All About the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is also known as a Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler.

It’s an alert, pleasant and curious breed related to the Dingo, an Australian wild dog. Many people don’t know the essential facts about one of the oldest dogs in the world.

What You Should Know

The Australian Cattle Dog was first bred in the 19th-century by Australian settlers who needed to herd cattle on the ranch. This hardy dog handles the harsh working conditions and climate of Australia. It was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1980.

It features a blue color with or without red speckled markings. It has a double coat and muscular statue, built for working hard.

What Sound Do They Make?

The Australian Cattle Dog sounds the alarm quickly. It barks at any unfamiliar sight or sound. That’s why it’s not a good dog to leave in the yard unattended. Some of the species also feature a sharp, high-pitched bark that’s hard to handle.

You can get a small taste of its bark with this homemade YouTube video.

Group Characteristics

The Australian Cattle Dog loves to live with families but works best when the children are raised with the puppy. That’s what allows the dog to become protective and caring toward the children. If not, it can become nippy and start to bite.

On average, the Australian Cattle Dog litter consists of five puppies. This often ranges from one to seven pups at a time.

How Many are There?

The Australian Cattle Dog only became accepted by the AKC in 1980. Since then, it recently hit the 55th spot on the Top Breeds list in 2018. It has remained in or around that spot for the last five years.

Watch a Video

If you want the complete rundown on the Australian Cattle Dog, make sure you check out this documentary from Animal Planet.

You can also learn some of the main differences between two popular herding dogs: the Australian Cattle Dog and Border Collie with this video.

Pop Culture

The Australian Cattle Dog has been in numerous movies. Chico was in The Secret Window as Mort Rainey’s dog. One of these dogs was also featured in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior as Max’s companion.

You will also see an Australian Cattle Dog in Babe, a family film. It was one of the bad dogs that killed sheep. The award-winning Brokeback Mountain showcased a couple of Australian Cattle Dogs which travel with the cowboys during the beginning of the film. If you look in the extended footage, you will find more content containing them.

In Man of Steel, there is also a cattle dog highlighted, but it’s not a large role. You can see it during the midpoint and later in the film.

Interesting Facts

The Australian Cattle Dog is a true survivor. In 2009, a dog named Sophie was on a boat with her family near Queensland, Australia. The dog was thrown off when a wave hit the ship. This pup swam five miles to shore and found itself on St. Bees Island. This island was inhabited by wild horses. Sophie stayed alive by hunting the feral goats on the island. Over time, a ranger found her and reunited her with the family, proving how tough this breed is.

Because these dogs enjoy chewing, owners must be prepared to offer more than the average dog. They will want tough toys and larger bones to keep themselves entertained and satisfied.

A typical Australian Cattle Dog will weigh up to 45 pounds. The average lifespan is between 12 and 13 years old.