Australian Cattle Dog

Herding Group

Australian Cattle Dog lying on ground in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 17-19 in, Males 18-20 in

Weight

35-50 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-16 yrs

History

The Australian Cattle Dog originated in Australia in the 19th century. As Anglo-Australians migrated to the western inland, ranchers sought a cattle-herding breed that could stand up to the harsh conditions. The breed that they brought with them, Smithfields, could not stand up to the heat, terrain, or long distances they needed to be able to travel. Breeders eventually bred Smithfields with wild dingos; the addition of Scottish Highland Collies, Dalmatians, and Black and Tan Kelpies was what created the modern Australian Cattle Dog.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Australian Cattle Dogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆☆

★☆

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Intelligent and independent- the breed was ranked 10th in obedience command trainability in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs

Usually bond closely with one person and will not want to separate from them 

Prone to nipping, even when playing

Very high energy and may become destructive if bored

While they're generally friendly, they are protective of family and can be wary of strangers