She’s an Australian Cattle Dog who prefers to be in front of the camera rather than herding cattle.
With beautiful coat markings, Winnie is often confused for other breeds or even a Dingo. However, her rising status as one of Australia’s biggest TikTok dog accounts has provided her with the chance to educate users on the Cattle Dog breed.
Winnie has already amassed a following of 2 million TikTok followers plus a cool 289,000 fans on Instagram.
Whether it’s following TikTok trends or creating her own trends on the video-sharing platform, Winnie has an engaged and passionate following who love her daily updates whether it’s on the farm or in the city.
We spoke to Winnie’s mom April to learn more about the Australian Cattle Dog breed, their unique bond as well as their future plans for social media success.
1) What attracted you to the Australian Cattle Dog breed?
I grew up on a farm in rural Australia so naturally I have always adored working dogs. When we got our first Australian Cattle Dog, a blue heeler called Tess, I instantly fell in-love with the breed for their intelligence and fierce loyalty. I knew that I would always have one by my side!
2) How did you end up with Winnie?
We found Winnie on Gumtree from a registered breeder near Brisbane, QLD. My family had been looking for a red cattle dog to join our family after Tess had passed, but also to help us work cattle. We quickly discovered that Winnie had no interest in becoming a working dog, preferring to be in front of a camera!
3) What is Winnie’s personality like?
Winnie is super sweet, adventurous and too smart for her own good! She’s very loyal and protective of me which I love in a dog. Winnie also loves to play and can get very sassy if I don’t spend enough time throwing toys for her!
4) What does an average day look like for Winnie?
As we live between Brisbane city and our family farm in New South Wales (a 5-hour car trip), we are travelling a lot! A day in Brisbane for Winnie starts with accompanying me to a gym class and a walk to the dog park. Throughout the middle of the day Winnie is either napping, playing with interactive toys or filming TikToks! The afternoons are when we do most of our exercise, going for long walks, throwing balls at our local football fields and swimming in the creek. When we are on farm, Winnie’s days are filled up with ATV rides, chasing kangaroos through the bush, swimming and playing with her Jack Russell brother, Teddy!
5) How much exercise does Winnie require?
Cattle dogs typically require a minimum of two hours of exercise a day, and should be frequently mentally stimulated! They were specifically bred to spend entire days moving cattle across the Aussie outback, easily travelling up to 60km a day. One 30-minute walk a day won’t ever be enough for Winnie and other working dog breeds!
6) Are Australian Cattle Dogs smart dogs?
Australian Cattle Dogs are smart as a whip and very quick learners! They are very easy to train although I have heard they can be stubborn, but this isn’t the case for Winnie!
7) Does Winnie get confused for other breeds?
ALL. THE. TIME! Winnie is mostly confused to be a German Shepherd or a Dingo because of her unique markings and rich orange colour. It often surprises many people when they find out she is in fact purebred.
8) What is your favourite/funniest Winnie story?
We were in Brisbane and Winnie was walking off-leash along a creek. Out of nowhere, she yelped and shot up vertically 2 metres into the air, as if she had gotten the biggest fright of her life! When I went to investigate, I could see why – she had accidentally stepped on a huge python!
9) Would you recommend Australian Cattle Dogs to first-time owners?
Sadly, no! Because Australian Cattle Dogs have strong natural instincts to work and require so much exercise, I wouldn’t recommend them to the average household. This breed is naturally more prone to biting, barking and aggression, which can also make them a challenge for inexperienced owners! ACD’s are best suited to people that have an extremely active lifestyle, a large backyard and work from home.
10) How does it feel to be an advocate of the breed on social media?
I’m so grateful that we have built a platform to show people how incredible cattle dogs are, while educating them about the breed! When you think of famous social media dogs, the last thing you would think of is a cattle dog from rural Australia. Working dog breeds are so underrepresented!
11) Do you prefer Instagram or Tiktok? Can you explain your choice?
I prefer TikTok as I feel like there’s more space for creativity but Instagram more accurately captures Winnie’s day-to-day life! Our TikTok family has a very special place in our heart, as they are the reason for Winnie’s rise to fame.
12) What are some of the challenges of running a social media account for your dog?
Up until recently, I lived in the city during the university semester while Winnie stayed at the farm with my parents – sometimes I would go up to two months without seeing her! This meant we missed a lot of trends and I had to create a HUGE backlog of content while I was with her to maintain posting everyday. Now, my biggest challenge is consistently posting across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, while also working and being in the final year of my university studies. It can sometimes be hard to rationalise spending so much time planning, creating and editing content without making much of a financial return but I try to make it work for all of our incredible followers!
13) What’s your thought process when you try to come up with an idea for social media?
I love scrolling through TikTok to see what’s trending and think about how I can creatively adapt it to be dog-related. I also love to invent my own trends, such as the frozen dog toy challenge.
14) What is your favourite social media post of Winnie or with Winnie?
My personal favourite TikTok is the one making a joke of the ridiculous amount we paid for a well-bred cattle dog, only for Winnie to be scared of cows!
15) If you could go back to when you first got Winnie, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now? (with regards to dog ownership or social media)
I would have told myself to start our Instagram and YouTube accounts WAY sooner. Everyday that goes by is an opportunity for growth, so everyday you delay starting is a day of growth wasted!