Heelers – The Australian Cattle Dog
Our family are proud owners of a Red Heeler. We featured this article in our NFR 2018 issue of Cowgirls In Style. Can you find your heeler in the photo below?
The Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog (ACD), or simply Cattle Dog, is a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. This breed is a medium-sized, short-coated dog that occurs in two main color forms. It has either brown or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat, which gives the appearance of a “red” or “blue” dog.
The Australian Cattle dog is known for its lean, athletic build. It is a sturdy, muscular, compact dog that gives the impression of agility and strength. It has a broad skull that flattens to a definite stop between the eyes, with muscular cheeks and a medium-length, deep, powerful muzzle.
Australian Cattle Dogs were bred to drive cattle, but are also used to herd sheep. As shown in the photo, these dogs zone in on livestock and must be trained not to nip at certain livestock, such as horses and other animals that are not meant for herding. They have the herding ability bred into them and make a perfect ranch dog to do the busy work of keeping livestock in tow. They are the right arm of many cowboys and ranch owners.
We posted on our Facebook page back in September that we would be doing an article on the Australian Cattle dog, or the Heeler and invited our followers to send in their pictures. And boy did they! We had pictures sent in from New York to California, Canada and Australia. Some sweet stories of blind and deaf heelers who are a loved addition to their family. We heard so many stories from these dogs’ owners that speak of the loyalty and love that these dogs bring.
There are many celebrities who also own the Australian Cattle dog. To name a few above, George Strait and Matthew McConaughey.
I can relate, as we own a Red Heeler, “Dodger” who is the love of our family. His photo is the featured photo of this blog. He is a dedicated, family dog who loves to get out and work when the time calls. He gives his all in everything he does. One note to parents, you need to train them to not nip. They are known to be biters and must be trained as to not injure children. We have featured many of the photos that were sent into us from Facebook on the next pages. See if you can find yours!