One of our favorite FAQ sites about ACDs that has been
lovingly compiled over the years by Mark Abbott from posts on ACD-L called simply:
|A Blue Heeler or a Red Heeler is the exact same thing as an Australian Cattle Dog. The term "heeler" is merely a slang-type term for the breed.|
The typical Australian Cattle Dog does not shed year round but instead "blows it's coat" once or twice per year. During this one or two (or three) week period The ACD sheds out his or her undercoat (and then guard hair) in MASSIVE clumps.
The number of times that an ACD blows its coat per year depends on their sex and their reproductive status (ie, intact females blow after each heat cycle, altered animals generally blow their coat once a year...depending on climate). The misery of ACD hair EVERYWHERE xcan be lessened by frequent brushings while your dog is blowing coat and several WARM baths.
If you have and AKC registered dog, you can be fairly sure that the lineage of your dog is pure (and that depends on the integrity of the breeders in your dogs pedigree). The other "registry bodies" in the United States have never insisted proof of pedigree of this breed and thus cannot be considered PURE (please see the history section for further explanation).
There are a lot of *KNOWN* Australian Cattle Dog mixes that look very much like the breed. This breed seems to strongly pass along its "type" when crossed with other breeds. If you know your dog is not purebred or do not have an exact pedigree and papers that trace back to the AKC studbooks, please consider having your ACD spayed or neutered soas not to pass along undesireable traits or genes.
Regardless of the lineage (or lack thereof) of your Australian Cattle Dog, you should love him and care for him with the companionship that he deserves and always keep in mind that this is a WORKING breed that needs to expend a lot of physical and mental exercise each day to remain happy.
If your breeder did not register the litter, you can apply for an ILP from the American Kennel Club if you wish to participate in some of the dog sports and activities that are popular today.
Next, you should have a CERF exam done, hip x-rays taken and evaluated by the OFA and a BAER test done to insure your dog has bilateral hearing.
If you own a male, sit back and wait...the bitch comes to the dog, not vice-versa. You may want to enter your boy in some AKC conformation competitions to prove that he conforms to the breed standard and to get your boy seen. If you own a bitch, start inquiring at dog shows or with respected breeders in your area and try to find a dog whose genotype and phenotype compliment your girl.
If you are not willing to do the tests above, reconsider whether or not you TRUELY care about this breed. Failure to do simple genetic tests before bringing new life into the world is a sure sign that your motivation to breed is quite selfish.
MOST of the information in this packet is available here at Cattledog.com, but it also includes a lovely color rescue brochure, a Membership Application and a complete ACDCA Breeder's Directory.
See the History section of Cattledog.com for and explanation of how this marking got its name!
For American Kennel Club Events Schedules (conformation, obedience, herding, agility, etc), see: http://www.akc.org
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