Australian Cattle Dog
Without peer as a cattle herder, the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is ready and willing to work all day. Their agility, strength and courageousness allow them to easily control and move cattle in both open and confined spaces. Stubborn cows don’t discourage this dog – they just become more determined to get the job done! The breed can be blue or red (can be in mottled or speckled pattern), with or without black, blue or tan markings.
Happiest in wide open spaces, ACDs are very high-energy dogs and extremely intelligent, so they need a job – such as herding, obedience or agility – to keep them happy. While wary of strangers, the breed bonds closely to its family, though the owner must establish themselves as the pack leader. Their smooth, short coat requires only occasional baths and brushing.
The Australian Cattle Dog requires bathing and brushing. This determined dog can be bathed as frequently as every other week up to no longer than every 8 weeks in order to keep the coat clean and minimize the doggie odor. The care and maintenance of the coat set the foundation for obtaining healthy skin and coat. Wet the coat and apply the shampoo by squeezing it through the coat making certain you have worked it all the way through the coat down to the skin. Thorough shampooing will contribute to building a healthy, strong, and manageable coat. It is a good idea to slightly cool the water temperature down when rinsing the coat. The coat should be rinsed thoroughly making certain that all the product has been removed. Use a light conditioner to nourish and hydrate each individual strand of hair without changing the texture of the coat. Once the bath is complete, blot the coat with a towel to remove excessive moisture. Try to avoid using a circular motion.
Blow the coat out with an HV dryer to remove excess moisture. Be sure to hold the nozzle far enough away in order to have the coat lay in the direction the coat grows. Go over the entire coat with your hands, to see if there are inconsistencies in the density of the coat.
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
The coat should be fresh, shiny, and full of body. No loose or shedding hair should be visible. Shedding is a natural process and cannot be stopped. Regular baths and blowouts along with brushing will accelerate the shedding process. It is always beneficial to use a hydrating spray after the bath and drying process. This allows the skin and coat to lock in moisture in order to maintain perfect hydration. As a finishing touch, before using the hydrating spray, use a grooming mitt and massage in a circular motion to stimulate the release of natural oils in addition to the removal of any loose hairs. Then finish with the hydrating spray.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.
Do they require a lot of grooming?
They require minimal grooming. Routine baths and brush outs are recommended to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat in good condition.
What are the common problems in the ACD?
Some common issues in the breed are Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), deafness, and OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans).
Do ACD’s shed or cause allergies?
They do shed year around. Frequent baths and blowouts will help accelerate the shedding process and help keep the skin and coat in good condition.
Are they good with children?
The Australian Cattle Dog is a great family dog, but he does best with children if he is raised with them and accepts them early on as members of his household.
What if I have a show dog?
Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the conditioning of the dog and conformation training. It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows. A great place to start is the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, www.acdca.org