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Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler breed Information

Blue Heeler: The Ultimate Breed Guide 2020

The Blue Heeler is famous by the name, Australian cattle dog, and more commonly called the cattle dog. 

This breed is extremely energetic, sturdy, active, and quite intelligent. Blue Heelers puppies are white as they grow to turn into iconic blue color with a red tint fur.

These Australian stumpy tail cattle dogs are specially developed and bred to handle the cattle's work in Australia's ranches. Besides handling the work of herding, these dogs are friendly, obedient, and do well in sports like flying disc and canine sports.

Heelers are well known for their energetic, active spirit, and marvelous physical attributes. However, there's no surprise that they are often known by the name of a little silly.

So, if you wish to have that Australian Cattle Dog, then here's a quick thing that you need to pay attention to. So, let’s have a look. 



What Are the Characteristics of Blue Heeler?


Undoubtedly, the Blue Heeler pups are friendly to family and small children. They actively engage in sports and are extremely loyal to humans. Besides herding work, they are more prone to be friends.

One needs to understand the breed characteristics and some facts of the Australian cattle dog.



Breed Characteristics

Blue Heeler dogs possess some characteristic features. 

Some have a short double-layered coat and triangular-shaped ears. These blue heeler puppies have a variety of fur colors, and some may have mixed fur content too.

The puppies are born with a whitish fur coat that later turns into a grey-tinted and blue coat. They have black patches and spots on their eyes. However, some brown and white pattern spots may mark around their legs and chest areas. 

Blue Heeler Puppies | LoveToKnow

Along with this, they have sturdy muscles and a physically strong structure that helps to do a lot of work.




The Australian cattle temperament is quite calm; they herd carefully and especially breed for focus, agility, and speed. This breed particularly focuses on protecting their loved ones like owners, hunting, and is hyper-focused on chasing their goals.

However, it is essential to keep them entertained as they are very curious and easily distracted if they have no proper exercise and training. 



Adaptability (4 out of 5 ratings) 

  • Adapt to urban Environment: As a friendly and physically active dog, this breed greatly adapts to the environment in which they live. But they are slightly sensitive and better adapted in both cold and hot climate conditions.


  • Better for Novice Owners: These pups can better adapt to the urban environment as well. They are better adapted and great for novice owners. Besides that, they love to play with snow and adapt quickly to the snowy areas without any trouble and specific needs. 

Facts on the Blue Heeler Dog

  • The best thing is they can adapt quickly in any environment and adapt to conditions they get there.


  • Sensitivity: These dogs have a low sensitivity level and quickly adjust to the environment they lived upon. So, for sensitivity, these have four ratings.
  • Toleration level when Alone: Blue heelers can be destructive when left alone by the owners. They are quite sensitive when left alone, and for this, 2 out of 5 ratings, we give to it.


  • Tolerate Hot/Cold Weather: The Australian cattle dog has thick fur and dense covering over the skin, helping to keep warm during winters. However, this goes opposite in the hot climate. They do not adjust to the hot environment easily.

Blue Heeler-All-Around Friendliness (4 out of 5 ratings)

  • Family-friendly: Although these breeds are revengeful when their owner and family ones are in danger, they are still very friendly. They can quickly mix up with the family, especially with kids.


  • Dog-friendly: Friendly nature is not the same for all. Some dogs may not have a friendly connection with other dogs, but not these blue heelers. These are quite friendly with other dogs too, but not with strangers.

Is a Blue Heeler a good family dog - Bark How

  • Kids Friendly: As they are kid-friendly, it could be safe to keep them in a home with small kids. Blue heeler puppies are easy going with children in the homes.


  • Friendly to Strangers: They are quite vindictive when they come in contact with strangers. And may attack them if they don't find any friendly behavior in them.


Blue Heeler-Health Needs and Grooming (4 out of 5 ratings)

  • Amount of Shedding: If you have made up your mind to have Blue heeler pups at home, you might have shed hair all around on your clothes and carpets. However, this is seasonal, so it doesn't create much trouble. 


  • Easy to Groom: Besides that, they are accessible to the groom, and you need occasional brushing. They may shed their hair twice a year, but that's good enough. Combing a couple of days helps to remove the dead skin and hairs too.

Best Tools for Deshedding Labs/Heelers - YouTube

  • Health issues: Some of the Blue heelers’ puppies are prone to genetic disease and health-related issues. An adult dog may suffer from hip dysplasia. However, that doesn't indicate that these are diseased dogs. Instead, it tells them they are more prone to these kinds of diseases.

But if you're adopting them, then be sure to examine their illness and genetic disease quickly. A person must also see some visual signs like vision issues and some deafness. Periodically examining and grooming them may keep them healthy and active.


  • Drooling Potential: You might experience drooling when you have these puppies. But it is not that much as they have less drooling.


  • Weight Gain Potential: They gain weight quickly if you overfeed and much all the time.

Australian Cattle Dog-Trainability (4 out of 5 ratings)

Being active and energetic, these Australian cattle dogs are ready to learn and grasp things quickly. 

  • Easy to Learn: These are easy to train and need some decent training to keep them active and learning. Their sharp presence of mind allows them to grasp things quickly.

Australian Cattle Dog Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

  • Apart from this, the Blue Heelers are little possessive for their owners and highly protective too. So, they need to practice daily activities and improve their brain functioning and develop their body. 


  • Intelligent: Some early socialization classes would help you to train them better as these breeds quickly learn and are very intelligent. 


  • Prey Drive: They tend to protect their families and loved ones when they are in danger. Moreover, they quickly catch their prey and kill them.


  • Potential to Mouthiness: Although they are friendly and less prone to mouthiness. But if left alone, they are more vulnerable and chew up things quickly.


  1. The tendency to bark: They are quite alert and bark quickly if they find something wrong around them—this shows their alertness and activeness.



Australian Cattle Dog-Physical Needs (3 out of 5)


  • Energy: The Australian stumpy tail cattle dog is highly active and full of energy. They are always ready to call for action and act vigorously. 


  • Exercise needs: They need more time to play, jump, and have quick walks in the yards and roadsides. This will help them in keeping them healthy too.  And this is their physical need too. 


  • Potential to Playfulness: You can actively engage them in agility and running to keep them active and energetic. Besides that, they have a high potential for playfulness and actively participate in sports activities.


Vital Stats About the Australian Cattle Dog



Blue Heeler breed group

Herding Dogs

Height of the dog

54.86 cm male and 38.1 cm for females 

Healthy Weight

20-22 kg 

Coat length 


Energy Level 


Grooming Requirement 

Once in a week 



Life Span

12 to 15 years













Blue Heeler Breed History 

In the 19th century, the Australian cattle dog was bred to herd the cattle on the large ranches. These were specially raised to deal with the cattle work on expansive ranches and expand the beef industry.  

In present times, the Blue heeler dogs result in crossbreeding. The ranchers are sturdy dogs that help to handle the harsh climatic condition of Australia. These were initially brought from England and bred with the native Dingo.  

Countless breeding with a different breed of ranches resulted in the present Blue heelers that were known as an Australian cattle dog. These blue heelers proved to be the most popular breed in Australia and became slightly popular as Queensland Heeler.

In 1893, the breeding Blue Heelers were taken by Robert Kaleski.  He quickly drew his attention on the standard cattle dog. He believed that this breed naturally adapted to the Australian outback.

At first, this breed was accepted in 1903 and named as Australian Heeler Later, it was announced with the name of an Australian cattle dog. And after a period, it was accepted by the American Kennel Club. And in January 1983, this breed shifted to the group of herding. 


A Brief Account on Blue Heeler

Size & Weight 

The medium size males have 45-51 cm tall, whereas females’ size varies from 43-48 cm height. And the average weight ranges 22 Kgs and 14-22 Kgs for females.  


The behavior of the Australian Cattle Dog: Personality & Temperament 

  • Blue Heeler dogs are incredibly energetic and active. Due to this, they need obedient training to improve their mental health and also improve physical activities. But be aware, if a dog feels lonely, the dog may become dangerous and destructive too.
  • Australian cattle dogs can tear up and chew things when being destructive. If you still choose to own a blue heeler pup, then keep them busy in the task and keep them tired. If they get tired, they won't be destructive.  

Besides that, these dogs are quite loving and protective of their loved ones. They will defend their loved ones if they feel they are in danger. But they can't be so friendly to strangers.

However, they are devoted to their families and owners. In case if you wish to give them punishment, simply separate them from their families.

Despite this, they are smarter enough, and if they get positive training, they are more wilful. The Australian cattle dog temperament is easily affected by certain factors like socialization, training, and heredity factor.  


Blue Heeler Puppies Temperament 

Puppies are a playful and easy approach to people to love them. They have excellent temperaments. Unlike all other dogs, these blue heelers need early exposure to socialization and exposure to people, sounds, and different sights. They learn early and quickly when they are young.

It is important to have socialization to ensure that these Blue heeler puppies grow properly. Neighbors' exposure may also help them to learn social skills more and be friendly towards them too.

Some Common Health issues- Blue Heelers 


Unlike other breeds, the Blue Heelers are healthy but on the same side prone to genetic diseases too. But not all the Australian cattle dogs get these diseases quickly. Still, it would be great if you are aware of early treatment.

If you are getting the Australian stumpy tail cattle dog for sale, you must go for early examination to the breeder who might know about the health facts of this breed. The health clearance suggests that the puppy is healthy.


Facts on the Blue Heeler Dog


In Australia, you need to have a health clearance certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation for animals to be checking the signs and symptoms of the following diseases.

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This would be a common genetic thigh bone disease in which the thigh bone doesn't fit properly with the hip joint. Some blue heelers may suffer from lameness and pain on the rear legs, while some others don't have any kind of discomfort. So, X-ray screening would be preferable to diagnose the problem and quickly get rid of them.
  2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This disease is related to eyes that involve that deterioration of eyes retina. The dogs affected by this may suffer night blindness and may lose sight entirely as long as this disease persists in them.
  3. Deafness: This is again an inherited condition of the Australian cattle dog. If you are going to buy the blue heeler puppies for sale, be sure to cross-examine them. Deafness may be linked to color genes. So, the puppies born with the white fur with roaning patterns may be at greater risk of deafness.

Thus, it would be great to perform BAER testing to determine their condition and cure them if curable. 


How to Care for the Blue Heeler Puppies/ Dogs?

These Australian cattle dogs are easily adapted to the environment where they get quick physical training and mental stimulation. They cannot adapt quickly to the urban-dwelling apartments, and if they feel left, they may die.

Blue heelers need more care, and if they get bored, they become destructive and chew up the items. That's why they need ranches and homes that are secured with fences.

So, if you wish to have an Australian cattle dog, then be ready to provide them a proper outlet and comprehensive training to keep them energetic. They are also bred to chase the task quickly.

Besides that, these dogs love challenges and sports activities. They are more playful as that of other dogs. 

They need intense training and socialization practices to achieve friendly nature. More than that, they have a great tendency to nip, chew, and bite, and that must be handled with care. So, be sure to teach them not to put their mouth on things. If possible, then give them sturdy toys to chew.


What to Feed Them?

To keep your Blue Heeler in proper shape, and manage a healthy weight, feed them twice a day instead of feeding them all time. It is highly recommended to feed them with 2.5 cups of high-quality dry feed that is also divided into two meals for the whole day.  

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers in [2020] - DogStruggles

However, the adult dog feed may vary according to their size, metabolism, age activity level, and muscle strength. They are quite easy to feed and don't need to munch all the time. If you want to give measure if the dog is overweight or not, look at him first to see if you can see the waist or not.

After that, place your hand on the back along with the spine and spread downward. If you did feel the ribs, then possibly the dog is overweight.

So, you need to feed them right and make sure to participate in the exercise actively.

Feeding Chart 

6-12 weeks Blue Heeler Pup: three to four small bowls of dog feed in a day 

3-6 months old Blue heeler pup: three meals per day 

One-year-old: two full meals per day

Adult: two bowls per day

What’s the Best Dog Food for Australian Cattle Dog? 

The Australian Cattle Dog must supplement with quality feed only to maintain their good health. Despite this, feeding them with a well balanced, nutrition-rich diet helps to enhance their health.

Many people won't have any idea about the dog's nutrition needs, and they supply food and feed them with low-quality food that may disturb their growth. To feed them right, you can consult the dog nutrition expert to feed them properly.

But here are some of the best Australian Cattle Dog Feed that you can feed them for good health:


The Coat Color of Australian Cattle Dog and Grooming Needs 

The Australian cattle dog has a dense fur coat. That's why they don't shed the fur quickly or all year round. Instead of this, these dogs shed their coat fur twice in a year, and that will be in a clump too.

The color of the coat is blue and red speckle. This blue fur coat also includes some marking of tan, black and blue patches over the head. However, you will find these patches over the forelegs, throat, and chest region too. 

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix: 5 Fun Facts You Need To Know

There’s a tan line present on the hind legs and jaw sides. The undercoat also includes dark color red marking over the head region. 

Grooming the Australian cattle dog is quite easy, and doesn’t require heavy primping. But this would be necessary to keep them healthy and clean too. For grooming them, you need to brush them occasionally with a comb. 

  • This will help them to distribute oil and remove dead skin, hair, and dirt from their body.
  • Make them bath occasionally to remove dirt and bad smell from the body. 
  • Teeth brushing at least two times a week will help to eliminate the tartar and lurk that may invite bacteria inside the mouth. Moreover, it helps to prevent bad breath and gum diseases.
  • Must trim the nails of the dog once in a month. If you hear the tapping nails on the floor, make sure to cut them. You must know that the dog toenails have some kind of blood vessels that cut too during trimming, and many cause bleedings to them.
  • Make sure to clean up the ear wax from ears weekly as they create lousy odor and may also make them prone to catch the infectious disease. Be sure to wipe them out with moist cotton. This also helps to maintain a healthy pH balance in the ears.

Handle the paws of the dogs carefully and touch them softly. Make sure to clean them too. Grooming pets rewards them with great health.

Also, visit the veterinary regularly to keep them healthy and disease-free too. Make sure to clean up the pet's eyes, discharge, and redness if you feel that the dog persists with these issues.


How Are Blue Heelers with Children and Other Pets?

There’s no doubt that these blue heeler dogs are friendly to humans and especially with kids. So, it's safer to buy them and keep them in homes. They are very playful and defensive too. 

If they feel that their families and loved ones are in trouble, they protect them. Although they are mouthy, they even bite too. This thing may be creating trouble if you have kids. They may bite and nip when young ones play with them.

Simons' Australian Cattle Dogs - Dog Breeder in Swan Creek

However, the adult Australian cattle dog, if they have less exposure with the children, may become rough and tuff. But that doesn't mean it creates much trouble. All you can do to avoid this is physical training and careful socialization. This will help them to learn and become more friendly with humans and avoid biting conditions.

Blue Heeler Playing with Child - YouTube

You also need to teach your children how to behave and approach the dogs. This will help them in improving the interaction with children and young ones. Moreover, this will help to prevent the biting condition.

Make sure to teach your child not to pull the dog's tail as they become aggressive and prone to bite you. Moreover, teach your children not to disturb your dog while sleeping and eating as they may get destructive.

The blue heelers, living with other pets in the household, need to be raised with puppyhood to learn to live with them. This is because they may get jealous and may feel avoided in the presence of dogs.

They think other animals like cats and small animals are prey to them. If they are raised with them, they probably learn to live with them. 


Blue Heeler Lab Mix

Many people are more prone to adopt the Blue heeler lab mix. These blue heeler lab mixes are a hybrid between the Labrador retriever and a Blue Heeler. This breed is also known by the common name as Labraheeler. 

Lucky Havard's Web Page

It would be the greater combination of two intelligent, loyal, and extremely physically active breeds.

General Characters

  • They have 17 to 25 inches in height and weight around 36 Kg.
  • The offspring has temperament and appearance similar to the parental breed. 
  • These are friendly and have sweet nature but have some temperament of the Blue Heeler as well.
  • Being friendly and active, this breed is widely accepted as a pet by many individuals. 

Dog Rescue Groups in Australia 

If you heard about the Australian cattle dog that needs rescue or in danger, then you must reach out to the following rescue groups in Australia.

The Australian Animal protection society adopted, rescued, many orphaned dogs, and saved their life. They are serving not only for dogs but also care for other pets like cats, guinea pigs, and many other small animals. 

Over the past decades, TCCS rescued many pet animals and street dogs. This government organization serves its facilities to maintain the good health of the dogs. 

The Acacia serve for the street dogs that suffer from diseases and malnutrition. More than that they also care for other animals too that are physically disabled. 

The 9 lives volunteer to team up to do several pet rescue projects. They have been serving their services to save the life of orphaned, diseased and physically disabled pets

Breed Organisations in Australia

Last but not least, below are some of the breed organizations, clubs, and associations where you get some more information about the Blue heelers. Moreover, if you wish to provide your temporary dog shelter and feed them when you are out of the town, then you must go for the below organizations.  

The organization was established in 2004 with the aim of holding the past and present information of the Australian cattle dog. The purpose of the organization is to serve the quality breed of the Australian Cattle dog. 

The main agenda of the national kennel is to provide the pure breed of the Australian cattle dog in Australia.

The Canine Control Council of Queensland has a global reputation of providing the royal breeds and with different temperaments and physical needs. 

Established in 1930 with the aim of delivering the pure breeds in Victoria.  

Up to You Now 

So, now you have a handy guide that covers everything about the Blue heelers. It’s up to you now whether you wish to raise an Australian cattle dog or not. 

Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler Photo Gallery

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