The Australian Healer is a medium-sized breed of shepherd dogs, also known by other names: Australian Kettle Great Dane or Australian Cattle Dog. Healer is strong, hardy, very smart and faithful, capable of defense. Absolutely unpretentious in terms of care, but needs good physical activity. It can be used as a shepherd dog, sports or just a companion.
The story of an Australian healer begins with a meeting of European immigrants with a dingo.
The first colonists who arrived on the continent studied wild dogs, watched them and tried to tame. Sometimes it worked. Puppies taken at an early age from the mother were attached to the owner, were good guards and did not bark at all. Despite these virtues, predators remained predators. They were unpredictable and a lot of trouble. Then the first experiments on crossing dingoes with other breeds began.
At the beginning of the 19th century, farmers faced difficulties in moving cattle over long distances. For one drive, losses amounted to 200 goals. It was obvious that a four-legged assistant was needed, who could accompany them on the road, had endurance, strength, could protect the herd from wild animals and, if necessary, collect the lost in the thickets. At that time, various shepherd dogs began to be imported, mainly from the Collie family, but they did not adapt well to the Australian heat and could hardly overcome distances. Also were too noisy.
In the 20-30s, a farmer from South Wales, Thomas Hall, on the advice of his parents, crossed a dingo with a short-haired blue collie, which he imported to Australia. At that time they were known as the Welsh collies. For 30 years, he did not share the formula of success with anyone and used his dogs himself, they were called hall healers.
Over time, the Australian healers split into two breeds. Australian Shepherd Dog and Australian Short-Tailed Shepherd Dog. The breed was recognized in 2005, but remains rare and small even in its homeland.
After the death of the farmer in 1870, his farm began to be sold, and the dogs became interested in Australian shepherd dogs. Among the members of the society was the Bagust family, which subsequently made a huge contribution to the development and improvement of the breed. In 1893, Harry Bagust began pouring halls to healers of Dalmatian, Dingo, and Australian Kelpie blood. Dogs acquired an unusual color due to which they were renamed the "blue healer". An active propagandist of the breed was the assistant to farmers Bagust Robert Kaleski. He wrote and published the first standard in 1903. The breed was later officially recognized by the Australian Healer by the International Kennel Federation as the Australian Cattle Dog, which literally translates as an Australian Cattle Dog.
The Australian Healer is a cultivated version of the Dingo. In modern dogs, blood dingos are more than 50%.
Australian Healer (Australian Shepherd Dog) Dog Breed Video:
The Austrian Australian Healer is a sturdy, proportionately folded, compact dog that should give the impression of mobility, strength and tenacity. Should not be overweight or lazy. The case is in a slightly extended format, the length refers to a height of 10 to 9. The height at the withers of males is 46-51 cm, that of females is 43-48 cm, average weight is 20 kg.
The head is proportional. The skull is wide, slightly convex between the ears. Stop expressed clearly. The muzzle is broad, medium length, deep, gradually tapering to the black nose. The lines of the muzzle and forehead are parallel. Lips are dry, firm. Cheekbones muscular, not protruding. The jaws are strong, the lower one is especially well developed. The teeth are healthy, strong, scissor bite. Eyes of medium size, oval, dark brown color. Ears of medium size, wide, upright at the base, with moderately pointed tips, set wide apart and turned to the sides. The inside of the ear is covered with wool.
The neck is very strong, medium length. The top line is flat. The back is strong, strong. The loin is wide. The croup is long, sloping. The chest is muscular, deep, moderately wide. Ribs are rounded, but do not make the chest barrel-shaped. The sides are deep. The tail is set very low, reaches the hock, lowered or slightly bent. The tail ends with a brush. The forelimbs, when viewed from the front, are straight and parallel, very strong. Hind, seen from behind, straight and parallel, wide, muscular, strong. Paws are round, fingers are short, well assembled into a lump. Claws are short, pads are firm.
The coat is smooth, double, formed by a short, thick undercoat and a straight, hard outer hair that fits snugly over the body and protects the dog well from moisture. On the hips, the hair forms small tows. On the head, the front of the limbs is very short. The average length of hair over the body is 2-4 cm.
- Blue with speckles, with or without other marks. Black, blue, fawn marks on the head are allowed. Stains on the body are undesirable. The front legs are covered with tan marks, they are also on the jaws, the inside of the hips.
- Red or red with a uniform red speck throughout the body, including the undercoat. Marks on the head are desirable, on the body are allowed, but undesirable.
Nature and behavior
The Australian healer has all the qualities that a good shepherd needs, he is fast-moving, hardy, agile, able to gently and purposefully bite animals, controlling the herd. But still, first of all, he is a companion, friendly, faithful, extremely intelligent and obedient. It is capricious and stubborn, especially at a young age; everything has its own opinion. It gets along well with children of different ages. However, problems can arise in relationships with very young children. It is not the dog that is dangerous, but its excessive energy. In excitement, she can knock down or grab the baby by the hand.
The instinct of grazing in different dogs is expressed in different ways. In puppyhood, healers can actually bite their family ankles slightly, but this behavior is easily corrected. Strangers are wary, but without excessive aggression. Further barking and formidable growl usually does not go. If the dog feels danger from a stranger, it may bite. Able to defend family members and property, which makes it possible to use a friend as a watchman and bodyguard.
The Australian healer is very smart and smart, but at the same time ingenuous and even rustic. All his tricks are sewn with white thread. The dog is easy to fool. Also, many owners note that the healer is very shy. To go to the toilet for a small dog climbs far, often hiding in the bushes in the truest sense of the word. And very clean. It can fall out in the mud or hide in someone’s hole, but then it’s very worrying that it’s dirty its legs. Likes to be the center of attention. Ready to always and everywhere accompany the owner, cheerful, playful and funny.
The Australian healer is suitable for active people, athletes as a companion, as well as families with and without children, where they are ready to pay enough attention to the dog. Farmers can be seen as a herding companion dog.
With other animals in the house gets along very well. Dogs on the street are often indifferent. It very rarely provokes conflicts, but always responds with aggression to aggression. If a small living creature or bird lives in the house, you can not worry. The healer is almost completely devoid of hunting instinct.
Parenting and training
Hiller is relatively easy to train, but he also has fervent stubbornness and his own opinion, which sometimes interfere with work. Even a novice will be able to raise a dog well, if he does not follow her lead, but clearly defines the rules of behavior and monitors their implementation. As for training, healers are recommended to be trained in a game form with positive reinforcement, which can be a treat or a toy.
The Australian healer loves the owner wholeheartedly, but does not look into his mouth awaiting orders. Each team at first ponders and is not inclined to implicit obedience.
In the classroom, the dog will be distracted a lot, especially at a young age. Sometimes he needs a light kick. Inexperienced dog breeders are encouraged to start training the Australian with a general training course under the guidance of an experienced instructor. In the future, you can choose any direction: shepherd's service, obedience, agility, up to the protective and guard service.
The Australian healer is absolutely not demanding on the conditions of detention. This breed was bred to be a hardy working dog that does not need complicated care. Actually, this is what it is. The dogs tolerate heat relatively easily, and in winter they grow a warm, thick undercoat. In addition, the wool protects them well from moisture and cleans itself from dirt. Australian healers quickly adapt to life in the apartment, subject to regular good walking. They can live in a house or in the yard. On farms, as a rule, live freely. The worst thing for them is life on a leash or in a small-sized aviary.
Australian shepherd dogs are energetic. It’s hard for them to live without work. A good alternative to shepherd's service can be sports, for example, agility, obedience. It is very important that the dog fulfills its need for movement and this should not be a walk on a leash. The healer needs to freely jump and run, physical activity is necessary to maintain the dog in good shape and maintain health.
The Australian shepherd dog does not require special care, which is a definite plus. Abundant molting takes place once a year, in the spring. During this period, it should be combed a little more often in order to accelerate the change of wool. In bitches, it can also be associated with estrus. For the rest of the time, the healer is enough to comb two or three times a month. As for the tool, there is no consensus. Some like crests with rotating teeth, others prefer a furminator, and others like stripping. Full bathing is rarely indicated. Healers are fairly clean, and their coat is virtually odorless. If the dog is smeared in dirt, you can simply rinse it without detergents. Ears have to be cleaned of accumulated sulfur very rarely. Claws, if they do not grind on their own, are sheared. Normally, they should not touch the floor.
In Australia, most breeders adhere to a nutrition system developed by Australian dog handlers. All over the world she is known under the acronym BARF. In fact, this natural food is as close to natural as possible. In America and Europe, dogs are mainly fed dry food. From this it follows that, in principle, any type of food is suitable for the healer if he meets all the needs of the dog. Australians rarely suffer from allergies, but are prone to overeating and obesity.
Health and Life Expectancy
In the English version of the breed standard, the word strong - "strong", "strong" occurs more than 10 times. The Australian healer must be strong, hardy, healthy. Adapt perfectly to different living conditions and climate. Breeders try to maintain these qualities, but so far they have not been able to completely eradicate some hereditary diseases:
- Progressive blindness;
- Congenital deafness
- Hip dysplasia (more common in European development dogs);
- The absence of one or more teeth;
- In hot weather, some dogs suffer from eczema.
The average life expectancy of an Australian healer is 12–13 years. Many dogs remain active and weight category until they are old. Rarely suffer from vision problems, hearing loss and tooth loss.
Australian Healer Puppy Selection
The Australian healer, although rare in Russia and the CIS countries, is not so much that it was impossible to buy a puppy. Another question is what quality this dog will be and how much it will cost. Most rare breed breeders are responsible in their work. There is no national breed club yet, but there is a forum for Australian healer lovers where all future questions will be answered by future and current owners.
Separately, exhibition and working dogs are not bred. In one litter, babies can have different talents, so it is difficult to predict who will be suitable for shepherd’s service, and who will be for exhibitions or sports.
Puppies of an Australian healer are born white and after a few weeks begin to acquire their color. At the age of 2-3 months, when it is customary to take the babies to a new home, they should already largely comply with the Standard developed for an adult dog. Evaluate the set of ears and eyes, body proportions, bite, color, eye color, nose and eyelids. Puppies should have a healthy psyche and not show signs of disease. Around the age of 6 weeks you can understand a deaf puppy or not. 14% of healers are born deaf in one ear and 2% in both ears. The breed is recognized by FCI, therefore the only proof of pedigree will be the metric (puppy card), which is later exchanged for the pedigree. In addition, puppies should be vaccinated by age.
The price of an Australian healer can be very diverse. Pet-class dogs stand in the region of 35,000-40,000 rubles. The price of promising Australian healers for exhibitions and breeding can reach 100,000 rubles. On average, it ranges from 75,000-80,000 rubles ...
The gallery contains vivid photos of puppies and adult dogs of the Australian Healer breed (Australian Shepherd Dog).