Have you been wanting to become the owner of the perfect watchdog lately? Do you have a huge yard and a lot of time to spend training your new dog?
If your answer is yes to both questions, today, I have the perfect dog breed for you: The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix!
This dog is a loving pet for many families all over the United States, but it is still the most popular and widely used dog among ranchers in the state of Texas.
Although very popular, this dog breed has not yet been recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club). The main reason is that these dogs are not purebred.
This highly protective dog takes his work seriously and won’t let anyone disturb his owner.
His energy level is quite high, so be prepared to spend hours and hours doing flyball exercises with your new dog friend. I hope you have a really active family!
This dog might be described as a dog with a wonderful and, at the same time, challenging character. If you want to know more about this dog breed’s history, appearance, health, and other important traits, stick with our article.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix: Basic Information
As the name suggests, this awesome hybrid dog breed is a mix of two herding breeds: the Australian Shepherd, and the Blue Heeler (or the Australian Cattle Dog).
Quite an interesting mix, right? These dogs are extremely loyal and work-oriented: they used to be herding dogs.
This dog breed is known under other names also, such as the Texas Heeler, the Aussie Blue Heeler Mix, the Australian Heeler, and the Queensland Heeler. Both of his ancestors were such intelligent and hardworking dogs that it is no wonder why we got such an amazing mix of these two dog breeds!
The Texas Heeler might be a medium-sized dog, but his energy level is as high as in much larger dogs.
If you want your pet to have a high energy level and always be ready for some action, this mix would be the perfect dog breed for you.
Let’s first find out something about the beginnings of this hybrid dog.
History Behind The Mixed Breed
In the late 80s, in Texas, ranchers came up with the idea of mixing two dog breeds: the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd. Where did this idea come from? Well, both of these dog breeds were extremely capable and intelligent herding dogs.
Their idea was actually brilliant, and this mixed dog breed became very popular. Many of these dogs are still hard-working dogs on ranches across Texas, while some of them have become great family dogs.
To understand all the important features of this mixed dog breed, first, it is important to get to know some of the most important traits of both of its parents.
Texas Heeler Ancestor: Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is sometimes also called by other names such as the Australian Heeler, the Red Heeler, or the Blue Heeler.
The Blue Heeler’s ancestor was the Smithfield, which was later interbed with some other wild dogs, such as Dingoes. The Blue Heeler itself also has an interesting history, don’t you think?
This dog was first bred on ranches by Australian settlers who developed this dog breed into brilliant herding dogs. Most of these dogs are still used as herding dogs, while some of them become dear family members for a lot of people.
These dogs are extremely active and need plenty of exercise for them to be healthy and happy. If the Blue Heeler doesn’t receive enough exercise, he might start biting or nipping. These are the herding instincts manifesting in this dog breed, so it is very important to give them enough work assignments so they can be active all the time.
Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely loyal to their owners, but they need to be socialized and trained at an early age in order to avoid the possibility of dangerous behavior.
Do you like the description of the Blue Heeler? Not only is this dog mixed with the Aussie, but there are also some other mixes. For example, there is the Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix, and the Blue Heeler Chihuahua Mix.
Texas Heeler Ancestor: Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd, or popularly called the Aussie, was bred in the middle of the 19th century in the western United States – not in Australia as his name suggests.
Just like the Blue Heeler, the Australian Shepherd dog was also developed as a herding dog. Very hard working and active, the Australian Shepherd is the best watch dog you can imagine.
He also needs to be active all the time, and if he is not, he might show destructive behavior. This dog breed is very good at all kinds of sports, and also serves as a police dog that is efficient in search and rescue tasks.
Aussie Shepherds are very much in love with their human families, and they do not like to be left alone for too long. Being very energetic and intelligent, this dog is the happiest when he has some work to do!
Just like the Australian Cattle Dog, the Australian Shepherd is a mixed-breed dog with some other breeds. Because of that, today, we have mixed dogs such as the Aussie German Shepherd mix, and the Aussie Pitbull Mix.
Reading about the characteristics of both of his ancestors, we can conclude that the Queensland heeler had pretty good characteristics to inherit from both sides.
What Is The Temperament Of A Blue Heeler Aussie Mix?
If you see this mixed-breed dog for the first time, I am sure you will think: How beautiful this dog looks. But, what about his temperament? Is he an easygoing or a demanding dog breed?
Let’s see what this dog’s temperament is really about…
Intelligence And Hard Work
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler has inherited the intelligence and hardworking characteristics of both of his parent breeds.
The first thing that is necessary to emphasize is this dog’s intelligence. After spending a lot of time with their owner, an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler tends to read their owner’s mind and show an understanding of their moods.
These dogs are indeed working dogs that have been bred to spend all of their days being busy on the farm. Just leave them outdoors for the entire day and they will be the happiest dogs. They need their space a lot, but mostly, they need a lot of activities and hard work!
This dog is not the kind of animal that shows attention to people – at first, he might appear hostile to everyone. However, once he gets used to his human family, he becomes the most loyal and loving dog you can imagine.
He will want to spend all his time by your side, so make sure you establish a joint daily routine from an early age. Also, your Texas Heeler will want to defend you in all situations, so always be careful when having him around strangers.
There is no better guard dog than an Aussie Blue Heeler Mix. It is important to socialize this dog early, so he can still act protectively, but not show aggressive behavior.
If there is any possibility that an unknown person is on your territory, your dog will inform you immediately. However, it is important to teach these dogs at their early age what a possible danger is and what an insignificant occurrence is in which he doesn’t have to alarm his owner about. Start early and be very patient!
Socializing With Small Children
This mixed dog breed is likely to become the best friend of your kids, but it is still necessary to be very careful. This dog will enjoy endless game playing with children, but thanks to its natural instinct to herd, it might nip at children, even though it doesn’t have any bad intentions.
Due to acts like these, many children develop a fear of dogs at an early age, so we repeat once more: early socialization is one of the most important steps in the training of Australian Shepherd Blue Heelers.
Now that we know the character traits of the Texas Heeler, let’s also learn something about its appearance.
How Big Will An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Get?
This dog breed is best described as an athletic, medium-sized dog. These dogs more often look like their Blue Heeler ancestor rather than the Aussie.
The average size of an adult male dog of this breed goes from 18 to 22 inches, while females are usually in the size range of between 17 and 19 inches.
The average weight for male Texas Heelers goes from 30 to 50 pounds, while females usually weigh between 25 and 40 pounds.
Coat & Colors
These mixed dog breeds have a smooth double coat, divided into the topcoat and the undercoat, which is great for keeping them warm in cold weather.
These dogs tend to shed throughout the whole year, but you will not have difficulties with grooming a Texas Heeler – just don’t miss brushing your dog as often as you can.
While some of these dogs have a stiff coat, others end up with a smoother coat. The reason for this is because they are a mixed dog breed. Some dogs will inherit more traits from the Aussie, and some will look more like the Australian Cattle Dog.
Their coats come in various colors, such as black, gray, white, tan, blue merle, and brown. Also, many of these dogs have a mix of a couple of colors on their fur.
Since this dog has parents of different dog breeds, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix might suffer from certain genetic health problems. These dogs might inherit health problems known in both of its parents.
Because of this, every mixed dog breed owner needs to make sure that their dog has its regular checks at the vet in order to be aware if there are any health concerns.
Common Health Issues
The possible health problems your Aussie Blue Heeler Mix dog might deal with are the following:
• Hip dysplasia: This medical condition is hereditary, and it mostly affects medium-large and large dog breeds. This condition can be described as a developmental anomaly of the structure of the dog’s hips, where the fast-growing bony part of the hip is not sufficiently strengthened by supporting structures.
• Progressive retinal atrophy: This condition is an inherited retinal disease that causes degeneration of retinal photoreceptor cells. In advanced stages, this medical condition can even cause complete blindness.
• Collie eye: This condition usually causes underdevelopment of blood vessels in the dog’s eye that provide blood flow to the retina. If not treated, this disease can also lead to blindness.
• Deafness: Some dogs of this mixed breed might inherit deafness from their Australian Shepherd ancestor. Don’t forget to ask the breeder if the dog’s hearing has been tested.
How To Make Sure A Texas Heeler Is Healthy
So, how is a Texas Heleer’s health in general?
They might inherit some serious medical conditions from their parents, so potential owners of these dogs should be aware of the importance of regular vet checkups.
The first thing you must do before you purchase a Texas Heeler is choose a reputable breeder. Only reputable breeders will give you correct information about the health of their puppies. Also, by deciding on a reputable breeder, you will be sure your future puppy has all of its necessary health certificates.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of An Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix?
Texas Heelers are, in general, a healthy dog breed whose lifespan is estimated at 12 to 16 years.
Of course, this is the average life expectancy of Aussie Blue Heeler mixed dogs, which means that not every dog of this breed will live to this age. To make sure your dog enjoys as many years with you as possible, put his health first and never miss a vet checkup!
What are the nutritional needs of an Aussie Blue Heeler Mix?
Since these dogs are very energetic and active, they need quality food and plenty of it. They need their calories so they can work for the entire day, right? First of all, the Texas Heeler needs to have fresh drinking water available all the time.
On average, an adult Aussie Blue Heeler Mix needs around 2 ½ cups of kibble (or dry dog food) on a daily basis. The number of calories he needs ranges from 900 to 1,750 per day.
Always choose cooked meat rather than raw meat for this dog. Food served to your dog should be full of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. Probiotics are also a desirable ingredient so your Texas Heeler can digest his food easily.
Always make sure you read the ingredients written on the label of the dog food that you are using.
When it comes to food selection, the best idea is to ask your vet for advice about the quality and adequate diet for your pet.
Training And Exercise
This dog can be described as very trainable. He is able to learn commands and various tricks very quickly. If you are a good teacher and a patient dog trainer, then look no further other than the Aussie Blue Heeler.
The most important thing with this mixed dog breed is to start the training and socialization at this dog’s early age.
First Commands Your Dog Will Learn
What do you start with? At the beginning of your training, your dog should learn basic commands, such as lie down, sit, come, and stay.
This will probably not be an easy task, but with a little patience, your Texas Heeler will learn these commands and many others. Don’t forget how intelligent this dog is!
Use Positive Reinforcement
What does it mean to use positive reinforcement while training a dog? It means that in some sense, you reward your dog for his good behavior and obedience. There are many things you can use here depending on your dog’s preferences.
For example, if there is some food he is crazy about, you can give him this treat after the training is done. If there is some game he especially likes, reward him with playing it after he has successfully learned some new command.
Praise is something you should try to use as much as you can while training your dog. Also, reward your dog friend with some nice words!
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix will learn very soon that his good behavior is being rewarded, so he will be likely to repeat this kind of behavior in the future. These dogs learn very quickly, and they are also very eager to please their owner.
Too much exercise is not possible for the Aussie Blue Heeler Mix! Although he would like to run, swim, or just spend all of his day outside, most dog owners don’t have the capacity to be outside with their dog for the entire day.
Your Texas Heeler will need at least two hours of exercise per day. As you can see, having this kind of dog can be a lot of fun, but it is still a big commitment.
If you don’t have any time to provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation, this dog will not have a quality life in your home. Be very careful, though, since these dogs might show destructive behavior if they are not active enough.
We have gone through all the important traits of the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixed dog breed, and now there is one thing you sure want to know: the cost of this wonderful pooch.
These dogs are very popular in Texas, so if you are in search of a Texas Heeler, the best thing to do is look for reputable breeders in that area.
The average price for this puppy in Texas is between $200 and $700. This dog might be more expensive in some other states.
I am sure you are aware of it, but let me remind you once more: always look for a recommended and reliable breeder!
Besides buying a Texas Heeler, there is always another good option: adoption. By doing this, you will not only help a puppy get his new home, but you will also pay less money – probably not more than $250.
The Decision On Getting An Aussie Blue Heeler Mix
The final decision on purchasing a dog might be a life changing decision, so it is necessary to consider all the pros and cons multiple times.
To help you with your decision as to whether or not you should get an Aussie Blue Heeler Mix, I made a list of advantages and disadvantages of having a dog of this breed that will hopefully help you make the ultimate decision.
Advantages Of Having A Texas Heeler
• This highly energetic dog will want to play and run for the entire day. If your family is an active one and you all love to spend time in nature, this dog is perfect for you!
• The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix is a very intelligent and highly trainable dog breed, so it is a good choice for dog owners who want their dog to know a lot of tricks. Just imagine all those people admiring your dog’s skills that you taught him!
• This dog was made to work and herd, so if you are living on a farm or in a house with a big yard, this is the dog you are looking for.
Disadvantages Of Having A Texas Heeler
• If you are living in an apartment in the city, you should probably choose another dog for yourself. The Texas Heeler needs a lot of space, and it is not suited for apartment life.
• Due to his herding instincts, the Texas Heeler might nip at kids or other animals. This dog is not a good choice for families with small kids nor for first-time dog owners.
• This is a very demanding dog, so if you don’t have enough time for training and socializing this dog, this will be a con for you.
The perfect herding dog and the perfect protector of your family – this is our final thought on the marvelous Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix.
Given enough living space and exercise, the Texas Heeler will become your best friend. Just make sure he has enough activities throughout the whole day because this dog loves to work!
If you are looking for a highly active, energetic, and intelligent dog, this is a match for you. If you have plenty of space, you don’t have to think about what kind of puppy to get! With this dog, you will find your work buddy and your play buddy.
I hope you have fallen in love with this dog breed, and that soon, you will become a proud Texas Heeler owner!