Australian Cattle Dogs are highly intelligent livestock herding animals that have a great deal of energy and a legendary work ethic. These dogs require not only physical exercise each day in order to be happy and healthy, but also mental stimulation to keep their very active minds busy as well. Fortunately, these dogs are as full of adventure as they are of energy and they quickly and easily pick up many different kinds of activities and sports.
Herding dogs have a tendency to collect things. It is a fairly natural extension of their herding instinct and in many cases, our herding type dogs end up amassing a large number of rope toys, chew toys, fetch toys, and even stuffed animals designed specifically for dogs, toys that typically just get left on the floor, wherever they happened to be using them last. Fortunately, it is a relatively easy proposition to convince your Aussie to pick up their toys and put them into a specific toybox or bin, as it speaks to their natural inclination to gather things into one place.
Australian Cattle Dogs are natural herders and those who have spent time with this breed for more than a few hours are likely to become aware of their tendency to gather things together. If given the opportunity it’s sheep or cattle that they tend to direct, but lacking livestock many of these dogs resort to herding stuffed animals, other household animals, and in some cases even the neighborhood kids. While this tendency may occasionally be considered cute and endearing, it is much more likely to get exhausting. Instead, give your dog a real outlet at a specialty ranch designed just for herding dogs and their owners.
Many dogs are taught hand commands that correspond to the commands that are given to them verbally, but in many cases, pet parents don’t spend much time reinforcing the behavior without the verbal trigger included. Australian Cattle Dogs, like many other herding breeds, have a slightly increased chance of being born deaf or losing their ability to hear as they get older. Training your Australian Cattle Dog to reliably follow silent hand signals, often referred to as deaf dog sign language, before their hearing has been lost may help to ease your dog’s confusion and make life simpler if their hearing does begin to fade. This skill can also prove useful if you lose your voice or are otherwise temporarily unable to be heard by your pet.
Treiball is a fairly new dog sport specifically designed to allow herding dogs to safely satisfy their natural herding instincts by training them to herd inflated balls to a spot specified by their handler.
Flyball is a mix between a relay race, an obstacle course, and a game of fetch that provides an intense mental and physical workout.
Australian Cattle Dogs are frequently found on lists of the most intelligent dog breeds and have been bred specifically to both think independently and to cooperate and communicate with humans, making them more likely than many other breeds to remember the names of several objects.
Australian Cattledogs are hardy, adventurous animals with impressive minds. They are hard working canines who don’t do well just lounging around the house and if you don’t find a job for them, this breed is quite likely to create a job for themselves. The job that a dog picks for themselves may not agree with our idea of a job and it may be noisy, intrusive, or even downright destructive rather than helpful, so it is best to keep intelligent and active dogs such as these as occupied as possible.