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Australian Mountain Dog: a breed born out of necessity

Boyero Australiano: una raza nacida fruto de la necesidad

Lobo Azul |

Sheepdogs did not emerge only in Europe. In fact, in Australia there are several breeds, among which is the Australian Cattle Dog , which was born out of necessity. Now it has become a companion dog, which is not suitable for all owners.

  • Size : from 43 to 51 cm
  • Weight : between 17 and 23 kilos
  • Hair type : short, straight and very thick
  • Character : shy, faithful and very active
  • Health : prone to several hereditary diseases
  • Life expectancy : 12 to 14 years

Origins of the Australian Mountain Dog

Unlike very old breeds, whose origin is not documented and are the result of random crossings, in the case of the Australian Cattle Dog we can follow its creation process very well.

It all begins at the beginning of the 19th century, when many European settlers arrived and needed dogs to work with wild livestock in very harsh conditions. They had brought their pets with them, but the heat ended up killing them all.

Already in 1840, a certain Hall thought that it would be a good idea to cross collies with dingoes , the wild dogs of the area. The result was average, but more breeds such as the Dalmatian or the bull terrier were added to this crossing.

A tough dog was obtained, which thanks to the blood of the dingo was not afraid of any kind of livestock , in addition to withstanding the extreme heat of Australia without problems, although over time it has lost popularity.

Today it is widely used in dog sports and is still seen, working with livestock in the most inhospitable areas of the Australian continent, something that few dogs can tolerate.

Origin of the Australian Cattle Dog

Characteristics of the Australian Mountain Dog

They are medium dogs with a maximum of 51 cm at the withers in the case of males, which can reach 50 kilos.

This weight is not because they are molossers, but because the Australian Cattle Dog is a very strong and muscular dog . In fact, despite these kilos, they are very agile and have great resistance.

The hair is very soft and has a double layer, the outer coat being made of hard hairs that protect it from environmental aggression, while the inner coat is very dense and has short fur.

It can have various colors such as blue or mottled red, in both cases with spots all over the body. If the color is blue, the spots will be blue, black or tan, while if it is the dog with the red coat it usually has red spots distributed over the body and head.

The colors are used to name these dogs as red heeler and blue heeler , the first being red and the second blue, with no other colors accepted.

Character of the Australian Mountain Dog

Like a good sheepdog, the Australian Cattle Dog is loyal, never gets tired, is very intelligent and expends a great amount of energy.

It is a one-master dog, so it will choose its own in the family and follow it everywhere, leaving the others a little aside.

Although it is not a guard dog, it is used to protecting livestock from attacks, so it guards its territory and if it feels threatened, a fierce and aggressive dog will emerge that does not hesitate to use its teeth.

These qualities are both what makes it an incredible animal and prevents many owners from having it, especially those who have no experience or are short on time.

They need an energetic owner who can exercise with them daily and who is able to stimulate their mind with games, training or dog sports of all kinds.

Character of the Australian Cattle Dog

Education of the Australian Mountain Dog

His education should begin with socialization when he is a puppy . It is advisable that we take it with us everywhere, since it has to see people, deal with dogs, other pets such as cats, be exposed to traffic noises, etc.

This guarantees that as an adult they will not have fears and phobias that make it difficult for us to live with them, since they tend to distrust strangers.

Regarding its training, it can be said that it has two very different aspects, such as sports training and that which must be given for daily coexistence, which we call obedience.

Being a working dog, training it to play sports will be very simple, since it is very smart and is always willing to listen to its owner, so it will love what we teach it in this regard.

Another thing is obedience, since he does not have much self-control. His energy prevents him from staying still for long , so he will have to resort to positive reinforcement techniques and be patient, seeking the help of a professional if necessary.

You should never punish them, since that will make them unstable, just as you should never stop offering them stimulation, since their character will change for the worse. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Australian Cattle Dogs abandoned because their family does not know how to treat them.

Australian Mountain Dog Health

Although it comes from a cross with a dingo and is a working dog, which usually has iron health, in this case that is not the case and there are a few hereditary diseases to which it is prone, perhaps even too many.

Hip dysplasia is one of them , although this may have to do with its size, but it is also predisposed to others such as deafness, which comes from Dalmatians.

In addition, it can suffer from cataracts, dislocation of intraocular lenses and retinal atrophy, which means that if we have one, it is best to talk to the veterinarian so that he can check its eyes very often, several times a year.

He also experiences obsessive-compulsive disorders, although the truth is that this, more than a disease, is a problem that can appear if it is not treated in the way that this dog requires.

As we can see, with this breed you will have to go to the vet a lot as a preventive measure , something that must be taken into account, since this means that you have to dedicate time and money to these visits.

Care of the Australian Mountain Dog

The coat is very easy to care for, since you only need to brush it once a week and it can eat anything, although it is best to give it a good quality feed , one of the premium ones with natural ingredients.

Another thing is the issue of walks, since you will need to exercise a lot, which will be very complicated in a city, since you have to go out at least three times a day and run freely, which is not always possible in a city. urban environment.

It is a country dog, where it can be loose , while we can go out with it to exercise such as running, swimming, riding a bicycle or even seeing some sheep in order to remember its origins.

Of course, just because it is a “town” dog does not mean that it can spend the day alone in a garden, because here it will suffer a lot and in the end the dreaded behavioral problems will appear.

In fact, if you are going to spend many hours alone outside, it is best to find another dog to be together , as it does not feel very good alone or playing sports without its owner or other dogs around.

Care of the Australian Cattle Dog

Adopt an Australian Mountain Dog

Adopting an Australian Cattle Dog in Spain is almost impossible . In fact, within our borders the breeders can be counted on the fingers of one hand, since it is a very unknown dog in our country and there are hardly any specimens on the street.

The same thing happens in the rest of Europe, so if we want one we only have the option of buying it, being lucky that we know that the few breeders that exist are passionate about the breed, since it is not an animal that they go with to earn money.

If we decide to buy, we must take into account what we have talked about about its character, the need for attention and exercise, reviewing what our life is like on a daily basis in a sincere way and thinking about what this Australian cattle dog is going to do for us. ask.

In the event that we cannot have it, it is always possible to adopt another shepherd dog that does not have such a complicated character and that does not demand so much from us.

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