Australian Cattle Dog Puppies — The Ultimate Cow Dog
Also called the blue or red heeler, this dog will will follow his herding instincts, even when there's no livestock!
An Australian Cattle Dog puppy is undeniably adorable, friendly, and beautiful. This dog's color ranges from a mottled blue and black to a beautiful spotted red. He is loyal, a hard worker and will do what it takes to get the job done. This breed was originally created to herd large bovine breeds, and given his small size he needed an extra super power to get those cows moving! He is called the heeler because, unlike a Border Collie, he will nip at the heels of the animals he needs to move and corral. Even when there is no livestock in his home, he will heel his family, particularly other animals and children.
A driven worker
True to his heritage, the Australian Cattle Dog puppy may begin showing his herding instincts as young as a few months old! This may be seen in pushing around the house cat. Far too often this breed finds itself sitting in a kennel at the local shelter or in a foster home due to his strong work drive. Unbeknownst to many owners of this heeler who have given up on him, he can become a wonderful household companion with proper training, exercise, and a job to do.
Your puppy will need a leader to follow, and you should be able to fill those shoes! Provide him with not just basic obedience, but help him form his herding drive with games and even a job to do. Even if you are living in an apartment, there is always something a heeler can do for you! His instincts can be shaped into valuable work for you, including retrieving items, jogging alongside you daily, and competing in Agility competitions. This breed is also excellent in competition obedience trials, and can be a real contender!
Better yet, even those who live in urban surroundings can become members of their local breed club. These clubs can provide the outlet you and your dog needs to live comfortably and happily together without that heel nipping issue! These breed clubs hold training classes, tutors, and trials in herding! You can shape your Australian Cattle Dog puppy's herding skills to do what he was born to do; push around cattle! You don't even have to become competitive to use this feature, just training him and exercising his drives with their classes and tutoring programs will be enough to satisfy his urges.
A loyal friend
The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to work closely with farmers, ranchers and their families. They are meant to protect and control herds of livestock so that the humans can maintain control over their livelihoods. With his intense desire to work closely with you, your puppy will remain loyal if you can provide that leadership and bond that he so badly craves.
Whether or not you use herding as a part of your weekly or even monthly routines to help control his heeling desires, other training techniques should be introduced for daily use. Your puppy should learn that nothing in life is free. At meal times he should be taught patience. He needs to sit and wait calmly until you place his bowl down in it's place and give him the cue word to go ahead and eat. This is the same for walking, as he should wait calmly while you attach the leash, and stay inside the door until you tell him it's okay to step out. Learning this routine will prevent unwanted behavioral problems in this dog that can be much more difficult to train out of him than it is to prevent! He should learn these manners begging the day is brought into your home, so that it becomes routine quickly.
An Australian Cattle Dog puppy with no training, boundaries, or respect of his assertive but gentle owner can develop serious behavioral problems. This breed can, unfortunately, bite if not taught bite inhibition as a puppy. They can also become incredibly destructive when bored and not exercised, chewing and scratching up your walls, floors, and furniture. Without any stimulation he can be a digger, excessive barker and develop separation anxiety. All of these are just as dangerous to him as they are to the items he damages. Every bit of these problems are human created and can easily be avoided through proper training, exercise, and patience from his owner!
Be his best friend by providing for him the things he needs, including mental and physical stimulation. If you cannot teach him to herd, teach him to fetch the newspaper! If you can't do that, teach him fun tricks that you can show your friends. There is always something you can do with this amazing ultimate working dog!