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Australian Cattle Dog

Also known as Heelers, the ACD generally exhibits a happy go lucky cockiness that doesn't seem to appear in its other Herding breed cousins.  Just as well, bred to contend with some pretty tough customers (why don't you try herding some cattle that fended for themselves against hungry wolves all winter in the Australian wilderness?).  They are still, when properly raised, reliable, loving and great companions with just enough of that big dog attitude to seem larger than their stature implies.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Herding Height: 16-21inchs
Weight: 35-55 pounds Longevity: into the teens
Colors: merling is common as is tri-color Coat type: smooth and plush
Recognized Registries: AKC and others
Overall Appearance: stocky with substance, longer in body than high, prick ears, alert eyes and thick neck
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high
General Nature: good
  with Children: can be excellent
  with other pets: on average need to be supervised
  with dogs: varies
Socialization requirements: definitely benefits from alot of socialization
Ideal home characteristics: one that has some time to devote to keeping their tenacios and active mind engaged, they can be
Temperament Notes: confident, tenacious, focused, clever, cunning
Training requirement: good boundaries keep the ACD happy as well as secure
Trainer notes: A dog that cannot be treated as a "toy".  Bred to be an innovative, adept and independent worker, these dogs, overindulged can be hazardous.  Confidence can lead to dominant behavior without suitable boundaries, socialization and guidelines.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition:
Country of Origin: Australia
Original Function: Cattle Dog
History: The courageous, tenacious workers and helpers of the Australian shepherd. Willing to go into dangerous kick zones of semi-wild cattle and other livestock, the ACD is well known for his fearless spirit and independent energy.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: too large, refined, blue/brown mottled eyes
Health Notes: luxating patella, eye problems, hip dysplasia
Health Testing: OptiGen (eyes), OFA (knees and hips)
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you have Australian Cattle dogs?
  • How often do you have puppies available?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What do you consider the ideal ACD?
  • What criteria do you use in choosing your breeding stock?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What health issues do you screen for?
  • What would you consider an ideal ACD home?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your puppies to their homes?
  • What training and raising advice do you have for someone with an ACD pup?
  • Are you active in ACD rescue?
Web Sites: - The rescue of the ACD Club of America

Other Resources
Breed standard: Cattle Dog Standard in the US

Breeder Ethics: Cattle Dog Club of America Breeder Code of Ethics

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