Australian Cattle Dog

Description:
The Australian Cattle dog is a perfect example of a work dog. It has a very strong, agile and resistant look to it and its body is very compact and well built. The head of this dog is wide and slightly rounded around the ears; the cheeks are muscular but not too full (it shouldn't look fat); the nose on this dog is well developed and full under the eyes. The eyes should be oval shaped but not bulging out or sunken. The ears are medium sized or smaller, either one of these is preferable than big. The Australian Cattle dog has a very muscular neck but it should not look bulky. The back of this dog is strong, it's trunk long and descendant, the chest is deep and has well rounded ribs. The tail hangs lower down and should be medium sized. The coat of this dog is medium textured and its undercoat is short and thick. The Australian Cattle dog's color is speckled in blue and red; it often times has spots of black, red or blue on its head however this should not be seen on its body. Their height is of 43 to 50 centimeters.

Ideal owner:
This dog is an excellent watch and guard dog. This breed loves the outdoors and it isn't the most adequate for house life. The owner of this dog must be very firm and decided since this is a dog that has a lot of character and it can be temperamental, even more so then any other sheep dog. Good training and discipline is fundamental for this dog from a very young age. There have been rumors that say that this dog is a wild dog, but it is actually very well balanced, stable, and protective. This dog is very adaptable and versatile and can give a lot of satisfaction to its owners. It loves playing, working, and resting next to its owners. It does better if it is the only dog in the house.

Growth:
An Australian Cattle puppy should weigh around 3 to 5.5 kilograms when it is around seven or eight weeks old. They complete their full mature growth at the age of two years, and it might even take longer in the case of the males. They grow very quickly between nine and twelve months of age and in this stage it can become quite difficult however a lot of exercise will help it overcome it's difficulties, as well as a healthy balanced diet. This breed is known for its good appetite. When an Australian cattle puppy is born it is usually white at first, later on you will start to see the spots of blue or red; this should occur within the first two weeks of life. A young dog can shed about two or three times and according to dog breeders, they sometimes lose all their outer and under hair. Character changes are also frequent in adolescence, and even more so in periods where they are insecure of themselves. It is very important that the owner be very consistent and learn to calm the dog down during these "fearful" moments. They should not have fur on their hind legs and their tail should not be too short, curled or too high up, and their back needs to look strong; not weak or slouchy.

General health:
Probably due to their very large genetic base and the extreme selectiveness that went about because of their working abilities, the Australian cattle dog practically does not suffer from genetic abnormalities and they are not very susceptible to diseases, not even cancer. Progressive atrophy in the retina and deafness can be the worse worries in this breed. It is the owner's responsibility though to pick out the correct one because there are certain defects such as if it is too compact, or if it's shoulders or thighs are too straight etc because all these things can hurt the dog when it grows up. It has been observed they sometimes suffer from kidney stones. It is important the owner of this dog brushed its coat to avoid skin problems such as eczemas. The life span of this dog is anywhere from nine to twelve years.

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