Cattle dogs, also known as Australian cattle dogs, are a lively, intelligent breed originally developed to drive cattle hundreds of miles through the Australian outback. While they may be accustomed to roaming spaces, they make excellent city dwellers in the hands of a dedicated owner.
Check with your landlord or apartment complex for breed restrictions before signing a lease. Many properties do not allow certain breeds, and while cattle dogs are not commonly included in these lists, it’s best to ask in advance.
Schedule your dog for routine checkups and vaccinations. Dogs in the city, especially curious breeds such as cattle dogs, spend a lot of time sniffing and exploring places frequented by others dogs. This greatly increases the chance that your dog may contract an infectious disease if not properly vaccinated.
Teach your cattle dog to sleep in his crate. Crates provide a feeling of safety and comfort, and give your dog a place to call his own. Add a soft dog bed and a few toys to keep your dog quiet and comfortable while you’re away. Stuff a chew-resistant plastic toy such as a Kong with treats as an extra measure of distraction if you’ll be gone for more than an hour.
Take your dog for frequent, extended walks. Cattle dogs are a high-energy breed and need plenty of exercise to stave off boredom. Chewing, barking and pacing are all signs of boredom that may be eliminated with extra exercise.
Fit your dog with a collar and retractable leash for potty breaks. These special leashes have a long spool that allows the dog to walk a comfortable distance away to do his business without the risk of getting tangled in a conventional leash. Take the dog outside for potty breaks every couple of hours, and let him sniff and wander for a few minutes to allow for ample potty time.
Visit a local dog park several times a week. The wide, open spaces of most dog parks provide even the most energetic cattle dogs plenty of space to run and play. Read the rules of the park carefully and acclimate your dog to other visitors slowly to avoid fights.
Enroll your dog in a doggy daycare. Even a few hours per week is enough to keep your dog socialized and stimulated while you’re unable to watch him.
- Stay patient as your dog acclimates to life in the city. It may take him a few days to get used to the loud noises, the cars and the people in your neighborhood.
- Don’t spank the dog if he whines or barks. Vocalization is a sign that the dog is bored or needs to take a potty break.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.