Australian Cattle Dog


The Australian Cattle Dog is a well-built, energetic, and a smart breed of dog. It is also known by the names Blue Heeler, or Queensland Heeler.

Australian Cattle Dogs are used even today to manage herds of cattle.

They are faithful to their families and can be suspicious of outsiders. They are intelligent dogs, who are strong and able to move with agility.

They cannot sit idle for long and will keep you on your toes throughout the day. Sufficient exercise must be provided to keep them healthy in body and mind.

They are tireless, being able to move swiftly and spontaneously.

Australian Cattle Dog Pictures

Quick Facts

Average Height: 17 – 20 inches

Average Weight: 30 – 45 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Dog Group: Herding Group

Colors: Blue or Red

Names: Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, Hall’s Heeler, Red Heeler

Dog Rank: 56 (United States of America)

At A Glance

  • Size (3/5)

With the Australian Cattle Dogs sized averagely, the males are 18 – 20 inches in height and the females are 17 – 19 inches in height. Their weight is between 30 – 45 pounds.

  • Affection Level (5/5)

They are affectionate when they feel at home, and do not require much cuddling.

They are dedicated to their families and often like to be with their owners.

They are eager to approach people and get held.

  • Apartment Friendly (2/5)

The Australian Cattle Dog is not cut out for living in an apartment and requires an open yard or farm.

They need a big space to roam and run around.

They should not be left to be by themselves for a time duration.

Being in a secure and enclosed area will provide them enough free space to run around.

  • Cold Weather Tolerability (4/5)

An Australian Cattle Dog can handle cold weather without much difficulty.

Its protective fur allows it to manage itself in harsh and extreme weather conditions such as rain.

  • Hot Weather Tolerability (4/5)

An Australian Cattle Dog is accustomed to tolerating hot weather. It is capable of handling various weather conditions with the help of its weather-resistant outer coat.

  • Barking Tendencies (2/5)

They bark only occasionally and not frequently.

Cattle dogs only bark when alerted or while seeking attention. It has a bark with a high-pitch.

They are not famous as they are loud dogs.

  • Cat-Friendly (1/5)

Cattle Dogs often view small animals such as squirrels and cats as their target.

However, if they have been living with other pets since childhood, they can live peacefully with them. They typically consider a stranger as its prey.

  • Dog-Friendly (4/5)

Cattle Dogs do not belong to the category of pack animals. Thus, it is not easy for them to be friendly with other dogs.

If familiar dogs are around, a cattle dog feels comfortable. However, around multiple dogs, aggression can be triggered in it.

Cattle dogs do not live in packs with other dogs.

  • Exercise Needs (5/5)

This breed is highly energetic and doesn’t want to stay in the same place for long. It can work throughout the entire day without getting exhausted.

Without sufficient exercise given to them, they can easily become bored and behave in a destructive manner.

Prefer giving daily exercise to your Australian Cattle Dog.

  • Grooming Needs (4/5)

They are known as “wash and wear dogs”. A small amount of grooming and an occasional brushing is enough for it.

Keeping regular checks on their nails, ears, and teeth will be helpful in preventing potential health problems.

Minor adjustments to its hair and body are not required.

  • Playfulness (5/5)

Australian Cattle dogs are generally warm and playful when in a cozy environment.

They are especially friendly and playful with children who have been living with them since their childhood.

  • Trainability (4/5)

As this breed is intelligent, it is easy to train. It will show its willingness in outdoor sports (e.g. Frisbee or catch).

They must be trained regularly or else they might become destructive due to lack of tasks.

  • Intelligence (5/5)

Australian Cattle Dogs are lively, with their minds being always active. They are one of the most intelligent dogs in the world.

They must always be kept occupied in activities to fulfill their energy requirements and mental satisfaction.

  • Mouthiness (5/5)

They have an inclination towards being mouthy (e.g. nipping and biting). They can mouth anything, ranging from children to cars. Keeping kids away can be a safe thing to do.

  • Price Group (2/5)

Australian Cattle Dog price is average and in the range of $800 – $1200 USD.

Multiple costs are incurred including on things such as food, health, care, grooming, and some accessories for your dog.

About Australian Cattle Dogs

The Australian Cattle Dog was initially utilized as a means to manage the wild cattle on large fields. It could control the herd by nipping and biting when cattle went astray.

Cattle Dogs are devoted safeguards of their own territory and have difficulty when they get bereaved of their owners.

They can sometimes be unyielding to the authority; so, the right kind of training can provide more control over them.

Even though they are a tough breed, they show their due acknowledgment for good praises and treatment.

They are known to be excellent watchdogs because of their protective nature towards their owners and territory.

Sometimes, adolescent Cattle Dogs can be challenging to handle if you aren’t a seasoned trainer.

Where Do Australian Cattle Dogs Originate From?

Throughout history, the names of the breed have developed into the following:

  • Australian Heeler
  • Blue Heeler
  • Queensland Heeler
  • Halls Heeler

The term “Heeler” was coined because these dogs herded cattle by way of nipping at their heels. Today, the breed is known popularly as the Australian Cattle Dog.

The Australian Cattle Dog was first bred in the 19th century. Cattle owners wanted a dog who could manage itself in severe climatic and working conditions. After many breeds had failed, the Australian Cattle Dog was born.

They remain popular even today with ranchers and regular pet owners.


They are medium in size and have a sturdily built physique.

Male dogs are 18 – 20 inches in height and female dogs are 17 – 19 inches in height.

They weigh moderately at 30 – 45 pounds. An Australian Cattle Dog who is in a good and healthy state weighs around 40 to 55 pounds.

They are lengthier horizontally than taller vertically.


An Australian Cattle Dog needs to be trained to socialize from an early stage, otherwise, it can develop timidity.

Due to its mouthy nature, it must be guided not to put his mouth on humans, and to put his mouth only on certain items, such as toys.

It is easy to train breed of dogs. As they need ample space to roam and run around, they are not fit for apartments.

It can be made to obey commands with the incentive of treats. However, if it obeys only when you give treats, that will cause a problem.

Australian Cattle Dogs have good decision-making ability. Their training is facilitated by making it enjoyable and challenging. Subsequently, they can learn quickly.

Training with rewards and clickers is advised as it will enhance their discipline.

Socialization with different people and animals throughout its initial years and will be very helpful. This is the period when it is in the phase of maturing.

Dedicated efforts, at least for the first two years must be given for the Cattle Dog’s training.


The Australian Cattle Dog’s color is blue or red. Its undercoat is sometimes blue in color.

It requires some grooming to maintain its cleanliness and health. The Australian Cattle Dog shedding is seen year-round and consistent bathing will increase the shedding speed.

They should be brushed more than thrice a month in order to remove dirt from their bodies. Rigorous bathing is not required. Bathe it to remove dirt and bad smell.

Its dental care includes brushing teeth twice or thrice a week.

Eyes should be kept clear of redness or any kind of discharge.

Trim its nails and clean its ears occasionally.

If you need assistance for grooming, ask your vet or groomer.

Common Diseases

The Australian Cattle Dog has a relatively higher life span of 12 – 15 years.

Even though they are a healthy breed in general, some diseases do occur to them, which you must know:


  • Hip Dysplasia

This condition is hereditary. It occurs as a result of the thigh bone being unable to securely fit into the hip joint. As age progresses, arthritis can develop. The dog may show signs of lameness and pain in the hind legs. X-ray screening is a surefire way to diagnose Hip Dysplasia.


  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Atrophy means the deterioration of a particular organ or tissue.

This eye disease causes a slow degeneration of the retina. Australian Cattle Dogs can become night-blind due to this disease. However, some affected dogs can manage well when the surroundings remain constant.


  • Deafness

This condition is hereditary. White-haired coats are often linked to the deafness. Only few Cattle Dogs turn deaf in both ears, while most become deaf in one ear.


As the Australian Cattle Dog is an active breed of dog, it needs high quality of diet regularly.

It is advised to maintain a diet schedule so that you prevent underfeeding or overfeeding your Cattle Dog.

Protein must be a preferred ingredient in the diet to fulfill its high energy needs.

The diet will differ for different dogs based on the requirement.

Ensure that the quality of food that you give is good.

1.5 to 2.5 cups of dry food is required per day. It is recommended to give the dog two meals a day.

An Australian Cattle Dog puppy requires at least 22% of proteins and at least 8% of fats, whereas, an adult Cattle Dog requires at least 18% protein and 5% fat.

You can lessen the quantity of dog’s diet as it ages so that the dog keeps up with its metabolism.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be included in the dog’s diet. They will provide the required vitamins and minerals.

Vaccination and Care

Australian Cattle dogs need an environment that provides them ample encouragement to develop both mentally and physically.

They are not suited to stay in a closed environment or being aloof for longer durations.

Involving them in dog sports is an ideal way of satisfying their bright minds and energetic body.

Make sure to visit your vet on a routine basis for your dog’s wellness.

When it comes to vaccinations – canine parvoviruscanine distemper, and canine adenovirus must be given in the initial 6 – 8 weeks. It is recommended to vaccinate your dog with these, every 3 years.

An injection to prevent heartworm must be given at the age of 12 – 16 weeks.

Monthly Expense Estimation

The expenditure on the Australian Cattle Dog is highest for food and care.

The monthly costs incurred would be $400USD for food and other treats, whereas it would cost $200 – $300USD for care and grooming. Other costs are around $200USD.



If Australian Cattle Dog puppies are raised along with children from a primary stage, they develop friendliness and don’t display hostility towards them. They can even be protective of children.

The Australian Cattle Dogs never exposed to being with children can behave roughly with them as they see children as a threat.

Cattle Dogs have a tendency to nip at things that move. If children are playing around the dog, they may be in danger.

They get annoyed by youngsters. Little kids have quick and sudden movements that can make the Cattle Dog uneasy.


If not raised along with other dogs from the beginning, they can be jealous of and quarrelsome with other dogs.

As they don’t live in packs, it is difficult for them to be friendly with other dogs. Outside their comfort zone, they are poor socializers.

They usually act dominantly with unfamiliar dogs.


The Australian Cattle Dogs consider all cats as their prey except the ones who were brought up with them. They may even chase and kill cats.

When cats are around, manage the dog in such a way that the cat always has a chance to escape safely.

In case your dog notices a cat, and before he can give it a chase, you would be better off redirecting your dog’s attention towards a toy.

Always keep your dog leashed when cats are around.


Australian Cattle Dogs turn out to be great companions if you give them sufficient time and love.

They have speed, suppleness, and determination in activity, which makes it an apt partner in adventure.

The Cattle Dog is an extremely active dog. He needs regular exercise to prevent itself from getting bored or from creating trouble.

It has a bad tendency to nip and bite. Proper and adequate training and socialization will help prevent this dangerous behavior from developing.

Cattle Dogs have a weather-resistant coat to tolerate extreme weather conditions.

They are extremely devoted to their owners and will be bereaved very badly if ever separated from them.

Being a tough dog, the Australian Cattle Dog can handle rough terrain and great temperatures. It is a pain enduring and a focused dog.

They can be challenging to train, especially if you are a novice.

Something Fun about Australian Cattle Dog!

The Australian Cattle Dogs have assisted greatly in hunting down cows and thus in helping the beef industry sustain and grow.

The Blue Heeler Australian Cattle Dog was initially called the Australian Heeler.

Contradictory to a widely held belief, the red Australian Cattle Dog temperament and the blue Australian Cattle Dog temperament are the same.

Australian Cattle Dog names, “Red Heeler” and “Blue Heeler” developed from their coat coloring and their tendency to move cattle by nipping at their heels.

We hope this article was useful. Leave comments below to share your experiences!

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Happy Petting to You Guys!


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