Tuesday, April 24, 2007

World's Oldest Living Dog - Australian Cattle Dog


I have been researching to find what breed the world's longest living dog is, so we could feature the breed here today. To my amazement the 'Australian Cattle Dog' more commonly know as the 'Blue Heeler' and/or 'Red Heeler' is the longest living dog recorded.

Bluey (June 7, 1910 - November 14, 1939) was the name of an Australian Cattle Dog owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia which holds the Guinness World Record as being the longest recorded living dog in history at an age of twenty-nine years, five months, and seven days. Another dog, an Australian Cattle Dog / Labrador mix, died in 1984 reportedly at the age of 32 years and 3 days, but this case was not fully documented, and so it is not official.

CANBERRA, Australia -- A 26-year-old mongrel living with an Aboriginal family in Australia's Outback has the potential to become the world's oldest living dog, a newspaper reported Sunday. Jerry, an Australian cattle dog-bull terrier cross, will next month turn 27 - the equivalent of 189 years for a human - said Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals veterinarian Honey Nelson in Sydney's Daily Telegraph."He will be 27 ... years in August - I have no doubt at all," Nelson reportedly said after examining Jerry. "He could push on to 28, going by his good body condition."

Jerry's owner, Waddie Harris - an Aboriginal tribal leader in New South Wales state's Wilcannia town, put Jerry's longevity down to his high-protein diet of Outback wildlife. "Jerry has grown up on kangaroo, rabbit and emu as well as scraps off the table," the newspaper quoted Harris as saying.

The oldest living dog in the 2004 edition of "Guinness World Records" is Butch, a 27-year-old beagle in the U.S. state of Virginia. An Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who died in 1939 at age 29, is thought to have been the world's oldest dog, the newspaper said.

References: Newspaper,
The Associated Press.

Australian Cattle Dog
Quick Facts
Weight: 18-22 kg 40-50 lbs

Height: 43-51 cm 17-20 inches

Coat: Short, straight

Group: herding

Activity level: Very high

Learning rate: High

Temperament: Independent, intelligent

Guard dog ability: High

Watch-dog ability: High

Litter size: 4-8

Life span: 12-15 years

Country of Origin: Australia

History

The precise origins of the "Blue Heeler" are not known, but they appear to have been a distinct breed as early as 1897. It began when Smithfields were originally used in Australia for herding cattle, but they were noisy and bit too hard, so they were bred with the Dingo, or wild dog prevalent in Australia, and were then called “Timmins Biters,” which were quieter, but still bit hard. Border Collies and Smooth-coated Collies, used for herding sheep, and the dingo were then bred with each other. In 1840, Thomas Hall bred a couple of Blue Smooth Highland Collies with dingoes and got the “Hall’s Heeler”. Then, in the 1870’s Fred Davis bred some Bull Terrier into them to make the dogs more aggressive. These were relatively common as sporting and guard dogs in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The resulting Cattle Dog was of a slightly heavier and more muscular build than the Border Collie and of less temperamental nature, with good herding ability, the stamina to withstand extremes of temperature and the resourcefulness to forage and to feed itself on an omnivorous diet like a wild dog. Physically the "Heeler" has inherited a big broad head and strong jaws from the Bull Terrier. From the Dingo comes the distinctive sandy colour of the legs and rather large pricked ears.

Like the Welsh Corgies, the "Heeler" is fearless with cattle and has a tendency to nip their heels to keep them moving, when herding. This trait is undesirable when the dog applies it to humans, and also to horses. In order to create a breed that had a strong natural affiliation with horses, the Cattle Dog was crossed with the Dalmatian, which although not a working dog, was popular during the 19th and early 20th century as a carriage dog, running beside the horses. The resultant dog was one which was friendly to horses and would work cooperatively with a horse, in a herding situation.

This breeding with the Dalmatian led to the spotted colouration valued in "Blue Heelers", the light colour being the somewhat greenish black of the Collie. For many years "Blue Heelers" commonly had large black patches on the body, as well as the Collie's mask. It was also common for them to have ears that lay back against the head like some Collies. The flat ears are now considered undesirable for showing.

Australian Cattle Dog Activities

Australian Cattle Dogs not only tolerate a high level of physical activity, they almost demand it. Like many other herding dog breeds, they have active and fertile minds that turn mischievous if not properly channeled. ACDs are highly intelligent and can be very bossy. When not active, an ACD can be kept occupied with mental puzzles. Among the most popular activities for Australian Cattle Dogs is dog agility. While the ACD is ideally suited for this work, since it is a herding breed and thus very reactive to the handler's body language, some ACDs become hardly frustrated at the repetition and routine necessary to hone agility skills. As for many breeds, frequent brief training sessions are more effective than infrequent long training sessions. For this reason, many handlers find training an ACD to be challenging. It is important to always change the methods and exercises and not allow the dog or handler to get into a rut. ACDs thrive on change and new experiences.

Only a few ACDs, therefore, have excelled in obedience competition For example, the American Kennel Club awards an "Obedience Competiion Championship" (OTCh) to the dog-and-handler team that defeats a large number of other teams in open competition. A handful of ACDs have reached this level. While ACDs enjoy the challenge of obedience competition, such as retrieving a scented article, the majority of ACDs are easily bored with precision drilling.

ACDs are expert frisbee catchers, with just a little work they can master this activity and enjoy it for a lifetime.


Until next time... Pat a pooch.

Ken Mathie


"Put an End to the Stress and Annoyance of Your Dog Behavior Problems!...AND Slash Your Dog Obedience Training Time in Half by Using Techniques That Give You Immediate Results!!" Click here and take control starting today!

3 Comments:

At 10:02 PM, Blogger JRD said...

Other than these AMAZING Australian breeds what other evidence is there of canines living past the age of 20? (which is also rare) My friends idiot son argued to me that there was evidence that doges can live to be 31 years old. He produced this article as "PROOF". I say this is an anomaly not commonplace and even thought guiness is involved, highly suspect, after all with all the medical advances int the veterinary world, don't you think the USA< or other countries would have seen this span of longevity before now?

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Clark but not Kent said...

No, because we typically feed biologically inappropriate foods.

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger Mulcaster Mews said...

I have 2 Blue Heelers. Litter sisters who are very close - but occasionally bicker like any siblings. One is a total love-bug - the other a comedian. They are highly intelligent and very protective. Overly so I'm afraid and can be too loud at times warning "Mom" of strangers going past the house. They are such a striking and different-looking breed. I am forever being stopped by people to be asked "what are they?". When I tell people the story of Bluey - the 29 yr-old Aussie - they don't believe me and I say well go look it up on Google!
My last Heeler, before I got my present 2 - lived to be 12 yrs and died of cancer - but never showed one single sign and decided to gently pass away when my husband and I were on holiday while she was being house-sat by one of our grown-up kids. My theory is - she finally gave up because she missed us and we weren't there any more...
I can't imagine life without my Heelers - they are a fantastic breed. Life sure ain't dull with my girls around and I hope they live to be as old as Bluey! If I live that long! Take a look at my girls here - http://pets.webshots.com/album/558830976NUrCoi

 

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