Australian Cattle Dog Breed Information

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At a Glance

Male Height18 - 20 inches
Female Height17 - 19 inches
Male Weight36 - 49 pounds
Female Weight33 - 45 pounds
ColorsBlue, Red
PersonalityAlert, Brave, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective,
Lifespan12 - 15 years


Sometimes referred to as a "Red Heeler" or "Blue Heeler" on the basis of its coloring and practice of herding cattle by nipping at their heels. It is one of the most intelligent breeds. A sturdy, muscular, compact dog that will excel in agility training.


The Australian Cattle Dog Breed was established in Australia by mixing Drovers Dogs from the Northumberland area of the UK with tamed dingoes. This produced a dog that was capable of driving cattle over long distances and rough terrain.


The Australian Cattle Dog is affectionate and playful with its owners, but is wary of strangers. It's cautious and protective, it makes an excellent guard dog.


This breed has a short-coated dog that consists of either brown or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat, which gives the appearance of a "red" or "blue" dog.

Do Heelers do well in Apartments?

They are medium sized dogs they are very energetic and do not like to be cooped up for long - although if you have an outdoor job and are able to take your dog with you it might work out well. They will get bored if left alone all day. If you are considering keeping an ACD in an apartment you will need to make sure it gets plenty of activity and mental stimulation.


For the most part this dog does not have many barking problems, as long it receives the exercise it needs and is not allowed to get bored.

Do Heelers Get Along With Children & Other Pets?

They are known to do well with children and other pets if they are socialized properly as puppies. But they have a genetic predisposition to herd by nipping, so care must be taken when the dog is in the presence of small children.

Exercising a Australian Cattle Dog

These dogs needs to be very active, and loves the outdoors. You can expect to take him walking a least a couple of hours a day, and for a run in the dog park. They are highly intelligent and love to show their prowess on obstacle courses.

How to Groom a Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog requires little grooming, and an occasional brushing is all that is required to keep the coat clean and free of odors. During shedding periods more frequent brushing and a warm bath will contain shedding hair.

Heeler and Shedding

It is not a year-round shedder but males blow their coats once a year (twice for females) . This usually occurs in the spring and/or fall months.

Heeler Health Problems?

The dog is generally healthy, but can suffer from common hereditary problems found in dogs such as hip or elbow dysplasia. In addition to that they are prone to hearing problems in one or both ears and progressive retinal atrophy.

Are Heelers Intelligent?

This breed is ranked as 10th most intelligence. Rapidly learning commands, and usually responding to them the first time.

Australian Cattle Dog

Staring training early by socializing them will ensure that they will grow up to be confident and outgoing. Training needs to be consistent and they enjoy direction and guidance from their owners. As with most dogs positive reinforcement techniques are the most effective.