The Dalmatian Heeler is easier to understand by looking at the history of its lineage, the Dalmatian and the Australian Cattle Dog. Starting with the Australian Cattle Dog, settlers developed this dog in the 1800s, by crossing Dingo-blue merle Collies to Dalmatians and Black and Tan Kelpies. The result was a strong dog who could endure the harsh climate and long distances. These dogs were excellent workers and handled stock quietly yet forcefully and would drive the cattle over vast distances. In 1980 the breed was finally recognised by the AKC. The word ‘heeler’ refers to the dogs herding skill of snapping and biting the cattle’s heels. The Australian Cattle Dog is a talented retriever, herder, guard dog, and ideal for competitive obedience and agility events. It is interesting to note that the Australian Cattle Dog has Dalmatian genes in its lineage. The Dalmatian's history is a debatable topic, with many experts in disagreement about its origin. Some say it is related to the Pointer. It is accepted that it is an ancient breed, as spotted dogs are found in Egyptian bas-reliefs and Hellenic friezes. Some claim the dog is a Croatian breed, which was debated up until 1993 when it was finally recognised. In the 1800s, it became popular as a carriage dog, running alongside the horses and clearing a path for them as well as protecting them and the carriage when unattended by the master. It has had a variety of tasks from fire dog, war sentinel, draft dog, circus performer, vermin hunter, bird dog, trail hound and finally, a Shepherd and guard dog.