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Discussion Starter #1
The judgement of Heelers, many dogs get judged, some more so than others. whilst most people typically talk down pit bulls for their famous aggression, I have began to notice a new trend. As the beautiful ACD (Australian cattle dog) gets more popular and known, people start to notice flaws in their one dog and associate it to the breed standards. Once they have one biased opinion, based of one cattle dog they have had (pure bred or mixed) and start telling other people how difficult they are to keep, or how much work they are and will drive you crazy every second of the day.

They are made out to be this crazy monster that never sleeps and will drive you to insanity. People act like you have to be constantly training them every second of the day. So what is fact and whats based of one dog?

Breed Standards:
The breed standards Heelers (temperament):
  • They are protective
  • They are cautious
  • They are obedient
  • They are loyal
  • They are energetic
  • They are brave
Breed standards means the set of guidelines for a specific breed. For Heelers it is considered a breed standard to me short and stocky however some full blood Heelers come out tall and lean. Temperament wise this doesn't mean you will get a genius dog, or an energetic dog. breed standards are not a guarantee of your dogs personality, and they certainly must not be used make that breed look bad. Whilst it may mean a breed isn't for you because you don't like to show that much affection/attention to your pooch, it could also mean you don't need a dog, a cat may work better. All dogs need exercise to stay in shape and healthy. Though I do agree ACD have a lot more energy than other dogs this doesn't mean every ACD wants to run around 24/7, whilst they probably wouldn't mind doing that a well adjusted dog knows that there are times to wind down and relax.

Cross Breeds
If you have a cross breed it can be very difficult to judge what the dog will be like, just saying its a ACD and a pit mix, that dog can have traits from both/either/neither, of the breeds. A mixed breed will most likely to be confused at what it wants to do, herd cattle or fight dogs (negative stereotype I know). This doesn't mean it will be a bad dog, it may need extra work or less work. Cross breeds can be unpredictable as to what personality they may have. Just like with pedigrees they might not conform to breed standards. An example of this is my German Shepherd/ Collie cross. Two of the smartest breeds, whilst she does have the typical bullying attitude sometimes associated with German Shepherds she definitely doesn't have the brains of either of those two dogs.

Getting a Cattle Dog
If you are thinking of getting a cattle dog their are some things you should consider. You may need to spend time training, they can be really fast learners, but have the potential to be stubborn and hard headed. They are typically brave though are sometimes sensitive. though they may stress you out by wanting to play and have fun during the day, when it comes to bed time they want to cuddle up and be near you. They are loyal and often referred to as shadow dogs. They are tough and tend not to be too pain sensitive, sometimes you will need to stop them so they don't overheat. You need to teach them that no means no. They learn English pretty fast and will catch onto simple codes, if you try spelling out "walk" he will put it together and grab his lead ready to go, they are little furry people. A well trained Heeler will be you best friend as long as you provide him a job, since these guys are working dogs they like to feel useful , give them a job before they get their own ones, you wont like the jobs they choose.

Maybe I'm a little biased as I have a cattle dog, but to me he is the best dog in the world and for the people who think all Heelers are the same crazy nuts who will just go and go and go he is curled up napping and would rather sleep right now than play. Keep in mind just because one person thinks they are great or terrible doesn't mean you should rule them out or be dead set on one. In my opinion you should pick a dog you connect with, most people will choose a Heeler because of their interesting coat, which in itself shouldn't be the sole reason to choose a dog, you should also go with personality, with the only exception of a puppy as that will depend on how you raise it and its unlikely you don't know their personality yet.
 

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I have nothing against cattle dogs. Our neighbour has one that used to come around all the time and she's a really sweet dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They are, but like with any breed someone will end up with one bad one and fight the breed forever without admitting its just one dog. I see it alot and its the same with rescue dogs. People say dot get a rescue dog because they are damaged goods.
 

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It's also not always one person getting a "bad" one making it worse for the rest, but that they may not be the best fit for everyone. That goes to say for basically all breeds though. You'll find bias is in everything in this world so try not to let it bother you too much. The only time it bothers me is when breed bans come into effect because of it and innocent dogs die by the thousands.
 

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Once they have one biased opinion, based of one cattle dog they have had (pure bred or mixed) and start telling other people how difficult they are to keep, or how much work they are and will drive you crazy every second of the day.

They are made out to be this crazy monster that never sleeps and will drive you to insanity. People act like you have to be constantly training them every second of the day. So what is fact and whats based of one dog?
I'm not going to lie, I'm sometimes one of those people. I think the bias against ACDs is different from other breeds like say, a Pit Bull or Rottie because it's typically not "They're all evil!" All of the things you're saying about ACDs are based in truth, if not slightly exaggerated. ACDs are one of the most high energy, intelligent and intense breeds you can find all rolled into one. You have to consider people's thought processes and both what they expect from a dog. Your average Joe now wants a dog that is, quite frankly, moderate to low energy. Most people work all day and want a dog that won't destroy the house to entertain himself when he's alone. Most ACDs do not fit that lifestyle. This is why there are so many in shelters and rescues.

After having Stella I have to say I love her affectionate nature, high intelligence, how she's protective, how easy it is to train her, and her beauty. That being said, I don't think I will ever be getting another ACD or mix unless it's elderly. Stella is SO high energy, SO barky, with a VERY high prey drive, and despite constant socialization and training, she is now leash reactive to other dogs and not always safe in places like daycare and dog parks. I often do feel like I have to constantly exercise or train her if were not sleeping at night or she's taking a nap after a vigorous exercise session. I know that it's an exaggeration, but when I had a very long work day this past year, I don't think I would have been able to keep her if she wasn't good in daycare...and not she's not. And yes, Stella is one dog, and not even a purebred. But after my talks with many other pure ACD owners...this is somewhat the norm. One even laughed when I told her of Stella's new leash reactivity and said "well let's hope you just don't get sued!"

I think it's important to quite frankly, warn people when they want to adopt intense dogs like ACDs, Border Collies, Huskies, or dogs that are physically powerful like Pits, Rotties, Shepherds, etc. People look at dogs and want them because they look cool, they like cool things they can do, or they've seen them on TV. The good and bad realities of a breed they want to own. And speaking as someone who has worked in shelters, there are some breeds I see there so often, that when someone says they want one I generally ask a wary "Why?" ACDs are one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, not all breeds are for everyone I agree I also agree that dogs shouldn't get banned because they fall into the wrong hands. So dogs do get judged worse than others. However I wrote about heelers they became more and more popular and people end up with heeler and heeler mixes (which may or may not suit them) and then they tell everyone it's a bad dog to own. Of course everyone will say their dog is the best because in their eyes they are. Everyone has different preferences in dogs some love small dogs other really don't like little dogs. But I dont agree with telling anyone not to get a specific breed because you the owner don't like it and think it's difficult. For example people say a heeler isn't a good dog for first time owners, which I don't agree as my first dog was a heeler and he is a great dog, but I have seen heelers attack another dog so yes it depends on the actual dog which was my main point. I don't think heelers are good for a family with little kids and they do generally have a tendency to nip and chase, but if you train them not to they are great dogs for families for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not going to lie, I'm sometimes one of those people. I think the bias against ACDs is different from other breeds like say, a Pit Bull or Rottie because it's typically not "They're all evil!" All of the things you're saying about ACDs are based in truth, if not slightly exaggerated. ACDs are one of the most high energy, intelligent and intense breeds you can find all rolled into one. You have to consider people's thought processes and both what they expect from a dog. Your average Joe now wants a dog that is, quite frankly, moderate to low energy. Most people work all day and want a dog that won't destroy the house to entertain himself when he's alone. Most ACDs do not fit that lifestyle. This is why there are so many in shelters and rescues.

After having Stella I have to say I love her affectionate nature, high intelligence, how she's protective, how easy it is to train her, and her beauty. That being said, I don't think I will ever be getting another ACD or mix unless it's elderly. Stella is SO high energy, SO barky, with a VERY high prey drive, and despite constant socialization and training, she is now leash reactive to other dogs and not always safe in places like daycare and dog parks. I often do feel like I have to constantly exercise or train her if were not sleeping at night or she's taking a nap after a vigorous exercise session. I know that it's an exaggeration, but when I had a very long work day this past year, I don't think I would have been able to keep her if she wasn't good in daycare...and not she's not. And yes, Stella is one dog, and not even a purebred. But after my talks with many other pure ACD owners...this is somewhat the norm. One even laughed when I told her of Stella's new leash reactivity and said "well let's hope you just don't get sued!"

I think it's important to quite frankly, warn people when they want to adopt intense dogs like ACDs, Border Collies, Huskies, or dogs that are physically powerful like Pits, Rotties, Shepherds, etc. People look at dogs and want them because they look cool, they like cool things they can do, or they've seen them on TV. The good and bad realities of a breed they want to own. And speaking as someone who has worked in shelters, there are some breeds I see there so often, that when someone says they want one I generally ask a wary "Why?" ACDs are one of them.
I agree they can be intense I had a friend tell me hers didn't calm down till it was ten, as for leash reactivity wolfie came to us with that and with actually not a lot of training he is getting better, like just today he walked past multiple other dogs and managed to stay quiet though he pulled and was constantly looking he kept himself calm. Which for me gives me pride to say 1. That's my dog! 2. (From all they things people say about them) I taught him that! That goes for other tricks as well. I can see why it can be annoying to come home and have to run your dog. As for the tearing up the house, wolfie has never had an issue with that. Yes people should be told they are high energy and can be intense, as with other powerful dogs the owner should know what they are getting into. What I don't like is saying DONT get this dog at all. I feel that's what happens with pitbulls (yes for a different reason) and that's why so many get put down each year as people hear all the horror storys about attacks they are to scared to pass them in the street.
 

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I've been exposed to a lot of herding breeds and mixes thereof, living on a ranch around other ranches.

I've met some nice ACDs and BCs. These were working dogs, actually working.

Both breeds I think are just really....intense. I think like Huskies and GSDs they just aren't for everyone. I think a lot of people either end up with poorly bred or farm bred versions of these dogs and really struggle to cope with that intensity (sometimes exacerbated by bad breeding).

I don't intend to own one. I love Aussies and (rough) Collies as well as Shelties (though my heart dog was a Sheltie so I probably won't have another) but that's as far as I'll go.

I don't think they're bad as I said...just not for me.
 

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Fairly common on ranches around here, lovely dogs, always on the lookout. I just find them a little harder to read, eyes are different. Pretty interesting history, Collie and Dingo cross.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I heard blue Merle drovers dogs but I have no clue all I know is definitely dingo I think any dog can be difficult to read until you for a bond with them you learn that specific dogs little signals I think it's not only bad breeding like poppy Kenna said but how they are raised aswell any dog if not raised properly will cause issues.
 

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You forgot how the Dalmatian was also a base breed for ACDs. I hav sto explain this to people who ask me if Stella is a Dalmatian on a weekly basis.
 

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You forgot how the Dalmatian was also a base breed for ACDs. I hav sto explain this to people who ask me if Stella is a Dalmatian on a weekly basis.
I heard this but couldn't find anything about it when I checked we may have to do a "totally 'true' facts about your dogs ancestry" thread or something. Haha
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I notice people tend to exaggerate about energy levels/exercise needs in general. I mean, I've even heard some people say that poodles are high energy dogs!

There's definitely a spectrum of energy level/exercise needs in every breed depending on a dog's age, lines, and temperament, and I've met lots of individual dogs from breeds that people describe as "crazy high energy" like German Shepherds, Border Collies, Jack Russels, Brittanys, and Cattle Dogs live as perfectly well adjusted pets. You just have to make sure you're giving your dog adequate exercise and training depending on its individual needs.
 

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People over hype the difficulty on most the working/herding breeds. ;)

That said I do think ACDs (and BCs and mals etc) have some traits that can be challenging. But I also think so can terriers or huskies or whatever other breed. I really find people don't talk up the terrier difficulty nearly as much as herders. Makes no sense to me, at least herders are actually biddable and handler oriented lol. Terriers are scrappy and just as high energy and love to blow you off to boot.

I have an ACD x terrier and to be honest he's been easy in a lot of ways, difficult in others. The energy has been the least difficult thing we've dealt with. It's the 'other stuff'.

He's actually quite a lazy dog around the house. Brilliant to train. I'll have a purebred heeler some day.
 

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I know quite a number of ACDs and ACD mixes. I have never met one that is 100% bombproof with other dogs. At best snarky and controlling. Worst dog aggressive. Mine is leash reactive and has matured into a dog that wants little to do with strange dogs. They're not really a go to dog parks easily breed. I know a few that still can as mature adults but they don't really play with the other dogs.

My cattle dog terrier is a GREAT dog. He is so hardy and practical. He and I train a lot and he's a perfect buddy for that. He can do crazy feats like run up vertical walls or climb trees. He is incredible in agility, when he's on he is FAST. But he's not 'easy' or biddable like my other herders have been. He has a lot more management needed too. Crazy high prey drive too but that could be the terrier.

He seems to thrive off of routine and having expectations of him. More than any dog I've ever had. I am a pretty experienced trainer and he's challenged me quite a bit. It is an odd combination of being so easy to pick things up and being very high drive but also being very stubborn and hard headed. When things click it is just glorious but he'd be a hard dog for a lot of people to train- even experienced sports people.

My first agility trial I went to the judge was a heeler person. Told me she switched breeds for agility because it is just hard with heelers sometimes. She was gently ribbing me and the struggles we were having.
 

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Along the lines of what @laurelin said, my sole experience with ACDs has been either at a dog park or at the doggy daycare I work at and I can honestly say those interactions have painted a negative picture of the breed in my mind. I'm sure they're great dogs, but it's important for me that a dog is dog-friendly and, frankly, every ACD I've met has ranged from reactive to straight up aggressive with other dogs, and I've met a lot of them. I can see how someone could see them in a negative light if they've only ever seen heelers on walks, at dog parks, etc.
 

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Haha I have never had an issue with aggression with my heeler his leash reactive on walks has improved so much since we have have him I have never taken him to an agility trail since he refuses to learn how to weave (I guess not active enough for him) the only dog park issue is there is so much excitement happening he gets over excited to get in, once he's in there he is the soft dog there at best he will play with dogs or a ball. At worst being the inforcer and breaking up fights like a pro (he grabs the attacking dogs leg) or playfully attacking his sister and scaring the entire park. He knows who he's allowed to play rough with and will try to avoid the aggressive dogs which most of the time at my local dog park are pit bulls. Most likely due to the owners essentially rewarding it after a fight and then releasing it back to the group!
 

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My dog goes to agility trials and classes just fine. He can be around other dogs but can't really be in a free for all type situation like a dog park. He does one on one very well. Works well around other dogs but does NOT like to be intruded upon while he's working.


He learned to weave in about 3 sessions (seriously). If you teach it right it should be very fast paced.
 
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