Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Breed: Personality, Care, Diet, & More

Are you looking for a new best friend who will accompany you on all your adventures? If yes, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is your guy.

This dog is incredibly smart, has huge energy levels, and makes the perfect adventure buddy. 

As if that’s not enough, this dog has a strong work ethic. As a mix of two excellent working dogs, an Australian Shepherd and a Blue Heeler, you can train this dog to make daily tasks easier for you and your family.

Read more to find out why this dog is for you.

Image credit: @kovuthetexasheeler

Quick Facts: Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix

Height
17 - 18
Weight
25 - 60
Lifespan
12 - 16
Breed Size
medium (26-60 lbs.)
Breed Type
purebred
Breed Group
companion, herding
Temperament
anxious, outgoing, playful, protective
Good With
families
Intelligence
high
Shedding
frequent
Exercise Needs
high
Barking Level
high
Energy level
high
Drool Amount
low
Coat Type
short or medium, dense
Coat Patterns
bi-color, black and tan, tri-color
Colors
black, gray, white, merle, tan
Other Characteristics
good hiking companion, high prey drive, requires lots of grooming, strong loyalty tendencies

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Highlights

  • Because they are bred as working dogs, they love nothing more than have something to do. These dogs won’t mind running and playing for hours in the yard. 
  • The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is generally very affectionate and protective of its family. Nonetheless, their herding instinct can make them big bullies of smaller pets in the home.
  • Train the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix puppy early to prevent instinctive herding or barking tendencies.
  • For an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix dog, whose lifestyle requires ample energy, the most imperative part of their diet should be providing adequate nutrition.
  • They love to be outdoors and get muddy, so cleaning is one of the essential components of caring for these dogs.
  • These dogs are not so big on chew toys and puzzles. They prefer to devote considerable time running and jumping in the yard.

History

In the 1970s, ranchers in Texas began crossing Australian Shepherds and Blue Heelers, resulting in a new breed that could effectively manage all types of livestock. This new breed is called Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix.

To gain a deeper understanding of the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix, let’s explore the histories of its parent breeds.

Australian Shepherd

Most accounts suggest that the Australian Shepherd breed originated during the late 19th century.

People from the Basque Region of the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain relocated to Australia. They brought their Basque herding dogs, which they relied upon for assistance in tending to the enormous flock of sheep that accompanied them.

Subsequently, the Basque herding dogs were mated with border collies and various other canines in Australia. The resulting breed was brought to California.

United States ranchers erroneously assumed that these Basque dogs were native  Australian dogs; thus, they gave them the name ‘Australian Shepherds’. The Australian Shepherd’s lineage was further improved in the United States, creating the breed we know today. This dog breed was popular among Western American ranchers and those participating in rodeos.

Even though the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) had developed an official standard for this breed, it was not until 1993 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) formally recognized the Australian Shepherd.

Blue Heeler

The Australian Cattle Dog was, at one time in history, named the Blue Heeler and is credited as being the first successful dog in the country.

In 1840, George Elliott in Queensland bred Blue Merle Collies with Dingoes. The resulting dogs proved to be adept workers. Cattle farmers greatly appreciated the skills of these dogs and consequently purchased them.

Following the integration of Dalmatians with these dogs to foster their loyalty to a designated owner and enthusiasm for horses, they were again crossed with Kelpies. Through careful breeding and selection, a small and active breed was created. It was similar in appearance to the Dingo yet characterized by distinct physical traits that made it stand out from other breeds.

The puppies most closely aligned with the desired traits and characteristics were retained, forming the lineage of today’s Australian Cattle Dog. News of the herding capabilities of these dogs became known, leading to heightened demand among herders and ranchers.

In 1893, Robert Kaleski initiated his work on selectively breeding the Blue Heelers, which he exhibited in public starting in 1897.

Appearance

Image credit: @millietexasheeler

The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix results from combining two distinct breeds, and its physical appearance demonstrates this combination. Puppies of the same litter can look completely unrelated. They can appear slender or strong, depending on which parent breed is dominant.

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Size

They are medium-sized dogs, standing between 17 and 18 inches tall and weighing 25 and 60 pounds.

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Colors

These dogs can be a mix of merle, gray, tan, brown, white, and black.

Coat

These dogs may exhibit hairs of varying lengths (short or medium); however, they feature thick and dense coats ideal for enduring extreme climates.

Personality

These pups were bred to keep up with their owners and share in the daily tasks of herding and ranching, resulting in their devotion to staying busy. Whether it’s a five-mile run or just playing fetch in the backyard, they’re sure to be up for it.

The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes are also vocal dogs. They don’t hold back when alerting you of potential threats, trying to get your attention, and expressing boredom. However, with proper training, they can learn when barking is necessary and when it’s not appropriate.

They also strongly desire to stay close to their owners, following them from room to room. They relish the security of being near their humans and often seek them out when things feel unsafe or overwhelming. This characteristic makes them prone to separation anxiety

Despite displaying herding behaviors occasionally when interacting with young children, these dogs demonstrate great affection and patience.

Health

The Australian Blue Heeler Mix has extraordinary physical strength and vigor, having been specially bred to perform hard labor for long stretches. Because of this lifestyle, they may eventually develop dysplasia.

This breed has a special duty: herding livestock. This work requires an unusual stance that may have long-term health impacts on their hips and elbows. That said, hip and elbow dysplasia is a common condition among Australian Blue Heeler Mix dogs.

So what is dysplasia in dogs? Essentially, it refers to the abnormal hip or elbow joint development that prevents them from effectively supporting the body weight during movement. This leads to an unstable joint structure and can lead to other related conditions, such as arthritis.

Treatment for dysplasia in dogs typically consists of medications to reduce inflammation and pain as well as physical therapy or exercise recommendations to promote joint health. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended depending on the severity of the dysplasia.

Since the most prominent color in these dogs is merle, you should also look out for congenital deafness. Unfortunately, this is a common health issue among merle-colored dogs.

While there is no definitive cure for this health problem, your vet can help improve your deaf dog’s quality of life. From hearing implants and vocal conditioning techniques to sign language training and vibrating collars, your Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix can still enjoy an active lifestyle filled with love and adventure.

Lifespan

With proper care, nutrition, veterinary visits, and exercise, these dogs can thrive for 16 to 20 years. 

Care

 Remember that these are herding dogs. They have been conditioned to endure extensive and vigorous hours on the farm. Their herding tendencies toward people will become more predominant if the usual daily physical and mental stimulation is not met. 

They will also become quite crafty when finding a way out of your house. From digging under fences or squeezing through tight spaces to opening doors with their noses and paws — if there’s an opportunity for adventure outside your home, the Australian Blue Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix won’t hesitate to take it.

The Australian Cattle Dog Australian Shepherd Mix requires significant physical activity each day to stay healthy and content beyond what can be achieved by casual strolls.

Regular participation in intense activities lasting approximately 1-2 hours per day (such as throwing a frisbee, playing flyball, or practicing agility exercises) can work to maintain an orderly demeanor and good behavior when the dog is indoors.

Diet

With such boundless energy and enthusiasm, they require a balanced diet to stay healthy. 

Three cups of quality dog food daily are recommended to keep them at their best. Their diet can also include proteins from lean meats like chicken or fish, along with complex carbohydrates. Fibrous veggies such brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, spinach and green beans will also provide essential vitamins for their growing bodies.

Grooming

These pups are high-energy dogs that live to play outdoors, which means they tend to get pretty dirty in the process. This calls for an elaborate grooming routine.

They need regular brushing sessions and baths about every 5 days or so. If your Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix has a medium coat, increase the frequency of brushing sessions to prevent mats from forming.

In addition, getting your pup used to having its paws touched and nails trimmed from an early age is essential. This will make things easier for you when it comes to nail trimming.

Special dog-friendly clippers can help ensure your pooch isn’t too uncomfortable during the grooming session.

Take the time as well to clean their ears and brush their teeth regularly to prevent any build-up that could lead to further health issues.

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Puppies

Image credit: @singinfarmgirl

These puppies have bundles of energy and intelligence; however, these qualities can quickly become problematic without training. To ensure your pup grows into a well-behaved companion, start their training from an early age. 

Likewise, expose them to positive social situations such as outings with friends or trips to the dog park where they can play with other dogs. Through early socialization, these curious pups will learn proper behavior when interacting with both humans and other animals.

Children and Other Pets

These dogs are more than happy to play with your children for hours on end. Their athletic build ensures they have plenty of energy to keep going all day long. And you know what else? Their loving temperament provides endless cuddles when playtime has been exhausted.

But the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix might nip at smaller pets due to their herding instincts. This is where early socialization comes into play.

Rescue Groups

If you would rather rescue an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix than buy a puppy from a breeder, check out these remarkable groups:

Aussie Rescue SoCal

Aussie And Me Animal Rescue

Australian Shepherd Rescue in Michigan

New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue Inc.

Australian Shepherds Furever

Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline Inc.

Houlas and Heelers

Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois

Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Incorporated

AuCaDo: Australian Cattle Dog Rescue

Ewenity Farm

Texas Cattle Dog Rescue

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix FAQS

Do Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix dogs shed a lot?

Yes, these dogs shed quite often and require frequent grooming sessions.

Is the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix dog tolerant of other pets?

With early socialization and training, these dogs can live with other pets. But if you don’t start socializing and training them as soon as you bring them home, they may bully smaller animals as their herding instincts kick in.

Are the Australian Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix dogs hypoallergenic?

No, these dogs are energetic, loyal, and hardworking, but one thing they’re not? Hypoallergenic! So if you’re looking for an allergy-friendly pup, this breed is not an ideal choice.

Do Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix dogs bark a lot?

Yes, these dogs bark a lot due to their herding instincts. As working dogs, they use their voice to guide, gather, and protect farm animals.

Are Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes big dogs?

No, they are typically medium-sized. These dogs weigh anywhere between 25 and 60 pounds and stand at an average height of 17 to 18 inches when fully grown.

Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Fun Facts

  • This mixed breed goes by several other names: Texas Heeler, Aussie Cattle Mix, Queensland Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix, Australian Blue Heeler Shepherd, Australian Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog Mix, Australian Shepherd and Cattle Dog Mix, and Queensland Australian Shepherd Mix.
  • The term “heeler” is derived from this breed of dog’s habit of pestering cattle by biting at their heels; some Australian Shepherd Blue Heelers may even attempt this behavior on smaller pets.
  • While the Australian Blue Heeler dominates half of this dog’s pedigree, its other half is derived from the American breed Australian Shepherd.

References

Sherman, B. L. (2008). Separation anxiety in dogs. Compendium, 30(1), 27-42.

Strain, G. M. (1999). Congenital deafness and its recognition. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, 29, 895-908.

Strain, G. Deafness and the merle gene. Los Chihuahuas, 32, 4-8.