Australian Cattle Dog - PetFirst
PetFirst Pet Insurance, Australian Cattle Dog
Breed Spotlights

Australian Cattle Dog

by MetLife Pet Insurance
6 years ago

Life Expectancy:  12 – 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Weight:  30 – 50 lbs.
Height: 17 – 19 inches

Where Does the Australian Cattle Dog Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


8 out of 10 ranking

The Australian Cattle Dog is intelligent; however, he is very stuck in his ways and very stubborn. Consistent, positive reinforcement training is highly recommended for this breed.

Shedding Friendliness

The Australian Cattle Dog is a moderate shedder.


Ease of Grooming

8 out of 10 ranking

Due to their short, easy-care coat, the Australian Cattle Dog requires minimal grooming.


Australian Cattle Dogs have a history of an eye and joint issues. There needs to routine check-ups on eyes and bones.

Exercise Needs

8 out of 10 ranking

The Australian Cattle Dog requires a significant amount of exercise. In order to keep this breed happy and healthy, pet parents with this type of will need to provide continuous exercise and mental stimulation.

Good with Children

4 out of 10 ranking

The Australian Cattle Dog loves children but has a tendency to be nippy. Teaching your child how to play with your dog properly will reduce this behavior.

Barking Restraint

9 out of 10 ranking

Barking is not generally a problem with Australian Cattle Dogs.

What You Need to Know About Australian Cattle Dogs


The Australian Cattle Dog is extremely active and requires constant mental and physical activity to remain happy and healthy. If your Australian Cattle Dog becomes bored or lonely, he is likely to become extremely destructive. He will begin chewing and tearing up the house. The common saying “a tired dog is a good dog” pertains to this dog perfectly.

The Australian Cattle Dog is extremely protective of any area or item he considers his and he is ready to defend it at any time. He is not aggressive with strangers, but he is reserved and keeps to himself if around someone he does not know. He is extremely devoted to his owner, though. He is so faithful he will follow the owner anywhere happily enjoying any and every activity. He views separation from his pet parent as punishment.


The Australian Cattle Dog is intelligent; however, he is very stuck in his ways and very stubborn. Consistent, positive reinforcement training is highly recommended for this breed.


The Australian Cattle Dog doesn’t require a huge grooming routine. A weekly brushing is sufficient to distribute the oils from his skin throughout his fur to maintain a healthy skin and coat.

Health Problems

Allergies – Australian Cattle Dogs often have food or skin allergies. Environmental contributors to allergies include grass, dust, pollen, household cleaners, detergents.

Hip Dysplasia – (as found in many large dog breeds)

Retinal Atrophy  – progressive loss of vision. This is something that develops early on and can lead to blindness.

von Willebrand Disease – Australian Cattle Dogs often have this common blood disease. So when your dog is bleeding, this disease makes it hard for their blood to clot and the bleeding to stop.

Elbow Displaysia – This is something that can occur from an uncommon gene pair. It will cause lesions to arise in the joint and movement in the elbow joint will begin to decrease.

Top 11 Most Common Health Issues for Australian Cattle Dogs

  1. Hip Dysplasia
  2. Deafness
  3. Cataracts – clouding of normal vision
  4. Elbow Dysplasia
  5. von Willebrand Disease
  6. Glaucoma – an eye disease that damages vision
  7. Allergies
  8. Retinal Atrophy
  9. Persistent Pupillary Membrane – fetal membrane remains in the pupil
  10. Liver Shunt – the normal flow of blood through the liver is reduced
  11. Osteochondrosis – limited development of normal bone growth

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

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