Australian Cattle Dog Breed Information

Australian Cattle Dogs are a member of the ‘Pastoral’ breed group. Dogs in the Pastoral group are made up of breeds of herding dogs used with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.

Due to their strong herding instinct, they may nip at the heels of running children – socialisation with children and training at a young age can help to overcome these possible problems. For more tips on how to socialise your Australian Cattle Dog, check out our dog behaviour page.

Their coats need brushing just once weekly to remove dead hairs. 

Breed-related health problems: 


Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Australian Cattle Dogs are prone to include:


  • Deafness
  • Eczema – a skin condition resulting in inflamed, itchy skin
  • Hip dysplasia  – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Elbow dysplasia  - elbow joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis. 
  • Portosystemic shunt – abnormal blood circulation, with the blood effectively bypassing the liver and entering general circulation.
  • Luxating patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place. 
  • Urolithiasis – stone formation in urine. 

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line. 

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.  

Exercise requirements:


Australian Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and will need over 2 hours exercise per day. They are highly intelligent, needing a lot of physical and mental activity, and so would also benefit from additional exercise in the form of agility, flyball etc – these activities are also great for allowing you to spend some quality time with your furry friend that you’ll both really enjoy.

Estimated cost over lifetime:


The likely lifetime costs for an Australian Cattle Dog are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:


The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Australian Cattle Dog with PDSA:

 

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Australian Cattle dogs that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

    *Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.



By insuring your Australian Cattle Dog with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.
For more information on taking care of your dog please visit our puppies and dogs section. 

Rehoming from a reputable source:


Where you get a dog from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy it is for the rest of its life. Find out where our PDSA vet experts recommend you get your dog from.
Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs?
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train?
 
How much exercise?
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 10-15 years
Coat length Short
Possible health problems
  • Deafness
  • Eczema
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
Average purchase cost £300-£500
Estimated cost over lifetime £23,300-£27,000
Average weight 16kg-20kg
Size Medium
Minimum garden size Medium

Not sure the Australian Cattle Dog is the right pet for you?