Australian Cattle Dog

Breed Information


2022: #48

2021: #51

2020: #54

2015: #56


Australian Cattle Dog

Other names

Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, Hall’s Heeler, ACD, Cattle Dog, Red Heeler



Breed Group

Herding (AKC:1980 & UKC)





Life Span

12-15 years










Male: 17-20 inches (43-51 cm) Female: 17-19 inches (43-48 cm)


30-62 pounds (13-28 kg)


Blue, Blue Mottled, Blue Merle, Blue Speckled, Red Merle, Red Speckled

Litter Size

1-7 puppies, average 5

Puppy Prices

Average $400 – $1000 USD

These Australian Cattle Dog puppy costs are very hard to be priced and have a high fluctuation. The average cost of purchasing a pet quality Australian Cattle Dog puppy from a reputable breeder is about $400 to $700. However, for a Australian Cattle Dog with top breed lines and a superior pedigree, you may need to pay between $2,000 and $3,500.

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Breed Characteristics



Apartment Friendly


Not recommended for apartment life and does best with at least a large yard. Does best with a job to do.

Barking Tendencies



Cat Friendly


Child Friendly


Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Dog Friendly


Exercise Needs


These animals have incredible stamina and will enjoy all the activity you can give them. Exercise is of paramount importance—without enough they can become bored and destructive. Exercise cannot simply be tossing a ball. While they will enjoy this ball play, their brains need to be stimulated daily. Does best with a job. They need to be taken on long daily walks. Makes an excellent jogging companion. Do not allow this dog to walk ahead of you on the walks. He needs to be beside or behind you to re-enforce the human is alpha.



Low Maintenance: Known as a “wash and wear” dog, the Australian Cattle Dog requires little grooming, and an occasional brushing is all that is required to keep the coat clean and odour-free. Even for the show ring it needs no more than wiping down with a moist cloth. It is not a year-round shedder but blows its coat once a year (twice in the case of intact females) and frequent brushing and a warm bath during this period will contain the shedding hair. As with all dogs, regular attention to nails, ears and teeth will help avoid health problems.

Health Issues


Hypoallergenic: No



Ranking: #10 Full Ranking List. Like many working dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog has high energy levels, an active mind, and a level of independence. The breed ranks 10th in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, rated as one of the most intelligent dogs ranked by obedience command trainability. The Cattle Dog needs plenty of exercise, companionship and a job to do, so a non-working dog might participate in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities that engage its body and mind.



Shedding Level


Moderate Shedding: Expect this dog to shed regularly. Be prepared to vacuum often. Brushing will reduce shedding as well as make the coat softer and cleaner.

Stranger Friendly




Easy Training: The Australian Cattle Dog is highly intelligent, making the training process simple. It is willing and able to learn a wide variety of tricks, and sports such as catch or Frisbee. Australian Cattle Dogs must be kept occupied with tasks and provided companionship or they will become destructive and mischievous.

Watchdog Ability



Australian Cattle Dogs, often referred to as “Blue Heelers” or “Queensland Heelers,” are a unique and versatile breed known for their remarkable herding abilities, intelligence, and striking appearance. This guide provides comprehensive Australian Cattle Dog breed information, offering insights into their history, characteristics, care requirements, and more.

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Information

The Australian Cattle Dog is a hardworking and resilient breed that originated in Australia, specifically bred for herding cattle in challenging environments. These dogs have a distinctive appearance, with their dense double coat, often blue or red in color, and their muscular build. Their alert expression and sturdy frame reflect their agility and strength.

History of the Breed

The history of the Australian Cattle Dog traces back to the early 19th century, when Australian settlers faced the challenge of herding cattle across vast, rugged terrains. To create a breed capable of handling such demanding tasks, a crossbreeding program was initiated. The result was a combination of smooth-coated Collies, Dingoes, and other breeds, leading to the development of the Australian Cattle Dog we know today.

Characteristics and Temperament

Australian Cattle Dogs are known for their high energy levels and strong work ethic. They thrive in active households and excel in tasks that engage their intelligence. Their loyalty and protective nature make them excellent family dogs, but early socialization and consistent training are crucial to prevent behavioral issues. These dogs are often wary of strangers, making them natural watchdogs.

Physical Attributes

These dogs typically stand between 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 35 to 50 pounds. Their coat is dense and weather-resistant, providing protection in various climates. The breed’s coat color can vary, with blue or red speckled patterns being most common. Their unique coat serves as both insulation and camouflage, allowing them to work in harsh conditions.

Exercise and Training

Due to their herding background, Australian Cattle Dogs have an abundance of energy and require regular exercise to stay mentally and physically stimulated. Engaging activities such as agility courses, obedience training, and interactive play sessions are essential. Consistent training is crucial to ensure these intelligent dogs remain well-behaved and responsive to commands.

Health Considerations

Like all breeds, Australian Cattle Dogs are prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and deafness. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and an active lifestyle can contribute to their overall well-being. Responsible breeding practices and genetic testing also play a significant role in reducing the risk of hereditary health issues.


In conclusion, the Australian Cattle Dog is a remarkable breed with a rich history, unique characteristics, and a strong work ethic. Their loyalty, intelligence, and versatility make them excellent companions for active individuals or families willing to invest time and effort into their training and care. By understanding their needs and traits, you can provide a fulfilling life for these exceptional dogs.


Are Australian Cattle Dogs suitable for apartment living?

Yes, they can adapt to apartment living if provided with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

Do Australian Cattle Dogs get along with other pets?

With proper socialization, they can coexist with other pets, but their herding instinct might lead them to chase smaller animals.

How often should I groom my Australian Cattle Dog’s coat?

Regular brushing to manage shedding and occasional baths are generally sufficient to keep their coat healthy.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs prone to excessive barking?

Without proper training and mental stimulation, they might resort to excessive barking. Training can help manage this behavior.

Can Australian Cattle Dogs be left alone for long periods?

These dogs thrive on companionship and may become anxious when left alone for extended periods. It’s best to provide them with regular interaction.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs suitable for novice dog owners?

Due to their intelligence and high energy levels, they may require more experienced handling and training.

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