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Australian Cattle Dog


The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) or simply the Cattle Dog is a medium-sized herding dog. These dogs are very energetic, smart and with an independent streak. They also have a strong sense of adventure and quickly learn different activities.

More Information

The Ultimate Guide to Australian Cattle Dogs

Key Characteristics Of Australian Cattle Dogs
How Can I Take Good Care Of An Australian Cattle Dog Puppy?
Most Asked Australian Cattle Dog Questions
Similar Dog Breeds

The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) or simply the Cattle Dog is a medium-sized herding dog. These dogs are very energetic, smart and with an independent streak. They also have a strong sense of adventure and quickly learn different activities.


Australian Cattle Dog Origins

As the name suggests, ACDs are natives to Australia. The first cattle dogs in Australia were imports of a breed called Smithfield. Unfortunately these dogs couldn’t withstand the hot temperatures or the rugged terrain. They also couldn’t tolerate the long distances they were subjected to.

As a result, herders and cattle owners started a long trial process of breeding. Their goal was to develop the perfect herding dog. Smithfields were crossbred with Dingoes. Dingoes were an untamed breed brought to Australia by its earliest human inhabitants.

Other dog breeds used in the crossbreeding were the Collie, Bull Terrier, as well as the Black and Tan Kelpie.

One of the people who contributed to ACD’s development was George Elliott of Queensland. He crossbred Dingoes and Collies and sold the puppies to herders. The outcome was a dog that nearly became the perfect Aussie herding dog.

But the true herding dog came about when Dalmatians were bred with a few of Elliot’s ACD’s. This outcross can be attributed to two brothers: Jack and Harry Bagust. The Dalmatian was chosen for its sense of protection, loyalty, and ease with horses.

These combined with the initial ACD’s working capability, produced the Australian Cattle Dog that we know today.


Key Characteristics of Australian Cattle Dogs

Are Cavoodles Family-Friendly?These dogs get on well with their owners. But because of their small size, they are better suited for families with older kids as toddlers can be a bit rough.
Daily Exercise Needs?A short walk for half an hour or so is enough.

As cavoodles are playful, they burn off energy throughout the day. They do so by playing with a range of toys, which keep them mentally stimulated.
Common Health Issues & ConsiderationsCavoodles may suffer from:
● Syringomyelia- a condition where their skulls turn out to be too small for their brains.
● Mitral Valve Disease- it’s a condition that affects the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
● Cataracts- it’s characterized by the formation of a cloudy membrane over your dog’s eye.
Lifespan10 to 14 years.
Nature / Temperament
Cavoodles are a gentle and sweet-natured dog breed. They are lively and friendly dogs that are very sociable. This is not surprising since both of their parents have these traits.

Even though they look like teddy bears, these dogs are intelligent as they are trainable.
Both males and females weigh between 5 and 12 kg

30 to 35 cm
Suitable EnvironmentThis is mainly an indoor dog. Its small size makes it perfect for an apartment. Plus, it does not create a mess at home. Although it has a curious nature, the Cavoodle likes observing its surrounding silently.
GroomingThey are non-shedding to low shedding dogs. But even though they don’t shed that much, their fur still needs regular grooming. It’s a good idea to brush their coat on a weekly basis to prevent it from getting tangled.

Other considerations:

● These dogs have many aliases. They are also known as Blue Heelers, Red Heelers or Queensland Heeler.

● They got the name “heeler” from their act of herding cattle by nipping at their heels.

● Australian Heelers are made for the outdoors. Due to their association with Dingoes, they can run for long distances.

● Their coats can either be mottled or speckled. For the mottled, they will have dark spots on a light background while speckled are the inverse.

● They have strong herding instincts. These dogs should be kept busy because they can be destructive if left idle.


How can I take good care of my Australian Cattle Dog or Australian Cattle Dog Puppy?


Owners of Blue Heelers need to feed their dogs at least two times a day. Since these are very active dogs, their diet should meet their nutritional requirements.

Choose a nutrient-rich brand of dog food that is tailored for medium-sized dogs. The dog food should not contain any fillers like corn meal or soy. You can make your dog work for their food. This way, you’ll be keeping them busy while also providing stimulation.

Also, you should give your dog a clean, fresh water at all times.


Australian Cattle Dogs have double coats. The undercoat is quite dense while the short, outer coat is hard. The best thing about their coats is that they are all-weather.

Simply put; their coats can repel water and dirt. This makes the breed very low maintenance. You only need to brush their coats once a week in most circumstances.

However they shed a lot twice per year. During this time you might have to brush their coats more often.

Recommended Grooming Tips:

● When grooming your dog, check their ears for signs of ear wax.

● Trim their nails regularly.

● Bathe your dog as needed.

● These dogs are very active outdoors. As a result they might get dirty which calls for frequent bathing.  

● Brush their teeth 2 – 3 times a week.


Owners should engage their dogs in interactive games. This way, ACDs use their energy in meaningful ways. Examples of games you can play with your Heeler include hide and seek, catch and tug of war.

Or, you can take them for long walks. While other breeds are content with short walks, cattle dogs prefer long walks once or twice per day.


To train Australian Cattle Dogs, you need to be fair, consistent and use positive rewards. These dogs are highly intelligent and sometimes stubborn. In these situations, proper corrections are necessary to avoid future problems.

Most Asked Australian Cattle Dog Questions

What's the Difference Between the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd?

Many assume that Australian Cattle Dogs and Australian Shepherds are the same breed, but this is not the case.

Australian Shepherds are an American dog. Despite having some ties to Australia, they are an all-American breed. They’re famous for their herding activities in the West.


Contrary, the Australian Cattle Dog is native to Australia. These dogs are known for their herding prowess across the Australian countryside.

How do Australian Cattle Dogs get along with people?

They are mostly a one-person dog. These are not the kind of creatures that will cuddle on the couch with you, instead they prefer being put to work.

How much is an Australian Cattle Dog?

Australian Cattle Dogs for sale cost between $400 and $1,000 approximately.

This is general information and should not be relied on as adoption or purchasing advice.

Similar Breeds

Bearded Collie

Border Collie

Australian Shepherd

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