The Australian Cattle Dog is highly intelligent, hard working, energetic and loyal animal. They have a wonderful temperament. As a working dog they also require a job to do or they will become bored. Lakota Sioux’s job in our home is to protect the house, animals, and me. She does a very good job. When one of our rabbits are giving birth she immediately informs me. She has also been known to gently carry a baby rabbit from the table, it if escapes from its cage, and lay it on the floor then she barks at me. Lakota is a great guard dog as well. She is constantly looking out the window. If someone she does not know is on our property she will bark. This is one of the hallmarks of the breed. While they are affectionate and loving towards people they know they become reserve when around strangers. If they feel threatened by animal or human a life they will act aggressive. I have never seen Lakota do this but I know if she feels this way she will react. A typical lifespan of the breed averages around 11.6 years. Health concerns include: hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and deafness.
Three years ago my husband and I were blessed to adopt our Australian Cattle Dog, Lakota Sioux, in West Texas. We had always been drawn to purebred dogs and the Australian Cattle Dog seemed to be the perfect fit. In 1840, Thomas Hall of Australia crossed the typical breeding dog of his time, the Dover Dog with wild Dingoes he had tamed. The result was the Australian Cattle Dog. These dogs come in two different colors, red or blue. Today they are often referred to as Blue or Red Heelers due to the persistent tendencies to herd by nipping at the heels of whatever they are herding. The new breed began to grow in popularity and was recognized in the 1880’s. Later in the early 20th century, these dogs crossed the ocean and soon found themselves working on ranches in the American Southwest.
Eighteen months ago Delfin and I moved from West Texas to Kentucky. At the time Lakota was our only pet. We drastically changed her life ten months later when we began to buy our farm and introduced her to new animals. Her life since moving to the farm now not only includes protecting house and wife but the animals as well. She does not disappoint. I can only imagine what her thoughts might be on this wonderful farm of ours.
In the words of Lakota Sioux:
“I don’t care if they give my mom and dad eggs or not to me the chickens are food. Yum!
Rabbits are toys. They’re so cute and cuddly. I want to lick them all day long.
Grass is to run free in. Let me run. What we only have an acre? You mean that three acre field next door and the five acre beyond that aren’t ours? Well they should be! I’ll go mark the territory for us.”
Ah, if our life was only as simple as Lakota Sioux’s.