Australian Cattle Dog - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Australian Cattle Dog

General Information - Australian Cattle Dog



10-13 years



very high

Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:

Other Names:
Queensland Heeler,Blue Heeler, Halls Heeler

Original Function:
cattle herding


The Australian Cattle Dog, originally known as the Queensland Blue Heeler, was specifically created by early ranchers in Australia who needed a dog capable of handling sheep and cattle in the wide open spaces of that country. (A Heeler is a dog that works the cattle by nipping at their heels.) In the 1830s, a hardy, yet noisy, breed known as the Smithfield was crossed with the quiet, steadfast wild dog of Australia, the Dingo. The result was a quieter dog but also more unruly and a strong biter. This dog was crossed again with other breeds such as the Blue Merle Smooth Collie to regain control, the Dalmatian to regain temperament, especially around horses, and the Australian Kelpie to regain herding instincts. The final result was a manageable herding and working dog with superb temperament and intelligence, able to work tirelessly over large areas in harsh conditions and very high temperatures, and in wide or closed spaces. The breed was officially recognised in 1903 by the New South Wales Kennel Club, when it was renamed the Australian Cattle Dog. It remains still today as a true and prized herding dog in Australia as well as in North America. The breed requires plenty of outdoor exercise.


Independent and obedient, Australian Cattle Dogs are sometimes suspicious of people they don't know. Australian Cattle Dogs are loyal and tireless hard workers who are devoted to protecting their owners, herd and property.


The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to be active and tireless. This dog needs a lot of physical and mental activity, more than a simple walk on a leash can provide. A good jog or long workout, coupled with obedience lessons or other intellectual challenges, is essential every day. It is happiest when it has a job to perform, and especially when that job is herding. The Australian Cattle Dog can live outdoors in temperate to cool climates. It is unsuited for apartment life. Its coat needs brushing or combing weekly to remove dead hairs.

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