If there is one dog that has helped raise the economy of an entire continent, it would be the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD).
First bred to herd cattle, the Australian Dog Cattle has played a significant role in the success of Australia’s beef industry.
The first working dogs imported into Australia from the British called the “Smithfields” paved the way for the conception of the ACD. Because the Smithfields were deemed unsuitable to herd cattle in the continent.
They were crossed with the several dog species like the Scottish Highland Collie, the Dalmatian, the Black and Tan Kelpie, and even the feral Dingo, to produce what is now known as the hardworking and efficient Australian Cattle Dog.
One-Time Costs of Australian Cattle Dog Ownership
- Actual Australian Cattle Dog Price
Typical ACD price would range from $500 to $1,500 for puppies with limited AKC registration. If you want a pup with a full-registration status, it’s going to cost you as much as $2,500 to get one. However, ACD prices can also start as low as $350 for pups without papers.
- Getting Your Dog To Your Home
Shipping a pet is a lot of work. Normally, you would have to pay a professional fee (pet coordination) of $350 which would go to the coordination of your dog’s travel including the airline bookings, consultations, and planning.
Your dog would also need to be placed in a special crate during the travel and this may cost up to $360 depending on your dog’s size. Other pet shipping requirements include a health certificate with vaccinations ($38 to $173 depending on the tests) and a custom’s clearance ($100 to $120) among others.
The actual airline ticket may cost you around $325 to $1,900 with consideration to the size of the crate and the distance that would be traveled. Once your pet arrives at the designated airport, you can also have it delivered straight to your home for a fee of $115 per hour of driving.
- Getting Your Dog To Obey You
The ACD is a very intelligent breed and since it is built for work, training comes easily for this dog.
Obedience training can help housebreak your Australian Cattle Dog. When you plan on putting your ACD to work, this training can also help prepare it for when it needs to learn how to herd cattle. Basically, you can enroll your dog at a $150 group obedience class or a private one-on-one session with prices starting at $600.
Recurring Costs of Australian Cattle Dog Ownership
- Feeding Your Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs can weigh up to 50 pounds and for that, it must eat at least three cups of quality dog food a day in order to meet its nutritional requirement. It’s up to you how to divide those three cups into meals.
Quality dog food price can range from $20 to $100 for the 24 to 30-lb. bag., depending on the brand. Make sure to buy a size your dog can consume in a month because dog food spoils quickly when it is exposed to the air and moisture.
- Grooming Your Dog
From time-to-time, it would be great to treat your dog to a full-grooming session because the ACD is bred for work and loves to stay outdoors. A professional grooming service may cost you around $80 at most to get your beloved pet groomed.
- Housing Your Dog
Since the ACD is high-energy and built for work, it is not a breed suited to the apartment life and would thus need to spend a lot of time outdoors. Shelter costs can begin with a doghouse which can range from $45 to $700. A dog bed ($5 to $170) would also make your dog more comfortable living with you.
Finally, it would be great to invest in a high-quality dog kennel which your dog can use whenever it needs to travel with you. This can cost up to $330 for kennels of the best quality.
- Veterinary Visits & Emergency Costs
Your dog should be taken to the vet once or twice a year for a complete checkup to make sure that it is in maximum health and has not acquired or developed any disease. A complete checkup may consist of a physical exam ($30 to $69), vaccinations ranging from $15 to $41, a complete blood panel ($67 to $149), a heartworm test ($55), and dental cleaning ($160 ).
During emergencies, that’s when things can get quite costly. In fact, the cost of surgeries can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Remember that early diagnosis can help prevent costly surgeries, which is why you should make sure that your pet is regularly checked by a vet.
- Miscellaneous Costs
Miscellaneous expenses for dogs would include accessories such as collars, toys, and leashes. Both collars and leashes can start from as low as $8.99 but investing in costlier and higher quality ones would be ideal because it may take a while for you to replace them.
Dog toys, on the other hand, are necessary to keep your pet entertained and mentally stimulated. These items are fortunately inexpensive being only around $2 to $10 if you’re feeling cheap.
Where to Buy Australian Cattle Dogs?
When looking for Australian Cattle Dogs, there is no other place to go to than reputable breeders. With this, you are sure to get one that has a great temperament, structure, and overall health because these people make use of a complex process of breeding and refinement to produce star-quality dogs with little to no genetic diseases.
The American Kennel Club Marketplace would be a great place to start as it could provide you with a list of available dogs or puppies put on sale by reputable breeder members.
You can also check the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America website for a comprehensive list of their code of ethics for breeders.
More About ACD
Sometimes called “blue heeler,” “red heeler,” and “Queensland heeler,” the ACD is known for its unique mottled or specked coat that could either be blue or red.
The ACD can live quite long lives; up to 16 years and beyond. In fact, the oldest dog to ever live was an Australian Cattle Dog named “Bluey” that lived until the ripe old age of 29 years before it was put down.