Cattle Dog, also known as the Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler and Red
Heeler is a
cattle. It is a
medium-sized short-coated dog with a lot of energy, intelligence and an
Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and active minds. They need plenty of
exercise and a job to do, so non-working dogs need to participate in
learning tricks, or other activities that engage their body and mind. Some
individuals find repetitive training frustrating and dull, so owners
should aim to make training sessions varied and more exciting in order to
keep their dog interested. Cattle Dogs who do not receive the appropriate
exercise and entertainment will invent their own, often destructive,
activities. These dogs are, by nature, wary. They are naturally cautious,
and grow more so as they age. Their cautious nature towards strangers
makes them perfect
guard dogs, when
trained for this task.
The Australian Cattle Dog ranks 10th in
Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs,
being one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability.
Cattle Dogs drive cattle by nipping at their heels
or tails, but they have also been known to round up other animals.
To relieve the urge to nip, the Australian Cattle
Dog can be encouraged to pick up and chew a toy or stick that is thrown
for them. Any toy left with the Australian Cattle Dog needs to be
extremely robust if it is to last.
The Australian Cattle Dog enjoys living with other
dogs with whom it is familiar, working well in combination with other
Because of their plucky nature, the establishing of a pecking order can
result in a few scuffles and bites.
It is important for an owner to quickly establish a
hierarchy in which they are the dog's pack leader, otherwise the young
Australian Cattle Dog may bond to a senior dog, rather than to its owner.
If put in any situation where the dog feels threatened, and/or
uncomfortable, it will usually resort to aggressiveness towards other,
Australian Cattle Dogs not only tolerate a
high level of physical activity, they almost demand it. Like many other
herding dog breeds, they have active and fertile minds that turn
mischievous if not properly channeled. Australian Cattle Dogs are highly
intelligent and can be very bossy.
When not active, an Australian Cattle Dog
can be kept occupied with mental puzzles. Among the most popular
activities for Australian Cattle Dogs is
dog agility. While
the Australian Cattle Dog is ideally suited for this work, since it is a
herding breed and
thus very reactive to the handler's body language, some Australian Cattle
Dogs become highly frustrated at the repetition and routine necessary to
hone agility skills. As for many breeds, frequent brief training sessions
are more effective than infrequent long training sessions. For this
reason, many handlers find training an Australian Cattle Dog to be
challenging. It is important to always change the methods and exercises
and not allow the dog or handler to get into a negative routine.
Australian Cattle Dogs thrive on change and new experiences.
Only a few Australian Cattle Dogs, therefore,
have excelled in
For example, the
American Kennel Club
awards an "Obedience Competition Championship" to the dog-and-handler team
that defeats a large number of other teams in open competition. A handful
of Australian Cattle Dogs have reached this level. While Australian Cattle
Dogs enjoy the challenge of obedience competition, such as retrieving a
scented article, the majority of Australian Cattle Dogs are easily bored
with precision drilling.
Australian Cattle Dogs are very organized animals. If the owner has
established a "toy box," or some other type of holding area for the dog's
possessions, it is not unlikely for an Australian Cattle Dogs to return
whatever it has taken back to this area. Hence the numerous claims of the
Australian Cattle Dogs "putting away its toys," or "picking up after
itself." It is not unusual for an Australian Cattle Dogs to put away bones
or items that have been taken out of the area by other dogs as well —
hence the many claims that the Australian Cattle Dogs "picks up after
The dog is strong and muscular, yet compact and symmetrical, with
the ability and willingness to carry out any task — no matter how enduring
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