|photofairy 18 posts||
(NOTE: All information presented here is for entertainment purposes only. We have endeavored to collect only the facts from reliable sources, such as “The Complete Book of Australian Dogs” by Angela Sanderson, but this is in no way meant as a definitive guide. All images used are sourced from free domain.
Early settlers needed a dog to help them with moving large quantities of cattle over very large areas, so they needed a sturdy and strong dog with lots of stamina, who was also able to bark and nip/bite. As the Smithfield wasn’t used to the heat, but was otherwise an excellent herding dog, it was crossed with a dingo. This gave rise to a new breed that eventually gave rise to Stumpy-tailed Cattle Dog.
As time went on, some smooth-haired Scottish Collies were crossed with a Dingo because Collies displayed undesirable levels of barking and heading. The new Collie x Dingo pups were either red or merle in colour and they seemed to inherit a very useful dingo trait – creeping silently from behind, and biting or “heeling”. As the dog would nip, it would immediately flatten itself against the ground to avoid being kicked, which was a very useful skill indeed! These pups were also perfectly adept at travelling vast distances while needing very little food and water, they thrived in heat and were able to handle wild cattle.
As the experimental breeding continued, Hall’s Heelers were crossed with a Dalmatian, which resulted in unique speckled coats, love of horses and protectiveness towards the master.
In the process of experimentation, Hall’s Heelers were crossed with White Bull Terriers also, probably to increase the sturdiness and fearlessness which were much needed in working with large amounts of large cattle.
Eventually, these speckled dogs were crossed with Black and Tan Kelpies, due to their desirable herding traits, and the outcome was the contemporary Australian Red and Blue Heeler – a highly intelligent and controllable working dog of unique appearance.
ACD has a strong prey instinct so unless it grows up with a cat, it will tend to chase them. Also, due to a strong herding instinct as well as temperamental adolescence, when young, ACD tends to want to “herd” people so sometimes they will creep up behind whoever happens to leave the group and nip at the back of shoes and slippers. In the park, they might attempt to herd bicycles and joggers, and even cars, which is why they should never be off the lead close to the road. All this is accompanied by a bit of “teenage rebellion” so reassurance and consistent discipline, combined with enough exercise and affection will result in a stable and well trained dog, and as soon as your ACD bonds to you and starts listening to you, it will not be disobedient and will alway be just a few yards away, waiting for a command on where to go next.
They are very good in a car, easy to transport and not bothered by the movement.
This is a sturdy, compact and muscly dog with low centre of gravity. They are extremely agile, with a powerful drive from hindquarters, making them capable of quick and sudden actions.
Females are usually smaller, between 43 and 48 cm height, and males between 46 and 51 cm. When they are fit and working, they usually weigh between 18 and 21 kg, but can be a bit heavier (up to 25 kg).