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Australian Cattle Dog

Tags: herding, High energy level, Challenging for first-time owners, Requires firm, dedicated training

Yes, there's some wild Dingo in my AuCaDo blood -- again and again as Australian cattlemen in the 1800s crossed the Blue Merle Collie with a dash of Dalmatian, a little Kelpie, even some Bull Terrier. And then some more Dingo to make an agile "heeler" that nips silently at the cattle heels to move them along. We're agile enough not to get stomped or kicked in the process, and can herd all day for miles under the blazing sun and guard all night, too. Our short, smooth dense double coat is weather resistant and is maintained with an occasional bath and regular brushing. Our pointed ears are held erect and our long (but not so tall) bodies weigh in at around 33 to 44 pounds. The AuCaDo has bred true since 1893, and was accepted by the AKC in 1970.

Rave review

  • Loyal family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie

Report card

  • Herding instinct
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Novice owners might be challenged with this breed
  • One owner/family-oriented
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Spirited
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent
  • Wary of strangers
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

Wide open spaces for me to burn off energy would be ideal -- but you probably don't have the King Ranch of Texas next door -- so please find some organized activity: herding, agility, obedience competitions are ideal. Start my training and socialization early and learn to earn my respect as the pack leader (that's you, not me). However, don't overdo the exercise and feeding during my growth spurt (age 9 to 12 months) or you'll do more harm than good.

Watch for

The AuCaDo is generally free of inherited disease predisposition. Watch for vision problems (including PRA) as dog ages, and skin disorders under the thick coat at any age.

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