Australian Heeler Cattle Dogs
Frank Rijkers – South Africans to Oz
Australian Heeler Cattle Dogs have always fascinated me. Now that I have settled down in Oz, I decided to find out what it takes to own one or maybe all three.
From the onset things do not look to promising. The biggest problem is lack space, which I’m sure Australian heeler cattle dogs need plenty of.
According to Wikipedia, in the 19th century New South Wales cattle farmer Thomas Hall crossed the dogs used by drovers in his parents’ home county, Northumberland, with dingoes he had tamed.
The dogs are also known as ACD, Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, Red Heeler.
They are medium in size with a solid build.
Whenever I see one, normally on the back of a tradies Ute (tradesman’s bakkie), the cattle dog has a strong collar with a rope or chain fixed to a strong point.
I usually have no fear of dogs but have not had the courage to approach an ACD to say “hi”. Their steady focused stare makes the hair at the back of my neck rise and scare the pants off me. It may also be a fear of an annoyed, tattooed, tough looking owner??
Once you read about the Australian cattle dogs’ traits and characteristics you will understand why this is.
- They are extreme high energy and will trash your joint creating a moonscape in no time, if allowed to get bored when left alone for long periods.
- Also, these strong-willed dogs must be trained from puppy hood with a strong emphasis on discipline from day one.
- Socially, because of their suspicious characters, they can be quite aggressive especially with other dogs, your cat and I would be very careful with children.
- When playing and get excited like to nip.
- Unfortunately they have a high-pitched bark that can be pretty annoying.
- Australian cattle dogs’ short double coarse hair sheds heavily and tends to stick to clothes and furniture.
- Their colouring is blue, blue mottled, blue speckled, red speckled and red mottled.
- There is no doubt, in the right hands, this dog makes a great companion.
So what do I think!
If you want a dog that thrives on vigorous exercise, makes a good watch dog, has short hair with a choice of striking colours, then have a closer look at the Australian heeler cattle dog.
I find them fascinating dogs, but because they were never bred to be house hold pets, they are definitely not for an old guy like me.
Hmmmm! I wonder if this little fellow is looking for a home?
If dogs don’t interest you what about the whales that visit the Australian coast yearly.