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

6 thoughts on “The working dogs of Spread Oaks Ranch

  1. Evan keidel

    Where can I get a australian cattle dog?

    1. Hi Evan,
      All of ours have come from previous litters at the ranch. There are probably some for adoption around the country, it’ll just take a little investigating to find them. If you’re interested in a breeder, Hudson’s Australian Cattle Dogs in Quapaw, Oklahoma is an excellent place to look. They are ranch raised, high quality, health tested, AKC Registered and VERY well cared for. We know the owner and can assure you that he runs a very reputable operation! He only sells about one to two litters per year. Thanks for your inquiry!

  2. Mark Woodruff

    I can’t wait to meet her on our next visit. So amazing to hear that these dogs often can replace the work of 2-3 good workers on horseback.

    1. She’ll be excited to meet you too! We hope you don’t mind dog kisses and relinquishing your personal space! 🙂

  3. Margo

    I have a 7 year old blue heeler. I am looking for a rancher that might be interested in having her. She has become unmanageable for us. She is becoming more aggressive with us at home. We really don’t know what to do with her. We have had heelers before but none with such a strong personality. We have hired a trainer through Bark Busters. The trainer was very good but our heeler has gotten to a point that it is beyond Bark Busters. We wouldn’t feel right giving her to someone, especially someone that isn’t familiar with the breed. We feel she is going to hurt someone. We have few options. Do you know of a rancher who is familiar with this breed, that has plenty of room for her to run and maybe be trained to herd cattle. She is extremely smart and I know she can learn. Can you, anyone help? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *