When English colonialist began migrating from the Australian coast to the grass lands, they immediately recognized their need for good herding dogs. They brought over their own herding dog, the Smithfeild. Soon they began breeding the Smithfeilds with the Native Australian Dingo. The more modern Australian Cattle dog is the result of breeding Dingos and Highlander Collies. These dogs helped turn the Australian beef industry into the booming success it was. The American Kennel Club would come to recognize the breed in 1980.
These are very curious and alert dogs.The Australian Cattle Dog is also known for their high intelligence. But be warned, with this intelligence comes some extreme stubbornness. These dogs are wary of strangers, but they are loyal and affectionate to their families.
These dogs can live 12 to 16 years. However, like most dog breeds, there are some problems that the Australian Cattle Dog is prone to. These include:
- Progressive Renal Atrophy, which will lead to blindness
- Hip Dysplasia
You also have to remember that these dogs are extremely active. Play time just simply won’t be enough for the Australian Cattle Dog. Walks and agility training are good outlets for them – or if you happen to live on a farm allowing them to help round up animals will be great.
The also need nutrition to meet with their activity level. A high quality food with a few extra calories would be good for them. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian to make sure you are on track with their dietary needs.
These dogs have a double layer coat that needs to be brushed about once a week. However, they tend to shed a lot, especially during their shedding season (of which they have two). During their shedding seasons, brushing should be done everyday to get rid of the dead hair. Bathing can be done on a weekly basis.