Animal Stories - Australian Cattle Dog

Animal-World Information about: Australian Cattle Dog

   The Australian Cattle Dog is an especially energetic, loyal dog suited for cattle herding and other organized activities. They have a wild appearance, but can make great friends.
Latest Animal Stories
Derek - 2015-01-07
my blue heeler had 1 puppy, how common is this ?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-01-07
    Not common, their average litter size is 4-8.
Manon - 2014-12-29
I have a female blue heeler almost two years old,we go hiking winter and summer. Twice now anniebleau has been doing this weird thing like freeking out almost as if she has a bug crawling on her she goes in circle and seems to try to get whatever is on her off. However she only does this when she gets back into the vehicle after a long hike. And she has done many mts in her two years. It has happened only twice so far, but still I'm certain it will happen again. I'm thinking, maybe her muscles tighten up or cramp up. She sleeps all the way home and the next day it's as if nothing has happened. Back to her normal self, very active. What do you think.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-12-29
    Boy I don't know what to tell you... it could be a skin problem, like dry skin or allergies. Or as you say, muscles. You may want to get her a checkup with your vet.
Dave - 2014-11-28
We have two ACD's, an 8yr old male (adopted), and a 5yr old female (brought home at 8wks). The two share traits of the breed..energetic, loyal, protective, intelligent,etc., but differ wildly in personality. The male is a bit of a loner, ie; no cuddling, likes his space, content to stay in yard by himself for hours. While the 'pup' wants to be as close as possible at all times..sleeps next to me, lays with head on lap during tv time, won't stay outside unless I'm out there, will get up from a nap if I leave the room, etc. The female fits the 'velcro dog' description. The male doesn't. The female also is a complete 'water dog'. I've read owners state that their ACD's hate water and I can't contest that. Our male won't do more than get his feet wet, but the female will dive into any pool of water available. We spend some weekends at a local lake, and I kayak. If I head out, she will NOT be left behind, and will trail my kayak any distance. To the point that we've fitted her with a life-vest, for fear of her tiring in the middle of a lake! These are the greatest breed I've owned, and I'll be a cattle dog owner from here on out. If you're considering one, do your research! They are not for everyone. If you're not prepared to play the alpha, they WILL assume that role. They need a 'job'. Whether that is simply catching a frisbee of herding cattle, they need something to focus on. Amazing animals who's loyalty, dedication and intelligence is unmatched imo.

Juli - 2013-11-15
My first Blue Heeler was ACD registered and female. She was what I would call the perfect dog. Well behaved and loved everyone. She was protective of me and would attempt to bite only if she felt I was threatened. It took me ten years to get another Blue Heeler without feeling like I was trying to replace her. This time I bought a farm dog, not registered but certainly pure bred. He is very different from my first one. He is very aggressive with everyone except immediate family (this includes about 7 people), I mean he is even aggressive toward people he saw weekly when he was a pup. Doesn't matter if it is adult or child. He also a submissive/excited dribbler. pee pee pee....not as bad now that he is a year old but he still does it with most except me. I don't know what made him the opposite of my previous heeler and I should not compare but I thought I knew the breed from her behavior and he is similar in some ways but different in so many others. SO hardheaded. I socialized him as a pup and had family to include kids around him every weekend, took him to puppy class which he excelled (top of his class in obedience) except after that seems to be when the peeing started. I run him at least 2 miles every day if possible on the treadmill and play ball or Frisbee when time and weather allow. It sucks to have to lock him away every time we have company. Anyway, despite his attitude, I adore him and he makes me laugh. Like a comedian. My first heeler was always so serious and he is constantly being silly. Example...when I refused to play with him because I was watching tv one night, he kept shoving his toy at me and juggling it around in his mouth. I still refused to play so he put his toy in the toilet which I found after I went to the bathroom..eeeew. Any advice on if his aggressive behavior is a normal trait would be great. I am hooked again though even with his faults, I love him.

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  • Donna - 2014-05-03
    I have a female Blue Heeler who has the same characteristics as your male. She is extremely silly a good deal of the time. She is extremely protective of me but not so much my husband. She was also a submissive/excited dribbler up until about 2 months ago. She's now 20 months old. She is very leery of other people, even people she has seen since the day I got her at 6 weeks of age. I, too, have to lock her away when company comes over, at least for about 15 to 20 minutes. I started socializing her immediately upon bringing her home, but she still nips at these same people I socialized her with. From all the reading I've done on the breed, this seems to be normal behavior for the breed. My last dog was a Heeler/Border Collie mix, which the British Kennel Club recognizes as a McNab. She was a wonderful dog, but also leery of anyone outside the household.
  • Michelle - 2014-09-06
    I have a bullterrier that was a demon in the house. The dog used to pee where he wanted,digging holes, and also biting my furniture and clothes. I found a online training system which has taught me how to train very easily ; the change is a 180 degrees. This is the address if interested:
Jason - 2014-06-15
My ACD keeps running away and I'm not sure what to do. I'm pretty sure she needs more excircise. Also she has become very aggressive towards my nieghboors and turning my other dog aggressive. What age does an ACD mellow out?????

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-06-27
    I'm not sure they do mellow out. They were bred as work dogs for herding and they do best if they have a 'job' to do. From what I've heard about them, if they don't have a job or get plenty of exercise everyday, they can begin to display disruptive behaviors. Sounds like your guy needs more activities, which will keep both him and you happy.
jackiek - 2013-04-08
Hi, I'm considering adopting an ACD puppy (cross between ACD & ASD)- 6 weeks - and we're pretty certain he's deaf. We already have a 3 year old Sharpei-pug cross and we're a family of myself and my two kids, 10 & 12. For sometime I've been considering getting a second dog. Company for our dog Honey, because she's alone in the house for the larger part of the day while we're at work or school. And we've just been offered this ACD puppy so I've been doing a lot of reading. I'm a little concerned about how the two dogs will interact, but I'll suggest a trial weekend before committing. Does anyone have any stories or suggestions for integrating an ACD puppy into a household that already has a dog? Some stories I read seem to suggest they can be a little aloof. I also want to be sure that we're the right family for him. We love dogs, but this breed seems to demand a lot of attention and I don't want him to be bored - I'm thinking my two kids will help with that. Are these 'one person' dogs or will they follow commands from multiple household members? Honey is very active, and protective of us and our home - she goes crazy if she sees someone passing the house. She is ok in general with other dogs, but has been known to be aggressive when she meets strange dogs when we're out for a walk. She does have issues with separation anxiety, which seems to have improved over time as she realizes we always come back. I am also worried that if we don't take this puppy he will be put to sleep. Thanks in advance for your comments, advice!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-09
    It's really great for you to consider adopting this very special puppy. I very much like both the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd, and the mix could be a real interesting pet with a blend of the characteristics. My take from the behaviors and temperament of these two is that the puppy would be an active herding dog that is also a good family dog, and could probably be integrated into a home with another pet. Though the ACD part is less likely to want another dog around, the ASD part is more adaptable to other dogs. The Pug/Shar Pei mix should be tolerant, if socialized properly with the new puppy.  And because it is a puppy ('baby'), the chances of socialization are even better. Puppies are usually most adaptable. Honey is older, but is also a smart dog. She will most likely not only recognize it as a 'baby', but will also recognize the disability... and so may become a caretaker in a sense. At least... that would be ideal and  in my opinion the chances of acceptance are good. Also Honey does need some exercise, and though not as active as the puppy will be, this new friend could help with her activity needs and offset boredom. Good luck!
  • Peggy Rae Brock-Torpey - 2014-02-08
    I have three heeler/aussy shepard mixes....I've found my older red female immediately went to momma mode with her neice...when Jesse Rae passed I was given then 'found' (a puppy 3 months just showed up at our fence) two puppies. So I've had to give each their equal attention or they all were starting to get jealous... and when I interacted with each I did it with the others there....these were all family seems to work...all have different personallities and it hasn't been easy but making sure they know they all get individual and group love has calmed the snarling...hope this makes sense...please rescue this pup!
  • Mary Kay - 2014-02-27
    I would not bring in a Cattle Dog if your dog has displaced anger. Getting hyped up when someone walks past your home will start a fight. Your little dog will lose with an ACD. They can be small in stature but are like bulls & made of muscle. My chihuahua snapped at my Cattle Dog yesterday & he attacked her. Multiple punctures by the time I got from one room to where they were. He would have killed her if I wasn't home. All the books say they do not play well with others. He is generally very sweet & aloof. He is deaf. Whatever triggered it now has me living in fear & not allowing them to ever be alone unattended.
AP - 2013-02-08
I have had two ACD's and they have been such wonderful pets that I don't think that I will ever feel right if my home is without one.  We are a multi-dog household and my Heelers are friendly with the other dogs, children in the house and with us.    One of my heelers was so friendly once that he sat down in the 'Pet me' position in front of a guest at my home, was patient but finally licked  him in a friendly gesture to say, Hey!  Pet ME!  Unfortunatly, the guest was not a dog person so this was a bit disconcerting. However, the Heeler just took this all in stride.

They are very active, highly intelligent, confident dogs. The Frisbee idea is a good one as are nice walks.  This is a friendly, happy fellow.  I am surprised to see the comments about nipping kids or not liking other dogs. That has not been my experience with either of my Blue Heelers.  In fact, when we take our current one out, particularly to the pet store for treats, people ask us if we don't adopt him, can they?  Well.....he still comes home with us.

Chris - 2012-11-21
We recently adopted a 5-6 year old red heeler who we adore! He is loving and active, but he doesn't play with toys at all. He doesn't even seem to recognize what they are for! I have read that these dogs love to play, but he would rather just be loved. We think it may be that he was abused somewhat before we got him as he is skittish. Any thoughts?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-11-21
    He sounds like a really nice dog. You're right, these dogs usually love to romp and are actually bred to herd. It could very well be that he had a rough first few years in his life, making him skittish and just wanting to be loved. But he sounds like a really nice dog, and it sounds like he has a great home now.
  • Bridget - 2012-12-12
    I have a friend with a dog that they adopted that was the same way, and had not interest in playing with toys. This summer they watched a friends puppy while they were out of town. Surprisingly, their dog learned to play from the puppy. You may want to take the dog around puppies playing to teach the dog to play. My friends dog now loves stuffed dogs toys and gets very excited when he gets a new one.
Jackie Mayer - 2012-09-21
Dear Anonymous, My boyfriend has a red heeler about 4yrs old. He says after the age of 2yrs, your dog should start calming down. You should try an anxiety blanket on your dog.

J9 Colorado - 2011-03-20
I love this breed. My resued Blue Heeler/Mix, Jesse Girl, is the BEST. She is a loving and extremely faithful dog. She is so smart, hardly ever barks, and is great with small children. Her bad qualities (don't we all have them!) are burying our socks and gloves in the yard. It is amazing what we find after the snow melts. She loves to go camping, hiking and is an awesome fishing dog. She needs a walk EVERYDAY ...but I think all dogs need to be walked everyday. She is more mellow than some ACD's, but is beautiful and looks 100% like a blue girl should, expect for being a little tall (she is 47-50lbs). I think this breed is excellent! I just think you have to be the right person for the breed and realize they need exercise and like being given direction. If you want an intelligent, loving dog with a personality...not a typical dog personality.. this is it!