The Australian Cattle Dog was developed to assist with the moving of large herds of cattle in the outback of Australia. It required a strong biting dog capable of moving wild cattle in open and confined areas. The long distances to be travelled made it essential the dog possess great stamina. Although there is still some disagreement as to the actual breeds used, it is generally thought the Cattle dog developed from cross breeding a Dingo and Blue Merle Collie.
The general appearance is that of a sturdy, compact, symmetrically built working dog with the ability and willingness to carry out any task, however strenuous. Its combination of substance, power, balance and hard muscular condition conveys the impression of great agility, strength and endurance.
The Australian Cattle Dog is sort of like the Boy Scout of the dog world, ever alert, extremely intelligent and watchful, courageous, and trustworthy, with an implicit devotion to duty. It’s loyalty and protective instincts make it an ideal dog, guardian to the stockman, his herd, his property. While suspicious of strangers, they are amenable to handling in the show ring. Cattle Dogs excel in agility, obedience, herding and tracking.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a special kind of character, a combination of brains, tenacity, stubbornness and love. They can be overbearing, mischievous, and downright annoying. Not everyone is able to cope with owning one, but those who do wouldn’t have another breed. Before thinking this is the dog for you, do your homework. Owning a Cattle Dog is a lifetime commitment. The average life span of a Cattle Dog is 10-14 years. That bundle of energy is going to be with you for a long time. There is no such thing as a perfect dog, but this breed will offer you a lifetime of unconditional love, loyalty and entertainment. If you are not prepared to offer the same in return, don’t get a Cattle Dog.