Australian Cattle Dog

Lifestyle Needs

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog, as his name suggests, is a working dog.  He has great stamina and endurance, is protective of his property and wary of strangers.  He needs exercise and training to make use of his talents and energies and a firm, energetic owner.  He needs to live in a house with a garden and have plenty of opportunity to run free.  His coat is short and requires grooming once a week.  He is not an ideal family pet.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.9% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

None known

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia breed mean score 12.7 (ideally parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia: score ideally 0:0
  • Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (annual screening); Primary lens luxation (PLL) (annual screening)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA prcd)
  • PRA rcd4
  • Degenerative myleopathy (DM)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
  • Multi drug resistance (MDR1)
  • Primary lens luxation (PLL)
  • Cystinuria
  • Myotonia Congenital
  • Leukoencephalomyelopathy

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • BAER testing (pigment associated deafness).

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Multi drug sensitivity
  • Patellar luxation
  • Ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Urolithiasis
  • Polioencephalomyelopathy
  • Cancer: mast cell tumour; Lymphoma
  • Cystinuria Type 11-A

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds