The Australian Cattle Dog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1980, but their history goes back much farther than that....
As the name suggests, the breed was born out of a need to herd cattle in Australia in the 1800s. English Sheep Dogs just werent cutting it in the land down under, and the Australian Cattle Dog emerged as an alternative.
If Australian Cattle Dog puppies seem a little wild, its because they are, at least partially. These dogs were born by breeding English dogs with Dingos, wild dog that is native to Australia. The Dingo is Australias largest predator, targeting rabbits, kangaroos, rats, and other animals (contrary to what pop culture might say, they do not eat babies). That predatory streak, combined with the more mild-mannered and intelligent nature of a sheepdog, lead to the breed we know and love today.
Throughout their history, the Australian Cattle Dog has been known as the Australian Heeler or Blue Heeler because of their tendency to nip at the heels of cattle in an effort to move them along. They first came to the US after World War II and are currently the AKCs 58th most popular breed.