Thursday, November 13, 2008

Australian Cattle Dog

Here's an article I wrote for another website. I wanted to share it here, in case anyone is looking for this info. Enjoy!

The Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is one of the Herding group, as the breed has a history of being loyally devoted to its mission when controlling the movement of cattle. Australian Cattle Dogs are hardworking, powerful and agile. They have protective instincts, which were appropriate for assisting stockmen in harsh conditions, and are still used by ranchers, and farmers of today. Developed in Australia in the 1800s, this dog is surrounded by controversy over what breeds were actually used to create this small, yet muscular animal. Suspicions include Collies, Terriers, the Dalmatian, and the Dingo, just to name a few.

The Australian Cattle Dog can make the perfect pet, under the right conditions. This breed is extremely active, and must remain so in order to thrive in a family situation. An ideal setting would include ample room to run, and exercise, lots of attention from its owner, and a stable environment. This breed is said to be an excellent participant in such things as Frisbee and other ‘Dog Sports.’ Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely intelligent, but also protective, so as an owner, one must attempt to keep this dog in somewhat calm, and non-chaotic situations. When the animal senses a threat, or imminent danger to its owner or surroundings, it has the potential to become over-protective, or even fierce.

The Australian Cattle Dog’s coat is what is known as a double coat. The outer layer is short, and straight, while the undercoat is dense, and curly. This type of coat is ideal for keeping the dog safe in harsh weather conditions, although, an owner would not be wise to keep an Australian Cattle Dog outside for long periods. This breed typically sheds about once per year, making for minimal cleanup of dog hair, and as a smaller dog of between 30 and 50 lbs, and about 17 to 20 inches tall, a large inside area is not necessary.

There are some interesting facts about this breed. Australian Cattle Dogs are all born white in color, with either blue or red coloring coming in as they age. They are sometimes referred to as Red Heelers, Blue Heelers, or Queensland Heelers. They may also be referred to as ‘shadow dogs,’ as they love to be near their owners, and suffer greatly if regularly left alone for long periods.

Australian Cattle Dogs would be best suited in country homes, with no small children, and lots of stability. A home environment including working tasks, or energetic participation in sports and outdoor games would be idea.

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