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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Friday, December 23, 2005


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The Australian Cattledog actually was developed from the Australian Wild dog, or Dingo. It is an extremely effective and efficient herding dog, using its body stance and eye contact and nipping at the heels to control large herds of cattle. The Australians developed this breed to help to drive herds of cattle through the long arduous treks to market. The breed is small and hardy and extremely tough, and is noted for it’s endurance over long distances.

The Australian cattle dog is also known as the “Australian Queensland heeler” or the “blue heeler” or simply a “heeler” because of the tendency to nip at the heels of the cattle. Cattledogs are well suited to the hard work of a drover, being strong, compact, and quick on its feet, a trait which survived from the original Dingo, and this trait protects the dogs from injury in the milling herds of cattle. It is a silent breed when doing its work, controlling catle with a minimum of effort and precise body lanquage rather than vocalizing.

The cattledog does not necessarily make a good “household pet”. Simply put, this is a dog that needs a job. Farm life suits it best, and preferably farm life which involves herding. Dogs without a “herd” will often transfer their “herding” tendency to the children. Cattledogs also share a trait most common with other herding breeds, they do give chase to moving objects. Consequently if they are not trained well or are not enclosed, they often become the victims of automobiles. However, the “heeler” , when allowed to have an active and productive life, can settle in to family life very well, and is a loving and gentle breed. Cattledog enthusiasts who do not have the luxury of cattle to herd have used this breed in the sports of flyball and agility with great success. Furthermore, these sports give the dog a sense of purpose and are fun for both the owner and the dog.

This breed, by the way, holds the canine longevity record....29 years.

submitted by Kathy Reed

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