The Australian Kangaroo Dog shares much of the same ancestry as the more common Australian Staghound, although it shows a much stronger Scottish Deerhound and English Greyhound influence than its stockier cousin. This is first and foremost a working breed, bred for agility and drive, with little concern for appearance standards. Developed in the 1800's by crossing the aforementioned Scottish Deerhound and English Greyhound breeds with the Irish Wolfhound, English Bullterrier, Australian Cattledog, Deutsche Dogge, English Foxhound, Russian Borzoi, German Boxer, Bullmastiff and a variety of working Lurchers and Staghounds, the rugged Australian Greyhound is a superb hunting dog that has traditionally been used to chase down, confront and oftentimes kill kangaroos, hares, foxes, deer, boars, Dingoes and a variety of Australian marsupials. The breed has become more refined in the 20th century, being somewhat more uniform in type than its ancestors, but still allowing for regional differences. This is a courageous and energetic dog, prized for its speed, stamina and resilience. The Kangaroo Dog is relatively unknown outside its homeland, while fairly common, if only moderately popular in Australia. Some believe that the true Australian breed is extinct and view these modern dogs as common Staghound crosses, but in reality the Kangaroo Dog was never a standardized or recognized breed and outcrossing was very common and widely accepted within the hunting community, so it can be argued that the present-day Australian Greyhound is in fact just a continuation of the original working breed, based on traditional selection methods and breeding practices.
Lean, powerful and elegant, this is an athletic and impressive worker. The Roo Dog is an intensely fierce hunter, but it can also be a well-mannered and friendly companion pet when raised and trained properly. However, it is best suited for rural areas and working homes. Dog-aggression is an undesirable trait, seing how these hounds are often used in packs when hunting. The body is well-muscled, deep-chested and light, with a strong neck, narrow head and well-developed jaws. The legs are long and sturdy.
Although there are still some rough-coated examples to be found, the majority of Australian Greyhounds have flat smooth coats, accepted in all shades, but most common in fawn, grey and brown brindle colourings, with or without white markings. The average height is around 25 inches, but taller dogs exist.
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This profile gives a very accurate description of the origin, purpose and current status of the breed. You may find some of the information published here to be different from what you will read in breed books, published encyclopedias and on other websites. Unlike the articles usually found in most of those sources, the MD breed Profiles are a result of many years of actual research and travelling around the world. However, since most of the Profiles have been written over the course of the past 15 years, some of them might need to be updated. We do not distort the information, but rather state our perspective on the breeds based on our extensive research and contributed information. If you have any additional info that you believe we might find interesting, feel free to let us know about it. Constructive feedback is welcome - disparaging remarks are not. Enjoy!|