Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog): Dog Breed Profile

Blue Heelers are hardworking, intelligent, loyal, and loyal. These dogs were initially bred as herding dogs. 

They are reliable and hardworking. They still thrive when given a job. 

You can still put them to work, even if they don’t live on a farm. 

They are great at solving puzzles and finding toys. Blue Heelers are more than just a working dog. 

They love their owners and will not tolerate being apart from them. 

This active breed will be your next running partner or hiking companion.

Overview of Breeds

GROUP: Herding Group (AKC)

HEIGHT 17 to 20 inches

WEIGHT 35-50 Pounds

COAT & COLOR: Blue-gray with speckles

LIFE EXPECTANCY 12-16 years

Blue Heeler Characteristics

Affection LevelHigh
FriendlinessHigh
FriendlinessHigh
Kid-FriendlyMedium
Pet-FriendlyMedium
Exercise NeedsHigh
PlayfulnessHigh
Energy LevelHigh
TrainingHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Tendency To BarkMedium
ProtectivenessHigh
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History of the Blue Heeler

The Blue Heeler was bred to herd cattle by Australian settlers during the 19th century. The breed is largely credited for using its expertise to help ranchers efficiently expand the Australian beef industry.

After many breedings and cross-breedings, ranchers developed a solid and strong canine who could handle Australia’s harsh climate. Dogs brought to Australia from England were bred with the native Australian Dingo to create the ancestors of the Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog, you know today.

In May 1980 the Australian Cattle Dog was accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club. The breed became eligible for show in the Working Group in September of that year and was transferred to the Herding Group in 1983.

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Blue Heeler Care

Australian Cattle Dog catching frisbee

Blue Heelers must exercise regularly. Blue Heelers are proud of their complex work heritage and need regular mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy. Blue Heelers love to work, so puzzle toys are a great activity.
Blue Heelers are unhappy to be left alone, especially in small spaces. So bring your friend along when you go for a walk or a hike.
Blue Heelers can become destructive if they don’t have an outlet for their energy. They may chew on furniture or shoes. This breed is attracted to homes with a yard and a safe area to run.
The Blue Heeler can herd any animal or person that moves. Blue Heelers require early socialization and training to learn which behaviors are acceptable. They may become aggressive towards other animals or run away from children if they are not given early training.
Two-layered coats mean lots of shedding, especially in spring when their winter coats are shed. To remove any dead hair, brush your Blue Heeler often, sometimes multiple times per day.
Blue Heelers don’t require a lot of attention. Just bathe them when necessary, clean their ears, and brush their teeth occasionally to promote health.

Australian cattle dog herding horses
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Common Health Problems

Blue Heelers can be athletic and powerful dogs. 

Their joints and ligaments may experience some wear and tear. Repairing the dog’s cruciate ligament is essential for pups who are likely to live a long and active life.

  • Canine hip dysplasia may also be present in Blue Heelers, but it is not expected until the later years of a person’s life. Signs include hobbling, avoidance of physical activity, and stiffness, especially after a long night’s rest.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy is a common eye condition in Blue Heelers. It involves retinal deterioration that leads to impaired vision. Be aware of your Blue Heeler’s vision at night and its enlarged pupils. This condition can cause complete blindness, even though it is not painful.
  • Blue Heelers can become deaf. Deafness can be characterized by a decreased responsiveness to sound, jumping less, or unusual barking patterns.
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Diet and nutrition

Blue Heelers require a lot of nutrients due to their dynamic nature. They also need vitamins to support their intelligence and muscles. This requires a balanced and complete diet.

You should choose the food you give your Heeler, as puppies require different foods than adults.

Dogs’ digestive systems are strong enough to handle foods of more complex textures from a young age. Dry kibble is generally a good choice for dogs who need something to clean their teeth or gums. You may want to change to canned foods or soak your dog’s kibbles before giving them to them. Both of these options are easier for a dog’s digestion system.

Active dogs such as Blue Heelers require a lot of protein. You should include this ingredient in all dog food you purchase for your pet. Protein sources include chicken, salmon, beef, and chicken. Vegetables and whole grains are essential and should be included in your dog food’s second or third ingredient. This will provide that your dog gets the proper nutrition.

Blue Heelers might benefit from supplements. If you cannot find food that contains added vitamins, you may consider adding the supplement to your dog’s daily diet. To promote healthy joints, glucosamine is an excellent choice.

Always have clean, fresh water available.

Pros
  • Hard-working
  • Intelligent and curious
  • Loyal and eager for others
Cons
  • You may feel bored or become destructive if you don’t get enough mental and physical stimulation.
  • They do not like to be left behind but want to be with their owner at all costs
  • If not appropriately socialized, may show aggression or suspicion toward strangers
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Adopting or buying a Blue Heeler

Look for Blue Heelers in desperate need of homes at your local animal shelter or rescue group. There are many national rescue groups for Blue Heelers that offer online resources, such as:

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