Australian Cattle Dog Vs. Australian Shepherd: Differences

australian cattle dog vs australian shepperd

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When it comes to finding the right dog for your family, there are a lot of things to consider. Two popular options that may be on your list are the Australian Shepherd vs. Australian Cattle Dog. 

Both of these breeds were originally bred as working dogs, so they have some similarities. But there are also some important differences that you should be aware of before making your final decision.

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect from the Australian Shepherd vs. Cattle Dog debate:


Breed History:

Australian Shepherd

australian shepperd

It’s widely believed that the Australian Shepherd’s ancestors were from the Scottish Highlands and the Pyrenees mountains. They likely came to Australia with their masters in search of better land to farm. But when they arrived, they found that the land was too barren to farm. 

So they set off for North America with their dogs in tow. They were joined by other Australian farmers, and their dogs came along too. In North America, the Australian Shepherd became known for his herding abilities and was used to help herd sheep and cattle. In no time, he became a popular farm dog.

Today, the Australian Shepherd is still a popular farm dog, but he’s also become a beloved companion dog. He’s known for his intelligence, loyalty, and loving nature. If you’re thinking of adding an Australian Shepherd to your family, be prepared for an active dog who needs plenty of exercise and stimulation. 

But if you can give him the love and attention he needs, you’ll be rewarded with a devoted friend for life.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle dog is a well-documented breed, with a history dating back to the 18th century. Thomas Hall, an Australian man, imported the now extinct Smithfield dog and Scottish collies and crossed them with local dingoes he had previously tamed and kept as pets. 

After this, he gained his nickname, ‘Hall’s Heeler.’ Other key contributors then mixed these dogs with Dalmatians, who were known for their loyalty and being comfortable with horses, with Black and Tan Kelpies dogs. 

It was in 1903 that the first breed standard was established, and he was named the Australian Cattle Dog. The Australian Cattle Dog is a hardy, robust breed that is built for endurance. They are intelligent and versatile, making them excellent working dogs. 

They are loyal and devoted to their families but can be wary of strangers. With proper socialization from a young age, they can be good with children and other pets. Australian Cattle Dogs need plenty of exercise and activity to stay happy and healthy. 

They are not a breed for everyone, but if you are looking for an active and intelligent dog, the Australian Cattle Dog may be the perfect breed for you!

Key Differences Between Australian Shepherd Vs. Australian Cattle Dog

When it comes to identifying these two breeds, some key differences will come in handy. 


For starters, the Australian Shepherd is a larger breed than the Cattle Dog. They typically weigh between 40 and 65 pounds, while Cattle Dogs only weigh 35 to 50 pounds. Additionally, the Australian Shepherd has a fluffier coat which can make them appear even larger. 

The Cattle Dog, on the other hand, has shorter and finer hair. Another key difference is in their coloring. The Australian Shepherd and the Cattle Dog both often have a beautiful merle coat. This coat color is increasingly popular as it creates a strong sense of individualism. 

Additionally, the merle coat also increases the chances of the dog having different colored eyes. This, combined with their unique markings, makes these dogs truly one of a kind. Though they may be different breeds, the Australian Shepherd and the Cattle Dog are both intelligent, loyal, and loving companions.


australian shepperd

When deciding which dog is right for you and your family, it is important to consider the different temperaments of each breed. The Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog are slightly different in their temperaments, so it is important to understand why you want a dog and what personality traits are important to you.

The Australian Shepherd is said to be more suited to the role of a family pet than the Cattle Dog. This is not to say that the Cattle Dog does not make for a good family pet, but he is much harder to train, and his herding and guarding traits are much stronger than the Shepherd. 

As such, he can sometimes find it difficult to adapt to a family home setting.


The Australian Cattle Dog is a highly independent breed, which is one of the key differences between it and the Australian Shepherd. If you’re not experienced with dogs, the Cattle Dog may take charge in your household. 

This makes them a better choice for families who aren’t always at home, as they’re perfectly content being left alone. However, they still prefer to be around people. 

The Cattle Dog is an intelligent and active breed that needs plenty of exercise; otherwise, it may become restless and destructive. If you can provide them with an outlet for their energy, they make terrific companions.

On the other hand, the Australian Shepherd is more inclined to please its owner and is less likely to take the lead – even though it’s also considered an independent breed.

The Australian Shepherd is also an active breed, but it’s not quite as high-energy as the Cattle Dog. It’s an incredibly smart breed that excels at any task it’s given – whether it’s obedience training or herding livestock.


australian cattle dog

If you are looking for an intelligent and trainable dog, then the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog are both excellent choices. 

Both breeds are known for their intelligence and their willingness to please their owners, making them relatively easy to train. 

However, because they are so smart, they require more intense training than some other breeds – if you’re not up to the challenge, they may quickly become bored or even outsmart you.


Now that we have looked at the key differences between these two popular breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog vs. Australian Shepherd, it is easier to see why they are often confused with one another. 

Both are intelligent, active dogs that make great companion animals. However, there are some important distinctions between the two breeds that potential owners should be aware of. 

Ultimately, the decision of which breed is right for you will come down to your personal preferences.

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