The Australian Cattle Dog is alert, loyal and very smart!!  He is also known as a Blue, Red, Hall’s or Queensland Heeler.  The Australian Cattle Dog featured in the movie “Red” and it’s popularity increased dramatically after the release of the movie.

Originally a crossbreed between collies and native dingoes by Australian settlers, in the early 19th century. This hybrid resulted in an extremely athletic dog with an incredible work ethic suitable for cattle herding on rough terrain.

These versatile dogs often participate in dog sports including herding, agility competitions and obedience competitions and can also be found working as police dogs or even hiking with their owner.

The Australian Cattle dog is Medium sized with a short double coat in a variety of colours including red speckled, blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled.

Distinctive features include the mask and Bentley’s mark. The mask consists of a black or red patch around one or both eyes and Bentley’s mark appears as a white star on their forehead.

They are happy, loving, playful and very energentic pets, but some may have the urge to nip and can display aggressive behaviour, so you need to be mindful of this if you have a young family. Naturally this can be minimised by proper training, socialisation, providing stimulation with things such as chew toys.

Due to their high energy level and active nature anyone with one of these delightful dogs, needs to ensure loads of exercise every day!  Without exercise these dogs can become distressed and potentially destructive.

 The Aussie Cattle Dog lives on average around 12 to 14 years. Most health problems with this breed are as a result of a recessive gene which is responsible for the white in their coat and skin. This gene mutation can be identified by DNA testing and is linked to hereditary blindness and deafness. The incidence of carriers is believed to be as high as 50%. 
Common illnesses to watch out for include:
>Progressive retinal Atrophy (PRA) – Degeneration of the retina resulting in progressive sight deterioration and eventual blindness.
>Deafness – Inherited deafness present at birth.
>Hip Dysplasia – Genetic condition that causes abnormal development of the hip joints in young dogs. This can lead to early onset degenerative joint disease.
>Cruciate Disease – Prone to rupture of the cruciate ligament in the knee. This causes lameness and could require surgery.
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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals