Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Australia.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
08.10.2012.
KC
April 2007

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Cattledog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 2Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
Without working trial

KC
Pastoral
UKC
Herding Dog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The Australian Cattle Dog was developed to assist with establishing the cattle industry in early Australian conditions. The principal requirement was a strong, biting dog, possessing great stamina and capable of mustering and moving wild cattle. Early imported breeds of working dogs did not possess these requirements. The first settlers had a limited availability of labour, this created problems in the control of their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. Most properties were unfenced and the scrub country had not been cleared. To facilitate the efficient handling of sheep and cattle, they set about creating breeds of dogs to do this work for them. A great deal of research has been undertaken to ascertain the origin of the Australian Cattle Dog, but as early breeders kept very little recorded information, there is a marked divergence of opinion as to the breeds used to develop the purebred dog we see today. It is generally recognised though, that it resulted from the crossing of blue merle, smooth haired Collies with the Dingo, with a later injection of Dalmatian and black and tan Kelpie blood. Other cross breeding was tried, such as a Bull Terrier cross, but all these other crosses proved to be unsuccessful for the working of cattle.
UKC
The breed came into being in Australia. It took many crosses of various breeds to produce this tough, versatile herding dog. Crosses were made with the wild native Dingo, Bull Terrier, Dalmatian, blue merle Collies and the Kelpie. The breed is born white, which is an oddity inherited from the Dalmatian. The breed has been pure since 1893. It is a silent heeler and is able to withstand the heat better than any other herding breed. The breed has also been known as the Australian Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler and Red Heeler. The Australian Cattle Dog was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1985.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The general appearance is that of a strong, compact, symmetrically built working dog, with the ability and willingness to carry out his allotted task however arduous. Its combination of substance, power, balance and hard muscular condition must convey the impression of great agility, strength and endurance. Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault.
KC
Strong, compact, symmetrical, with substance, power and balance. Hard muscular condition conveys agility, strength and endurance. Grossness or weediness undesirable.
UKC
A medium-sized, blue or red speckled dog that is strong, compact and symmetrically built. The breed conveys the impression of great agility and the capacity for endurance, and any tendency to being either overdone or weedy should be seriously faulted. Working dogs are not to be penalized under any conditions for scars or blemishes that are due to occupational injuries.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
The length of the body from the point of the breast bone, in a straight line to the buttocks, is greater than the height at the withers, as 10 is to 9.
KC
Ability to control and move cattle in all environments. Loyal, protective. Guardian of stockman, herd and property. Naturally suspicious of strangers, but amenable to handling. Biddable.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
The Cattle Dog’s loyalty and protective instincts make it a self-appointed guardian to the Stockman, his herd and his property. Whilst naturally suspicious of strangers, must be amenable to handling, particularly in the Show ring. Any feature of temperament or structure foreign to a working dog must be regarded as a serious fault. As the name applies the dog’s prime function, and one in which he has no peer, is the control and movement of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous and trustworthy, with an implicit devotion to duty making it an ideal working dog.
KC
Alert, intelligent, watchful, courageous, trustworthy, devoted to its work.
UKC
Loyal and protective, the Cattle Dog is an outstanding guardian. The breed is naturally suspicious of strangers but must be amenable to being handled in the show ring.

HEAD

:
FCI
The head is strong and must be in balance with other proportions of the dog and in keeping with its general conformation.
KC
Strong, in balance with body and general conformation. Skull broad and slightly curved between ears, flattening to slight but definite stop. Cheeks muscular but not coarse or prominent. Strong under-jaw, deep and well developed. Broad foreface, well filled in under eyes, tapers gradually down medium length muzzle which is parallel to skull. Nose always black.
UKC
The head is wedge-shaped and in balance with the other proportions of the dog and in keeping with its general conformation.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
The broad skull is slightly curved between the ears.
UKC
The skull is broad and slightly curved between the ears, flattening to a slight but definite stop. The cheeks are muscular but not prominent.

Stop

:
FCI
The skull flattens to a slight but definite stop.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black.
UKC
Black, regardless of the coat color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Broad and well filled in under the eyes, tapering gradually to form a medium length, deep, powerful muzzle with the skull and muzzle on parallel planes.
KC
Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The foreface is broad and well filled in under the eyes, tapering gradually to a medium-length, deep, powerful muzzle. The topline of the muzzle lies in a plane that is parallel to the topline of the skull. The lips are tight and clean.

Lips

:
FCI
Tight and clean.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Strong, deep and well developed underjaw. The teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced, gripping with a scissor-bite, the lower incisors close behind and just touching the upper. As the dog is required to move difficult cattle by heeling or biting, teeth which are sound and strong are very important.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white, regularly spaced teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Muscular, neither coarse nor prominent.

Eyes

:
FCI
The eyes should be of oval shape and medium size, neither prominent nor sunken and must express alertness and intelligence. Eye colour should be dark brown. A warning or suspicious glint is characteristic when approached by strangers.
KC
Medium, oval, alert and intelligent, dark brown. Neither prominent nor sunken. Warning suspicious glint is characteristic.
UKC
Oval shaped and of medium size, neither prominent nor sunken. Must express alertness and intelligence. Eye color is dark brown.

Ears

:
FCI
The ears should be of moderate size, preferably small rather than large, broad at the base, muscular, pricked and moderately pointed, neither spoon nor bat eared. The ears are set wide apart on the skull, inclining outwards, sensitive in their use and pricked when alert ; the leather should be thick in texture and the inside of the ear fairly well furnished with hair.
KC
Moderate, small rather than large. Broad at base, muscular, pricked and moderately pointed. Oval or bat-eared undesirable. Set wide apart inclining outwards. Sensitive, pricked when alert. Leather thick in texture and inside ear well furnished with hair.
UKC
Should be of moderate size. Preferably smaller than large, broad at the base, muscular, pricked and moderately pointed. Ears set wide apart on the skull, inclined outwards, sensitive in their use and firmly erect. The leather should be thick, and the inside of the ear should be fairly well-furnished with hair.

NECK

:
FCI
The neck is extremely strong, muscular and of medium length broadening to blend into the body and free from throatiness.
KC
Exceptionally strong, muscular, of medium length blending into body. Free from throatiness.
UKC
The neck is of exceptional strength, muscular, and of medium length, broadening to blend into the body, and free from throatiness.

BODY

:
KC
Slightly longer from point of shoulder to buttocks than height at withers, as 10 is to 9. Level topline, strong back and couplings. Well sprung ribs, carried well back, but not barrel ribbed. Chest deep, muscular and moderately broad.
UKC
The length of the body, from the point of the breastbone to the buttocks, is greater than the height at the withers as 10 is to 9. The topline is level, back strong, with ribs well sprung, not barrel-chested. The chest is deep, muscular and moderately broad. The loins are broad, deep and muscular with deep flanks; showing strength joining the fore and hindquarters. The croup is slightly sloping, broad, strong and muscular with very little tuck-up.

Topline

:
FCI
Level.

Back

:
FCI
Strong.

Loin

:
FCI
Broad, strong and muscular. Dog strongly coupled and with deep flanks.

Croup

:
FCI
Rather long and sloping.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep, muscular and moderately broad. Ribs well sprung and carried well back, not barrel ribbed.

TAIL

:
FCI
The set on of the tail is moderately low, following the contours of the sloping croup and of length to reach approximately to the hock. At rest, it should hang in a very slight curve. During movement or excitement the tail may be raised, but under no circumstances should any part of the tail be carried past a vertical line drawn through the root. The tail should carry a good brush.
KC
Set on low, following slope of croup/rump. Reaching to hock, hanging in slight curve at rear. When working or excited, may be raised but never carried past a vertical line drawn through the root. Good brush.
UKC
Low set, following the slope of the croup. At rest, it hangs in a slight curve and reaches the hock. The hair on the tail is furnished sufficiently to form a good brush. The tail is customarily not docked, however, a docked tail should not be penalized.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
The forelegs have strong, round bone, extending to the feet and should be straight and parallel, viewed from the front.
KC
Strong, muscular, sloping shoulders well laid back, not too closely set at withers. Strong, round bone, legs straight when viewed from front, pasterns flexible and slightly sloping when viewed from side. Loaded shoulder and heavy front undesirable.
UKC
The shoulder blades are muscular, sloping and well-angulated with the upper arm. The blades should not be too close together at the tips. While the front assembly is muscular, overly heavy or loaded shoulders will hamper working ability and should be penalized.

Shoulder

:
FCI
The shoulders are strong, sloping, muscular and well angulated to the upper arm and should not be too closely set at the point of the withers. Although the shoulders are muscular and the bone is strong, loaded shoulders and heavy fronts will hamper correct movement and limit working ability.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Straight and parallel when viewed from the front, with strong, round bone that continues straight to the foot. The pasterns should show some flexibility.

Pastern

:
FCI
Pasterns should show flexibility with a slight angle to the forearm when viewed from the side.

FEET

:
KC
Round, short toes, strong, well arched and held tight, pads hard and deep. Nails short and strong.
UKC
The feet should be round, with short, strong, well-arched toes that are held close together. The pads are hard, deep and strong. Dewclaws are found only on the front legs and may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
The feet should be round and the toes, short, strong, well arched and held close together. The pads are hard and deep, and the nails must be short and strong.

Hind feet

:
FCI
As Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
The hindquarters are broad, strong and muscular. When viewed from behind, the hind legs, from the hocks to the feet, are straight and placed parallel, neither close nor too wide apart.
KC
Broad, strong and muscular. Croup rather long and sloping. Thighs long, broad and well developed. Well turned stifle, hocks strong and well let down. When viewed from behind, hocks to feet straight and set parallel, neither too close nor too wide apart.
UKC
Broad, strong and muscular.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long, broad and well developed.

Stifle

:
FCI
Well turned.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The upper thigh is long, broad and well developed. The lower thigh is long and well muscled. There is good angulation at the stifle. The hocks are strong and well let down. When viewed from the rear, the hind legs are parallel, neither too close nor too far apart.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Strong and well let down.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
The action is true, free, supple and tireless and the movement of the shoulders and forelegs is in unison with the powerful thrust of the hindquarters. The capability of quick and sudden movement is essential. Soundness is of paramount importance. When trotting the feet tend to come closer together at the ground level as speed increases, but when the dog comes to rest he should stand four square.
KC
True, free, supple, tireless, with powerful thrust of hindquarters. Capable of quick and sudden action. Soundness of paramount importance. Stands four square, but when moving at speed, legs tend to converge. Any weaknesses highly undesirable.
UKC
The action is true, free, supple and tireless. The movement, front and rear, should be in unison. As speed increases, the feet converge toward a center line of travel. Soundness is of paramount importance. Capability of quick, sudden movement is essential.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
The coat is smooth, a double coat with a short, dense undercoat. The outer coat is close, each hair straight, hard and lying flat, so that it is rain-resisting. Under the body to behind the legs, the coat is longer and forms near the thigh a mild form of breeching. On the head (including the inside of the ears), to the front of the legs and feet, the hair is short. Along the neck it is longer and thicker. A coat either too long or too short is a fault. As an average, the hairs on the body should be from 2,5 to 4 cms in length.
KC
Smooth, double with short dense undercoat. Close top coat, hard, straight and weather resistant. Under body and behind legs, coat is longer to form mild breeching near thighs. Short on head (including inside of ear) front of legs and feet. Thicker and longer on neck. Average hair length 2.5-4 cms (1-11/2 ins).
UKC
The weather-resistant outer coat is moderately short, straight, hard and flat lying. There is a short, dense undercoat. Under the body the coat is longer, and it forms slight breeching on the backs of the thighs. Along the neck it is thicker and longer. On the head, front of legs and feet the coat is short. On an average, the body coat should be 1 to 1½ inches in length.

COLOUR

:
FCI

Blue mottled: The colour should be blue, blue mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings. The permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on the head, evenly distributed for preference. The forelegs tan midway up the legs and extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws ; the hindquarters tan on inside of hindlegs, and inside of thighs, showing down the front and the stifles and broadening out to the outside of the hindlegs from hocks to toes. Tan undercoat is permissible on the body providing it does not show through the blue outer coat. Black markings on the body are not desirable.
Red speckle: The colour should be of good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat, (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red markings on the head. Even head markings are desirable. Red markings on the body are permissible but not desirable.
KC
Blue: Blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings. Permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on head, evenly distributed for preference. Forelegs tan midway up legs and extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws. Hindquarters tan on inside of hindlegs, and inside of thighs, showing down front of stifles and broadening out to outside of hindlegs from hock to toes. Tan undercoat permissible on body providing it does not show through blue outer coat. Black markings on body undesirable. Red Speckle: Good even red speckle all over, including undercoat, (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red markings on head. Even head markings desirable. Red markings on body permissible but undesirable.
UKC
Blue: The color should be blue, blue mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings. The permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on the head, evenly distributed for preference. The forelegs tan midway up the legs and extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws; the hindquarters tan on inside of hind legs, and inside of thighs, showing down the front and the stifles and broadening out to the outside of the hind legs from hocks to toes. Tan undercoat is permissible on the body providing it does not show through the blue outer coat. Black markings on the body are not desirable. Red Speckled: the color should be of good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat, (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red markings on the head. Even head markings are desirable. Red markings on the body are permissible but not desirable.

SIZE

:
KC
Height at withers: dogs: 46-51 cms (approx. 18-20 ins); bitches: 43-48 cms (approx. 17-19 ins).
UKC
Males: from 18 to 20 inches, measured at the withers. Females: from 17 to 19 inches. Weight from 33 to 50 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 46 to 51 cms.
Females 43 to 48 cms.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Teeth: Undershot or overshot bite.
Eyes: Yellow eyes.
Tail: A gay tail (carried above the horizontal).
Coat: Coat either shorter or longer than described.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Shoulder that is loaded, slack or straight.
  • Weakness at elbows, pastern or feet.
  • Straight stifles.
  • Cow-or bow hocked.
  • Movement that shows stiltedness

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Appearance: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Characteristics: Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Color: Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.