The Australian Cattle Dog is a sturdy, intelligent and active breed of dog. Australian breeders develop this breed to herd their large flocks of cattle and they still use this breed to herd cattle. These cattle dogs are involved in different jobs and family activities.

ACD (Australian Cattle Dog), or simply Cattle Dog, is a medium-sized short-haired breed whose black or brown colors are evenly distributed on its white coat, the dog appears as a “blue” or “red” one.

In this Australian Cattle Dog Owner’s Guide, you will learn about its history, personality, temperament, health, and care.


This breed originated in the 1840s. Thomas Hall, a native of Queensland, crossed Dingoes with Blue Merle Collies which resulted in the Australian Cattle Dog. This breed became famous due to its good working capacity. After sometime, nearby ranchers bought the Australian Cattle Dog because of its working skills.


This extremely active Australian Cattle dog demands regular physical and mental activity. They can become destructive if left alone or bored. If you’re thinking of having an Australian Cattle Dog, be prepared to provide lots of stimulation to keep them busy and tired.

Australian Cattle Dog love their owner and family so much. If you are going to punish ACD, the physical separation from their loved ones is what they hate very much. Although they are smart but can be stubborn and willful, getting their independent streak under control requires constant positive training.

Early socialization helps them expose to different sounds, sights, people, and experiences that will lead your dog to being a good family dog.

Temperament of the Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs are friendly, loving and extremely affectionate towards their owners. These versatile working dogs are the ones that can learn easily. Don’t stop training or raising them because they have an independent mind.


Like all other breeds and dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog is also prone to health problems. When owning an Australian Cattle dog, you should be aware of those issues.

First of all check the health clearance certificates of both parents before getting a puppy. This will help you get the best one that is free from genetic diseases and other inherited problems.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): In this condition, the photoreceptors in the back of the eyes are lost. This results in blindness. This is a degenerative eye disorder, but dogs with this condition can live happy lives because they compensate for their blindness with their other senses.

Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited orthopedic condition that causes lameness, pain, and impaired movement. 

Deafness: This hereditary condition can occur at a very young age of the puppies, these dogs should not be bred. The researcher also discovers that this problem is related to colour. Puppies with white hair or fur are related to deafness. These hearing problems can be determined by BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), but it is not a treatment or a cure.

Care Tips

The Australian Cattle Dog lives happily when they receive a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They cannot live in an apartment and leaving them alone is not a good option either because they can be destructive. You should also provide your dog with a well-fenced yard, ranch, or rural farm.

If you are considering the Australian Cattle Dog, be sure to provide him with activities according to his high energy level. Since this breed was bred for herding and hunting, if you’re not a farmer, consider dog sports. This breed also loves challenges, sports, and activities.

Are Cattle dogs good pets?

With professional training and their friendly behavior, they have proven to be a solid family pet. Professional training is required for your dog to understand their limits. Australian Cattle Dog are not ideal for people who are having a dog for the first time.

Are cattle dogs aggressive?

The Australian Cattle Dog is the aggressive one. They show aggression to gain dominance over other dogs of the same sex. It is also being noted that they have a strong instinct to catch or chase cats and other fleeing creatures.

Do cattle dogs bark a lot?

Australian Cattle Dog are extremely intelligent and alert and barks when they senses an approaching sound, sight, or danger. These fiercely protective Australian Cattle Dogs don’t bark much except when something unusual happens or when they play fetch or chase.

Do cattle dogs like to cuddle?

Due to their independent nature, they don’t like to snuggle up on the couch, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like spending time with you. They really enjoy spending time with their owner but in a different way than hugging.

Do cattle dogs ever calm down?

Australian Cattle Dogs are known as the most energetic breed, so staying calm can be a battle when their excitement and exuberance is overwhelming. Handling them with patience and many mental and physical activities can calm the Australian Cattle dog easily.

Do cattle dogs bite?

It is seen that they like to bite, but if they are trained properly they can restrict themselves to bite. Australian Cattle Dog begins to bite gently while playing, but over time it becomes a persistent habit and aggression.

Are cattle dogs difficult to train?

Australian Cattle Dogs love training and challenging situations from which you will see that they will learn very quickly. Proper motivation can help in training Australian Cattle Dogs.

Are cattle dogs smart?

Australian Cattle Dog is active and intelligent dog breed. This smart breed was bred to handle cattle herds over long distances. Today, farmers still use them as herding dogs.

How much does a cattle dog cost in Australia?

Average Australian Cattle Dog puppy cost is $700 AUD. They can be up to $2000 AUD, but when purchased from a known breeder with specs, they will cost up to $3,300 AUD.

What is the difference between Australian Cattle Dog and Blue Heeler?

The practice of pinching the heels of reluctant moving cattle and their color gave them the nickname “Blue Heeler” or “Red Heeler”. Additionally, these names are now occasionally used to differentiate their bloodline that was raised in Queensland, Australia, from the bloodline that was raised in New South Wales.


Australian Cattle Dogs are perfect puppies for those families that are related to farming, but that does not mean that they are not family dogs. Proper training and socialisation can make Australian Cattle Dogs perfect family dogs.