Australian Shepherd vs. Australian Cattle Dog

It is important to note that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog, despite having similar names they are very different in numerous ways. Both are traditional cattle dogs and are both extremely active and intelligent and must be exercised in a manner that is appropriate to their needs. They also require a lot of training in the beginning to ensure they don’t display excessive protection when they have to adjust to a family home environment. Once you’ve completed their training, they will be equally charming and affectionate with the immediate families.

It is said that the Australian Shepherd is believed to be better suited for homes with families, since it is more able to adapt to the family lifestyle. However If you’re looking for an animal that is capable of protecting your property, then the Cattle Dog is more protective in comparison to the Shepherd which is why it is the best option for you.

In the end, there’s plenty of details to think about when you think about inviting one of these dogs to your home, so take a break, relax and read on to learn some more about these two breeds and hopefully, you’ll determine which of them is the best breed for your life style.

Australian Shepherd vs. Australian Cattle Dog

Breed History

Although each of the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog were originally utilized as herding dogs, they have also come to be known as beloved family pets all over the world. They come from wildly diverse backgrounds, both inside and out of Australia and have both been extremely popular, particularly within America. United States.

Australian Shepherd

There is plenty of debateabout what it is believed that the Australian Shepherd originates, mainly because his story is completely not documented. It appears that the most popular hypothesis of his origins is that they came of his native Scottish Highlands and the Pyrenees mountains.

His companions sailed off to Australia to find more fertile land however they found out on their arrival that they were unable to cultivate the land since it was barren. Then, they left to North America with their dogs again. The group was joined by other Australian farmers and their dogs were also with them. They are frequently mistaken for Border Collies that are a different herding dog.

It is believed that the farmers from across the globe came up with this Australian Shepherd we know and cherish to this day across North America, through breeding their dogs all over the world. It is believed that since they were just arriving from Australia and the dog was appropriately (or not so well) called as the Australian Shepherd.

The American Cowboys created him to help herd animals from farms however, he’s an equally beloved pet for families all over the world and in the year 2019 the breed was named in the top 17 17th most loved breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Aussies are often crossed with purebred dogs, such as the Poodle to make the Aussiepoo or the beagle to make an Australian-Beagle blend. They are also mixed with the lab.

Australian Cattle Dog

In contrast to the Australian Shephard and the Australian Shephard, the story of the Australian Cattle dog is well-documented. The 18 18 century the 18th Century, an Australian man named Thomas Hall imported the now extinct Smithfield dog, Scottish Collies, and crossed them with local dingoes that he previously had tamed and kept as pets.

Following this, he earned the nickname of “Hall’s Heeler. The other key participants then mixed the breeds together with Dalmatians which were renowned as loyal and being at ease with horses, as well as Black as well as Tan Kelpies dogs. In 1903, that the first breed standard was established and he was christened the Australian Cattle dog.

Following World War II, American soldiers from Australia were able to recognize the loyal and territorial breed , and brought him back to America. They’re still utilized for their herding abilities and in the year 2019 the AKC has ranked the breed at the rank of 55 the most loved breed in America. They are frequently considered to be a breeds that herd and mixed in with them as well as their cousins, the Lab Heeler mix.


It is believed that the Australian Shepherd is the larger of the two breeds. He is between 18 and 23 inches from shoulder to paw The Cattle dog is slightly smaller and is somewhere between between 17 to 20 inches tall.

It is also noted that the Australian Shepherd also weighs significantly more, ranging between 40 to 65 pounds while the Cattle dog weighs between 35-50 pounds. It is also more muscular. Australian Shepherd also has a more floppy coat that adds to his overall appearance, while the Cattle dog is shorter and has more fine hair.

It is said that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog are distinctive due to their traditional gorgeous Merle coats. The color is becoming increasingly sought-after because it gives a distinct sense of individuality that creates a dog that is unique. In addition the merle coat enhances the likelihood of him sporting different colored eyes and is a distinct characteristic of the appearance.

Australian Shepherds are recognized in four colors. Australian Shepherd is recognized in four colors, while it is the Cattle can be identified in 6 colors, and is more likely to have more pronounced areas of color, especially the tan hue. Their coat color that is their sole apparent resemblance in appearance.

Australian Shepherd Australian Shepherd is characterized by a muzzle that is slightly longer and smaller ears and appears like the appearance of a Scottish Collie. It is typical to see Australian Shepherd to have a tail that is naturally docked. The Cattle dog has his dingo ancestors’ wild appearance with a shorter muzzle and broad erect ears. It is believed that the Cattle dog has an elongated tail that resembles a fox. It is bushy and long, however, he may be born with naturally docked tails.


It is important to understand that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle differ slightly in their personalities and that’s why it’s important you know why you would like an animal, and what traits of a dog’s personality are essential to you.

It is said that the Australian Shepherd is believed to be better suited for the job of a pet for the family in a way that is more that those who are Cattle dog. That’s not to say that the Cattle isn’t an excellent family pet however, he’s much more difficult to train, and his guarding and herding characteristics are more powerful than those of the Shepherd which is why they can find it difficult to adjust to a home with a family environment.

Both breeds, which are cattle herders, might attempt to herd smaller animals as well as children of smaller size Sometimes, they employ their Nipping method especially when they are employed as a herding dog throughout the daytime. It is something you should keep in mind if you have children who are small or you have a family with multiple pets. Although training can help reduce these behaviors but they are inherent and it is highly likely that you will never stop the behavior completely. Cattle dogs are known to be a bit more tolerant. Cattle can also be believed to be more tolerant of noisy children and young children which is why it is believed that the Cattle dog is more suited to families with children older than.

If you are able to be tolerant of this behavior or don’t have any children or other animals, they do make for wonderful pet companions for your family. They are both extremely loving and loyal to the people they share with. They are both extremely loyal and affectionate with their immediate family. Cattle dog is considered to be more distant from strangers than the Australian Shepherd. Hence, his innate territoriality makes him an excellent guard dog.

The Cattle dog is a dog with natural roots unlike the majority of domesticated dogs, would be content to rest in an outdoor shelter in warmer weather. Alongside their work-related duties and increased intellect, they are also entertaining and can entertain your family and you for hours and hours.

Keep in mind that these are dogs that work and will be content when assigned a task to complete whether it’s herding on the farm or performing other household tasks like taking care of the post or completing agility classes. It is no surprise that they make an amazing shearer. If you prefer to keep him as an animal companion for your family, keep in mind that a busy and active Australian is an extremely happy Australian!


It is important to note that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog are both high-energy breeds that are alike in terms of exercise requirements. It is essential to give them the amount of exercise they require If you aren’t able to, then it is time to consider buying an alternative breed.

If they’re not exercised, they’ll turn into extremely unsatisfied and destructive animals which will ruin your house and everything within! If you are able to provide them with this training, then you’ll have an extremely rewarding relationship.

They should get at minimum an hour of vigorous exercise each day and can do very well by doing exercises that provide the mind, like agility classes or games with their owner. If they’ve been well-socialized in their early days, as well as their instincts to herd aren’t overly robust, they’ll be able to enjoy a great romp through the neighborhood dog park.


It is true that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog are exceptionally intelligent dogs,and when you combine this with their desire to please their masters and their master, they are easily trained. But, since they’re both extremely intelligent, they require a lot of training therefore, if you don’t meet the demands, it won’t be long before they get bored or outsmart you. This is why that they’re not suitable for the beginner owner..

Due to their tendency to herd and guard Particularly due to their guarding and herding tendencies, particularly the Cattle dogs, these must be socialized from an young ageto make sure they feel comfortable in any situation, with other animals of different sizes and shapes, and to make sure they don’t become overprotective of their family or estate. If you are planning to train your dog in a crate, there are many alternatives available.


The Australian Shepherd National Breed Club suggests that he be examined for the following issues:

Elbow and hip Dysplasia This is an abnormal development of the hip and elbow joints that may cause pain and arthritis later in life.

Ophthalmologist AssessmentThis evaluation checks for a list of eye problems, including Cataracts as well as Collie Eye Anomaly.

It is suggested that the Australian Cattle National Breed Club In addition the tests mentioned in the previous paragraphs for the Shepherd suggests that he has been examined for the following things:

Primarily Lens Luxation This is a particular eye problem that affects the fibers that provide support to the lens inside the eye. The degeneration may cause pain or blindness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy This is a different eye health problem that is common in Cattle dogs. It is a condition that in time, can cause complete blindness.

The Brainstem Auditory Evoked Reaction Test This test is called the BAER test and it is designed to make sure that the person is able to maintain a healthy level of hearing for both ears. It is thought that this issue is more prevalent in Cattle dogs because of the Merle coloring.

There are other health problems that which both the Australian Shepherd and the Cattle can be susceptible to as well, therefore it is recommended that breeders submit their dogs to these further tests. The majority of reputable breeders do however, for more details look up the links below.

It is true that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog are generally healthy canines that both have an extended lifespan. even with that the Cattle dog being more prone to more health problems than the Shepherd generally the Cattle dog lives one year more that the Shepherd.


It is estimated that the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog both consume roughly two and a half cups fooda day. If they are working dogs or are simply very active and active, they might require maybe a little more.

Both breeds can thrive with an premium food item This is the most efficient method to ensure that your dog receives the highest quality of nutrients they require to stay clear of. Aussies are able to thrive on various dog food options according to the size of your dog and his energy levels.


It is believed that the Australian Shepherd is a bit more demanding than the Cattle dog due to the fact that the coat is longer. The Australian Shepherd will require brushing at least twice every weekto make sure his coat stays tidy and free of tangles.

It is true that the Australian Shepherd does shed more than the Cattle dog. It is also more shed than the Cattle dog, with shorter coats is only required to brush every once a week to keep his coat looking shiny and healthy.

The rest of grooming is similar to a normal dog, including regular nail trimming every month and bathing every two months, and washing ears frequently to avoid the accumulation of wax.

But, for both the Australian Shepherd and the Cattle dog, it is important to be sure to take special care in looking at their eyes due to the fact that they are both affected by an array of eye problems. Make sure you check for any changes or anomalies in their eyes. You should also consult the Veterinarian in case you are not sure of any issue.

Puppy Price

It is true that the Australian Shepherd is slightly more expensive than the Australian Cattle dog. The cost of a Shepherd puppy starts at around $700 while the Cattle dog is priced about $500.. This is due to the fact that the Shepherd is more well-known and, as a result there is a greater demand for the breed. However, in the event that you want an award-winning working bloodline you will spend more.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still unsure between the two Australian beauty and you’re lucky! The two dogs were crossed, and resulted in the stunning hybrid called ‘Texas Heeler..’ This guy blends the most desirable of both breeds in one fun bundle, similar to his parents although he was initially employed to herd animals, he’s now popular as a family member.

The Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle dog are wonderful family pets if you educate them and socialize them in a manner that is appropriate. They are gentle, sweet yet also playful and active. There are some differences between the two breeds, which could mean the one is better suitable for your needs than another, however so long as you make sure you give them everything they require, you’re definitely on the right track to an animal that is a winner!

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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