puppy australian cattle dog white backgorund

Australian Cattle Dog

Breed Characteristics

Playful but can be nippy, a quality needed to herd cattle. Happiest when working or training. It needs action in its life and will do best with a job. Strong independent character means he is best with experienced owners.

Is the Australian Cattle Dog approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Australia, 1800s. The Australian Cattle Dog was developed by pioneer settlers in the 1800s by crossing Dingo-blue merle Collies to Dalmatians and black and tan Kelpies. Some sources say the Bull Terrier breed may have been added as well.

Original Purpose

Cattle herding.

Behaviour and Temperament

Hardworking, independent, energetic, alert, courageous.

What are some Physical Features of the Australian Cattle Dog?

43 to 51 cm, 16 to 20.5 kg. Colours are red speckled, blue or blue-mottled; puppies are born white because of a gene they inherited from the early Dalmatian crosses.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Straight outer coat, short dense undercoat. Minimal care; a good brushing once a week is sufficient, bathe when necessary. Moderate shedding twice a year. Estimated Basic grooming charges in Singapore: S$70 – S$90.

Life Expectancy of the Australian Cattle Dog

12 to 15 years. (The oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months).

Have a Australian Cattle Dog?

Health Concerns

Eye problems (PRA, cataracts), merle-coloured dogs are prone to deafness, hip dysplasia.

Exercise Needs

Very high; a tireless working dog. It needs a lot of exercise and something to occupy its mind daily or it will become bored, leading to serious behaviour problems. The Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent jogging companion.


Would not do well in an apartment; needs lots of space to meet his high exercise needs. Does best with a large yard.


Needs to be supervised with children. Suspicious of strangers. Suspicious of and dominant to other dogs; will chase cats. If you are adopting a pet, avoid working lines, as these dogs may be too energetic and intense for home life.


Extremely high; positive reinforcement works best with this energetic breed.

Recommended Activities

Cattle herding, herding trials.