Australian Cattle Dog – Breed Personality, Character & More

Australian Cattle Dog Breed

Initially bred as a herding dog, the Australian Cattle Dog, or simply Cattle dog is a very active and intelligent dog, which needs a lot of stimulation and exercise. It was originally bred for herding cattle in Australia (thus getting its name) over long distances across rough terrain.

This working dog responds well to challenging and interesting training and is a very fast learner. But be very careful if you leave him around children, as his herding genes may lead the Australian Cattle Dog to nip running children in order to keep them in place. Otherwise, he would become very attached to his owner and family and extremely protective, even of their possessions.

Breed Characteristics

Australian Cattle Dog Characteristics

Dog Breed Group: Herding/Working Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 5 inches to 1 foot, 8 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years


The Australian Cattle Dog has many alternative names, such as Blue Heeler, Australian Heeler, Halls Heeler, or Queensland Heeler. The “heeler” nickname comes from the habit of nipping the cattle’s heels to herd them.

This dog is very active and energetic and needs constant work, as he is by no means a couch potato! He is definitely not a good apartment dog unless his family has lots of time to take him outdoors for long play sessions, hiking, running, or other interesting activities.

Australian Cattle Dog

If an Australian Cattle dog has nothing to do all day, he will find some means of entertainment you may not agree with, like chewing the furniture, digging in the trash or back yard, and so on. Always make sure you keep him busy.

Of course, he also needs a lot of space, a home with a large yard will be best for him, as long as he is allowed indoors to stay with his human as much as he wants. The Cattle Dog is very devoted to his family, also known as a Velcro dog, which loves to stay with one member of the family in particular.


In the end, you may have noticed this breed is not suited for novice owners, but for those who can and will display proper leadership. This dog is quite independent, so he really needs to know his owner is the pack leader.

Keep training firm and challenging, and give your Australian Cattle Dog plenty of work to do to keep him busy and out of trouble.