The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Australian Heeler, Hall’s Heeler, Queensland Heeler and the Blue Heeler, is a sturdy, compact working dog, well-muscled, powerful, yet very agile. The body is a bit longer than high with a slightly curved tail reaching approximately to the hock. The front legs should be perfectly straight when viewed from the front. The head is broad and slightly rounded between the widely set, moderately pointed pricked ears. The oval eyes are dark brown. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The weather-resistant double coat consists of a short dense undercoat and a short straight outer coat. It comes in blue or red speckled.
The blue speckled is with or without black, blue or tan markings on the head with tan points. Black markings on the body are not desirable. The red speckle variety should be evenly speckled all over, but may have darker markings on the head.
A working, herding breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is not suited to life alone in the backyard. One of the most intelligent breeds, it can become easily bored, leading to serious behavior problems. These dogs need to be part of the action! They are loyal, protective and alert. An excellent guard dog. Brave and trustworthy. Very good in the obedience ring and in herding and agility. Firm training from the start and lot of daily attention will produce a fine and happy pet. It is absolutely loyal and obedient to its master, but it is something of a one-person dog. They are sometimes suspicious of people and dogs they don’t know. It can be very dog aggressive, for its dominance level is high. Not good with children except for family members it has known since puppyhood. Some tend to nip at people’s heels in an attempt to herd them. If you are buying a pet, avoid strictly working lines, as these dogs may be too active and intense for home life. Australian Cattle Dogs are very easy to train. Puppies are born white (inherited from the early Dalmatian crosses), but the adult color can be seen in the paw pads.