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Blue Heeler FAQs – Australian Cattle Dog Questions Answered

Blue Heeler FAQs

Are Blue Heeler dogs good pets?

Australian Cattle dogs are generally good pets if they are given the stimulation for the mind and right workouts which is a must for the dogs to live healthy and happy.

They are trustworthy to their owners and are a pack of good character and affection. Usually, they tend to behave well with kids.

However, the owners need to be wary of the heeler’s inherent wish to herd they generally practice to herd running kids and have chances to nip between the running legs.

They are absolutely perfect pets if you spare your time and energy for bringing them up healthily. You must never miss supervising when these pets are around small children.

Are Blue Heeler dogs aggressive?

Blue heelers are generally suspicious of unknown people.

Bred to actively herd cattle, this breed requires a good leader in its crew or it will take up the post of crew leadership.

If not kept under check this behavior can change into dominating character and also develop to be an aggressive attitude towards other animals and humans.

The heelers have good intelligence which makes it simpler for experienced dog owners to wipe away any bad behaviors.

With People:

Heelers are firmly loyal to their owners and will take their stand in between a new individual on the frame and their owner.

They are suspicious naturally and until given training they may bark or try to herd the interloper far by nipping at their foot.

When given sufficient training they turn into good watchdogs which tend to strongly protect in any dangerous event.

With Other Animals:

The requirement for a perfect leader will at times kindle the blue heeler to bring out its dominance on other dogs at a house that seems a bit passive by nature.

This may develop into a growling, teething or herding the submissive animal to a nook. A Heeler might seem ferocious in nature even while playing normally with other pets with the same tendency of assertive energy he would do while herding cattle.

How smart is a blue heeler?

The Australian cattle dog is a highly active dog that requires continuous mind and physical exercise. If the dog seems bored or lonely he could turn aggressive.

He might chew and tear things around him. If you are someone who is living along with heeler make sure you keep him busy and pull down his energy level.

When the dog is tired its tendency to get into trouble is less.

The Blue heeler is very protective of what he assumes to be his border and he will try to defend for the same. He appears to be reserved which doesn’t mean unfriendly with strangers.

But he is affectionate to his owner and family. After bonding well with the owner this dog tends to move around wherever the owner goes. Moreover, the heeler considers separation from its loved ones as a punishment.

Heelers are smart but on certain occasions, they tend to be willful and stubborn. Consistency and training on a positive attitude help us to keep his independent streak in control.

Do Blue Heelers shed a lot?

Blue Heelers shed a large amount of fur but the coat is usually easier to maintain and take care of. In order to remove the old hair, the blue heeler needs to be groomed regularly and this helps in new hair growth.

This also helps in bringing down the quantity of hair being shed over the carpets but however, it wouldn’t stop shedding altogether.

For bathing and other maintenance activities, blue heeler dogs require quite less time. You can bathe them as per your time schedule.

Are you supposed to shave Blue Heelers?

Usually shaving a blue heeler is not a good idea. Shaving any double-coated dog isn’t a good plan. Dogs don’t possess any sweat glands like humans.

They keep themselves cold by panting with their paws. The double coat on them acts as insulation which protects them from coolness in winter and the warmth of the sun during summers.

The coat helps them keep away sunburns. Shaving a double-coated breed can also damage their hair growth and damage their coat overall.

Are Blue Heelers affectionate?

Early socialization is advisable for blue heeler dogs. These dogs tend to herd children and other animals usually by nipping their paws. This act is an instinct but at times ends up in an issue.

If not socialized in a perfect manner he may turn aggressive. A perfectly trained and socialized blue heeler is a good family pet.

Such pets are agile and tireless love to play around with kids and run about the place. The blue heelers are known to be affectionate, fun-loving partners.

Are Blue Heelers Really Blue?

Blue Heeler’s coat comes in various shades. The blue heeler has striking spots, unlike other puppies.

The body of this dog is in dark blue shade which is speckled evenly in a light blue hue and has similar tan spots in the legs, chest, and head have black shades.

Blue heelers generally have black spots near their eyes and ears and they have brown eyeballs and pose with a bunch of white fur in the center of their forehead.

Do Blue Heelers ears stand up?

The Blue heeler’s ears can begin to stay erect quite early around 5 weeks but can also take a little more time which could be around 20 to 24 weeks.

Practically there is the absence of bones and muscles in the area of canine anatomy. It is simply cartilage.  The same cartilage which we humans possess in our nose and ears.

As time passes by the cartilage in the blue heeler dogs turn very rigid and little pliable which makes ears to remain vertical.as the lift starts it mostly around 7-10 days prior to the ears turning totally erect.

And at times during that conversion period, it’s not a practice to find the ears rise and fall few times prior o standing erect in end for good.

Are Blue Heelers hard to potty train?

Blue heelers need a similar potty training like any other pet. Take them out for a walk every 20 minutes and every 10 minutes while playing and as soon as they wake up from sleep.

Every 3rd and 5th time they pee make a note that they might want to poop. And you can slowly prolong this time based on their practice. Be sure not to punish them for peeing or pooping within the home.

It will create a fuss and make the situation much worse as they would misunderstand that you are scolding them for peeing and pooping and they will not pass urine or stool at all.

Appreciate them when they poop and pee outside when taken for a walk, this will encourage them.

How loyal are Blue Heelers?

Blue heelers are known to be clever, independent, loyal and protective breed. They are believed to safeguard the house and usually turn into self-appointed security on their own.

As it is well known this species requires a lot of activity otherwise they get into boredom followed with destructive mannerism.

As the blue heelers are known to be protective in behavior it is good to let them play around elder children and be mindful around unknown people.

How long does blue heeler live?

As per various veterinary information and breed sources, the average lifespan for blue heeler is 13-15 years.

Can Blue Heelers be left alone?

Blue heelers don’t prefer to be let alone for a lengthy-time period specifically in tiny spaces so it is better to drive your pet along when you are going for shopping, hiking or swimming.

If a blue heeler has no outlet for shedding its energy it might turn bored and become destructive by biting on shoes or furniture. This breed prefers living in residential spaces within a fenced ground or safe area to run about.

What health problems do Blue Heelers have?

Not all blue heelers might get sick with all of these diseases but it is advisable to be aware of these medical disorders if you are owning one.

For Blue Heelers it is better to get a health clearance certificate from Orthopedic Foundation for Animals hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease, from Auburn University for thrombophilia and good to get its eye certified as normal from canine eye registry foundation.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy(PRA):

This is a group of eye disorders that includes the slow deterioration of the retina. At the beginning of the disorder infected dogs turn night blind they lose seeing ability during the daytime as the disease gets severe.

Most of the dogs that are affected take up their restricted or damaged vision until their surroundings don’t differ.

Hip dysplasia:

This is a disorder that comes with inheritance wherein the thigh bone doesn’t get intact snugly into the hip joint.

Few dogs suffer pain and turn lame on one or both the rear paws but there are also few other dogs that do not show much indication of outward pain or discomfort.

X-ray screening is the best process to diagnose the condition. On both the ways arthritis can proceed as the dog gets older.

Dogs with hip dysplasia are advised not to be bred so if you are purchasing a pup make sure to ask the breeder a certificate that the parents of the pup are not affected with hip dysplasia and any other health disorders.


This is again an inherited disorder in Blue heeler pups but it can be diagnosed when the pups are quite young.

Brainstem auditory evoked process testing is required for finding out hearing disorders but it’s just a device, not a remedy.

How much do Blue Heelers sell for?

The price of a blue heeler differs a lot and this is based on many criteria such as breeder’s place, reputation, litter quantity, the lineage of the puppy, breed popularity (supply and demand), training, socialization practice, breed group and many more.

The present median cost for all Blue heelers being sold is $425.00. This is the cost you may get a blue heeler along with papers without breeding rights nor show dog quality.

The price is generally fixed much lesser for a puppy without papers however it is not advisable to purchase a pup without papers.

Are you planning to purchase a pup with all the papers and breeding rights? Do you know of the cost of such dogs?

A blue heeler pup with breeding rights or advertised as a show quality breed requires payment of a premium over the actual cost of the dog.

A Blue heeler generally costs around the range of $1800 to $5500 or even higher with high breed lines and a superior pedigree. The average price for all blue heelers is $500.

How much exercise do Blue Heelers need?

Exercise is an important factor in Blue Heeler’s life. Due to their hardworking attribute, the breed is fond of physical and mental refreshment to live comfortably.

They love to be occupied so puzzle toys and sports involving fetching are good activities for blue heelers.

The minimum time a blue heeler needs to spend on exercising is 1 to 2 hours every day.

The three major types of exercises for a blue heeler dog are:

  • Everyday walk
  • Activities with a purpose
  • Mental refreshment activities and enrichment.

For blue heelers which are a bit old around 7 to 8 years of age the exercise required might be lesser.

However, it is highly important to give adequate exercise to keep up a healthy weight and to maintain their muscles and tendons supple and healthy.

What do Blue Heelers eat?

For beginners, the perfect dog food for blue heelers is the one that is complete and balanced.

The Association of American feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is the US regulatory association that controls the supervision process for commercial dog foods.

It is always better to check any dog food you buy for AAFCO endorsement on its package.

Dry kibble is the best choice for growing heelers as they require something strong to get their teeth and gums cleaned.

At a tender age, a dog’s digestive system is healthy enough to digest food with hard textures. As the dog gets older it is better to take over canned food and soak their kibbles prior to feeding.

Mainly blue heelers require a good amount of protein. This must be the foremost nutrient in any dog food you buy for a heeler pup.

Salmon, beef, and chicken are good resources of protein whole grains and vegetables are also necessary and these need to be in your supplements ingredients in the second or third place.

Supplements are always a good pick for blue heelers if you aren’t able to choose a good supplement it is better to purchase a pill or liquid form of a dog’s diet. Glucosamine is a perfect choice for healthy joints in heelers.

Clean, fresh water needs to be readily available for all dogs.

Blue Heeler Food Intake

The amount of food recommended for a blue heeler is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of premium quality dry food for one day which is good to be portioned into two meals.

The food required for an adult dog depends on its size age health metabolism and activity performance.

Dogs such as blue heelers are also like humans; all the dogs in the breed don’t require a similar amount of food. It is obviously a fact that a dog which highly active requires more nutrients than a couch potato pet.

Due to its great activeness, the blue heelers requires a high amount of nutrients to rejuvenate their worked up muscles as well as vitamins to feed the intelligent mind. So this totals up a complete and balanced diet.

The kind of food a blue heeler requires ranges based on the life stage of the dog as the food required for puppies vary from adult dogs.

Is an Australian cattle dog a good family dog?

The Australian cattle dog is quite intelligent, active and sturdy dog species. Being developed by settlers of Australia to maintain herds of cattle on widespread ranches he is being utilized as a herding dog to date.

He looks forward to doing various jobs and participating in various family activities. A loyal and protective family member heelers wary of outsiders but bond well with the family.

Apart from herding activity the Australian cattle dogs perform its best in sports and games which include agility, obedience, rally, fly ball and flying disc sports.

How do you raise a Blue Heeler puppy?

The hardworking breed Australian cattle dog is suitable for a surrounding where he gets sufficient physical and mental enrichment. He doesn’t feel comfortable in an apartment or being let alone for longer time periods.

The Australian Cattle Dog turns destructive when trapped in boredom and he seems to chew a lot. He requires a home that secured safely with a fenced yard or a country space or ranch.

If you are taming an Australian Cattle dog be sure to set up a perfect outlet for his natural energy and bright intelligence.

Because this breed is meant for herd and chase which is exactly what it can do; herd and chase anything around even vehicles.

If you aren’t a sheep or cattle farming person try to use these dogs for canine sports. This heeler loves being involved in tasks and challenges related to sports.

The Australian cattle dog requires early socialization and training. Like other dos, he tends to be timid if he is not perfectly socialized during a young age.

Early socialization makes the Australian cattle to raise up as a well-groomed dog. His propensity to nip, bite, chew and mouth must be taken care of carefully.

He needs to be given training on how to put mouth over individuals and to chew only what he is supposed to like sturdy toys.

At what age do Blue Heelers stop growing?

On an average majority of female Blue heelers has a weight of approximately 32 to 40 pounds and these dogs mature around 18inches at the withers above the shoulders.

Male heelers at the adulthood stage gain weight of about 37 to 45 pounds and raise about 19 inches tall.

Normally heelers get their full height quicker than they gain their weight. As a thumb rule heelers reach the maximum height of their lifetime in about 9 to 11 months.

In contrast, some heelers at times heelers might also not reach their maximum height till the age of 18 to 24 months.

How much should I feed my blue heeler?

Each dog has its own basic nutritional needs. Protein is a very important nutrient for any dog as it is the major ingredient for the building blocks for strong muscles.

Dogs require the mist of his protein to be derived from animal sources as its body easily digests animal products and animal protein is rich in proteins which consist of all 10 important amino acids.

Fat gives a concentrated energy source for dogs and this needs to be from animal products.

Your heeler isn’t in requirement of any special needs with regard to carbohydrates in its diet. However, carbohydrates provide energy, fiber, and nutrients for heelers.

The highly digestible foods that contain carbohydrates are whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. Never forget, digestibility is the major point and check out for a crude fiber ingredient around 3% to 5%.

It is advised to look out for supplements such as prebiotic, fibers, probiotics and glucosamine and chondroitin.

Australian Cattle Dog Food Requirements           

  • Blue Heeler Puppy food amount: As a pup, the blue heeler requires a minimum of 22% of protein and 8 % fat as a part of his puppy diet to fulfill his growth and development. These containers must be of good quality animal sources to make sure of digestibility.
  • Adult blue heeler’s food amount: When your blue heeler is completely grown he requires a minimum of 18% protein and 5% of fat. Add on protein can support lean muscle development and additional fat helps in extra energy for active and playful dogs.
  • Senior Blue heeler’s diet; as the blue grows up he may reduce its pace and so his metabolism may reduce. If the dog begins to gain more weight reduce its food intake and start feeding it less and start practicing senior dog diet.

Apart from protein, fat and carbohydrates do provide blue heeler enough fresh fruits and vegetables. This food gives the heelers the required vitamins and minerals and is highly nutritious biologically instead of synthetic supplements.

Chelated minerals are not the same they are bound with protein particles which raise its absorbing strength.

How many puppies do Blue Heelers have?

The normal size of a blue heeler litter is five puppies. Till it is around six weeks the mother provides all support to the dog.

The pup is separated from its mother only after 6 weeks. So when you want to buy a heeler pup, please buy them after 6 weeks as they need their mother’s care till then.

How tall do Blue Heelers get?

A bit longer than being called tall with curvature, lowered tails and muscular legs, the heeler’s height goes up to 17 to 20 inches.

How much do male Blue Heelers weigh?

Male heelers when they reach adulthood gains weight to a maximum of 37 to 45 pounds and they raise to the height of 19 inches tall.

How much does a blue heeler weigh?

The average weight of the blue heeler dogs is 15 – 25kg.

Are Blue Heelers born with tails?

The original blue heeler comes in the blue, white and brown shade some may tell black in place of blue. This breed is born with tail and some tails are cropped once it is born.

There is also a breed of similar nature which is a dog born without any tail and it doesn’t have any brown shades it comes only in blue and white color.

Why do Blue Heelers have docked tails?

The blue heeler is a breed that was grown mainly for the purpose of herding a big crowd of animals. In certain cases, ranchers perform docking of the tail in these dogs to keep them away from injuries or to keep the dog hygienic.

Tail docking in these dogs has some amazing history. It is known to reduce the chance of being affected by rabies and it strengthens a dog’s back parts.

The well-known reason to dock in recent times is to reduce the injury risk of working pets, such as heelers which herd or other dogs that hunt or work in fields.

In many countries, tail docking for dogs is not encouraged.

Do blue heeler puppies change color?

Coat color for a blue heeler is blue speckled, blue mottled or blue along with white, black or tan spots. Puppies of this breed are born in white color and they get these color combinations as they grow up.

A blue is known to be born completely white except for its black patches. Prior to 6 weeks from its birth, it tends to get its adult shades of tan/black and blue or red patches.

It is difficult to guess the exact time or age when the color-changing begins in these breeds just like we are unaware when their ears would raise up and stand straight.  These vary from dog to dog in the same breed.

What colors are blue heelers?

This species of dogs come in two shades that are red and blue. The redder blue heeler is called as the red heeler. But the markings and patterns over the fur differ based on the individual animal.

They tend to have an appearance of the two mixed colors. Blue or blue mottled along with black, blue and tan patches on the head, slightly tan over its forelegs, chest and neck and tan shade over its jawline and hindfoot.

At times the undercoat is the tan color with blue outer appearance. Red speckle means red spread all over which includes the undercoat and at times the dark red patches over the head.

It is quite common to see these heeler dogs having a cover of dark fur around its eyes.

Can Blue Heelers have red heeler puppies?

The title red heeler or blue heeler has been derived from the color of the dog and does not refer to any different breed.

Queensland heelers which are brown in color are known as red heelers and Queensland heelers which are in grey or black shade are known as blue heelers.

Two red heelers can give birth to blue or red heelers and two blue heelers and give birth to blue or red heelers. A blue and a red heeler will definitely not deliver a purple dog.

Are Blue Heelers good with kids?

Blue heelers are very loyal dogs and they have a character filled with love and personality. Usually, they behave well with children.

But you must wary of their inherent wish to herd they tend to herd children who run and can tend to nip at passing feet.

So they have all the attributes of a good pet and all you need to support them with is your time and energy to support their healthy lifestyle. It is advised to supervise them when they are around smaller kids.

Are Blue Heelers good hunting dogs?

Blue heelers are known to be working dogs related to ranch activities and the herding of animals such as cattle, horses, and sheep. They aren’t dogs who have much interest in hunting.

Are Blue Heelers aggressive dogs?

Blue heelers have the worst name compared to other breeds for biting humans. In specific a blue heeler is famous for letting anybody inside the house but beware he or she cannot come out.

It will attack them on the stranger’s heel proving its name “heeler”.

No dog is born aggressive. If a dog turns against you, remember it is because it was sometime in its life treated really badly and it has those bad memories stored within.

It might have been kicked or often hit. These memories trigger aggression in the dog. At times accidentally treading the tail might set them off.

A few other instances which turn heelers aggressive:

  • Noise is something that irritates this breed. Their hearing is highly keen than a man. An ambulance or fire engine siren triggers anxiety in heelers.
  • Never believe any dog to behave on your wish especially when you aren’t aware of the dog’s background.

However, when tamed rightly by the owners these amazing pets will shower you with endless years of love and protection. They are fond of toys and love going for walks and playing in parks.

Are Blue Heelers part dingo?

The compact yet muscular Australian cattle dog is known as blue heelers or Queensland heeler is associated with Australia’s wild dog the dingo.

Australian cattle dog is the result of cross-breeding the blue merle and the Australian dingo by British people who settled in Australia at the end of the 1800s.

Do Blue Heelers bark a lot?

Blue heelers generally don’t bark a lot however they are quite protective of the house they stay in.

Blue heelers are cautious and wary which makes them an excellent dog for guarding. They are quite friendly and loving partners.

How much are blue heeler puppies?

A normal pet type Blue heeler pup price ranges from around $500 to 525. A blue heeler which is of show quality costs around $1800 to $5000 or above.

How to train a blue heeler?

Training a blue heeler is more or less the same as the training session of other dogs. You have to concentrate on channeling his loads of energy and willfulness and you might stand confused about who is training whom. Don’t forget you need to understand your pet to train him successfully.

Tips For Training A Blue Heeler

  • Get to know the necessities of the blue heeler like when he wants to use the restroom. Take up the responsibility of a dog trainer with full confidence and keep up a good attitude. Never miss their temperament, keep that in check.
  • Physical activities are very important for blue heelers as they are filled with energy and endurance. Train him by calling his name so that he will respond when you call him or when something is being conveyed to him. Clapping or whistling at the dog is also a training to make him respond to our commands.
  • Train your blue heeler with down command. Keep a treat in your hand and teach him to sit. Place it in front of him and tell “down”. Train him to bend downwards below over the floor once you command “down”.
  • When you train a blue heeler to make sure you brush up on his natural attribute of herding dog. The title “heeler” is derived from the habit of nipping cattle at times it nips even human’s heels when herding. At times they tend to nip other pets, people especially children. Training the blue heeler not to nip is a complicated task.
  • Give prizes and rewards for heelers to encourage them while training sessions. Such pats help him to understand that he is doing something right and he would continue the same. Also, teach him the word ‘no” so that he would stop doing something undesirable when you say “no”.
  • Never hit your heeler he will turn against and this spoils your bonding with your pet.

Training a blue heeler puppy is a simple activity than training a grown-up heeler. Try to make training sessions encouraging, interesting and simple.

What are the characteristics/traits of a blue heeler?

A Blue heeler has good herding and guarding traits. The blue heeler creates a good bond with its family and is quite protective and lovable in nature.

Suspicious of unknown people he is a brave guard dog.

He is a dog with a strong will and is full of energy. The blue heeler needs to be well trained and he chases vehicles such as cars, bicycles and even kids.

He tries to please but it tests his limits. His strong trait to dominate calls for a firm alpha owner.

What are blue heeler mix dogs?

  • Blue heeler Lab Mix: The blue heeler lab mix is a cross of blue heeler and the Labrador retriever. This is also called Labraheeler this mixed combination is the result of two loyal, clever and highly active dogs.
  • Texas Heeler: The Australian shepherd blue heeler mix is the famous crossbreed of a blue heeler. Both parents come from a similar history of working dogs.
  • Blue heeler German Shepherd Mix: Crossbreeding one of the world’s famous pet dogs the German shepherd or GSD along with heeler results in the highly unique blue heeler cross variety in both look and temperament.
  • The Border Collie Heeler mix: The border coolie heeler mix is known to be the best and very famous blue heeler cross. It has a predictable temperament in its adult phase. Blue heeler crossing with Border collie is considered a natural cross and also a smart breed.
  • The Boxer Blue Heeler Mix: The box heeler is specifically attractive among various other blue heeler crosses found usually. The boxer and blue heeler mix have certain breed attribute that is quite similar in nature.

How to take care of a blue heeler puppy?

The Blue heeler dog was bred to perform outdoor activities and has a silky double-layered coat that keeps it safe from external threats.

This coat doesn’t have any smell or oil residue so the blue heeler generally requires fast brushing weekly once and a bath occasionally.

Remember though the blue heelers shed their undercoat two times in a year, at the time of shedding it would require a proper brushing session quite often to remove the dead hair.

Remove the unwanted hair from the dog’s coat using a short bristle and if required use a comb. Just like other breeds the blue heeler‘s nails also need to be trimmed regularly.

What color are blue heeler puppies when they are born?

Blue heeler puppies are born white and their color changes as they grow older.

Are blue heeler dogs hypoallergenic?

Blue heeler breed is” Not” hypoallergenic.

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