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Deemed as one of the most active dogs, the Blue Heeler is physically and mentally active. These dogs love to have a purpose. It makes them one of the most ideal dogs for herding and hunting.
The Blue Heeler is a compact and muscular dog that displays its strong and agile nature. They have vigilant ears that reach to the sky and a curious and keen expression that shows their eagerness to follow commands. In a lifetime with these dogs, you will never see them look fragile.
Blue Heelers have two acceptable coat colors: red and blue. However, there are instances when they display chocolate and cream. A mask in the form of black patches can be present in one or both eyes. Once you see their solid, sturdy stance and their curved, hanging tails, it’s impossible not to identify a Blue Heeler when you see one. But these are not the only traits that make them unique.
The need for cattle dogs in Australia during the 19th century paved the way for the Blue Heeler dog. Ranchers wanted companion dogs that can withstand the harsh climate of Australia and help them herd cattle at the same time. English dogs were bred to Aussie’s native Dingo to perfect the Blue Heeler dog.
This breeding started way back in 1893 when Robert Kaleski took the interest in Blue Heelers. And in 1897, he created a standard that based the Heeler dog on the native Dingo. Finally, in 1903, the first kennel was established to cater to the successful and high-quality breeding of Blue Heelers which generated the outstanding cattle dogs the world knows today.
Some of the most common nicknames of the breed are Queensland Heelers, Queensland Blue Heelers, and the Australian Cattle Dog. From these names, you can see how famous they are in the industry of ranching. Not only do they embody it, but they also reflect it through their name. This is why there is continuous breeding of the Blue Heeler, especially in Australia.
Male Blue Heelers are relatively larger than females. They can grow from 18 inches to 20 inches and can weigh up to 40 pounds. The females, on the other hand, can grow from 17 to 19 inches and can weigh up to 35 pounds. These dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. No wonder why Australians never cease to breed the Blue Heeler. Imagine the length of service these dogs can offer. Aside from that, they are one of the most caring and affectionate companion dogs.
When people think about the blue heeler dog, the characteristics that come to mind include obedience, loyalty, and courage. Many people notice their energy because of their herding history. But this is not the only trait they offer. Blue Heelers are intelligent dogs, making them easier to train. They are as hardworking as they are loyal to their master. They also make effective guard dogs because of their territorial nature. However, they get willful and stubborn at times. But this shouldn’t stop you from giving the right amount of training and socialization. This way, they can suppress their aggressive nature to be more welcoming to people.
This breed does not go well with other dogs that they do not know. They can be rough with other animals, especially small ones because of their high prey drive and nature for herding. If you have cats, rabbits, and chickens at home, socialize your Blue Heeler first before you leave them alone together. This helps prevent your dog from hunting on smaller animals. Once they get familiar with them, you’ll be surprised how well they can bond with other creatures.
Like any other dog, the Blue Heeler requires exercise and training. Without it, they can get bored and resort to aggressive and destructive behavior such as biting, chewing, and digging. Training and exercise keep their minds stimulated and their bodies healthy to keep their minds off of these activities. It keeps them sharp and vigilant. These activities bring out their best potential. If you’re planning to have a Blue Heeler, it’s important to learn how to discipline them to bring out their even-tempered nature.
The Blue Heeler dog is a great companion. Their protective nature makes them want to stick with you anywhere. This is why they are considered shadow dogs. The Blue Heeler does not separate from its owner. Parting with them for a long time is considered torture for these dogs. They may not be clingy because they don’t crave cuddles, but they cannot live without you.
To be a responsible owner of this breed, regular physical activity is important. Whether running, jogging, or hiking, this breed lives up to its purpose as a working dog. When this dog is left alone and gets bored, they become destructive and mischievous. They cannot be confined at home because of their high energy levels. With that said, they don’t do well with apartment living. The Blue Heeler needs a wide-open space to run wildly and freely.
Unless they’re well-trained and socialized, the Blue Heeler dog can’t be left alone with younger children. Their energy could be dangerous and the dog might end up hurting the child. These creatures play better with older children aged eight onwards. But before you leave them alone together, proper socialization is a must. This goes both ways to the dog and your child. Teach your child never to tug or pull the dog’s tail, ears, and hair. If the Blue Heeler gets hurt, it could display aggression.
Owning A Blue Heeler
The Blue Heeler dog is prone to various diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. This is why you need to have regular consultations with your trusted veterinarian. These experts can advise you about their proper diet, grooming, and training needs.
According to professional handlers, grooming the Blue Heeler is easier than most dogs. Their coats need brushing two to three times a week with a natural-bristle brush. Because of their high activity levels, they also need regular bathing to remove matting and mud on their fur.
Every time they play or herd, clean their bodies after. Use a wet cloth and remove dirt on their fur and paws. This helps prevent skin issues and infection. Also, remember to keep their nails trimmed. Protrusions can be painful and it might hinder them from performing their daily duties. Other than that, caring for a Blue Heeler dog is easy. Caring for them usually ranges from $400 to $600 but this amount can be lessened with proper care. There you have it! Do you think you have what it takes to care for this dog? If so, you’ll be lucky to have an active, protective, and attention-loving dog for the family.