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Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog): Care & Dog Breed Characteristics

Characteristics of the Blue Heeler

Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)

An Australian breed of medium-sized herding dog, the blue heeler is both robust and sturdy. A dense double coat of the dog is composed of a thick undercoat and a short, weather-resistant topcoat. Blue heelers are known for being hardworking, intelligent, and loyal to their owners. In the past, these dogs were bred for the purpose of working on farms as herders, and they remain active when given a job to perform. They are even better workers as a result of their fierce loyalty. Regardless of whether you own a farm, you can engage them in solving puzzles and retrieving toys they enjoy.

Overview of the breed  

THE GROUP: The herding breeds

HEIGHT: Between 17 and 20 inches

AVERAGE WEIGHT: Between 35 and 50 pounds

THE COAT; Dense double coat

THE COLOR: Speckled blue-gray

LIFE SPAN: Approximately 12-16 years

LIKES TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent, loyal, active



Blue Heeler Characteristics

These highly active dogs do not like to be separated from their owners, which is why they are known as “shadow dogs.” They are brilliant and will happily join you for a run or hike.

Level of Affection: High

Friendship is: High

Child-Friendly: Medium

Friendliness towards pets: Medium

Physical Activity Needs are: High

Having Fun: High

Level of Energy: High

Training Ability: High

IQ is: High

Barking tendency: Medium

Shedding Level: Medium

Blue Heeler History

Australian settlers bred the blue heeler to herd cattle during the late 19th century. Australian ranchers largely attribute the breed’s expertise to its ability to expand the Australian beef industry effectively.

In order to produce a strong and durable canine suitable for Australia’s harsh climate, ranchers bred and crossed a number of canines. The blue heeler, or Australian cattle dog, is descended from dogs brought to Australia from England that were bred with the native Australian dingo.

The American Kennel Club accepted the Australian cattle dog for registration in May 1980. In September of that year, the breed was made eligible for show in the Working Group until 1983, when the breed was transferred to the Herding Group.

Care for Blue Heelers

Chewing on shoes and furniture can be destructive if a blue heeler doesn’t have a way to release its energy. They prefer homes with fenced yards or properties where they can run freely. Also, blue heelers don’t do well being left alone for a long time, especially in small spaces, so always bring them along when walking, hiking, or swimming.

Physical exercise

A blue heeler’s life is incomplete without exercise. Regular physical exercise is essential to the breed because of its hardworking heritage. Your blue heeler will be tired out after a walk and multiple games of fetch. You should also provide your dog with at least 30 minutes of mental stimulation each day, so provide him with puzzles, chews, and tug toys to keep him occupied.

Personal grooming

It is not difficult to maintain a blue heeler. Ensure their wellbeing by bathing them as needed, trimming their nails once a month, brushing their teeth, and cleaning their ears occasionally.

Due to the fact that they shed their winter coats during the spring, their two-layered coats require extra attention during times of the year when they shed a lot. Dead hair should be brushed frequently during this time, sometimes multiple times a day. Undercoat rakes and combs are essential for the best results.


Due to their intelligence and energy, the blue heeler is an easy dog to train and will herd everything and anyone that moves, including children and pets. To understand which behaviors are unacceptable, blue heelers need early socialization and training. There is a possibility that they will nip at running children or play too rough with other animals if early training is ignored.

Health Issues That Are Common

The cruciate ligaments in blue heelers can be torn, so any limping or pain needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. Blue heelers are powerful, athletic dogs. Since they are powerful and athletic, their joints and ligaments may wear out and tear over time.

It is also possible for blue heelers to develop hip dysplasia, and symptoms may not occur until later in life. The dog limps, hops in a bunny-like gait, avoids physical activity, and becomes stiff after a prolonged period of rest, among other signs.

Some blue heelers have an eye condition called progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to impaired vision due to retinal deterioration. Observe how your blue heeler sees at night and if its pupils are often enlarged. This condition is painless but can cause complete blindness in some cases.

It is also possible for blue heelers to suffer from deafness due to a genetic predisposition. Symptoms include unresponsiveness to sound, jumpiness, and unusual barking fits.

Nutrition and Diet

The blue heeler pup has an active lifestyle, so you need to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition and eating enough calories to keep up. In situations where your dog frequently spends time as a companion, the majority of commercial dog food diet will contain adequate amounts of nutrients.

A performance diet suited to the needs of working dogs may be beneficial to blue heelers who are true working dogs or who sprint and run all day. It can be easier on older dogs with fewer teeth to switch to canned food or to soak kibble before feeding it to them as they get older. Since these dogs are so active and we want to promote healthy joints, look for foods with glucosamine and chondroitin added, or consider adding on a good joint supplement.

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