The Australian Cattle Dog is an impressive dog. While not for everyone, this dog is the backbone of many a farm or ranch.
Bred in the late 1800s in the Australia outback to herd cattle. I know, unlike the Australian Shepherd who was bred in the USA too herd sheep, the Australian Cattle Dog actually hails from Australia and was bred to be a cattle dog!
The dogs that were brought over from England were just not tough enough for the brutal Australian weather and ranchers quickly brought in the native Dingo blood to more quickly adapt the dogs to the terrain.
This resulted in a smart, solidly built dog with most common coloration of red or blue ticked. The blue dogs were often called the Queensland Blue Heeler or Blue Heeler. To this day many refer to the Blue Heeler as a different breed/type of cattle dog.
The coloration is very specifically stated by the Australian Cattle Club of America.
Color (Blue) - The color should be blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings. The permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on the head, evenly distributed for preference. The forelegs tan midway up the legs and extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws; the hindquarters tan on inside of hindlegs, and inside of thighs, showing down the front of the stifles and broadening out to the outside of the hindlegs from hock to toes. Tan undercoat is permissible on the body providing it does not show through the blue outer coat. Black markings on the body are not desirable.
Color (Red Speckle) - The color should be of good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat, (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red markings on the head. Even head markings are desirable. Red markings on the body are permissible but not desirable.
This powerful, hard-working dog is usually considered a somewhat low maintenance dog. But harsh terrain and weather can take their toll on paw pads and stress triggers can cause fearfulness. Plus, even an Australian Cattle Dog may have a need for a healing balm.