Blue Heelers

Blue Heelers are an Australian breed of cattle herding dog. They have a thick, short double coat that is usually blue or red with white markings. Blue Heelers are highly intelligent and loyal dogs that have been bred for centuries to herd livestock, such as cattle and sheep. They are known for their strong work ethic and devotion to their owners, making them ideal companions for active households. They can also make great family pets, if given proper training and socialization. Blue Heelers are known for their high energy levels, and they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy and healthy.

Blue Heelers are loyal and loving companions that thrive on human interaction. They tend to bond with their family quickly and form strong attachments, so they should never be left alone for long periods of time. Blue Heelers need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy, and it’s important to keep them busy with plenty of activities such as walks, playtime, training sessions, and agility courses. This breed is also known for their strong herding instincts, and it’s important to give them open spaces where they can run around and get the exercise they need.

Blue Heelers are a great choice for active households that want an intelligent and loyal companion. With proper training, socialization, and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, Blue Heelers make wonderful family pets.

The AKC has Blue Heelers as the 48th most popular dog in 2022.

Blue Heeler Information

  • Average Height: 18-20 inches
  • Average Length:  Between 18 to 20 inches
  • Average Weight: Around 40-50 pounds
  • Coat Type: Short, thick double coat
  • Coat Appearance: Double coat, thick and short
  • Coat Colors: Variations Blue or Red with White Markings
  • Grooming Needs: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Brushing Requirements: Moderate
  • Sensitive to Touch: Highly sensitive to touch
  • Excessive Barking: Yes
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Yes!
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable for life in an Apartment: Great apartment dogs
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: Highly intelligent and easily trainable dogs
  • Exercise Needs: High 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, cardiomyopathy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Allergies: Hypoallergenic breed
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Physical Appearance of a Blue Heeler

Blue Heelers are a medium-sized breed with a thick double coat that is usually blue or red, though other colors are possible. Their coats have white markings and range from short to long. Their breed has strong, muscular legs and a broad chest with an upright stance. They have a long muzzle and ears that sit high.

Temperament of a Blue Heeler

Blue Heelers are known for their strong work ethic and loyalty. They are intelligent, alert, and confident dogs that make great companions for active families. They tend to bond quickly with their family and form strong attachments. Blue Heelers have an independent streak but can also be very loving and affectionate when given proper training and socialization.

Training a Blue Heeler

Training a Blue Heeler is important to ensure that they will be a happy and healthy companion. The first step in training a Blue Heeler is to establish a strong bond between you and the dog. A strong bond will lead to more successful training sessions, because your Blue Heeler will trust and respect you more. It’s also important to give consistent rewards during training sessions.

Training a Blue Heeler is an important part of owning this breed. These dogs are smart and eager to please, and consistent training and positive reinforcement will help them learn quickly. It’s important to start early with housebreaking, as well as basic commands like sit and stay. Using clicker training is also a great way to reinforce good behavior and reward your pup for a job well done.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Blue Heeler barking at strangers can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization training can help your Blue Heeler become more comfortable around people and other animals. This should be done as early as possible, ideally before they’re six months old. Socialization can involve introducing your dog to different people, animals, environments, and noises in a positive way. It’s important that the environment is one that the pup finds comfortable and safe, so they can learn to associate these new experiences with positive feelings. 

Socialization should be done gradually and in a controlled way to ensure that the pup is not overwhelmed. With early socialization, your Blue Heeler will be better adjusted and more comfortable around people and other animals.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Blue Heelers. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Clicker Training

They need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Their Compatibility with Children

Blue Heelers are generally compatible with children and make great family pets. They are loyal and loving companions that form strong attachments to their family, and it’s important to give them plenty of love and attention. Their herding instincts should also be taken into consideration when introducing them to children, Because they might try to herd small kids or animals.

Best Climate for a Blue Heeler

The best climate for a Blue Heeler is one that has mild to moderate temperatures year-round. These dogs thrive in cooler climates with lower humidity, because their double coat can become uncomfortable in hot and humid conditions. It’s also important to make sure that your pup has plenty of shade to protect them from overheating during the summer months.

The Attention a Blue Heeler Needs

Blue Heelers are intelligent, loyal dogs that need a high level of attention and exercise to be happy and healthy. These dogs need plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity to stay occupied. They thrive when they have a job to do, such as playing fetch or helping out around the house. This breed loves spending time with their family and will often follow them around the house all day.

Health Issues

Blue Heelers can be prone to a range of health issues, including hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, and skin issues. It’s important to keep up with regular veterinary checkups to ensure the health and well-being of your pup. Proper nutrition is key for maintaining a healthy weight and immune system.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia is a condition that affects a dog’s elbow joint. It’s caused by abnormal growth and development of their elbow joint, resulting in pain, lameness, and arthritis. Elbow dysplasia can be caused by genetic factors or environmental factors such as nutrition or trauma.

Symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia

Dogs can also have a decreased range of motion in the affected joint. In severe cases, dogs will have difficulty walking or running. The symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia can vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages, dogs can have signs of:

  •  Lameness 
  •  Stiffness in their elbow joint

 As the condition progresses, dogs will get:

  •  Increased pain 
  •  Swelling in the joint

In severe cases, dogs can get arthritis in their elbow joint.


Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. Cataracts occur when the lens in an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, blocking light from passing through to the retina. This can lead to decreased vision, or even complete blindness.

There are several causes of cataracts, including genetics, diabetes, trauma, and certain medications.

Cataracts can be a serious condition, but with proper treatment, your dog can regain their vision and live a happy life.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious heart condition that can affect any dog breed. It’s identified by an enlarged heart and weakened contractions, leading to decreased blood flow throughout the body.

DCM is caused by a variety of factors including genetics, nutrition deficiencies, and certain medications. It’s important to note that some breeds are more prone to developing DCM than others. These include Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Boxers, and Irish Wolfhounds.

It’s important for pet owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of DCM in order to get prompt treatment if their dog is affected. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve the dog’s prognosis and quality of life.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina of dogs. It’s an inherited condition, meaning it’s passed down from parent to offspring.

PRA is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing the photoreceptor cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for converting light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as vision. As PRA progresses, these photoreceptor cells die off, leading to blindness.

Symptoms of Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Symptoms of PRA can vary depending on the breed and type of PRA, but generally include:

  • Night blindness
  • Decreased vision in dim light
  • Dilated pupils
  • Eye Cloudiness
  • Head tilt
  • Head tilt

As the disease progresses, these symptoms could worsen and eventually lead to total blindness.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

Blue Heelers have a thick double coat that needs regular grooming to keep it looking its best. Their coats should be brushed at least once a week with a slicker brush to prevent tangles and mats. Bathing should also be done every few months using a mild shampoo designed for dogs. To keep their ears clean, use an ear cleaning solution and cotton balls. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent any pain or discomfort.

A close up of a bowl of dog food.

Feeding A Blue Heeler

It’s important to ensure they receive the proper nutrition and stay at a healthy weight. This breed needs a diet rich in protein, with plenty of vitamins and minerals. High-quality dry food made for large breeds should be given two to three times a day, although puppies will need to eat more frequently. Treats can also be given as rewards but should only make up at most 10% of the dog’s daily caloric intake.

Related Questions:

What type of Commands Can I Teach my Blue Heeler Using Clicker Training?

Clicker training is a great way to teach your Blue Heeler basic commands, such as sit, stay, come, and down. You can also use it to teach more complex behaviors like walking off the leash or retrieving objects.

How Much Exercise does a Blue Heeler Need?

Blue Heelers are an active breed that needs plenty of physical and mental exercise. They should get at least one hour of exercise a day, which can include activities like walks, playing fetch, or going for a run. Mental stimulation is also important to keep them entertained and prevent boredom.