The working dogs of Spread Oaks Ranch

Everyone working at Spread Oaks Ranch has a vital role in keeping things running smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at one of these hard workers, the Australian Cattle Dog.  

The Australian Cattle Dog was first bred in the 1840’s by combining Smithfields, and sometimes Scottish Highland Collies, with selected Dingoes. Before this, herding and traveling with cattle across the rough Australian terrain was impossible for other breeds. However, this new breed had the intelligence, natural instincts of “heeling” and muscular build to get the job done properly. This had a significant impact on the growth of the continent’s beef industry!

Australian Cattle Dogs, also known as Blue or Red Heelers, are incredibly bright. One very unusual aspect of their breed is that they are actually independent thinkers. According to Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, once these dogs are trained, they are capable of performing many tasks without supervision, and essentially become self-directed! A properly trained cattle dog can replace two to three good men on horseback.

Photo by Karen Sachar & Co

Spread Oaks Ranch has about 500 head of Brangus cattle, which requires a great deal of supervision and hard work. Nala, the resident Blue Heeler assists with this in a large way, especially when it’s time for “roundup”, which will be happening soon (more on that to come.) Manuel Briones has been managing and caring for the cattle at Spread Oaks Ranch for years, and Nala is his right-hand pup.

Photo by Karen Sachar & Co
Photo by Karen Sachar & Co

Australian Cattle Dogs are such a unique breed and are absolutely FULL of personality! They’re obedient, incredibly agile and they aim to please! With a strong and loving temperament, along with being very useful with cattle, they make wonderful family pets. They are highly intelligent, intuitive and protective of the ones they love. They also love belly rubs possibly more than any other breed!

If you happen to see Nala on one of your visits to Spread Oaks Ranch, be sure to say hello to this good girl!

Photo by Karen Sachar & Co

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