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Blue Heeler

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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?

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.