This breed is a mix of two dogs that were bred for herding animals.
These dogs are very popular in Texas and are mainly used for working cattle and helping ranchers.
You can expect a medium sized dog with huge energy levels.
As the saying goes “everything is bigger in Texas” and the hearts of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes do not fall short of this expectation.
In this article we will explore this mix and explain the best ways to care for this loyal farmhand.
Contents and Quick Navigation
- What is an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix? (Overview)
- Pros and Cons
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Appearance
- 5 Fun Facts About Australian Blue Heelers
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Personality and Temperament
- Caring for an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
- How To Train An Australian Blue Heeler
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What is an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix? (Overview)
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is half Australian shepherd and half Australian cattle dog (also known as the blue heeler).
As they are a mix of two natural herding breeds, they are an amazing herding breed themselves.
This breed is very loyal to its owners.
They are loving, gentle and highly energetic. However they must be able to get rid of their huge energy levels. Therefore a large amount of space is recommended for this breed.
The most common color combinations are black, white with brown, merle and gray.
- Overview: Hybrid (Australian Cattle Dog/Australian Shepherd).
- Purpose: Herding.
- Weight: 25-50 pounds.
- Size: 17-22 inches.
- Temperament: Friendly, loyal and work oriented.
Pros and Cons
- One of the best herding breeds.
- Highly adaptable.
- Easy to train and want to please.
- Very tolerant of children.
- Short coat requires minimal care.
- They need a lot more space (more than most can offer).
- Can sometimes be reserved/independent.
- Sometimes develop hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Herding instincts can kick in and cause nipping.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Appearance
As this breed is a mix they can have many different interesting combinations.
Puppies from the same litter can have completely different colors!
It is highly common to have a face mask or patches on their face. They also typically have a white stripe that goes from their muzzle to in between their eyes.
As they work outside in all weather conditions, they have thick double coats that shed frequently all year long.
They are typically medium sized and have perked up ears which makes them appear to be constantly happy.
Height and Weight
You can expect this breed to be any weight in the range of 25-50 pounds. Because of this they are classified as medium sized dogs. Females are normally smaller in stature than males and only get up to around 40 pounds.
These dogs can be anywhere between 17 and 22 inches in height – they normally have the build of the Australian cattle dog rather than the Australian shepherd.
Colors and Coat
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix comes in a huge variety of colors.
They can be a mix of black, white, brown, tan, gray and merle. This breed has a higher chance than average to have a merle coat.
Since there are so many possibilities because of the parent breeds, puppies from the same litter can be completely different colors and look unrelated. It is not uncommon to have a litter that all look like they have different parents.
They typically have a short to medium length coat that is straight and smooth – the hair itself tends to be more stiff than soft.
Expect shedding all year round as they have a double coat to protect them from any harsh weather conditions.
5 Fun Facts About Australian Blue Heelers
- They are one of the most popular farm dogs in movies and tv shows.
- This breed is known for their love of swimming.
- Despite their name they were developed in Texas in 1970.
- Due to their heavy herding instincts they can be caught herding small children.
- You can find the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix as a competitor in many agility competitions due to their energy levels.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Personality and Temperament
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is kind, gentle, hard working and extremely driven.
However due to their working nature they can be independent at times and not overly interested in interacting with people. Occasionally they like to cuddle up on the couch with their owners, but this is not an all the time kind of thing. They can be very specific when they want attention.
They like to play with toys, but they are mostly interested in running and participating in activities that are outside like being a hunting buddy or swimming.
Remember they are known for their extremely high energy levels so they require a lot of exercise.
Australian Blue Heelers are not big barkers. They might bark while they are herding animals, but this is mostly done to persuade the animals to do what they want. They will normally only bark if there are strangers very close to their people.
Although they might have the herding instinct when around small children at times, they are very affectionate and tolerant of kids.
Their high energy can be great to play with children and runners.
They are also good with other people who come into the home but they can sometimes act aloof if they are not very familiar with them.
Are They A Good Family Dog?
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes are great family dogs.
They make great companions for active families who love the outdoors and to stay active.
Caring for an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
This breed does not need lots of care to keep them happy.
The biggest thing to remember when caring for an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is that they require a lot of exercise and mind stimulation. If they do not get enough activity during the day, their herding instincts toward people can become more obvious, and they can also become talented escape artists to allow themselves space to run around.
These pooches do not have high grooming requirements as they have short hair, but they do shed more than usual due to their double coat.
They are normally not born with any life-threatening diseases or health issues, but possible joint issues should be considered for future medical expenses.
Remember these dogs require much more exercise than the average breed.
The best way to exercise them is by letting them run free in a yard. They can be independent and they do not mind running around a yard by themselves.
Since they are high energy and enjoy running around, it is always advised to walk them on a leash. This prevents them from running off if they become attracted to small animals.
Running is the most important type of exercise for this breed. They are not ones to extremely enjoy playing with toys. However they do like playing tug of war and chasing objects that are thrown. If toys are used, it is best to use toys that portray animals as they are attracted to small animals.
- Number of Walks Per Day: 2-3.
- Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 90+ minutes.
Grooming and Shedding
As they generally have shorter coats they are fairly low maintenance.
Although they have short coats, they have double-layered coats because they are meant to work outside in all weather conditions.
This double layered coat makes them shed all year long. To prevent them from shedding all over the house, a weekly brush out should reduce the amount of hair that floats around and collects in the corner.
Normally the only reason this breed is taken to the groomers is to get a nail trim.
Feeding and Diet
Since they are such an active breed, they require 3 cups of food to replenish the energy that they burn throughout the day.
It is best to separate these three cups of food into two or three feedings a day to ensure the energy from the food is spread out over the entire day.
They can eat adult dog food meant for either medium or large dogs.
Always check the back of the food you are purchasing to ensure it has the required nutrients.
Because they are highly active dogs they require a higher amount of protein compared to other nutrients found in food. They require their protein intake to be 22% of their diet.
|Calories Per Day:||Cups of Kibble Per Day:|
Known Health Problems
As these are farm dogs they are considered to be a healthy mix. But, if you’re like most dog parents (or parents-to-be), you care for your pet immensely. Having pet insurance could save you from the headache of going to the vets with reimbursement for every vet bill from now on!
Exam fees are included, which saves you around $50-$250 per sick visit. PetPlan covers injury and disease in every adult tooth — not just the canines. Not all providers cover hereditary conditions linked to breed. PetPlan does.
Exam fees are included, which saves you around $50-$250 per sick visit.
PetPlan covers injury and disease in every adult tooth — not just the canines.
Not all providers cover hereditary conditions linked to breed. PetPlan does.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes are generally not born with diseases or health issues, however they can develop them overtime if not given proper attention.
For example pups who work harder are more likely to develop hip and elbow dysplasia due to their stance during herding. They must get low while working to be able to nip at the heels of the animals, and this can cause joint damage.
Also since they have a high chance of having a merle coat coloring, they have a higher chance to be deaf as deafness normally travels with the merle coloring.
How Long Does A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Live?
This mix can live between 12 and 15 years, which is fairly average for a medium sized dog.
How Much Does A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Cost?
A Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix can cost anywhere from $150-$850. They are very desirable for farm work, and better genetics can allow breeders to charge more.
How To Train An Australian Blue Heeler
Positive reinforcement is the best type of training to use to teach this breed general rules in the household and tricks. Positive reinforcement includes using treats when they do something could, petting them when they do what they are asked, or using words of praise.
Negative reinforcement can be very confusing to these dogs and can make them lose sight of what they are supposed to be learning.
Remember Blue Heeler Australian Shepherds are naturally very energetic dogs.
Without the proper amount of physical activity they need huge amounts of mental stimulation. Mental stimulation can include teaching new tricks and using maze games.
Something this breed is very fond of is agility training. It is mind stimulating for them to listen to your commands, and this training allows them to get some of the energy out.
These dogs are popular in agility competitions as they are easy to train because they are eager to impress.
They will need socializing as young pups as they can be very aloof toward people they have never met before.
However with the proper training and exposure while they are a puppy, they can become very confident dogs.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Coat:||Short double coat with smooth and stiff hair.|
|Color:||Any mix of black, white, brown, tan and merle.|
|Do They Shed:||Yes.|
|Temperament:||Happy and loyal dog that just loves to work and stay busy.|
|Intelligence:||Highly intelligent and eager to learn.|
|Socialization:||Great with people, children and other dogs.|
|Destructive Behavior:||Will herd or bark if they do not feel they are active enough.|
|People Skills:||They are eager to learn and please.|
|Good with Children:||Very tolerant and loving toward children.|
|Activity Levels:||Very high energy dog.|
These dogs will thrive on farms or ranches because they will be able to exert their energy and use their natural instincts.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes can also make great family dogs and they are great with children.
This breed is very intelligent, friendly and loves to impress.
Remember this breed is high energy and were bred and born to herd and work.
They live to move, so it is best if they live on property that has a lot of land!
This is the perfect breed for those who are searching for a dog that has a Texas sized heart and can get along with other animals. They certainly have a lot of love and skills to offer to the right family.
Let us know your questions in the comments section below…