Standing between 17 and 20 inches at the shoulder, the Australian Cattle Dog is a strong, tough muscleman of strength and agility. ACD is born with a white coat that turns blue-gray or red. Both coat varieties have distinctive matting or spiking patterns. ACD has an immense amount of work drive and excel at hunting, chasing, and of course, growing livestock. His boundless energy and gentle gait make him an excellent running partner.
ACDs are true-blue loyalists, famously smart, ever cautious and wary of strangers. If ACD is not challenged, it easily gets bored and gets into mischief. It is recommended that owners of ACD participate in any work, sport or regular exercise with their dog to keep them mentally and physically fit.
The Australian Cattle Dog contributed significantly to the development of the continent’s beef industry and an important component of the Australian economy. The long, complex and sometimes disturbing history of Britain’s settling of the Australian continent is beyond the scope of our story. We can pick it up in the early 1800s, when Anglo-Australians began their migration from the original coastal settlements to the vast grasslands of the western inland.
This was the principal area for rearing beef cattle. In rebuilding these wooded areas as cattle ranches, good shepherd dogs were essential. Australia’s first cattle dogs were British imports of a breed called Smithfield, which was unsuitable for high temperatures, bumpy areas and the distance to its new home market. Thus, the stockmen began a long process of testing and created a herring dog breed that could meet the challenges of the Australian interior. The Smithfields were crossed with dingos (an early breed brought to the continent by its earliest human inhabitants) and other such breeds as the Scottish Highland Collie, as breeders worked toward the desired hardworking and sustainable shepherds. A major contributor to the effort was George Elliott from Queensland, who cut dingos with collies and sold puppies to farmers. The result was a dog that was close to being Quintus Hasir. True perfection came later when two brothers, Jack and Harry Bagast, breed Dalmatians with some of Elliot’s ACDs. Dalmatian’s faith, safety, and spontaneity with horses, mixed with the workability of the original breed (which was reinforced by the addition of a lamb known as black and tan kelpies) to the ACD we produce Today is just the right combination.
The Australian Cattle Dog was admitted to the AKC in 1980 and became a charter member of the AKC Herring Group when the group was founded in 1983.
The general appearance is that of a strong compact, symmetrically constructed working dog, but with the ability and willingness to carry out its allotted task. A combination of substance, strength, balance, and tough muscle positioning should have the effect of great agility, strength, and endurance. Any tendency to grossness or weeding is a serious flaw.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 daysThe primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time
Australian cattle dogs should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared with the supervision and approval of your veterinarian. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult or senior). Australian cattle dogs are very athletic, active canine, so keep in mind that your dog is getting good nutrition to meet his needs. Know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, check with your vet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
A very active, high-energy dog, the Australian Cattle Dog requires more than just a quick walk and play time in the yard. ACD really needs a job to be happy and healthy. On a working farm, this may not be an issue, especially if there are animals in the herd. In other living situations, going with your boss every day or almost every day is a good outlet for his energy. An ideal option is dog participation in the sport, where the Australian Cattle Dog and owner participate in canine activities such as obedience or agility that channels the breed’s drive and abundant energy in a fun way.
A responsible breeder will screen the breeding stock for health conditions such as deafness; Progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, which causes vision loss; And hip dysplasia. The ears of the ACD should be regularly checked and their teeth brushed regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid wax formation.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: