March 09, 2005


Often, in ads for kennels, you'll see the comment "breeding for temperament", but few go on to elaborate on what they mean by this statement.

Just as a breed ‘standard’ sets out what a particular breed of dog looks like, it also gives a description of what the dog’s temperament should be. From the standard, an Australian Cattle Dog should be:
  • alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous and trustworthy
  • exhibiting loyalty and protective instincts
  • suspicious of strangers
  • amenable to handling

Any feature of temperament foreign to a working dog must be regarded as a serious fault.

So a cattle dog who is nervous, shy or fearful, aggressive towards other dogs, subdued or listless, aggressive towards people or lacking in a work ethic, does not meet the standard and should not generally be part of a breeding program.

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