The Australian cattle dog is a herding dog. It has a few other names it is commonly called as well such as the red heeler, blue heeler and Queensland heeler. The breed is used primarily for cattle herding.
This breed came about in 1897 when a Smithfield dog breed was breed with a Dingo (wild dog) after a few attempts the Australian cattle breed was born. This breed is highly aggressive and well suited as a cattle herder however, I personally wouldn't want one as a pet. They have a tendency to try and nip the feet of humans as they would the cattle.
The Australian Cattle dog is a medium sized dog and weighs between 35 - 50 pounds. The average male's height varies from 18 20 inches while the average female's height varies from 18 19 inches. This breed is well muscled body. The tail is long with a white tip and is carried low. Although, the mask on one or both eyes is the most distinctive feature of this breed although, some cattle dogs do not have this mask and have red eyebrows instead.
The outer coat of this breed is dense, slightly oil and ruff while the undercoat is wooly. Blue and red are the two primary colors of this breed with a mixture of white and grey or red and black hair.
Since this is a herding breed they have an extremely high energy level and require a good amount of exercise. If this breed does not get adequate exercise then they can resort to destructive behavior to expend their pent up energy. Often cattle dogs get bored with similar training routines and require diverse training routines to keep them interested. If the dog becomes bored it will entertain it's self by digging holes and chewing on fences or any number of other destructive activities.
Since cattle dogs are cautious by nature and have sharp instincts they make good guard dogs and can be trained to keep household pets in control. It is important to train the Australian Cattle dog from a young age as they tend to become dominant and aggressive as they grow up. Trained Australian cattle dogs can be introduced to children and due to their protective nature they can be good companions for children.
The average gestation period varies from 60- 72 days but in some cases the females can go into labor within 55 days. Female cattle dogs can deliver 1 7 puppies but majority of female cattle dogs give birth to about 5 puppies in each litter.
The average lifespan of an Australian cattle dog is 11 to 15 years. This breed has an excellent health record with the most common health problems being displaced hips and joints and on a rare occasion blindness.