Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a well-muscled medium sized dog, with a short coat. It is renowned for its work capacity herding cattle in challenging conditions

The breed is also known as the Australian Heeler, due to the breed's instinctive action of crouching low behind cattle and nipping then on their heels. The Australian Cattle Dog possesses impressive levels of stamina and loves to keep busy. It is wary of strangers, and is protective of his cattle and property.

The Australian Cattle Dog is thought to have been developed using breeds such as the Dalmatian, Bull Terrier, Kelpie and the Dingo to create a dog capable of withstanding long treks with cattle in harsh conditions.

Australian Cattle Dog breed group

The Australian Cattle Dog belongs to the pastoral group of dogs.

Size of the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a medium sized dog. It is strong, compact and athletic in appearance. The ears are broad at the base, and pointed at the tips, and held upright or pricked. The tail is set low to the body, and curves slightly at the end. The Australian Cattle Dog has dark brown, medium-sized oval shaped eyes.

Colour varieties of the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is seen in a handful of colours and markings including:
•    Blue
•    Blue and Tan
•    Blue, Black and Tan
•    Blue Speckled
•    Red
•    Red and Tan
•    Red Speckled

Country of origin


Size and weight of the Australian Cattle Dog

Height to withers for bitches - 43-48 cms (around 17-19 inches)

Height to withers for dogs - 46-51 cms (around 18-20 inches)

Weight of a bitch around 15–22 kg

Weight of a dog around 15–22 kg

Australian Cattle Dog temperament

Australian Cattle Dogs are loyal and devoted dogs with a strong work ethic. The breed tends to form a very loyal bond with its owner and family. The breed can be protective of its owners, property and food. It is normally suspicious of strangers. It can be prone to nipping at children due to its herding nature, so not an ideal pet for families for small children. This is a dog that thrives on companionship, exercise and keeping busy. Lack of physical and mental stimulation can quickly result in unwanted and destructive behaviour such as separation anxiety. The highly intelligent Australian Cattle dog excels at many fun canine activities including agility, flyball and obedience and is a great way to keep this athletic dog stimulated.

Health issues in the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is generally a heathy and hardy dog, however coming from a relatively small gene pool, certain health issues have been found in the breed, so do consult your breeder for advice:
•    Deafness - this can affect one or both ears
•    Elbow dysplasia
•    Hip dysplasia
•    Progressive Retinal Atrophy

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable breeder, where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of an Australian Cattle Dog

A healthy Australian Cattle Dog should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 12-14 years.

Approximate Australian Cattle Dog puppy price

Expect to pay around £400-£600 for a pedigree puppy. However, please be aware litters are few and far between, with just 41 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015. Litters tend to produce between 1-7 puppies.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:
•    Worming and fleas preparations
•    Annual Vaccination boosters
•    Neutering or spaying
•    Microchipping
•    Dental treatment