The Australian Cattle Dog, also called the Blue Heeler, was initially bred at Dartbrook, 12 kilometres north of the town of Muswellbrook.
Thomas Hall of Dartbrook saw the need for a special type of dog to assist in the management of his stock, particularly cattle of his huge pastoral holdings throughout the Upper Hunter region. Cattle roamed this region wild and free on larges unfenced stations, being mustered only once or twice a year.
In the 1840's Thomas Hall established the line of 'Heelers' by crossing native dingo with the Northumberland Blue Merle Drover's dog. The aim was to produce an ideal dog able to withstand heat, take long treks, work quietly and be effective in the round-up of wild bush cattle.
Ultimately the Blue Heeler has become the International cattleman’s best friend. The breed has all the qualities Hall looked for, especially the talent for nipping at the heels of cattle to move them forward in a controlled manner as required by drovers.
The Australian Cattle Dog is now a registered breed and has taken top honours in some of the most prestigious international competitions.
The Blue Heeler, known and loved world-wide, not only as a hard and intelligent worker and highly successful show dog, but also as a loyal and gentle mate.
Thomas Hall 1808-1870
Thomas Hall, born in the Hawkesbury are of New South Wales, proved to be one of early Australia's most progressive and innovative pastoralists.
Coming from a farming background - his family migrating from Northumberland, England - Hall established one of the biggest grazing empires in Australia's colony. Halls properties reached from the Hawkesbury, northern and north-western NSW and southern Queensland.
It is said that a man could not ride a day in those parts without crossing into Hall property. Notable Hall properties in the Upper Hunter region include Dartbrook, Blairmore and St Helliers.
Hall was instrumental in the development of the Blue Heeler, a special breed of cattle dog essential in the management of stock on his huge rural holdings. Hall was also involved in the introduction and development of new breeds of cattle. These new breeds would be better suited to the harsh Australian environment. One particular breed is the Poll Shorthorn.