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Australian Cattle Dog


The Australian Cattle Dog was developed to assist the establishment of the cattle industry in the early stages of its installation in Australia. The main requirement was a strong, biting dog, possessing great energy and capable of gathering and moving wild cattle. The initially imported working dog breeds did not have these requirements. The first settlers had a limited availability of labor, which created problems in controlling their herds of cattle and herds of sheep. Most properties were not fenced in and the country's scrubland had not been cleared. To facilitate efficient handling of sheep and cattle they established breeding around dog breeds that would do this job for them.

Country of Origin: Australia.

GENERAL APPEARANCE L :  The general appearance is that of a strong, compact, symmetrically built working dog, with skill and desire to carry out the tasks, albeit arduous, assigned to him. Your combination of substance, power, balance, and tight muscular conditioning should give you the impression of great agility, strength, and endurance. Any tendency towards rusticity or brittleness is a serious fault.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :  The length of the body, from the point of the breast bone in a straight line to the buttocks (tip of the ilium), is greater than the height at the withers, as from 10 to 9.  

BEHAVIOR  AND  TEMPERAMENT:  The Cattle Dog's loyalty and protective instinct make it an ideal guard dog for the farmer, the herd and the property. Although it has a natural distrust of strangers, it should be easy to handle, particularly on the show floor.  Any trait that deviates from the structure or temperament of a working dog should be considered a serious fault. As the name applies to the dog's primary function, and in which it has no equal, which is the control and movement (handling) of livestock both in large open areas and in confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, attentive, courageous and faithful, with an implicit devotion to duty, which makes him an ideal working dog.

HEAD :  It is strong and must be in balance with the dog's other proportions and in harmony with its general conformation.


skull :  The broad skull is slightly arched between the ears.

Stop:  The skull flattens for a light but defined stop.



Truffle :  black

Muzzle :
  Broad and well filled below the eyes, tapering gradually to form a muzzle of medium length, deep and powerful, with the skull and muzzle in parallel planes.

lips :  adjusted and clean

Jaws and Teeth :  Lower jaw (jaw) strong, deep and well developed. The teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced, closed with a scissor bite, with the lower incisor teeth closing behind, just touching the upper teeth. As the dog is required to work hard to touch cattle by control or biting, healthy and strong teeth are very important.

cheeks :  Muscular, without being bulky or prominent

eyes :  The eyes should be oval in shape and of medium size, neither prominent nor deep and should express alertness and intelligence. Eye color should be dark brown. A warning or suspicious glow is characteristic when a stranger approaches.

Ears :  Ears should be of medium size, preferably small rather than large, broad at the base, muscular, carried erect and moderately pointed, not spoon-shaped or bat-eared. The ears are inserted  well apart in the skull, angled outwards, sensitive in use and erect when alert; the leather must be of a thick texture and the inner face of the ear very well covered with hair

NECK :  The neck is extremely strong, muscular and of medium length, thickening to articulate with the trunk and without throatiness.


Top Line:  in level.

Back : Strong


Loin :  Broad, strong and muscular. Dogs closely coupled and with deep flanks.


Croup :  Preferably long and sloping.


chest :  Deep, muscular and moderately broad. Ribs well sprung and carried well back without being barrel sprung.

TAIL:  The tail set is moderately low, following the contour of the sloping croup, and its length reaches approximately to the hocks. At rest, it should be carried hanging in a very gentle curve. During movement or in excitation, the tail may be lifted, but under no circumstances should any part of the tail be carried above the vertical passing through its root. The tail should contain a good brush coat.




PREVIOUS :  The forelimbs have strong, round bones, extending to the paws and, viewed from the front, should be straight and parallel.


Shoulders :  The shoulders are strong, sloping, muscular and well angulated with the upper arm (humerus) and should not be placed too close together at the point of the withers. Although the shoulders are strong and well-boned, heavy shoulders and heavy fronts will interfere with correct movement and limit your ability to work.

Metacarpals :  The pasterns should be flexible and, seen in profile, have a slight angle to the forearm.


Paws :  The paws should be rounded and the toes short, strong, well arched and kept close together. The pads (cushions) are vigorous and deep, and the nails should be short and strong.


HINDQUARTERS :  The hind limbs are broad, strong and muscular. When viewed from behind, the hindquarters, hocks to feet, are straight and set parallel, neither closed nor too far apart.

Thighs :  Long, broad and well developed.


Knees : Well angulated.


Hocks :  Strong and well let down

Paws :  The paws should be rounded and the toes short, strong, well arched and kept close together. The pads (cushions) are vigorous and deep, and the nails should be short and strong.

DRIVE :  The action is correct, fluent, flexible and tireless and the movement of the shoulders and forelimbs forms a synchronic set with the powerful propulsion of the hind limbs. The ability to move quickly and suddenly is essential. Solidity is of paramount importance. When trotting, the legs tend to approach ground level as speed increases, however, when the dog is at rest, it must support itself on all fours.


  • COAT


By: The coat is smooth and double, with a short, dense undercoat. The covering coat is close, the hairs are straight, hard and settled, being resistant to the rain. Under the body to behind the limbs, the coat is longer and forms, close to the thigh, a soft breeches shape (fringe). On the head (including the inner side of the ears), up to the front side of the limbs and paws, the hair is short. Along the neck it is longer and thicker. A coat that is too long or too short is a fault. As an average, the hair on the body should be 2.5 to 4 cm long.



  1. Mottled Blue: The color must be blue, mottled blue, or speckled blue with or without other markings. The marks allowed are black, blue or brown (“tan”) on the head, preferably evenly distributed. The brown marking on the forelimbs is present on half of them and extends to the anterior surface of the forechest and throat, with brown on the jaws; on the hind limbs, brown markings on the medial surface of the legs and thighs, manifesting on the anterior surface of the knees and extending to the external surface of the legs, from the hocks to the toes. Brown undercoat is allowed on the trunk, provided it does not show outside the blue covering coat. Black marks on the body are not desirable.

  2. Speckled Red: The color should be a good uniform auburn speckled all over the body, including the undercoat (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red spots on the head. Even head marks are desirable. Red marks on the body are allowed, but not undesirable.

SIZE : Males: 46 to 51  cm.

            Females: 43  at 48  cm.

  • FAULTS  


Any deviation from the terms of this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  and on their ability to perform their traditional work.



• Stocky, slender or coarse structure.

• Loaded, flaccid or straight shoulders (slightly angled).

• Weakness in elbows, pasterns or paws.

• Straight knees (slightly angled).

• Cow hocks or arched.

• Movement that demonstrates rigidity.

• Stop marked.



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.



• Males must have both testicles, of normal appearance, well let down and accommodated in the scrotum.

• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with typical breed conformation should be used for breeding.

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