Alert, intelligent and lively, this breed of dog is happiest when it has a task to do like herding cattle or competing in organised trials. It makes a loyal family pet that looks after the people it loves and may affectionately herd small children.
Where I'm From
The Blue Heeler was born out of the need for a dog that could herd cattle like no other, and so Australian cattle ranchers got to work creating the perfect canine for the job. It took 60 years of crossbreeding to create the right dog. Breeds with all sorts of talents and abilities were mixed together including the Scottish Collie, the native Dingo and a Dalmatian. The standard was set in 1893 and the Blue Heeler has been bred true ever since. The breed is known for its agility, endurance and loyalty.
What I Look Like
The Blue Heeler is also known as the Australian Cattle Dog. It’s a small to medium dog that’s compact, agile and muscular. It reaches around 50 centimetres in height when its fully mature. These dogs have broad heads, powerful jaws and large teeth which they use to nip at the heels of cattle to keep them moving. Their ears are straight and pointed, and their tails are long.
Blue Heeler puppies are born white which is a genetic trait they inherited from early crossbreeding with Dalmatians. As they grow their coats take on colouring that’s red or blue speckled, blue mottled or blue. Their coats are smooth and medium in length. The undercoat is short and dense while the outer coat is straight and protects the dog from the elements.
How I Act
The Blue Heeler is an unashamedly energetic dog. Bred for its endurance, it’s one canine that works hard and keeps moving. These pooches are well suited to herding and structured activities and may become destructive if they’re lacking stimulation. For example you may come home one day only to find your garden destroyed by a bored dog.
They’re very loyal and protective of those they care about but tend to be wary of strangers. It’s within the Blue Heeler’s nature to protect children but young kids may be less than enthused by dogs that nip at their heels.
Blue Heelers tend to be a quiet breed and rarely bark. They have a lot of muscle packed into their small frames.
Looking After Me
This breed is hardy and only requires an occasional brush. It doesn’t need a fancy diet either, but one thing you should make sure it has is plenty of space to exercise. It’s best suited to an open area in the countryside but it can adapt quite happily to suburban life with a large yard. If you’re considering adopting this breed and you live in an apartment, you really should reconsider. This breed is not at all appropriate for life in small spaces.
Blue Heelers are intelligent and alert dogs that respond well to positive training techniques. It’s better to reward them and praise them for their good work than it is to tell them off for their misdemeanours.
While these pooches enjoy the company of their human families, they’re not so keen on canine companionship and may act aggressively toward other dogs. To keep your Blue Heeler in peak physical condition, it will need a lot of exercise. Structured trials and competitions are ideal way to do this and will keep this breed mentally stimulated.
Blue Heelers are generally healthy but tend to be susceptible to deafness, hip dysplasia, eczema, kidney stones and progressive retinal atrophy.
They will shed a moderate amount of hair each week.
Am I the pet for you?
- Suited to farm life
- Protective of children
- Generally healthy breed
- May act aggressively toward other dogs
- Not suited to apartment life
- May become destructive if it’s bored
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Good morning, Our beloved 5 year old Blue Heeler Fitzy has been in a lot of pain over the last month in his back right leg/hip area. He has had every scan possible done on his body at our local vet and nothing seems to be wrong. He has previously been on muscle inflammation medication to see if that would help him but that didn't work either. If we touch his right leg/hip area he yelps in tremendous pain. It has now become so bad that he cannot walk or move properly, and he constantly now has his right leg perched up. During the night if he moves he yelps in pain also. It has obviously become quite distressing for my partner and I and we just don't know what else to do. We have received 2 local vets advise and they both are puzzled by his behaviour and leg. They have literally said to us they have no idea what is wrong with him and that we should now go and see a dog orthopaedic specialist. My partners mum recommended me to email yourselves and Dr Chris Brown to seek some more advise before going further with this. I would really appreciate your time and consideration of this matter, we love our gorgeous dog Fitzy and any help or advise is much appreciated.Thank you Kind regards Sophie Waldram
HellWe are looking at buying a long stock coat German Shepherd, after loosing our second one recently.We have found a reputable breeder nearby who has German bloodlines and many past Australian Champions in her kennel and often has long stock coats in her littersJust last week, a first time mum has thrown a long stock coat girl which we will probably buy but it has a bob tail!! We have no intention of showing, so it’s not significant to us, in fact we think it is quite uniqueHave you heard of this happening before in German Shepherds?Kind RegardsGraeme Walker