Animal Stories - Australian Cattle Dog


Animal-World Information about: Australian Cattle Dog

   The Australian Cattle Dog is an especially energetic, loyal dog suited for cattle herding and other organized activities. They have a wild appearance, but can make great friends.
Latest Animal Stories
jackiek - 2013-04-08
Hi, I'm considering adopting an ACD puppy (cross between ACD & ASD)- 6 weeks - and we're pretty certain he's deaf. We already have a 3 year old Sharpei-pug cross and we're a family of myself and my two kids, 10 & 12. For sometime I've been considering getting a second dog. Company for our dog Honey, because she's alone in the house for the larger part of the day while we're at work or school. And we've just been offered this ACD puppy so I've been doing a lot of reading. I'm a little concerned about how the two dogs will interact, but I'll suggest a trial weekend before committing. Does anyone have any stories or suggestions for integrating an ACD puppy into a household that already has a dog? Some stories I read seem to suggest they can be a little aloof. I also want to be sure that we're the right family for him. We love dogs, but this breed seems to demand a lot of attention and I don't want him to be bored - I'm thinking my two kids will help with that. Are these 'one person' dogs or will they follow commands from multiple household members? Honey is very active, and protective of us and our home - she goes crazy if she sees someone passing the house. She is ok in general with other dogs, but has been known to be aggressive when she meets strange dogs when we're out for a walk. She does have issues with separation anxiety, which seems to have improved over time as she realizes we always come back. I am also worried that if we don't take this puppy he will be put to sleep. Thanks in advance for your comments, advice!

Click For Replies (3)
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-09
    It's really great for you to consider adopting this very special puppy. I very much like both the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd, and the mix could be a real interesting pet with a blend of the characteristics. My take from the behaviors and temperament of these two is that the puppy would be an active herding dog that is also a good family dog, and could probably be integrated into a home with another pet. Though the ACD part is less likely to want another dog around, the ASD part is more adaptable to other dogs. The Pug/Shar Pei mix should be tolerant, if socialized properly with the new puppy.  And because it is a puppy ('baby'), the chances of socialization are even better. Puppies are usually most adaptable. Honey is older, but is also a smart dog. She will most likely not only recognize it as a 'baby', but will also recognize the disability... and so may become a caretaker in a sense. At least... that would be ideal and  in my opinion the chances of acceptance are good. Also Honey does need some exercise, and though not as active as the puppy will be, this new friend could help with her activity needs and offset boredom. Good luck!
  • Peggy Rae Brock-Torpey - 2014-02-08
    I have three heeler/aussy shepard mixes....I've found my older red female immediately went to momma mode with her neice...when Jesse Rae passed I was given then 'found' (a puppy 3 months just showed up at our fence) two puppies. So I've had to give each their equal attention or they all were starting to get jealous... and when I interacted with each I did it with the others there....these were all family seems to work...all have different personallities and it hasn't been easy but making sure they know they all get individual and group love has calmed the snarling...hope this makes sense...please rescue this pup!
  • Mary Kay - 2014-02-27
    I would not bring in a Cattle Dog if your dog has displaced anger. Getting hyped up when someone walks past your home will start a fight. Your little dog will lose with an ACD. They can be small in stature but are like bulls & made of muscle. My chihuahua snapped at my Cattle Dog yesterday & he attacked her. Multiple punctures by the time I got from one room to where they were. He would have killed her if I wasn't home. All the books say they do not play well with others. He is generally very sweet & aloof. He is deaf. Whatever triggered it now has me living in fear & not allowing them to ever be alone unattended.
Reply
Juli - 2013-11-15
My first Blue Heeler was ACD registered and female. She was what I would call the perfect dog. Well behaved and loved everyone. She was protective of me and would attempt to bite only if she felt I was threatened. It took me ten years to get another Blue Heeler without feeling like I was trying to replace her. This time I bought a farm dog, not registered but certainly pure bred. He is very different from my first one. He is very aggressive with everyone except immediate family (this includes about 7 people), I mean he is even aggressive toward people he saw weekly when he was a pup. Doesn't matter if it is adult or child. He also a submissive/excited dribbler. pee pee pee....not as bad now that he is a year old but he still does it with most except me. I don't know what made him the opposite of my previous heeler and I should not compare but I thought I knew the breed from her behavior and he is similar in some ways but different in so many others. SO hardheaded. I socialized him as a pup and had family to include kids around him every weekend, took him to puppy class which he excelled (top of his class in obedience) except after that seems to be when the peeing started. I run him at least 2 miles every day if possible on the treadmill and play ball or Frisbee when time and weather allow. It sucks to have to lock him away every time we have company. Anyway, despite his attitude, I adore him and he makes me laugh. Like a comedian. My first heeler was always so serious and he is constantly being silly. Example...when I refused to play with him because I was watching tv one night, he kept shoving his toy at me and juggling it around in his mouth. I still refused to play so he put his toy in the toilet which I found after I went to the bathroom..eeeew. Any advice on if his aggressive behavior is a normal trait would be great. I am hooked again though even with his faults, I love him.

Reply
AP - 2013-02-08
I have had two ACD's and they have been such wonderful pets that I don't think that I will ever feel right if my home is without one.  We are a multi-dog household and my Heelers are friendly with the other dogs, children in the house and with us.    One of my heelers was so friendly once that he sat down in the 'Pet me' position in front of a guest at my home, was patient but finally licked  him in a friendly gesture to say, Hey!  Pet ME!  Unfortunatly, the guest was not a dog person so this was a bit disconcerting. However, the Heeler just took this all in stride.



They are very active, highly intelligent, confident dogs. The Frisbee idea is a good one as are nice walks.  This is a friendly, happy fellow.  I am surprised to see the comments about nipping kids or not liking other dogs. That has not been my experience with either of my Blue Heelers.  In fact, when we take our current one out, particularly to the pet store for treats, people ask us if we don't adopt him, can they?  Well.....he still comes home with us.

Reply
Anonymous - 2011-04-27
I adopted a puppy almost 3 months ago. Her mother was a blue heeler and the vet thinks her father to have been an australian shepherd. This dog is very sweet and loving and loves my family. I have two small children, ages 2 1/2 and 5 and she is great with them except when she sees them running and decides to run after them and "herd" and nip them. This dog is very bright and learns tricks very quickly. But she is extremely energetic. She must be crated while I work for about 4 1/2 hours a day. I exercise her for 30 min. 1 hour in the afternoon, which is all I can do. Before she gets her exercise she is digging my yard, grabbing things off counters and tables, and chewing anything she can get. I can't leave her unsupervised for more than a few minutes at a time. She has tons of chew toys and my older Golden Retriever to play with, but gets into constant trouble. When I crate her to keep her out of trouble for a few minutes she makes so much noise that she wakes up my children and drives everyone nuts. So my question is when-if ever-is this dog going to calm down? I don't think I can take a full year of this behavior and I already give her all the time I have to exercise her and train her. My husband is done with her and wants her to go. Should I find her a home in the country or wait it out and risk losing my sanity?
Thanks for any advice.

Click For Replies (5)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-27
    I have included an article on the Australian Cattle Dog for you to read. Just click on it. It doesn't sound like this pup will calm down. It is a herding dog and high energy. It is the nature of the dog. It is a hard decision to make but you have to look at what you believe to be best for the children, the pup and you and hubby.
  • Clarice Brough - 2011-04-30
    What a darling pup! You got a high energy breed topped with being still a puppy. Just like a litte 2 year old always on the go. Even as she gets older she'll still be an active dog, but I think that puppy behavior should calm down.
  • Ann - 2011-05-29
    Try teaching the pup how to chase a frisbee. I too have a high energy herding dog and just adopted a cattle dog. Frisbee really helps take the energy out of them. I believe they claim that playing frisbee for 20 minutes burns the about the same as an hour of walking. You can download a free book from Hyperflite that tells about getting your dog started playing frisbee. http://skyhoundz.com/discdogsrock.html
  • lauren - 2011-07-05
    Find a dog trainer.
  • Bridget - 2012-12-12
    We have a Corgi/Blue Heeler mix who is very energetic. I have taken her on a 6 mile run, and 30 minutes later she is up wanting to play again. The quickest way to tire her out is to do mental tasks with her. She loves to play hide and seek with her toys. We also do lots of training with her, and will go lay down and sleep for several hours after a hard 15 minute training session. You have to understand the task-oriented mentality of the herding dog. As well, our dog is crated when we are gone (she is 1 year old, and eventually will have the run of the house), but when we first started crating her, we had a lot of issues with her anxiety. We used positive reinforcement with her to correct this issue. So we put her in the kennel, and used a clicker. Every time she calmed down, even if it was for a split second, we clicked and treated her. After 4 sessions, she learned that she was required to be quiet in her kennel. If your dog is very food motivated, clicker training and reward are a very effective method with very smart dogs like the heeler.
Reply
Chris - 2012-11-21
We recently adopted a 5-6 year old red heeler who we adore! He is loving and active, but he doesn't play with toys at all. He doesn't even seem to recognize what they are for! I have read that these dogs love to play, but he would rather just be loved. We think it may be that he was abused somewhat before we got him as he is skittish. Any thoughts?

Click For Replies (2)
  • Clarice Brough - 2012-11-21
    He sounds like a really nice dog. You're right, these dogs usually love to romp and are actually bred to herd. It could very well be that he had a rough first few years in his life, making him skittish and just wanting to be loved. But he sounds like a really nice dog, and it sounds like he has a great home now.
  • Bridget - 2012-12-12
    I have a friend with a dog that they adopted that was the same way, and had not interest in playing with toys. This summer they watched a friends puppy while they were out of town. Surprisingly, their dog learned to play from the puppy. You may want to take the dog around puppies playing to teach the dog to play. My friends dog now loves stuffed dogs toys and gets very excited when he gets a new one.
Reply
Jackie Mayer - 2012-09-21
Dear Anonymous, My boyfriend has a red heeler about 4yrs old. He says after the age of 2yrs, your dog should start calming down. You should try an anxiety blanket on your dog.

Reply
J9 Colorado - 2011-03-20
I love this breed. My resued Blue Heeler/Mix, Jesse Girl, is the BEST. She is a loving and extremely faithful dog. She is so smart, hardly ever barks, and is great with small children. Her bad qualities (don't we all have them!) are burying our socks and gloves in the yard. It is amazing what we find after the snow melts. She loves to go camping, hiking and is an awesome fishing dog. She needs a walk EVERYDAY ...but I think all dogs need to be walked everyday. She is more mellow than some ACD's, but is beautiful and looks 100% like a blue girl should, expect for being a little tall (she is 47-50lbs). I think this breed is excellent! I just think you have to be the right person for the breed and realize they need exercise and like being given direction. If you want an intelligent, loving dog with a personality...not a typical dog personality.. this is it!

Reply
Teesa Lilly - 2010-03-18
My red heeler's name is Zee. She is 10 and the best dog anyone could ever have. Today my Vet confirmed what I already knew.........she is going blind. My heart is breaking. I lost my father 3 months ago. My mother has altimzers. Six weeks ago she had to leave her home of 45 years to move into assisted living without my Dad to help her. Why does my Zee have to be going blind now? She has been my constant "rock" through all of this. I can't stand to see something happen to her, too. I'm sorry I sound like a cry baby, but I had to tell someone. Thank-You.

Click For Replies (4)
  • Kristy - 2010-03-24
    Hi Teesa Lilly...I'm very sorry about your mother and the loss of your father ...and about Zee. My 10 year old dog Rebel a red-heeler is also going blind. He's still very happy though, and it seems that he really only has 1 eye he can see out of now. I'm just giving him lots of love... as always. I think it's harder on us than them since they already depend on us so much as it is. Hang in there you are not alone.
  • Kelly - 2010-06-27
    I have a red heeler and his name is Zip. He is my buddy and rock! The last couple of weeks I have noticed he was bumping into things when it was dark. At first I thought he was being a goof, but then when he did it again I knew something was wrong. So I searched on the internet and have learned this breed does go blind. He will be 8 in October. He can still see during the day but not at night. Did Zee first have night blindness and if so what is her progress on becoming completely blind? Sorry for all your bad news.
  • Angela - 2010-09-30
    I had a Red Heeler many years ago he had diabetes and went blind, just wanted to let you know he did great, he could still smell and hear and was a great companion even though he was blind...plus I got him a lighted ball and for a long time he could see well enough to play with it. Good Luck to you and Zee!
  • rebecca pearson - 2010-10-23
    Hi my name is rebecca and I have a red heeler named cane, he just turned 6 and we just found out that he is going blind. He already is blind at night and in about 9 mths he will be totally blind. I have realixed that I am the one that will need to adjust and he will be fine. But it has just broken my heart he came into my life after my 4yr old son thomas died, and then when cane turned one I gave birth to my son quinten so they share the same birthday. Thanks for listening.
Reply
Heather - 2010-12-29
We are trying to name our second blue heeler...our first one was a female called Buffy, she was 14 when she left us...and a fat little one at that. Our new one is a boy...he is so cute. They are the best dogs...

Click For Replies (5)
  • mel - 2011-02-11
    We named our blue heeler Toby, actually my kids named him that. He's about 2 yrs and just adopted him out of a dog pound. Pretty sad that such a pretty dog like this is in a dog pound.
  • Tommy - 2011-11-09
    Name her or him spot, or blue.
  • Terri G - 2011-12-30
    Rudder is a good name for a boy, because of the job they do. You might also want to consider Tiller, but the meaning of this is twofold (you might not want him digging in your yard!)
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-27
    We named ours Petey...
  • Lisa DeForest - 2012-02-24
    I have a australian shepherd and blue heeler and his name is Rilie jo. I know for instance he is a one person dog, because he chose me to protect.
    He is a silly smart playful and he loves pop bottles stickes empty paper towel rolls and he is a bed hog. But well natured.
Reply
Linda Wyatt - 2012-01-22
I have a rescued red heeler mix we found in a garbage bag with a rope tied around his neck and a rope tied around the bag. He was a puppy, and he has been neutered and has all shots and is healthy. He will snap for no apparent reason and attack another dog. All my dogs are rescues, neutere or spayed with all shots up to date. I had to take a little chihuahua rat terrier mix that came up to our house to a no kill shelter, because Champ tried to kill him. What can I do to help this situation. We love Champ and he loves us.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-23
    This little fella had a rough start and hate to hear these kind of things. Some folks are just cruel. The Heeler/Cattle Dog mix is an independent breed and they don't really do well with other dogs. Some will become agressive with other dogs or with people they don't know. They also are usually a one person dog. It is also a herding animal or a working dog and they do snap/growl/circle or whatever to keep the HERD in line. It is their nature. I would consult a behaviorist or a trainor as you would be trying to stop a natural behavior that is a part of this pup. Genetics for centuries. You see Chihauhau and Champ sees stranger/threat. I wouldn't know of anything else to do accept consult a behaviorist/trainer or allow Champ to be an enviornment where his genetics and protective behaviors are a plus.
Reply