Australian Cattle Dog: Dog Breed Profile


The Australian Cattle Dog is a rustic, medium-sized, compact, and strong dog. The Australian Cattle Dog gives Its master and Its adoptive family all Its great qualities as a protective and guard dog, Its fidelity, Its loyalty, Its intelligence, and Its endurance. Add to that Its great kindness and gentleness, as well as Its docility.

It is therefore a canine that amazes its adoptive family and is suitable for couples with and without children.

History of the breed

The breed of the Australian Cattle Dog was created with the aim of obtaining a dog suitable for work, mainly for the cattle which it is brought to lead over large areas in Australia. Little by little, the robustness, intelligence, endurance, and bite of the dog were developed over the selections, resulting in the Australian Cattle Dog that we know today. It is most likely the result of the cross between the dingo, a wild dog from Australia and Southeast Asia, and different breeds of British Collies imported to Oceania. Further additions of Dalmatian and Black and Tan Kelpie are also very possible. The current standard for the breed was established in October 2012.

Physical features

  • Its coat: smooth, with a dense and short undercoat, a tight, straight, hard topcoat, lying flat. All of this ensures good impermeability.
  • Its color: speckled blue (predominantly blue, marbled blue or speckled blue without other marks) or truity of red (small red marks distributed over the whole body, even on the undercoat).
  • Its head: strong, in harmony with the general proportions of the body. The skull is large, slightly convex between the ears. The stop is light, but clear.
  • Its ears: of moderate size, broad at their base, erect, well apart at the attachment and reacting to the slightest noise.
  • Its eyes : medium in size, oval in shape, and dark brown in color. They display a lively and intelligent expression.
  • Its body: compact and harmonious as a whole, with a horizontal topline, a strong back, a broad and muscular kidney, a long and sloping croup, as well as a well let down chest and of moderate width.
  • Its tail: length reaching the hock, well furnished with hair, set moderately low, hanging and slightly curved at rest, raised in alert.

Behavior With Others

The Australian Cattle Dog is an attentive dog, alert, intelligent, courageous, reliable, and driven by a fairly strong instinct for protection. It’s docile with Its master, but wary of people It does not know. Its characteristic gaze clearly means that It’s on Its guard in the presence of strangers. The Australian Cattle Dog is cut for the job. Its original duties are to watch and guide cattle, but It’s equally at home as a companion, guard, and agility dog.

It’s therefore very suspicious of strangers. It’s always on the alert,  ready to intervene to defend Its adoptive family. It’s courageous and trustworthy,  very loyal. It’s very gentle and does not emit any aggressiveness even if It knows how to defend Itself if necessary. A great playmate for children.

Note: cohabitation with other animals will be possible, if socialization work is done well upstream, especially during the period of development conducive to socialization, namely between 1 and 3 months.


It’s intelligent, lively, and blessed with remarkable understanding. The education of the Australian Cattle Dog must be firm, but without the balance of power. It’s generally obedient and assimilates Its learning well.

In addition, It instinctively seeks work and puts all Its abnegation into it. It must be socialized very early to avoid conflicts that can arise in adulthood with Its peers. Do not hesitate to take it for a walk in town or in public places so that it can soak up the outside atmosphere and thus let it lower its guard in the presence of intruders.

Living Conditions

Due to its origins, the Australian Cattle Dog does not adapt very well to living in an apartment. This canine needs space to spend physically. A house with a large fenced garden would make It happy. The Australian Cattle Dog is intended more for active owners who can offer enough exercise. It’s indefatigable and will be happy to follow Its master when jogging or cycling.

Health & Maintenance

The Australian Bouvier is a dog with a robust constitution that does not fear much in terms of climatic conditions. However, two hereditary pathologies that may affect this breed should be screened for: congenital deafness and progressive retinal atrophy. In some cases, it is also fragile at the hip where dysplasia can appear.

The life expectancy of an Australian Cattle Dog is, on average, between 10 years and 13 years.

The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely easy to care dog. Its dress made of short hair just needs to be kept clean and healthy in order to retain its waterproofness. Only regular maintenance is necessary.

Brushing this type of dog should be done regularly. The cleanliness of its eyes and ears should be monitored, as well as that of its paws after outings in rural or forest areas.

The diet of the Australian Cattle Dog must be in line with its daily energy expenditure. IT can be satisfied with human food as well as high-quality kibble. Do not hesitate to seek advice from a veterinarian.

The Australian Cattle Dog is by nature an active and independent dog. It, therefore, needs long daily walks and some outings in open areas  (countryside, forests, etc.). It also appreciates being able to indulge in various games and activities such as agility events.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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