There is controversy surrounding the first step to producing The Australian Cattle Dog but is widely accepted it was made in 1840. Mr Thomas Hall [Owner of Dartbrook-property in the Hunter Valley,NSW] Crossed a Smooth,Haired,Blue Merle Collie to a Dingo [Australia's native dog] They were called Hall's Heelers. Mr George Elliot [Property owner in Queensland], also experimented along the same lines. Progeny produced were either red or blue merle,with most of them having pricked ears,Dingo shaped head and brown eyes.
Jack and Harry Bagust purchased progeny of this mating and crossed them with the Dalmation. The cross changed the merle to red or blue speckle.The pups were born white with colour developing at three weeks of age.From this cross he mated to the Black and Tan Kelpie.The result was a compact dog,identical in type and build to the Dingo only thicker set,but with markings found on no other dog in the world. The Blue dogs had black patches around the eyes,black ears,brown eyes and a small white patch in the middle of the forehead.Body was dark blue-evenly speckled with lighter blue,tan markings on leg ,chest and head. The Red dogs had red markings instead of black-with an all over even red speckle.
This dog became the forebearers of our present day Cattledog. Because Australia has a vast range of climatic and physical environmental differences - a dog that was strong muscular and agile together with being alert,intelligent,courageous and loyal was needed to assist the early settlers in taming this land. This is the Australian Cattle Dog. Their paramount function was the control and movement of cattle in both wide and confined areas.
Today with modernisation of our country you do not find this dog used as a matter of course for what he was bred for - instead he is an amazing companion and guard dog and is loved Australia wide for his qualities that is uniquely his alone. The Australian Cattle Dog holds the record for canine longevity -29 years.
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