Sunday, 9 September 2007

List of Dog breeds (Page 21)

Queensland Heeler /
Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD), also known as the Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, and Red Heeler, is a breed of herding dog developed in Australia for controlling cattle. It is a medium-sized dog with a lot of energy, intelligence and an independent streak.

Quick Facts

Australian Cattle Dog Quick Facts

Weight: 12-18 kg 25-50 lbs
Height: 43-51 cm 17-20 inches
Coat: Short, straight
Group: herding
Activity level: Very high
Learning rate: High
Temperament: Independent, intelligent
Guard dog ability: High
Watch-dog ability: High
Litter size: 4-8
Life span: median ~12 years
Country of Origin: Australia


General appearance

The Australian Cattle Dog should be muscular, athletic and substantial in appearance, without any trace of weakness or fragility. However, excessively heavy or cumbersome build is also undesirable as it limits agility, a necessity for any good cattle herder. Along with athleticism, symmetry and balance are also essential, and no individual part of the dog should be exaggerated or draw excessive attention. Even when bred for companion or show purposes, it should have well-condition, hard muscles.

Coat and colour

A blue Australian Cattle Dog

A blue Australian Cattle Dog

The Cattle Dog's coat comes in two basic colours (blue and red) and a variety of markings and coat patterns, sometimes quite striking. The solid blue coat has a bluish appearance, caused by the mottling of black, gray and white hairs all over the dog's body. The solid red coat is distinctly red, generally with some variable percentage of white hairs frosting the coat. With the exception of solid colouring for a mask or a few body spots, the rest of the dog is covered with hairs which are alternately coloured and white, like the hair on a roan horse. This roaning is also found in collies that are merle in colouration. But unlike merle collies, this colour in Cattle Dogs should not be accompanied by odd-coloured eyes and irregular albino patching. The coat of a cattle dog should show an even disposition of colour, save in the coat patterns of 'speckle' and 'mottle'. These two patterns (which show in both red and blue versions of the coat) are less common. A 'speckle' is a dark coat with a heavy roaning of white speckles, almost in a reverse spotted pattern. A 'mottle' is a light or white coat with regularly-placed denser areas of dark colour showing up as spots, inherited from the Dalmatian ancestry. Both of these coat variations are considered unusual and uncommon, but acceptable by breeders.

Cattle Dog puppies are born white(save for any solid coloured body or face markings) and grow darker as they mature, This chaecteristic is inherited fron their dalmatian ancestry.

The more common colour of the Cattle Dog is generally blue, with ginger feet, ginger spots on the legs, and some of the ginger colour on the face and underparts. The alternate genetic colour is red. A red Cattle Dog should have no blue whatsoever, (although they can occasionally appear with black 'saddles', this is a strongly disfavoured marking). Its body is flecked with red and white, its mask is red and if it has patches on the body, they are red also. Red is the genetically dominant colour, blue is the recessive (but preferred) colour.

For dog owners whose interest is primarily in their qualification for conformation shows, even markings are preferred over uneven markings, and large solid-colour marks on the body are undesirable. For owners who are more interested in their dogs' performance in activities such as herding or dog sports, the breed's strong work ethic and intelligence are of more importance than the exact coat markings. The mask is one of the most distinctive features of an Australian Cattle Dog. This mask consists of a blue-black patch over one or both eyes (for the blue coat colour) or a red patch over one or both eyes (for the red coat colour). The blue variety may also show some red on the face. Depending on whether one eye or both have a patch, these are called, respectively, single (or 'half') mask and double (or 'full') mask. Australian Cattle Dogs without a mask are called plain-faced and may have small red "eyebrows". Any of these is correct according to the breed standard, and the only limitation is the owner's preference.

Most Australian Cattle Dogs have a stripe or spot of white hair in the center of the forehead, usually 1/2 inch to 1 inch by 2 inches to 3 inches (about 2 cm by 7 cm) called the Bentley Mark. This is similar in appearance to the blaze or star markings sometimes found on horses. This mark can be traced to a purebred dog owned by Thomas Bentley. According to legend, a popular dog owned by Tom Bentley passed on this distinctive mark to all Australian Cattle Dogs. They also frequently have a white tip to the tail and a small white patch on the chest.


A female Australian Cattle Dog should measure about 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) at the withers. A male Australian Cattle Dog should measure about 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) at the withers. An Australian Cattle Dog is a well-muscled, compact dog with a dense coat of coarse, rather oily hair with a slight ruff and fine, almost woolly, winter undercoat. It has a naturally long tail, generally carried low, with a slight white tip. An Australian Cattle Dog in good condition should weigh roughly 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kg).


Blue Australian Cattle Dog with docked tail

Blue Australian Cattle Dog with docked tail

Some breeders dock Australian Cattle Dog's tails. This is a controversial practice and, in some countries, is illegal or is prohibited for show dogs.

Docking Australian Cattle Dogs' tails is a practice peculiar to the United States, and is most often found in mixed- or pet-bred dogs. Australian Cattle Dog tails are not docked in their country of origin, Australia. The Australian Cattle Dog needs its attractive tail for balance and steering while working or in agility. It is widely believed the tails are docked because of the mistaken notion that the dog will get its tail caught in doors or mouths of irate livestock.

The Australian Cattle Dog is not to be confused with the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, a square dog which is born with a naturally 'bobbed' tail. Though the Stumpy strongly resembles the Australian Cattle Dog, it should never be confused with the Australian Cattle Dog. The ASTCD has a taller, leaner conformation.


Like many herding dogs, Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and active minds. They need plenty of exercise and a job to do, such as participating in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities that engage their minds. Some individuals find repetitive training frustrating and dull, so owners should aim to make training sessions varied and more exciting in order to keep their dog interested. Cattle Dogs who do not receive the appropriate exercise and entertainment will invent their own, often destructive, activities. These dogs are, by nature, wary. They are naturally cautious, and grow more so as they age. Their cautious nature towards strangers make them perfect guard dogs, when trained for this task. Cattle Dogs drive cattle by nipping at their heels, but they have also been known to herd other animals, such as ducks, chickens, humans, and flocks of ground-feeding parrots without instruction when left to their own devices.

To relieve the urge to nip, the Australian Cattle Dog can be encouraged to pick up and chew a toy or stick that is thrown for them. The Australian Cattle Dog, given a toy that would last another dog for an extended time, will happily sit down with the object between its paws and skilfully shred it into small pieces. An Australian Cattle Dog will remove the fuzz from a tennis ball as neatly as it would skin a rabbit. Any toy left with the Australian Cattle Dog needs to be extremely robust if it is to last.

The Australian Cattle Dog is gregarious to other dogs with whom it is familiar, working well in combination with other Australian Cattle Dogs, Kelpies, and Border Collies. Because of their plucky nature, the establishing of an order can result in a few scuffles and bites.

It is important for an owner to quickly establish a hierarchy in which they are the dog's pack leader, otherwise the young Australian Cattle Dog may bond to a senior dog, rather than to its owner. As an urban pet, if the young Australian Cattle Dog is allowed to bond too strongly with some senior dog in the neighbourhood, it can be very difficult for the owner to then establish control. With unknown dogs, particularly males, the Australian Cattle Dog can be aggressive and fearless.


The data on mortality and morbidity in Australian Cattle Dogs are minimal. Apparently the only completed health survey is one done by the UK Kennel Club in 2004, which had a small sample size of 11 deceased dogs and a larger sample size of 69 live dogs. The Australian Cattle Dog Health, Education, and Welfare foundation has an ongoing health survey of dogs alive on or after January 1, 2001, but there is no information on their web site (as of July 12, 2007) about when they plan to end data collection and produce a report.


Based on a small sample of 11 deceased dogs, Australian Cattle Dogs have a median longevity of 11.7 years (maximum 15.9 yrs). The median longevities of breeds of similar size are usually between 11 and 13 years, so, assuming the 11 dogs were representative of the population, Australian Cattle Dogs appear to have a typical life span for a breed their size. Leading causes of death were cancer (27%) and cerebral vascular ("stroke" 27%).

There is an anecdotal report of an Australian Cattle Dog (or an ACD-like dog) named Bluey who lived 29.5 years, but the record is unverified. Bluey is reported to have been born in 1910. The first Australian Cattle Dog standard was written in 1902, only eight years before Bluey was born. It is not clear how closely Bluey resembled, or is related to, the breed as it now exists.


Based on a sample of 69 still-living dogs, the most common health issues noted by owners were musculoskeletal (spondylosis, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis) and reproductive (pyometra, infertility, and false pregnancy).

Australian Cattle Dog activities

A young Australian Cattle Dog at the top of a dog agility A-frame

A young Australian Cattle Dog at the top of a dog agility A-frame

Australian Cattle Dogs not only tolerate a high level of physical activity, they almost demand it. Like many other herding dog breeds, they have active and fertile minds that turn mischievous if not properly channeled. Australian Cattle Dogs are highly intelligent and can be very bossy. When not active, an Australian Cattle Dog can be kept occupied with mental puzzles. Among the most popular activities for Australian Cattle Dogs is dog agility. While the Australian Cattle Dog is ideally suited for this work, since it is a herding breed and thus very reactive to the handler's body language, some Australian Cattle Dogs become highly frustrated at the repetition and routine necessary to hone agility skills. As for many breeds, frequent brief training sessions are more effective than infrequent long training sessions. For this reason, many handlers find training an Australian Cattle Dog to be challenging. It is important to always change the methods and exercises and not allow the dog or handler to get into a rut. Australian Cattle Dogs thrive on change and new experiences.

Only a few Australian Cattle Dogs, therefore, have excelled in obedience competition For example, the American Kennel Club awards an "Obedience Competition Championship" to the dog-and-handler team that defeats a large number of other teams in open competition. A handful of Australian Cattle Dogs have reached this level. While Australian Cattle Dogs enjoy the challenge of obedience competition, such as retrieving a scented article, the majority of Australian Cattle Dogs are easily bored with precision drilling.

Australian Cattle Dogs are expert Frisbee catchers, with just a little work they can master this activity and enjoy it for a lifetime


The precise origins of the "Blue Heeler" are not known, but they appear to have been a distinct breed as early as 1897. It began when Smithfields were originally used in Australia for herding cattle. They were noisy and bit too hard, so they were bred with the Dingo, a wild dog prevalent in Australia. The resulting crosses were known as “Timmins Biters,” which were quieter, but still bit hard.

Border Collies and Smooth-coated Collies, used for herding sheep, were then bred to the Dingo. In 1840, Thomas Hall bred a couple of Blue Smooth Highland Collies with dingoes and got the “Hall’s Heeler.” Then, in the 1870’s Fred Davis bred some Bull Terrier into them to make the dogs more aggressive. These were relatively common as sporting and guard dogs in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The resulting Cattle Dog was of a slightly heavier and more muscular build than the Border Collie and of less temperamental nature, with good herding ability, the stamina to withstand extremes of temperature and the resourcefulness to forage and to feed itself on an omnivorous diet like a wild dog. Physically the "Heeler" has inherited a big broad head and strong jaws from the Bull Terrier. From the Dingo comes the distinctive sandy colour of the legs and rather large pricked ears.

Like the Welsh Corgies, the "Heeler" is fearless with cattle and has a tendency to nip their heels to keep them moving when herding. This trait is undesirable when the dog applies it to humans and horses. In order to create a breed that had a strong natural affiliation with horses, the Cattle Dog was crossed with the Dalmatian, which although not a working dog, was popular during the 19th and early 20th century as a carriage dog, running beside the horses. The resultant dog was one which was friendly to horses and would work cooperatively with a horse in a herding situation.

This breeding with the Dalmatian led to the spotted colouration in some "Blue Heelers", though this is considered undesirable and is most commonly seen in mixed breed dogs that have ACD in their ancestry. The light colour being the somewhat greenish black of the Collie. For many years "Blue Heelers" commonly had large black patches on the body, as well as the Collie's mask. It was also common for them to have ears that lay back against the head like some Collies. The flat ears are now considered undesirable for showing.

Qimmiq / Canadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a larger breed of rare Arctic dog. Other names include Qimmiq (Inuit for "dog") or what is considered to be the more politically correct Canadian Inuit Dog. Though once a common method of transportation in the Canadian Arctic, it has become increasingly rare as snowmobiles tend to be faster and more efficient.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog should always be powerfully built, athletic, and imposing in appearance. It should be of "powerful physique giving the impression that he is not built for speed but rather for hard work." As is typical of spitz breeds, it has erect, triangular ears, and a heavily feathered tail that is carried over its back. Males should be distinctly more masculine than females, who are finer boned, smaller, and often have a slightly shorter coat.

Coat and colour

The coat is very thick and dense, with a soft undercoat, and stiff, course guard hairs. The Eskimo Dog has a mane of thicker fur around its neck, which is quite impressive in the males and adds an allusion of additional size. This mane, while present, is smaller in females. Eskimo Dogs can be almost any colour, and no one colour or colour pattern should dominate. Solid white dogs are often seen, as well as white dogs with patches of another colour on the head or both body and head. Solid liver or black coloured dogs are common as well, many of the solid coloured dogs are prone to have white mask-like markings on the face, sometimes with spots over the eyes, others might instead have white socks and nose stripes with no eye spots or mask present.


There is significant variance in size among Canadian Eskimo Dogs, and the weight and height should be proportionate to each other. The average size of Canadian Eskimo Dogs is:

  • Height (at the withers)
    • Males: 58 - 70 cm (23 - 28 in)
    • Females: 50 - 60 cm (19½ - 23½ in)
  • Weight
    • Males: 30 - 40 kg (66 - 88 lb)
    • Females: 18 - 30 kg (40 - 66 lb)


The Canadian Eskimo Dog's temperament reflects its original work and environment. It is tough, intelligent, and alert. It is affectionate and gentle, and develops a deep bond with its owner and is intensely loyal. Canadian Eskimo Dogs are best suited as companions for adults, rather than children, as they can be over-excitable. When used as sled dogs, they were often required to forage and hunt for its own food. Consequently, many Canadian Eskimo Dogs have stronger prey drive than some other breeds. Owing to their original environment, they take pure delight in cold weather, often preferring to sleep outside in cold climates. Like most spitz breeds they can be very vocal.


Canadian Eskimo Dogs need a very large amount of exercise. They cannot just be walked, they need higher intensity work, requiring more exercise than many dog owners can give. This need for work and stimulation also makes them well suited for dog sports, such as carting, mushing, and skijoring. They are very trainable and submissive, unlike many spitz breeds, as well as intelligent. The Canadian Eskimo Dog is best kept in a cold climate, and is prone to heatstroke.

Its coat is fairly easy to care for most times of the year, needing brushing only one or two times a week. However when it sheds (which happens once a year) it will need grooming every day.


A group of Canadian Eskimo Dogs

A group of Canadian Eskimo Dogs

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is generally considered to be a very old dog breed, possibly as old as over 1,000 years. It was first bred by the Thule people. Therefore it is related to the Greenland Dog, so much so that some authorities consider them the same breed. It was, and still is (to a very limited extent), used by the Canadian Inuit as multi-purpose dogs, often put to work hunting seals and other arctic game, and hauling supplies and people.

In the 1800s and early 1900s this breed was in demand for polar expeditions. When snowmobiles came into use the population numbers started rapidly declining, because snowmobiles are faster and need less care. In the 1950s there were approximately 20,000 dogs living in the Canadian Arctic, and had been accepted for showing by both the AKC and CKC, however in 1959 the AKC dropped the breed from its registry because of extremely low numbers. By 1963 there was supposedly only one dog registered with the CKC, and when this dog died there were still no others registered.

It probably would have gone extinct if not for the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation (EDRF). The EDRF was founded in 1972 by William Carpenter and John McGrath and was largely funded by the Canadian Government and the Northwest Territories, with some support from the CKC. The EDRF purchased dogs from the small (about 200 dogs) population remaining in the Canadian arctic from remote Inuit camps on Baffin Island, Boothia Peninsula, and Melville Peninsula. The EDRF then began breeding dogs in order to increase numbers.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is still very rare, however it is becoming more popular in arctic tourism, with an increasing number of sled dog teams that serve tourists. This newfound popularity is because tourists often enjoy seeing the dogs in their natural environment doing what they are meant for. In 2001 the Canadian Eskimo Dog became the official provincial dog for Nunavut.

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