About The ACD
In the show ring, in the field and in the living room... whatever you ask these dogs to do, they do - and they do it well!
The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) was developed in Australia as a droving dog. They are a tireless worker, and a specialist at driving and forcing stubborn or rank cattle to move in a desired direction over very rough terrain. Like all herding dogs, their main desire is to control the movement of livestock. The way they do this is to make physical contact in the form of heeling the leg of an animal to move it along with the rest of the herd. In the absence of livestock, any movement will do in their eyes, such as the movement of cars, motorcycles, bikes, joggers, running children, etc., and again, the way they will control this movement is by using their mouths to "heel", so training and socialization are a must with this breed. As in every breed, there are desirable traits and undesirable traits.
Temperament: The ACD is naturally suspicious of strangers, so first introductions should be monitored and guided appropriately. They are strong minded. They can be convinced but rarely forced. Frequently they have stronger wills than their owners. Keep them tired! Teach them things! A properly trained and socialized ACD varies from a dog who is friendly with almost
anyone, to the very reserved, one-person dog. Ideally, the ACD is a calm, but alert companion and family
member. These dogs often follow their masters from room to room in the home, keeping a constant and
sometimes obnoxious watch over their loved ones. This is what we mean by a "velcro dog".
Socialization: Socialization of your puppy is the process of teaching it about the world, and its place in it. This
process begins at birth, and continues throughout the life of your dog. Take your dog with you to the store, the
park, the relative's house, wherever you go. Dogs that have not been properly socialized cannot understand their
place in society. Proper socialization also gives your dog the ability to determine when to be protective and when it is not required.
Training: ACDs are almost always very food and toy motivated, which makes training them a lot of fun for both of you! The process of training your ACD begins the day you bring it home. This process then continues
throughout its life. The ACD has been developed for its working ability and blooms when given a chance to
work with its master. It is very necessary to establish firm fair guidelines for the dog. Obedience training is one of the
easiest and most rewarding way to do this. Obedience train and socialize your ACD. A well
behaved dog is a source of pride and pleasure and appreciated by all, especially by you.
Discipline: The ACD is a sensitive, intelligent and loyal animal that usually wants to please its owner. However,
they can be VERY stubborn, as they were bred to be an independent thinker that is not easily deterred. Therefore, it is imperative that
discipline be consistent, fair, and firm. The ACD is a wonderful breed, but ACD ownership is not for the very busy person who can not, or is not inclined towards careful supervision of his or her dog, nor is the ACD for a timid owner.
Children: It is very important to teach your ACD how to behave around children and vise versa. Small children are prone to
move quickly and erratically; they emit shrill sounds. These actions can stimulate a puppy's instinctive drive to
`heel'. Even play bites can be painful. What is play for the puppy may be frightening for the child. The reverse is
also true; children must be carefully taught to treat a puppy with quiet kindness and gentleness. Do not leave
children in charge of your ACD or vice-versa. Children should never be left unsupervised with dogs of any breed.
REMEMBER: The ACD was bred for a job which required a TOUGH dog, one not easily discouraged or
intimidated, one capable of independent thought and action. The ACD is not for the novice dog owner, nor is it
for the owner who wants to own a dog which can be taken for granted, tied out, ignored, or expected to live the
life of a pampered pet. The ACD must have firm, but fair, training, which is consistently applied throughout its
lifetime. It must have a purpose, whether it be cattle to herd, something to guard or serious obedience training of
some sort. Without purpose the ACD will attempt to find "jobs" for itself, usually not the jobs you have in mind.
Intelligent, loyal, protective - worker, companion, friend.
A truly unique and versatile breed.
The ACD is an ACTIVE breed!
They play hard!
They love to run
They are very agile
They like to hold their toys
They like to shake their toys
They like to play tug of war with their toys
They are VERY vehicle posessive!
(This truck is parked - DO NOT let dogs ride lose in the back of vehicles !!!)
They do NOT share well!
(That's a box of dog cookies)
They like to bark - a lot
They are velcro dogs
They can be a clown
They are good with other animals if properly introduced
They can be wonderful with children who are well behaved, and raised to treat dogs properly. Always remember that all dog breeds need to be supervised around children and vise versa.
Always remember, a tired cattle dog is a happy cattle dog!