March 08, 2005

Cow Dog

Writing up the various choices made obvious what I really knew from the beginning - I'm going to get another Australian Cattle Dog. I might import buhunds as a retirement project, and I'd like a kelpie at some point. But for now I'm looking for a cattle dog. Probably a girl, hopefully red.

There are some folk wisdoms about the differences between males and females. In Woman's Best Friend Babette Haggery-Brennan says:

"Males will be more likely to be bossy whereas females will be bitchy, hence the name. There is a higher incidence of aggression in males than in females, and if you already have a male, I would recommend a female. However, males do tend to bond more with the lady of the house."

Robert Kaleski who compiled the first breed standard for the Cattle Dog, thought a red cattle dog looked more like a Dingo than a blue, therefore he had a prejudice against the red dogs. This myth has persisted particularly in rural areas where otherwise intelligent people will tell you that the red is more likely to be vicious than the blue.

Occasionally someone will also say that their dog is a cross between a red and a blue. There is no such thing as a red and blue cross puppy, they are different colours of the same breed. There can be both red and blue pups in the one litter.

The cattle dog's colour is a result of its genetic makeup. Cattle dog puppies are born white and develop their adult colour as they mature.

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