealing her baby in the movie "A Cry in the Dark"). The addition of the Scottish Highland Collie and the Dalmatian helped to create a faithful, hardworking, independent (and, yes, baby-friendly) breed. They’re often seen with an alert expression, anticipating the next job their owner asks them to complete. The breed is born with a white coat that turns gray with black speckles or red-brown with white speckles. 

What's Their Story?

​This breed can thank its sturdy build and strong work ethic to one George Elliot, who in the 1800s bred Dingoes with Collies and sold the puppies to farmers. The result was a dog that was so, so close to being the quintessential herding dog. True perfection came later when two brothers, Jack and Harry Bagust, bred Dalmatians with some of Elliott’s ACDs. The Dalmatian’s faithfulness and love of horses mixed with the original breed’s working ability (which was also reinforced by the addition of a sheepdog into the line) was just the right combination to produce the loyal, committed ACD we know today.

What are they Like?

​Often kept to work on farms, ACDs are hardworking herding dogs that excel at hunting and chasing, whether on a ranch, during a run or hike with their owners, or in the agility ring. They’re faithful to their owners and are extremely intelligent. But like a child studying in a class too easy for him, if an ACD isn’t challenged, he easily becomes bored and gets into mischief. That’s why it’s recommended that ACD owners participate in dog sports or make their ACD a running companion so that he stays mentally and physically satisfied.

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