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Australian Cattle Dogs
Australian Cattle Dogs are highly intelligent and very, very active. They are also very strong-willed and will try to dominate other dogs (they can and will dominate weak-willed humans as well). Their intelligence and energy level require strong leadership and early training on the part of the owner. They require prodigious amounts of exercise. Like most dogs, a bored Cattle Dog can and will find ways to entertain itself. Left to their own devices, ACDs have been known to remodel homes, rearrange furniture, turn tables into firewood, etc. Always remember, “A tired Cattle Dog is a good Cattle Dog.''
The most unique aspect to the Cattle Dogs physical appearance is its coloring. Cattle Dogs are either blue, speckled or mottled, or red, speckled or mottled. As far as grooming, Cattle Dogs are very low maintenance, requiring little in the way of brushing or bathing. They do shed (all dogs shed to some degree) and blow their coats once or twice a year. In general the Cattle Dog is a healthy breed. The only physical problems associated with the breed are deafness, blindness, and, occasionally, hip dysplasia.
Cattle Dogs are among the most intelligent of dog breeds, capable of learning complex tasks in only a few repetitions. It can be incredibly rewarding to live with a dog as intelligent as a Cattle Dog. On the other hand, if not provided adequate training, a Cattle Dog can find other things to do with their time and may even train you to do what they want, rather than the other way around. So please take the time to teach them the basic obedience commands (at a minimum) and if you're not experienced in training dogs, then please find a reputable trainer to help you.
Keeping an ACD Busy:
Cattle Dogs thrive when given something to do. Their "job" can be something as simple as catching a frisbee or ball or as complicated as formal obedience competitions. The more you give them to learn and to do, the happier they seem to be. Cattle Dogs excel at agility, flyball, herding, frisbee, obedience, etc. There are even Cattle Dogs participating in weight pulling, dock diving, Schutzhund, and search and rescue competitions. Some Cattle Dogs even make great therapy dogs. A Cattle Dog will do whatever you ask it to do. Just make sure that whatever you ask it to do is safe and is enough to keep your Cattle Dog from becoming bored.
The Truth About The Australian Cattle Dog by Laurie Leach is a must-read for first time cattle dog owners (not that we're trying to scare them out of adoption one!), and a timeless piece of literary enjoyment for those who know the breed well!
"This dog was high drive, fearless, fast, and working seemingly by himself."
Carolina ACD Rescue & Rebound