Sometimes referred to as a Texas Heeler, this ingenious hybrid is the result of crossbreeding two very popular breeds, mainly the Australian Shepherd and the Blue Heeler. Then again, some people might know the Blue Heeler as an Australian Cattle Dog.
Either way, the Australian Shepherd is well-known for its intelligence, diligence, loyalty, and capacity to obey commands. This remarkable set of traits recommends the dog as an excellent working dog and a very reliable companion.
When combining it with a Blue Heeler, which is known for its reliability and physical prowess, you get an almost perfect hybrid. Over the next few minutes, I’ll take you on a short journey through understanding this remarkable crossbreed as we explore what makes this unique pooch so great.
Table of Contents
- What Is An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix?
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Personality and Temperament
- Caring For An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What Is An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix?
This intelligent yet sometimes overprotective dog has its roots outside the US yet it enjoys a tremendous popularity in the States for obvious reasons. Very popular in the state of Texas, these dogs are known for their capacity to understand commands and obey instructions.
Traditionally, these dogs have been used for working cattle and helping ranchers, yet not everyone breeds them for that. Turns out that this dog makes an excellent companion for active people who have plenty to do on a daily basis, not just as a working dog but as a trusty companion as well.
That said, know that this is a herding dog at its core and that it will seek to engage in herding behavior either with children or other pets. This is to be expected given the dog’s intelligence and definitely something you will need to work on if you ever decide to adopt such a dog.
You can find these dogs in a range of interesting combinations as far as their coat and colors go. They also tend to possess a ‘mask’ of sorts with big patches on their face. At the same time, the dogs might also showcase white stripes that go from their muzzle all the way up to their eyes.
In many ways, this is an odd-looking dog, but a dog with a certain charm and peculiar aesthetic. These dogs also tend to have a thick and weather-resistant coat that enables them to adapt to virtually any climate and weather conditions.
In terms of size, they are medium-sized dogs and rarely require any special attention or maintenance past their basic dogly needs. Also, the dogs have perked ears that offer them a certain ‘happy’ look, one that you will grow to enjoy over time for sure.
Height & Weight
These dogs can grow up to 17 and even 22 inches tall, which makes the dog a medium-sized pooch. On average, these dogs inherit the build of the Australian Cattle Dog and rarely exhibit physical characteristics from the Australian Shepherd side of the mix.
As for the weight, know that these dogs can grow to around 25 to 50 lbs, but their weight can surpass that depending on the diet and exercise levels. On a related note, keep in mind that females are usually smaller in size when compared to the males as they rarely grow above 40 lbs.
Coat & Colors
I told you earlier that these dogs come in many colors but I failed to mention just how diverse the range can get. In fact, you can get an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix that’s either a mixture of black, white, brown, tan, gray, and merle, or a combination of them at the same time.
It needs to be said that many of these dogs have a merle coat of a medium length, a trait many of them seem to possess for some reason. Bear in mind that puppies from the same litter can vastly differ in coat color and that it would be impossible to tell their exact colors when they’re still young.
Speaking of coat, know that the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix usually has a straight and smooth coat of a medium length, a coat that incorporates a rather stiff hair. Being double-coated dogs, they shed quite a lot during the year, specifically during spring and fall.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Personality and Temperament
Expect this dog to be not just intelligent and easy to train but also kind, gentle, and extremely hard working. In fact, these are by far some of the hardest working dogs out there, which is understandable considering their parent breeds.
Also worth mentioning is the obvious fact that because of their intelligence, these dogs are often independent and eager to solve problems by themselves. This also means that they can get very playful and that their playtime includes some pretty elaborate games.
Like most herding breeds, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is a high-energy dog that needs constant stimulation. This stimulation needs to be both physical and mental as high-energy dogs tend to get bored easily if they have nothing to do for extended periods of time.
As per their exquisite intelligence, these dogs often engage in playful behavior and love to make up games on the go. It is common for these dogs to include toys in their playing routine, so be prepared to invest in a handful of toys from the get-go.
While many dogs tend to grow out of their constant need to play as they mature, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix retains its playful nature throughout its life. This makes it perfect for households with children and other pets.
Keep in mind that these energetic dogs love to run and spend time outdoors as often as they get the chance. If you can, make sure they have plenty of room to roam, preferably in the form of a spacious backyard or a copious amount of running at the dog park.
A dog like the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix isn’t the type to engage in aggressive behavior and avoids confrontation if it can help it. They also don’t bark like other dogs, reserving their capacity to bark for herding purposes and to fend off threats.
Speaking of which, the dog has a long history of herding animals and as such, will be very protective of its owners. This often includes children as they gravitate toward children due to sheer instinct more than anything.
Because of their herding instinct, they might occasionally nip at the children’s heels, so it is best that you establish boundaries early on. Other than that, these dogs love children and prefer to spend time playing with them as opposed to interacting with other dogs.
Is An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix A Good Family Dog?
There is no doubt in my mind that the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix makes a great family dog. If anything, this hybrid tends to inherit the best traits of both the Australian Shepherd and the Blue Heeler when it comes to their relationship with humans.
It goes without saying, however, that they need a lot of stimulation and attention on a regular basis due to their high energy levels. In this regard, you should only consider adopting a Texas Heeler if you have the capacity to meet its basic needs.
Caring For An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
Perhaps the greatest thing about the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is that it doesn’t take a lot to properly care for this type of dog. If anything, the parent breeds are more high-maintenance than the hybrid which actually incorporates many of their traits.
One thing you need to consider above all else is the dog’s high energy standards and its constant need to spend that energy. Should you be in a position to actively provide the dog with enough stimulation, then by all means, feel free to adopt a pup.
As is the case with most of these energetic breeds, failure to stimulate the dog will result in stressing the dog out. In fact, it isn’t a lack of normal care that most affects the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix but lack of mental care.
There is really no need to dwell on how energetic this dog can be, we talked about that already. What you need to know is that this dog requires at least two walks a day. Each time, you should spend at least 30 minutes walking the dog.
It is also a good idea to incorporate a workout schedule within the walking pattern, hopefully in such a clever way that the dog doesn’t grow any animosity towards it. Being the energetic dogs that they are, they are likely to not only engage but seek training exercises of any difficulty as long as they satisfy the dog’s need to spend energy.
Having said that, you are advised to either establish a good relationship with the dog before letting it out of the leash or have one on the dog at all times. The choice usually comes down to how well you can control the dog out of its element.
Grooming & Shedding
Remember earlier when we talked about their short double coat? Turns out that it doesn’t really take a lot of maintenance other than the regular brushing. This is because the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix has a coat intended for working outdoors in any type of weather.
The weather-resistant coat that these dogs possess, not only allows them to withstand difficult weather conditions but also helps them adapt to new environments and extreme temperatures. Bear in mind that both of the parent breeds have historically been used as work dogs.
Now, I should point out that despite the tough coat, these dogs tend to shed quite a lot. This happens throughout the year but more intensely during spring and fall. For this reason, owners have to constantly brush the dog on a regular basis.
Feeding & Diet
Like any active dog, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix needs a lot of nutrients and often enough to keep them going. While some dogs only require one or two meals a day, an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix needs to be fed at least two or three times a day.
On average, an adult Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix should consume between 870 and 1,700 calories on a daily basis. The food you feed such an energetic dog absolutely must contain a high amount of protein, which should also be complemented with kibble from time to time.
Known Health Problems
This is quite a healthy dog by most standards, one that rarely develops life-threatening illnesses. Not to say that they don’t have their own set of potential problems, but rather that they’re a lot healthier than other dogs this size.
Some of these dogs can suffer from elbow dysplasia on account of their stance and body posture. Others might also be prone to deafness in some cases, and it’s usually the dogs with merle coat coloring. On average, however, these dogs live up to 13-15 years and rarely suffer any serious problems.
How To Train A Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
Considering how intelligent and trainable these dogs are, you shouldn’t have too many difficulties training one any way you see fit. Bear in mind, however, that they require a certain amount of attention, stimulation, and discipline in order to develop a good relationship with the owner.
Know that these dogs respond poorly to negative reinforcement as they possess a very inquisitive mind that needs to remain focused at all times. Any distraction or source of stress might throw the dog off from the goal of the routine, severely affecting its ability to learn.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size||17 to 22 inches|
|Weight||25 to 50 lbs|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
|Color||Black, white, brown, tan, and merle|
|Coat||Short double coat with stiff hair|
|Shedding & Grooming||The dog sheds heavily throughout the year|
|Temperament||Loyal, intelligent, friendly, eager to learn|
|With Other Pets||They get along well enough with other pets|
|People Skills||They like being around people as often as possible|
|With Children||Perfect companions for children of all ages|
|Exercise Needs||At least 90 minutes a day|
|Food||High-protein food required, around 1,700 calories a day|
|Known Health Problems||Elbow dysplasia, deafness|
All Things Considered
Being the energetic and intelligent dogs that they are, these dogs make perfect family pets for obvious reasons. They tend to be loyal dogs, not just in regards to obeying their owners but also when it comes to safeguarding the household and everyone in it.
Even though an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix shouldn’t be used as a guard dog, it is still smart and versatile enough to adapt to any role provided that you take the time and train the dog properly from an early age.