The short coat sheds only once or twice a year; it needs infrequent brushing
Happiest in wide open spaces, ACDs are very high-energy dogs and extremely intelligent, so they need a job - such as herding, obedience or agility - to keep them happy. While wary of strangers, the breed bonds closely to its family, though the owner must establish themselves as the pack leader. Their smooth, short coat requires only occasional baths and brushing.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Australian Cattle Dog is a medium breed and has a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Their all-weather coat has no odor or oily residue. The double coat is smooth, with a short dense undercoat that sheds twice a year. Care of the coat requires only occasional baths and weekly brushing. A slicker brush will help keep their coats in good condition. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their prick ears, which are fairly well furnished with hair inside, should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be checked and brushed regularly.
Often kept to work on farms, ACDs are hardworking herding dogs that excel at hunting and chasing, whether on a ranch, during a run or hike with their owners, or in the agility ring. They’re faithful to their owners and are extremely intelligent. But like a child studying in a class too easy for him, if an ACD isn’t challenged, he easily becomes bored and gets into mischief. That’s why it’s recommended that ACD owners participate in dog sports or make their ACD a running companion so that he stays mentally and physically satisfied.
Australian Cattle Dog &HEALTH
There are some health concerns that owners and breeders should be aware of. Breeding stock should have their hips and elbows x-rayed to rule out dysplasia. Blindness can be a problem in ACDs. A DNA test can detect progressive retinal atrophy (prcd-PRA) before dogs are bred so that no affected puppies need be produced. A veterinary ophthalmologist exam can also detect other inherited eye diseases.
There is genetic deafness in the breed. Puppies and adults can be tested (BAER) to determine whether they can hear in each ear. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own an Australian Cattle Dog can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.