First bred to herd cattle, the Australian Cattle Dog has played a significant role in the success of Australia’s cattle/beef industry.
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
The average Australian Cattle Dog cost is $500 for puppies. They can cost as little as $150 but can be very expensive – costing as much as $2,500.
If you plan to buy from a quality breeder, be prepared to budget for about $1,500 or more. Australian Cattle Dogs with superior lineage are known to be sold for $1,800 up to $5,500.
The price varies depending on the breeder, pedigree, location, litter size, supply and demand, if the dog is registered/registerable, among other factors.
- 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 $400 to $1,100, 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. However, this breed tends to be stubborn, territorial, and wary of strangers, as well as aggressive towards other dogs; if not properly socialized. These issues can become much worse unless the dog is trained.
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.
If socialization and training are needed for your dog, a basic six-week dog training course ranges from $200 to $600. PetSmart offers this at only $119.
Usually, group classes cost about $30 to $50 per class and private training costs about $100 an hour, depending on location. More intensive boot camp kennel training costs $500 to $1,250 a week.
Recurring Costs of Australian Cattle Dog Ownership
Besides the Australian Cattle Dog price, prepare for the following maintenance costs for owning an ACD:
- 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.
A 45-pound Australian Cattle Dog eats 1 ½ cups twice a day depending on activity level. A 25-lb bag of quality dog food will usually cost in the $30 to $65 range depending on brand and will last about a month.
Holistic Select is considered a quality brand of dog food. A 25-lb. bag of its Adult Health Grain-Free Dry Dog Food costs $60. Royal Canin is another popular brand and sells a 25-lb. bag of Sporting Life Dry Dog Food for $54.
- 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. It requires bathing and brushing and will need a bath as often as every other week.
Grooming for your dog can cost between $30 and $150, depending on what’s included in the package, the location, and the size of your dog.
Otherwise, bathing and brushing your dog yourself will be much less. A 17-oz. bottle of Top Paw Oatmeal Baking Shampoo costs $8 and will help to quicken the shedding process.
Another option is the Earthbath Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo which costs $9 for a 16-oz. bottle. A dog brush will cost $5 to $40, depending on brand and quality.
- 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 $60), vaccinations ranging from $20 to $70, 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.
Australian Cattle Dogs are prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cancer, torn ligament, luxating patella. Treatment for these conditions is very expensive and the cost will depend on the severity and the type of procedure.
For example, hip dysplasia surgery costs around $10,000 or more, and luxating patella surgery costs around $1,500 to $3,000.
- 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 $9 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.