Illustrated Standard2018-05-22T00:38:24+00:00

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Illustrated Standard

General Appearance: Strong, compact, symmetrically built working dog | Able and willing to carry out tasks however arduous | Substance, power, balance and hard muscular condition convey impression of great agility, strength and endurance | Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault

Head and Skull Strong: In balance with other proportions of dog, in keeping with its general conformation | Broad skull--slightly curved between ears, flattening to slight but definite stop. Cheeks muscular, neither coarse nor prominent under-jaw strong, deep and well developed Foreface-broad, well filled in under eyes, tapering gradually to form medium length, deep, powerful muzzle | Skull and muzzle on parallel planes | Lips are tight and clean | Nose black

Tail: Set on of tail is moderately low, following contours of sloping croup | Length to reach approximately to hock | At rest it should hang in a very slight curve | During movement or excitement tail may be raised | Under no circumstances should any part of tail be carried past a vertical line drawn through root | Tail should carry a good brush

(Illustration credit: Narelle Hammond-Robertson, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Gait/Movement: Action is true, free, supple and tireless | Movement of the shoulders and forelegs is in unison with the powerful thrust of hindquarters | Capability of quick, sudden movement is essential | Soundness-paramount importance | Serious faults--stiltiness, loaded or slack shoulders, straight shoulders, weakness at elbows, pasterns or feet, straight stifles, cow or bow hocks | When trotting feet tend to come closer together at  ground level as speed increases, but when dog comes to rest should stand four square

Eyes: Oval shape, medium size | Neither prominent nor sunken | Must express alertness and intelligence | Warning or suspicious glint is characteristic when |  approached by strangers | Eye color, dark brown

(Illustration credit: Narelle Hammond-Robertson, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Ears: Of moderate size, preferably small rather than large | Broad at base--muscular, pricked | Moderately pointed-neither spoon nor bat eared | Ears set wide apart on skull, inclining outwards | Sensitive in their use, pricked when alert | Leather--thick in texture | Inside of ear fairly well furnished with hair

(Illustration & Photo credit: Narelle Hammond-Robertson, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Hindquarters: Hindquarters are broad, strong and muscular | Croup is rather long and sloping | Thighs long, broad and well developed | Stifles well turned and the hocks strong and well let down | When viewed from behind, the hind legs, from hocks to feet, are straight and placed parallel, neither close nor too wide apart

Coat: Smooth, double coat with short dense undercoat outer-coat close | Each hair straight, hard, lying flat, so rain-resisting | Under body, to behind the legs, coat is longer and forms mild breeching near thigh | On head (including the inside of the ears), to the front of the legs and feet, hair is short | Along neck--longer and thicker | Either too long or too short-fault | On average, hairs on the body -2.5 to 4 cms (approx. 1-1.5 ins) in length

Color (Blue): Blue, blue-mottled, or blue speckled with or without other markings | Permissible markings-Black, blue or tan markings on head, evenly distributed for preference | Forelegs-tan midway up legs, extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws | Hindquarters-tan inside hind-legs, inside thighs, showing down front of stifles, broadening out to outside of hind legs from hock to toes | Tan undercoat permissible on body providing does not show through blue outer coat | Black markings on body not desirable

Feet: Feet should be round | Toes short, strong, well arched and held close together | Pads are hard and deep | Nails must be short and strong
Inset - From left to right: Correct foot and pastern | Hare foot and too much slope of pastern (incorrect) | Correct cat like foot view from front | Splayed foot (incorrect)

Inset Illustration credit: Narelle Hammond-Robertson, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Forequarters: Shoulders strong, sloping, muscular and well angulated to upper arm | Not too closely set at point of withers | Forelegs have strong, round bone, extending to feet, straight and parallel when viewed from front | Pasterns show flexibility with slight angle to forearm when viewed from side | Although shoulders are muscular and bone strong, loaded shoulders and heavy fronts hamper correct movement and limit working ability

Body: Length of the body from the point of the breast bone, in a straight line to the buttocks, is greater than height at withers, as 10 is to 9 | Topline is level | Back strong with ribs well sprung and carried well back not barrel ribbed | Chest is deep, muscular and moderately broad | Loins broad, strong and muscular and the flanks deep | Strongly coupled

(Illustration credit: Narelle Hammond-Robertson, Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Color (Red Speckle): Should be good even red speckle all over, including the undercoat | Undercoat-neither white nor cream | With or without darker red markings on head | Even head markings are desirable | Red markings on the body are permissible but not desirable.

Size / Height: Dogs 46-51 cms (approx. 18-20 ins) at withers | Bitches 43-48 cms (approx.17-19 ins) at withers

Remember: The ACD is a dog without exaggeration...Moderate, moderate, moderate | When making close calls--remember that the ACD is a working dog, bred to herd cattle, But it is not a Cow!

The Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, Inc.

The Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, Inc. is a non-profit organization functioning as the parent club for AKC registered Australian Cattle Dogs. To encourage and to do all possible to bring the natural qualities of Australian Cattle Dogs to perfection according to the current American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard.e.