Australian Cattle dogs are very energetic dogs that were originally bred for herding cattle, just as the name states. As a working dog descendant, Australian cattle dogs are best suited to go to homes where their owner is an active lifestyle enthusiast. Still, do these dogs ever calm down eventually?
As exuberant as Cattle dogs can be, a good long walk and run at your local park calms them down eventually. On the other hand, these dogs’ energy levels suit their working instincts; so, if you can’t match their energy levels, getting these backyard agility pet playing accessories from Amazon helps quite a lot to keep even the most energetic dog breeds docile and tired enough to calm down.
So, if you feel overwhelmed with your Australian cattle dog’s excitement, be aware that keeping them calm will be a constant battle you must be willing to tackle from when you get the Australian cattle dog puppy home up until when they are fully grown.
These dogs are commonly called Blue Heelers, Red Heelers, Queensland Heelers or Australian Heelers.
They have a unique appearance and they are known for their gorgeous coat colors, intelligence, and energy levels.
Because of the jumpy and activeness in these dog, even several years after they seem to have grown, it may raise a question.
Do cattle dogs ever calm down?
While these dogs have a very active nature, they do eventually calm down at some point. This point is usually when they mature. Some other dogs take a minimum of a year or two to fully mature.
Cattle dogs, on the other hand, were originally raised for work, so even if they mature, they still remain active for several years before calming down.
This is when their age reaches anywhere from 4 to a maximum of 6 years. So you expect your dog to calm down around these ages.
Besides the age, there are a couple of things you can do in order to calm them down, and some of these things are changing their diet, discouraging the hyperactive behavior and training them. “
Characteristics of the Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dog came as a result of cross-breeding the Blue Merle and the Australian Dingo. The cross breeding was performed in the late 1800s by British settlers.
Australian Cattle dogs are working dogs that have plenty of energy. When they are nor running all over the place, they like to devote themselves to their families.
In this section, we will be looking at the top facts about the Australian Cattle dog.
1) High Intelligence
The Australian Cattle dogs are known to be very intelligent. In fact, they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds around the world.
Just like most working dogs, cattle dogs highly motivated. They also need plenty of training and exercise to channel all that intelligence and burn some energy.
2) Australian Cattle Dogs have a dense double coat
These dogs have a double coat, just like many other breeds. So they are equipped with an undercoat and an outer coat. They shed the undercoat once or twice in a year.
Because of this, the Australian cattle dogs don’t need a lot of grooming other than the regular brushing to remove loose hair. Also, they don’t need regular baths.
You can only clean them up when they get in the mud. As such, these dogs are a low maintenance breed. Also, the Australian Cattle dog’s coat is actually water-resistant, which means it keeps them dry in the rain.
3) Australian Cattle Dogs are descended from dingoes
English sheepdog breeds were crossed with native dingoes. This was mainly because the English sheepdog breed (which were the working breeds) were not able to work under the very hot sun.
Actually, a study was done to trace the origin of the dingoes. The result was that the native Australian dingo’s ancestors date as far back as 1500 BC.
Shortly after they came into existence, the dingo became domesticated and was eventually used for livestock control. Later, heelers were cross-bred with Dalmatians, collies, and kelpies, to keep some desired traits.
Let’s take you back to 1840. In this year, a man named Thomas Simpson Hall, who was an early colonist as well as a cattle farmer, crossed dogs that had been bred with multiple collie strains and a dingo.
This resulted into what is known to be the “Hall’s Heelers.” A lot of people, mostly Australian farmers and cattle owners loved the result and went on to buy the dogs from Mr. Hall.
Well ahead, two brothers, named Jack and Harry Bagust of Canterbury bred them with Dalmatians. The cross is what gives some Australian Cattle Dogs their beautiful markings today.
4) Australian Cattle dog pups are born white
This is a very shocking fact about the Cattle dogs. These dogs are actually born white. Studies have indicated that this color comes from their Dalmatian heritage.
So you don’t see the colors and the textures of the puppy until it has reached somewhere around six weeks of age.
5) Australian Cattle dogs were accepted into the AKC in 1980
Despite the fact that the breed standard was set in Australia in 1903 and has been categorized as a “pure” breed since 1893, it was not part of the American Kennel Club’s registry until somewhat recently, in 1983- that’s approximately 90 years before the breed as added to the registry.
Shortly after the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club also recognized it in 1985. The breed was actually removed from the Working Group and added to the Herding Group.
How to exercise your Australian cattle dog
Exercising your dog is a very important step to calming him down as this avoids a destructive behavior while channeling some of that energy. Let’s take a look at how you can exercise your dog.
1) Play games
This first point if pretty self-explanatory. You have to play games with your dog. The best kind of games are the interactive ones that your dog can actively participate. Such games increase the bond between you and your companion.
Also, interactive games are important as they will help your dog in getting rid of that excess energy. On top of this, games are an essential part of socialization. Below are some of the games that you can play with your dog.
- Fetch- your dog’s favorite
- Hide and seek
- Catch with a Frisbee
2) Go for long walks together
As we all know by now, Australian cattle dogs are active by nature, so they need plenty of exercise. Make sure you take really long walks as this will drain away some excess energy.
When I say long walks, I really mean long walks. Although some breeds are okay with one or two walks around the block, Australian cattle dogs need longer walks, which should be at least once or twice a day.
IF you love running, even better! You might consider taking your Australian cattle dog on a run with you- a long run.
The idea here is that your dog should be tired at sunset, which will prevent them from getting bored, or walking you up at night with their mischievous behaviors.
3) Let them loose.
Sometimes, let your dog run off the leash. This might sound like it’s going against the idea of keeping your dog under control, but it helps when you do it once in a while.
So what am I asking you to do? You should give your cattle dog the opportunity to run off the leash. Here, let them run around in a fenced yard or park. They may enjoy playing by themselves or with other dogs. Either way, your dog is having fun.
4) Take them to an agility class.
Besides playing with your dogs and taking them for regular exercises, make sure that you also take them for agility classes.
These classes offer a more structured set of games, activities, and many other obstacle courses that are fun for both you and your dog.
Cattle dogs are ideal for agility courses. Why? Because of their high energy levels. To find such classes, you can research online, go through your vet, or your obedience training school. You will likely find the details on all the next courses and prepare accordingly.
For the most part, Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely loyal to their human, and they are very good with small children- though not too small, due to their herding behavior.
As mentioned so many times, these dogs have so much energy and love to run and can play games literary all day.
Even though they are loyal to their family, they can be a bit wary of strangers. As such, they can bark very loudly or even threaten to bite.
So, the Australian Cattle dog do come down, but they take a lot longer when compared to other pure breeds. The good thing is that you can do something besides letting nature take its course. Make sure you dog receive the right amount of training, which should involves mental stimulation as well.
All in all, the Australian cattle dog is a very reliable and loving dog. It likes to play games. If you like spending most of your time in the great outdoors, use this an advantage to bring your furry companion along.
With their active nature, they will certainly enjoying being outside. On the other hand, if you live on the farm with animals, then you have yourself the prefect herding dog that will perform the work like no other dog.
Cattle dogs can work for countless hours, which means there won’t the need for additional exercise.
Before your go out there and get yourself a Cattle dog, remember that these are intelligent dogs who need stimulation.