Is there anything more Aussie than the Cattle Dog?
You won’t find any of that fluffy pom-pom hair or designer dog coats here. The Australian Cattle dog is about as tough a canine companion as they come.
Cemented in Australia’s early history as hard yakka working dogs in the outback – indispensable in assisting graziers with shifting livestock across rugged and unfenced terrain – the Cattle Dog has slowly made its way into suburban households as a family favourite.
Also known as Heelers (due to a tendency to nip at the heels of livestock) and bred in two main colours – blue or red – they’re believed to have originally been an English herding dog-dingo cross, giving them an innate stock sense with the hardiness of a dingo.
While some of the largest cattle stations in the outback (some the size of a small country!) now use helicopters and motorbikes to help with mustering, the Cattle Dog still plays an important role in yard work to get stubborn cattle moving.
This guy can even drive.
Here’s some of our favourite photos of Aussie Cattle Dogs doing what they do best.
Often seen riding on the back of a ute or quad bike, they’re just as happy to ride up front with you, given the chance.
Their intense loyalty makes them great pets that are good with children and guard their homes with dedication.
Australian Cattle Dogs are one of the 10 most intelligent dog breeds, meaning they’re eager to work and learn. They’re easily trained, as long as you spend time each day teaching them their manners. They thrive on being part of the family and with loads of energy to burn, you’ll need to keep them active with a daily walk and plenty of play time (they are used to chasing cattle around, after all).
If at the end of the day they crash into a pile and fall fast asleep, you know you’ve done your job!
Thinking about adding a Cattle Dog to your family? Check out one of the Australian rescue dog sites that concentrate on finding a fur-ever home for Cattle and working dogs in need of some loving:
Already have a city Cattle Dog like Rusty and want them to learn how to be a country Cattle Dog? Check out the Woodford sheep herding facility – where they can spend a day in the life of a working dog.
Do you have a Cattle Dog? What do you love about them?
*Thank you to Outback Queensland Tourism and Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre for providing some background information for this post.