The vast Australian ground was popular with cattle farming in the 1800s. However, that wasn’t possible without the presence of a sturdy, medium-sized dog that would resist the severe weather and won’t tire. To build a breed that would endure the ever-changing environmental conditions, George Elliot crossed the local Australian dogs known as Dingoes with the Smithfield that is now extinct.
The dogs were doing a good job, but Harry and Jack Bagust in Sydney were eager to experiment a bit more. They also crossed the Dalmatian, which contributed to a speckled look of the breed. At the same time, it made the dog comfortable around horses, but it preserved a feeling of loyalty towards people. The dogs that resulted had the appearance of Dingoes, but the markings were rather unusual. These dogs are acknowledged as the ancestors of the breed we recognize today as the Australian Cattle Dog.
In 1897, a standard for the breed was drawn up by Robert Kaleski, which outlined its Dingo specific features. At the moment, the ACD is ranked the 64th among the breeds that are registered with the American Kennel Club.
As the name already implies, this Australian Cattle dog was bred for the purpose of herding cattle. Typically, it presents various personality traits which may either come as an advantage or disadvantage. It adores engaging in plenty of movement, being an excellent partner for jogging or biking. Plus, it’s genuinely smart, which makes it the ideal candidate for dog sports, obedience and certainly herding. For this reason, it is mostly suitable for an environment that provokes it both mentally and physically.
- Activity level: 5/5 (high on the energy level, always ready for action)
- Intelligence level: 5/5 (intelligent and capable of learning – this might make it more stubborn than other breeds)
- Curiosity: 5/5 (always alert and eager to discover)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly with children and with the owner, but rather resistant towards strangers)
- Vocal: 4/5 ( being a cattle breed, the ACD is much likely to be loud and present barking tendencies)
The Australian Cattle Dog is a tireless, courageous, compact dog, being capable of quick and sudden movements. Its appearance is sturdy, which is essential for controlling a herd.
- Fur: It has a smooth, double coat, with or without markings. It doesn’t require much grooming.
- Eyes: The medium-sized eyes are oval in shape, and the color is typically dark brown.
- Body structure: The breed is well-muscled, agile, and powerful, the length of the body being no longer than its tail.
- Facial features: The ears are wide-set, the nose black, and the skull is slightly curved.
- Weight: The average weight of both the male and female ranges from 35 to 45.
The Australian Cattle Dog is known to have a lifespan ranging from 10 to 13 years. Typically, the most common health conditions it is prone to suffer from are canine hip dysplasia (CHD), progressive retinal atrophy, elbow dysplasia, deafness and Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD). On top of that, lens luxation, as well as Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM), has been observed in this breed. For this reason, it is recommendable for the owner to have regular tests on elbows, eyes, ears and hips.
Given the fact that the Australian Cattle Dog has been bred to live in the harsh environmental conditions typical of Australia, they need ample physical and mental exercise on a regular basis. It needs to deliberate the excess of energy; this will contribute to its overall health and wellbeing.
One shouldn’t overlook the importance of obedience as well as intellectual challenges for the Australian Cattle Dog. If it doesn’t have enough activities to engage in, it will become frustrated and unhappy. That is why such a breed is rather unsuitable for living in an apartment, or in an environment that is restrictive to them.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org