The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD or Cattle Dog), is a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. In the 19th century, New South Wales cattle farmer Thomas Hall crossed the dogs used by drovers in his parents' home with dingoes he had tamed. The resulting dogs were known as Hail’s Heelers.
Without peer as a cattle herder, the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is ready and willing to work all day. Happiest in wide open spaces, ACDs are very high-energy dogs, have an independent streak and is extremely intelligent, so they need a job - such as herding, obedience or agility - to keep them happy. Their agility, strength and courageousness allow them to easily control and move cattle in both open and confined spaces. Stubborn cows don't discourage this dog - they just become more determined to get the job done!
They respond well to structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging. It was originally bred to herd by biting, and is known to nip running children. They are reserved with people they do not know and naturally cautious in new situations. Their attitude to strangers makes them an excellent guard dog when trained for this task and they can be socialized to become accustomed to a variety of people from an early age as a family pet. They form a strong attachment to their owners, On home ground, the Australian Cattle Dog is a happy, affectionate, and playful pet. The bond that this breed can create with their owners is strong and will leave the dog feeling protective towards the owner, typically resulting in the dog's never being too far from the owner's side. They are quick to respond to the emotions of its owners, and may defend them without waiting for a command.
Australian Cattle Dogs now participate in a range of activities beyond the herding. This includes competing with their owners in sporting events and working as assistance dogs. .