There are so many reasons to own an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix.
They are best for those who live on the farm or in the country but you do not need to live on a farm to enjoy everything that this breed has to offer.
Heeler Mixes make wonderful watchdogs for families. They will protect your home just as well as they protect the ranch.
Their loyalty and energy no know bounds.
If this hardworking herding dog is just what you are looking for then keeping reading to learn everything you need to know about this breed…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix At A Glance
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Overview
- A Day In The Life Of This Breed
- History And Origin
- Temperament And Behavior
- How Much Does A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Cost?
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Appearance
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Care Guide
- How To Train Aussie And Blue Heeler Mixes
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix At A Glance
Take two capable herding dogs and mix them together and you get the delightful Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix.
This mix breed is an outdoor dog with a real knack for tending livestock. Outside of livestock protection they make a good watchdog that always knows when something is amiss around the house. They also make a wonderful service dog due to their high intelligence and willingness to learn.
- Popularity: #6.
- Speciality: Herding.
- Weight: 25-50 pounds.
- Price: $200-$700.
- Personality: Eager, hardworking and alert.
|Australian Cattle Dog|
|Lifespan: 12-15 years|
|Family Friendly: Yes|
|Size: 35-50 pounds|
|Lifespan: 10-17 years|
|Family Friendly: Yes|
|Size: 25-45 pounds|
|Aussie Blue Heeler Mix|
|Lifespan: 13-16 years|
|Family Friendly: Yes|
|Size: 25-50 pounds|
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Overview
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is also known as a Texas Heeler or a Texas Cattle Dog.
They are a mix between the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog and are commonly used as a working dog on a farm or ranch.
The Aussie Shepherd was bred for herding flocks of sheep and the Blue Heeler is meant to keep cattle in line.
So with this mix you get a wonderful all-purpose farm dog that can can do a little bit of both!
Not only that but they will watch over the house with a keen pair of eyes and an undying loyalty for their family.
Although they are friendly to humans their workaholic nature makes it them little distant at times. They are cautious of strangers and sometimes even act aloof towards members of the family.
This Blue Heeler Mix is very high energy and expects to be put to work.
Because of this they can be a high maintenance breed so not every owner may be able to take one on.
- Excellent at farm work.
- A very good watchdog.
- Keeps their owner very active.
- More family friendly than other working breeds.
- Can farm both sheep and cattle.
- Aggressive towards other dogs.
- Unfriendly to strangers.
- Can be distant with family whilst working.
- Not a good indoor dog.
A Day In The Life Of This Breed
In the early morning hours your Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix will be awake and on their feet long before you wake up.
They will loyally patrol the house until you wake up.
Once you are awake they will rush to your bedside and beg for you to get out of bed. More often than not their early morning zoomies will be your wake up call.
After breakfast your pooch will be ready to get right to work.
Make them happy by taking them out for an early morning run down your favorite trail followed by a play in the yard.
Once your dog has let their energy out you can head to work knowing that your loyal friend will watch over the house as they wait for you to return. If you are working away from home all day then you will need to arrange a sitter to take them out a few times to help manage their energy levels.
When your work day is over your Heeler’s day has just begun. It is time for an afternoon meal followed by a walk and a trip to the park.
You and your pooch can spend the rest of the afternoon exploring every corner of the park, playing a game of tag and taking a long hike down the local trails.
The back seat of the car will be a welcome place to rest after your dog is all tired out. After dinner your Heeler will finally begin to wind down for the day.
If your dog has an outdoor enclosure then you can use this in the evenings to get the very last of the zoomies out.
When the sun sets both you and your dog will be ready for a night’s rest.
If your pup lives in the house they will curl right up on the floor beside your bed. Outdoor Heelers will find a safe place to spend the night.
Your dog may wake up several times a night just to make sure everything is ok around the house. The next day they will be ready for a brand new adventure.
History And Origin
To understand this breed’s history we need to first look at both parent breeds.
The Australian Shepherd descended from Pyrenean Shepherds who brought them to Australia from Europe.
Whilst in Australia these Shepherds were crossbred with Collies.
This Pyrenean and Collie mix was introduced to the US in the early 20th century.
Modern day Australian Shepherds descended from these dogs and the breed was officially recognized in 1993.
So their name (Australian Shepherd) is a bit of a misnomer as the breed actually began in the state of California.
Whereas the Australian Cattle Dog (or Blue Heeler) is a true Australian dog with a very colorful breed history. Their ancestors include Smithfield cattle dogs, Australian dingoes, Collies and even Dalmatians.
They were introduced to the United States in the 20th century and were recognized by the AKC in 1980.
During the late 1980s Texas ranchers began mixing these two breeds and created the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix.
They valued this all-purpose working dog as they could tend to different kinds of livestock.
The breed is still very popular in the Texas countryside but they have branched out into the suburbs as a loyal watchdog.
6 Fun Facts
- The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix comes from the ranches of Texas which is why they were given the nickname Texas Heeler.
- Only half of this dog’s lineage is actually Australian. The Blue Heeler is a truly Australian dog but the Australian Shepherd is actually an American breed.
- The term heeler refers to this dog’s tendency to nip at the heels of cattle – sometimes they will try this out on their owners or other dogs.
- As they are not purebred they do not have an official breed club however they do have their own rescue organization (The Texas Cattle Dog Rescue).
- These dogs are at their best out on the pasture but they love the water too. Swimming is one of their favorite summertime activities.
- The US Service and Support Animal Registry recognizes this breed as a service dog – they are also trained as a police dog.
Temperament And Behavior
You need to understand that the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is a working dog first and foremost.
They are used to long and busy days out on the farm.
In a domestic setting this pooch needs an outlet for their energy and its herding instincts. Without an appropriate outlet they will become very destructive and may display some aggression towards others.
The dog is very energetic and wants to spend almost all of their time outdoors.
If you do not live on a ranch then you can build an outdoor enclosure or pen for your pup if you have enough space.
Whilst working they will appear distant towards their family however this is just because they are so concentrated on working. Once you have exhausted this pup’s energy they will welcome attention from their loved ones.
Be prepared to hear plenty of barking. On the farm this dog will bark to alert livestock and their owners of potential predators in the area. In the house this dog will bark at strangers passing by and visiting neighbors.
They will need to be trained to distinguish a friend from a threat. It will take a lot of patience before your dog will learn what is and is not a threat. Until then you should be prepared for quite a bit of noise.
The breed is best for adult owners or homes with older children and teens.
Young children may be subject to the heel nipping that the Aussie And Blue Heeler Mix is well known for.
Nipping and biting should be expected out of a puppy but should be corrected as soon as possible so that it does not become an issue when the dog is much larger and stronger.
A young puppy can be very cautious and shy around other people so they will need lots of socialization from an early age.
Do not expect too many cuddles and kisses from this breed.
They will show their love in its own way by helping out around the house.
Your Heeler Mix will dutifully watching over your home and if something is not right then they will be the first to let you know.
How Much Does A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Cost?
The average price for a Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix puppy is $500. Those with a rare fur color will be slightly more expensive.
Adult dogs tend to be a lower price due to their lower demand.
Overall this is a very affordable breed.
- This breed is very popular in their home state of Texas so you are most likely to find a breeder there. Outside of Texas the breed is harder to find and more expensive.
- Make sure you check their lineage before you buy a pup. Often this mix is confused with the Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix and you might be getting a different breed than the one you expected!
- When budgeting for your new puppy you will need to factor in the amount of space it takes to keep one. Heeler Mixes are at their happiest outdoors and will need a large amount of land to exercise on if they live inside.
- Certain fur colors such as merle can be more expensive due to the higher demand. You should consider a more common fur color (like black or tan) if you are on a budget.
- Training classes will be needed to socialize this breed. Most classes will charge by the hour however you should shop around for what is best for your budget. Some intensive training classes can run all the way up to $100 or more.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Appearance
Although this breed is recognized there are no true breed standards.
However you can expect a medium sized dog with long and lean running legs.
Most Heeler Mixes will have erect ears and wide alert eyes – they may even inherit the Australian Shepherd’s iconic smile.
They will have a deep chest and broad forequarters and hindquarters.
Just by taking one look at this dog you know that they are built for hard work.
You can expect this mix to stand between 17-20 inches tall and weight 25-50 pounds.
- Males: 18-20 inches and 30-50 pounds.
- Females: 17-19 inches and 25-40 pounds.
By far this mix is one of the most colorful dogs around.
Its fur can be almost any color and patterns including blue merle and calico. More often than not they will have a mix of many different colors.
Black and grey speckles or polka dots are very common and are inherited from their Blue Heeler parent.
Their coat can be short or medium length and will have a smooth and silky texture.
Surprisingly they do not shed as much as you would expect. Their coat is very good at maintaining itself and they will only need to be brushed once a week.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Care Guide
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is a high maintenance dog that is suited to a very active family.
This dog wants to spend most of their time outside and any owner should have experience with working or herding breeds.
Heeler Mixes are a challenge to take on but it is worth it if you can make it work.
They will repay you with undying loyalty that you will not be able to find anywhere else.
Their prey drive, high energy and alertness are things you need to consider.
This is a very active breed.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes will need 90 minutes of outdoor exercise every day.
They like running more than walking so consider turning one of their daily walks into a run or a jog.
She also loves to hike so you can hike with them as well.
Walking should be done on leash unless the two of you are close to home – this dog is known to take off and it can be difficult to call them back.
Rather than typical dog toys and games this Mix prefers to test their endurance and will spend most of their time running and jumping. Of course if you have livestock then this pooch will do the work that it was born for.
- Total Daily Activity: 90 minutes.
- Activity Level: 5/5.
- Favorite Activity: Running.
Fortunately this dog has a short silky coat that does not shed lots.
They will only need brushing once a week.
As they are outdoor dogs their ears must be checked frequently for buildups of dirt. Their big pointy ears will get very dirty as they go about their daily adventures.
Active outdoor dogs tend to file their nails down as they run but you should still check the nails every two or three weeks to make sure they are not getting too long.
If you plan to use a nail clipper then you should get them used to nail clippers as a puppy.
A high energy dog like the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix must be fed the best possible diet for their energetic lifestyle.
Your dog should have around 1200 calories of protein, carbs and healthy fats every day.
You can give them a cup of high protein kibble 3 times a day.
If you would like you can switch out one of their daily cups with a cut of chicken or cooked steak. Most of your dog’s nutrition should come from real meat and meat sources. Make sure there are little to no fillers or byproducts listed on your dog food ingredients.
The majority of their weight gain will occur between 3 and 6 months of age.
Male dogs will reach 30 to 50 pounds just before their second birthday and females will weigh between 25 and 40 pounds.
This is typically a very healthy breed as you would expect from a working dog.
However there are still a few health issues to watch out for.
Distichiasis: This is an eye condition where extra hairs grow on the inside of the dog’s eyelids. These hairs can cause eye irritation and even lead to ulcers on the cornea. The hairs can be visible if you look very closely but you are more likely to notice redness and extra tears. Your pup will need surgery to correct this however in mild cases drops and ointments can be used to reduce the irritation.
Deafness: Unfortunately merle colored dogs are more susceptible to congenital deafness. Dogs may be deaf from birth or develop hearing loss they grow up. Hearing loss presents new challenges for a Heeler Mix but thankfully it is also very manageable. Deaf dogs will adapt by learning to sharpen their other senses so they can keep carrying out their work in spite of their handicap. Deafness is not as common outside of merle colored varieties.
How Long Does A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Live?
You can expect the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix to live for 13 to 16 years.
How To Train Aussie And Blue Heeler Mixes
Training the Blue Heeler Mix from a puppy is very important to help weed out any herding and barking tendencies.
You should start preparing your dog’s training program before you even bring them home!
Heelers are known for testing boundaries so your dog must understand that you are not going to give up.
Training is not over until you say it is and repetition is key.
During difficult training sessions do not vent your frustration or your pup will pick up on it. Stay positive no matter how difficult it gets and your dog will thank you. Socialization should be done with you close by rather than away from home. Your dog may feel too anxious to socialize with strangers unless you are there.
Fear of people is not uncommon with this breed so early socialization is important.
They will likely never learn to love strangers but they can learn to get along with them.
This is not a dog that can play on their own or be left alone to chew on a rope. They expect to be given daily challenges to exercise their endurance and brainpower.
Give them new experiences every day and they will never get bored.
Take your dog on hiking trips, trail runs and other daily adventures.
You can also play games such as tag. Tag is a fun game that you can play with any herding dog. It hones their natural herding instincts in a safe and exciting way.
While you play you can use the opportunity to practice commands like sit, stay and heel. Your dog will be having fun and learning at the same time.
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is one of the farmer’s favorite dogs.
Anyone looking for a fitness partner will love this dog’s boundless energy.
This helpful herder always wants to be kept busy and is always ready for new adventures. Their adventurous spirit will get you and your family excited to explore too.
A Blue Heeler Mix will be one of the greatest friends that you will ever have.
If you can create a good home for them then they will love you forever.
Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below…