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The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD), or simply Cattle Dog, is a breed of herding dog developed in Australia for droving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. This breed is a medium-sized, short-coated dog that occurs in two main colour forms. It has either red or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat, which gives the appearance of a "red" or "blue" dog. As with dogs from other working breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog is energetic and intelligent with an independent streak. It responds well to structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging. It was originally bred to herd by biting, and is known to nip running children. It forms a strong attachment to its owners, and can be protective of them and their possessions. It is easy to groom and maintain, requiring little more than brushing during the shedding period. The most common health problems are deafness and progressive blindness (both hereditary conditions) and accidental injury; otherwise, it is a robust breed with a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.The first domestic dogs to arrive in Australia came with the First Fleet in 1788 and later convict fleets. A thriving stray dog population soon grew. Some of the strays, those with stock work potential, apparently found home with the free settler, George Hall. Thomas Hall, a son of George, developed them into working dogs of excellence. Robert Kaleski, who wrote the first standard for the breed, called Hall's dogs Halls Heelers. The Halls Heelers were later developed into the two modern breeds, Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Kaleski also suggested that Thomas Hall imported dogs from England. However, this assumes correspondence between the Halls and contacts in England (none exists) and sailing time between Sydney and London, at the relevant time, was three months or more. Arrangements for dog import could have taken years to accomplish. Australian Cattle Dog has been nicknamed a "Red Heeler" or "Blue Heeler" on the basis of its colouring and practice of moving reluctant cattle by nipping at their heels. The nickname "Queensland Heeler" may have originated in a popular booklet, published in Victoria.
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