Origin and Purpose of the Breed
The Australian Cattle Dog ("ACD") was developed to assist with establishing the cattle industry in early Australian conditions. The principal requirement was a strong, biting dog that possessed great stamina and was capable of mustering and moving wild cattle. A great deal of research has been undertaken to determine the origin of the ACD, but as early breeders kept very little recorded information, there is a marked divergence of opinion as to the breeds originally used.
It is however generally recognised that the animal we see today is the result of the crossing of the Blue Merle Collie (from Scotland) with the Dingo, and a late infusion of Dalmatian and Black & Tan Kelpie. Other cross breeding was tried, such as the Rough Collie & Bull Terrier cross, but these proved to be unsuccessful for the working of cattle.
The purpose of the ACD is to assist the stockman in the control and movement of cattle in both open and confined areas. The requirements of this breed should be kept in mind when judging this breed.
Revised and adopted by the Australian National Kennel Club (effective 1 January,1981).
Strong, compact, symmetrically built working dog, with the ability and willingness to carry out his allotted task, however arduous that task may be.
The dog's combination of substance, power, balance and hard muscular conditions must convey the impression of great agility, strength and endurance. Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault.
As the name implies, the main function of the dog (and one in which he has no peer) is the control and movement of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous, trustworthy and with an implicit devotion to duty.
The ACD's loyalty and protective instincts make it a self appointed guardian to the Stockman, his herd and his property. Whilst naturally suspicious of strangers, he must be amenable to handling - particularly in the show ring. Any feature or structure foreign to a working dog must be regarded as a serious fault.
The head is strong and in balance with the other proportions of the dog and in keeping with its general conformation. The broad skull is slightly curved between the ears, flattening to a slight but definite stop. Cheeks are muscular, neither course nor prominent, with the under jaw strong, deep and well developed. The fore face is broad and well filled in under the eyes, tapering gradually to form a medium length, deep, powerful muzzle with the skull and muzzle on parallel planes. The lips are tight and clean. The nose is black.
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