How Was the Australian Cattle Dog Created?
The Australian Cattle Dog is the result of crossbreeding that began around 1840 by several different Australian landowners. Their goal was to create a breed that could silently and effectively herd wild cattle. One landowner, Thomas Hall, crossed a smooth-haired Blue Merle Border Collie with a Dingo. The resulting dog breed possessed the work ethic of the Collie and the appearance of the Dingo, acquiring the title “Hall’s Heelers” and becoming a prized possession among Aussie cattlemen.
Breeders in Queensland furthered the experiment, breeding Dingo/Merle Collie hybrids with Dalmatians, sheepdogs, and Kelpies. The resulting breed is the one known today, possessing the characteristic blue or red speckled body, tan markings, dark eye patches, and white foreheads.
The breed entered the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1980 as a working breed and moved to the Herding Group 3 years later.