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Boston Cattle Dog (Boston Terrier & Australian Cattle Dog Mix) Info, Pics

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Boston Cattle Dog (Boston Terrier & Australian Cattle Dog Mix)

Height: 12–20 inches
Weight: 12–40 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Brindle, seal, black, white
Suitable for: Active individuals or families, suburban or rural living situations, those interested in a compact watchdog
Temperament: Intelligent, lively, alert, hardworking, loyal, protective, brave, determined, even-tempered, high-energy

Boston Cattle Dogs—fearless protectors of home and family, kind and loving companions, and adventurous little souls! Active people with the desire to share the outdoors with a canine friend won’t want to miss out on this lovely pooch. To learn a bit more about the history of this novel hybrid breed, let’s take a gander at the parent lineages: the Boston Terrier and Australian Cattle Dog.

Boston Terriers are a downsized version of the bull and terrier types that were so popular in early America. They were one of the first breeds developed in the country around the late 1800s. Their ancestry is hotly contested and may contain American Pit Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, and English Bulldog! These small but fearless creatures are still popular today and are mainly kept as companions.

Australian Cattle Dogs were developed by cattle ranchers in Australia. They were bred for high endurance and intelligence so that they could work large groups of cattle over long distances.

The ancestors of the Australian Cattle Dog are the Hall’s Heeler and the feral dingo. They are still prized as herders and work dogs, but also as companions. You may also hear these dogs referred to as Blue Heelers or Queensland Heelers.

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Boston Cattle Dog Puppies


Inquisitive, playful, and always smiling—Boston Cattle Dog puppies are energetic creatures that will steal your heart and wear you out! Before you take one of these loyal, loving pups home you should consider a few questions:

  • Are your home and schedule appropriate for an active, outdoorsy dog?
  • Can you financially support a dog in good times and bad for the next 15 years?
  • Can you provide structure and training for a highly intelligent dog?

As a relatively new breed, it may take patience and time to find a Boston Cattle Dog up for adoption. A quicker yet more expensive route is to go through a breeder. In either case, meet your prospective puppy and get a basic health rundown before taking them home.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Boston Cattle Dog

1. Australian Cattle Dogs Have Held Multiple World Titles

Australian Cattle Dogs are incredibly smart, work-driven pups. And the surprising number of times they show up in dog world records and titles attests to this! The oldest recorded living dog was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey. She lived to be a mind-blowing 29 years and 5 months old! Born in 1910 and owned by Less Hall of Victoria, Australia, Miss Bluey spent most of her happy life herding cattle.

Skidboot held the title of the smartest dog in the world for many years. This brainy Blue Heeler could learn essentially any trick—leading horses by their equipment, taking out the trash, and even performing complex tasks in rodeos!

He won intelligence competitions on Animal Planet, and he was pretty darn famous too. This dog’s smarts got him interviews and on-air meetings with many famous humans like Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno, and David Letterman.

2. The Boston Terrier is Beloved in Massachusetts

As you may have expected from the name, Boston Terriers are Massachusetts’ most loved dog breed. Boston Terriers were first bred in the Bay State, and many consider them the first dog breed created in the United States entirely. In 1979, the Boston Terrier was named the dog emblem of the Commonwealth, or state dog of Massachusetts.

These polite and genial little fellows have become popular all over the United States, but you can still find a concentration of them in and around Massachusetts.

3. Boston Cattle Dogs Make Excellent Watchdogs

It’s no wonder that the result of mixing two highly alert, protective breeds can be a wonderful watchdog. Boston Cattle Dogs are naturally protective. Combine that with their high work drive and you’ve got a dog who will love telling you about what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Their smaller size means that they often go unnoticed until they start making a racket, but Boston Cattle Dogs can bark and howl with the best of them! Any unexpected visitors will be hard-pressed to tell the size of the pup those warning barks come from.

It is recommended that you introduce any welcomed guests to your Boston Cattle Dog. That way, your protective canine will get to know them as new friends and be less likely to scare the pants off folks approaching your home.

The parent breeds of Boston Cattle Dog
The parent breeds of Boston Cattle Dog: Left – Boston Terrier (SHVETS production, Pexels) | Right – Australian Cattle Dog (Best dog photo, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Boston Cattle Dog🧠

The Boston Cattle Dog is an alert and protective dog of high stamina and genial demeanor. They are often wary of strangers but are easygoing with friends and family.

This breed is also incredibly smart. Their energy, big brains, bravery, and healthy work ethic make them some of the best watchdogs and work dogs around. You will want to provide both physical and mental enrichment for these pups to give them a full, happy life.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡 

A socialized and well-trained Boston Cattle Dog can be a great family dog! They are even-tempered in most social situations, and their protective nature means that you don’t need to worry about your kids getting into trouble with a Boston Cattle Dog around.

However, socialization and training are necessary for this breed to get along with children. Their massive intelligence and herding instinct can become detrimental if Boston Cattle Dogs are left without structure. Compulsive herding of rowdy children and even nipping are common bad behaviors.

But if you socialize your Boston Cattle Dog with kids early on and provide firm, positive guidance, they can be the best friend a family could ever ask for.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽 

Boston Cattle Dogs are remarkably amicable with almost all other animals, including dogs, cats, and farm animals.

Once again, however, socialization is the key to harmony. Other animals may not take kindly to an overly vigilant and under-trained Boston Cattle Dog trying to herd them everywhere! But a well-socialized Boston Cattle Dog who has enough exercise is a calm and good-natured soul.

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Things to Know When Owning a Boston Cattle Dog

Still wondering if the Boston Cattle Dog is “the one?” Look at some basic care information we’ve compiled here, and hopefully, it will give you an idea of what living with one of these dogs may entail.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴 

The compact and athletic Boston Cattle Dog benefits from proteins that are leaner, and less likely to add extra weight to their frame. Turkey, chicken, salmon, and other fish are great foods for supporting muscle growth and are full of healthy fats that won’t weigh them down.

And keep in mind that dogs are omnivores. Fruits and veggies can make healthy, exciting treats for the smart pup that craves variety! Offer your Boston Cattle Dog some carrots, cooked sweet potato, or blueberries and you will stimulate their mind while supporting their health.

Your veterinarian will have even more information on what foods you can give your dog, and in what portion sizes.


Boston Cattle Dogs are compact, muscular, and highly active dogs. They have good endurance for their size and will rarely tire before you do during playtime!

Though smaller, the energy level of these dogs means that they are best suited to rural or suburban living. They need plenty of room to roam and exercise, and consistent access to a fenced-in yard is extremely desirable. Apartments and long workdays spent indoors are not for these pups.

Include your Boston Cattle Dog in outdoor activities with you and the family often, however, and you’ll have one happy dog! Bring your dog hiking, swimming, and to the park—they are perky, attentive companions that love to play as much as they love to work hard for their family.

They also love having a job to do, and you can keep their keen minds engaged with puzzle toys, training tricks, obedience, or interactive sports together.


As a highly intelligent and deeply work-driven breed, training a Boston Cattle Dog is essential. Without training and a job to do these pups can develop bad behaviors and become compulsive. A poorly trained Boston Cattle Dog may herd and nip at children or annoy you and all your neighbors by barking at anything and everything!

Communicating appropriate behaviors and giving these smart pups jobs to do will go a long way to helping them understand their place in the family structure.

On the upside, Boston Cattle Dogs are eager to learn and easy to train! They love participating in activities with their family and do not get distracted easily. From basic obedience to agility and sports, or even herding, these dogs can succeed at anything with positive guidance.

Grooming ✂️

Depending on which parent your Boston Cattle Dog favors, your pup will likely have a coat somewhere between short and medium length.

Australian Cattle Dogs have super dense, water-resistant double coats that shed quite a bit, while Boston Terriers have incredibly short and easy-to-manage coats. What you get will likely be somewhere in between, but you should expect to brush them at least a few times a week.

Those perky ears and smiley teeth need attention too. Swab your Boston Cattle Dog’s ears about once a week to clean any dirt or wax that can create a breeding ground for infection. Bi-weekly teeth brushing will similarly help keep gums and teeth healthy.

Boston Cattle Dogs are active sorts but may still need an occasional nail trim. Keep an eye on their toes and clip when necessary to prevent cracking, catching on carpet or clothing, or accidental scratches.

Health Conditions ❤️

Boston Cattle Dogs are an excellent example of how mixing pure breeds can result in healthier offspring. For example, Boston Terriers have short faces which can lead to a variety of breathing issues. But introducing the longer muzzle of the Australian Cattle Dog clears those problems right up!

Though a generally healthy breed, it is possible for them to inherit any of the issues their parent breeds are predisposed to. Here are the health concerns you may run into with a Boston Cattle Dog:

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Deafness
  • Luxating patellas
  • Mange
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Serious Conditions
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

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Male vs Female

Male Boston Cattle Dogs are stocky and larger than females. They are also more prone to wanderlust, marking territory, and behaviors like humping.

Female Boston Cattle Dogs are often quieter, and smaller than their brothers.

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Final Thoughts:

So, is the Boston Cattle Dog the right dog for you? Those who live in apartments, rarely get active outdoors or have no interest in training a high-energy dog should research other breeds.

But if you long for a canine companion to take hiking and teach tricks to, or are seeking a small and incredibly competent watchdog—look no further!

Featured Photo Credit: Left – Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock | Right – cynoclub, Shutterstock

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