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Is there anything more Aussie than the Australian Cattle Dog?

You won’t find any of that fluffy pom-pom hair or designer dog coats here. The Australian Cattle dog is about as tough a canine companion as they come.

Cemented in Australia’s early history as hard yakka working dogs in the outback – indispensable in assisting graziers with shifting livestock across rugged and unfenced terrain – the Cattle Dog has slowly made its way into suburban households as a family favourite.

Also known as Heelers (due to a tendency to nip at the heels of livestock) and bred in two main colours – blue or red – they’re believed to have originally been an English herding dog-dingo cross, giving them an innate stock sense with the hardiness of a dingo.

While some of the largest cattle stations in the outback (some the size of a small country!) now use helicopters and motorbikes to help with mustering, the Cattle Dog still plays an important role in yard work to get stubborn cattle moving.

This guy can even drive.

Here’s some of our favourite photos of Aussie Cattle Dogs doing what they do best.


Rounding up the cattle. Photo by @juliacreekqld via IG.


Cooling off in the cattle trough. Photo by @juliacreekqld via IG.

Often seen riding on the back of a ute or quad bike, they’re just as happy to ride up front with you, given the chance.


At home in the back of the ute. Photo by @juliacreekqld via IG.


Riding shotgun on the bore run. Photo by @juliacreekqld via IG.

Max having a ride in the car. Shhh ... don't tell dad. Image by piprea via IG.

Max having a ride in the car. Shhh don’t tell dad. Photo by @piprea via IG.


Keen to learn the ropes. Photo by @juliacreekqld via IG.

Their intense loyalty makes them great pets that are good with children and guard their homes with dedication.

Skye & storm. Image by girlnamedbritt via IG.

Skye and Storm looking after the house. Photo by @girlnamedbritt via IG.

Time for a snack. Image by td_gc via IG

Keeping watch over the shoes. Photo by @td_gc via IG.

Maggie. Image by patrick_oleary_ via IG.

The bags will be safe with Maggie. Photo by @patrick_oleary_ via IG.

Australian Cattle Dogs are one of the 10 most intelligent dog breeds, meaning they’re eager to work and learn. They’re easily trained, as long as you spend time each day teaching them their manners. They thrive on being part of the family and with loads of energy to burn, you’ll need to keep them active with a daily walk and plenty of play time (they are used to chasing cattle around, after all).

Rusty getting some air time

Rusty getting some air time. Photo by @keeper85 via IG.

Ella. Image by pete748 via IG.

Ella enjoying some time in the pool. Photo by @pete748 via IG.

Play time with Maggie. Image by patrick_oleary_ via IG

Maggie loves a game of fetch. Photo by @patrick_oleary_ via IG.

Ruby living the beach lifestyle. Image by

Ruby living the beach lifestyle. Photo by @pete748 via IG.

Happy spending time with the family. Photo by @jimmy2huge via IG.

Rusty 2. Image by keeper85 via IG

Rusty loves the water. Photo by @keeper85 via IG.

If at the end of the day they crash into a pile and fall fast asleep, you know you’ve done your job!

Tuckered out. Image by photosbyfarr via IG.

All tuckered out from playing. Photo by @photosbyfarr via IG.

Thinking about adding a Cattle Dog to your family? Check out one of the Australian rescue dog sites that concentrate on finding a fur-ever home for Cattle and working dogs in need of some loving:

Australian Working Dog rescue

SLK Cattle Dog Rescue

Rusty keeping the seat warm. Image by keeper85 via IG.

Rusty feeling right at home. Photo by @keeper85 via IG.

Already have a city Cattle Dog like Rusty and want them to learn how to be a country Cattle Dog?  Check out the Woodford sheep herding facility – where they can spend a day in the life of a working dog.

Do you have a Cattle Dog? What do you love about them?

*Thank you to Outback Queensland Tourism and Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre for providing some background information for this post.