Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix

Have you ever seen a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix dog? With the rising popularity of designer dog breeds, mixed-breed pups like the Blue Heeler Aussie are becoming more and more common. This cross between …

Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix

Have you ever seen a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix dog? With the rising popularity of designer dog breeds, mixed-breed pups like the Blue Heeler Aussie are becoming more and more common. This cross between an Australian Cattle Dog and an Australian Shepherd brings together two highly intelligent working breeds, resulting in a dog that’s energetic, loyal, and ready to take on just about any task or adventure.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the unique Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix, including:

  • Origins and history
  • Temperament and personality
  • Appearance and coat colors
  • Exercise and activity needs
  • Training tips and requirements
  • Health and care

Let’s get started!

A Brief History of the Parents Breeds

To better understand the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix, let’s first take a quick look at the history of the two parent breeds.

The Australian Cattle Dog

  • Originally bred in Australia (as the name suggests!) in the 1800s to herd cattle over long distances
  • Prized for their energy, intelligence, alertness, and ability to control challenging cattle
  • Ancestry traces back to Smithfield, dingo, and Dalmatian dogs
  • Known for their distinctive mottled coats in black, blue, and red speckles

The Australian Shepherd

  • Has origins tracing back to Australia in the 1800s as an all-purpose farm and herding dog
  • Later popularized in western North America among cowboys and shepherds
  • Known for high energy, trainability, loyalty, and protectiveness of their family
  • Features distinctive pointed ears and comes in a variety of striking coat colors like black/tan, red/blue merle, red tricolor

The Appealing, Appealing Blue Heeler Aussie Mix

When you combine these two intelligent, high-energy breeds you get anactive and loyal canine companion that inherits some of the best qualities of both parent breeds.

Some of the top reasons to consider the Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix include:

1. Their Friendly and Devoted Nature

The Aussie Heeler mix is known for forming extremely strong bonds with their human family. They thrive when they have plenty of affection, attention, and activities with their owner. This mix takes the loyalty of the Australian Shepherd and mixes it with the fun-loving exuberance of the Blue Heeler.

2. Athleticism and Energy

Both parent breeds were originally bred as active working dogs, so a Blue Heeler Aussie cross will be lively, athletic, and energetic. These robust pups enjoy strenuous play like hiking, running, swimming fetching, or playing dog sports. If you lead an active lifestyle, this energetic hybrid can be the perfect companion to join in the fun!

3. A Striking Coat and Eye-Catching Looks

From the signature mottled speckled coat of the Blue Heeler to the colorful merle variations from the Aussie gene pool, this mix can sport a gorgeous double coat in black, blue, red/blue merle, or red speckle that is sure to turn heads. Their expressive eyes are often a mix of brilliant amber, blue, or brown.

4. Next-Level Intelligence

Australian Shepherds and Blue Heelers are two of the smartest dog breeds out there. So when you mix their genes you often get a dog with off-the-charts intelligence. This makes Blue Heeler Aussies highly trainable and adept at learning commands, tricks, and jobs. Just be sure to provide plenty mental stimulation to keep them happily challenged!

5. A Great Family Dog

Despite their working dog roots, properly socialized Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mixes make wonderful family pets. Their loving temperament combined with an eagerness to please and protect their family makes them an ideal hybrid dog for active households with kids.

Now that you know why this mix makes such a splendid canine companion, let’s jump into what to expect with their temperament and personality.

Inside the Mind of a Blue Heeler Aussie

Since designer hybrid mixes can inherit any combination of traits from their parent breeds, aspects like personality and temperament can sometimes vary, even within the same litter.

However, some generalities typically apply when it comes to anticipating the temperament of a Blue Heeler crossed with Australian Shepherd:

Attentive and Eager to Please

This mix tends to take after the Australian Shepherd in their focus, trainability, and desire to closely monitor their surroundings (including their family!). They aim to please their owners and are quick to respond to commands when properly motivated.

Clever and Quick Witted

With both parent breeds ranking among the most intelligent in the canine world, the Aussie Heeler also ends up remarkably smart and fast learners. Complex problem solving, advanced tricks, and intensive training routines help keep their agile minds engaged.

Cautious Around Strangers

Inheriting some protective instincts from both lineages means this cross can often be initially reserved or wary of unfamiliar people entering their territory. However, with plenty of early socialization this wariness around strangers can be overcome.

High Prey Drive Potential

Between the Australian Shepherd’s background as a herder and the Heeler’s skills at driving cattle, this mix is prone to chasing instincts when triggered by moving objects like squirrels, cats, bicycles, or livestock. Be sure to leash your pup in unsecured areas.

Loyal and Loving (Especially with Family)

While cautious of new acquaintances, the Blue Heeler Shepherd forms deep close bonds with their immediate family members. They relish time spent together through activities like playtime, training exercises, or snuggles on the couch.

Energetic and Curious Nature

As the offspring of two energetic working breeds bred for endurance over tough ranch terrain, an Aussie/Heeler mix will be always on the go! Be prepared to give them plenty of vigorous daily activity and outdoor adventures that provide mental stimulation and sate their curiosity about the world around them.

Now that you know a bit more about their friendly and focused temperament, let’s explore their striking physical appearance!

The Look of the Blue Heeler Aussie Mix

One of the most variable aspects from puppy to puppy among Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler crosses is what they ultimately look like in terms of build, coat color, eyes, etc. Each puppy can exhibit unique combinations of physical traits from one or both parent breeds.

However, here is an overview of common features found in many Blue Heeler/Aussie mixes:

Size, Height and Weight

As medium-sized breeds, Australian Shepherds generally range from 18-23 inches tall at the shoulder and 35-65 pounds, while Blue Heelers are typically 17-20 inches tall and 35-50 pounds in size. So their crossbreed offspring often ends up a similar medium stature around 35-60 lbs and reaching 17 to 22 inches tall at maturity.

Physical Build and Proportions

Most sport a sturdy, muscular and athletic build. They have a proportionally large head with floppy, folded ears coming to a slight point. Paws are rounded and feet oval-shaped. Their frame strikes a balance between agility and strength.

Double-Layer Weatherproof Coat

The Blue Heeler cross Aussie inherits a thick double coat well-equipped to handle weather extremes. The outer layer is straight or slightly wavy, while the dense undercoat serves as insulation from cold or heat. expect moderate seasonal shedding a few times per year.

Range of Striking Coat Colors

From jet black to vibrant red and captivating blue merle, this mix can display any number of gorgeous coat colors and markings. Solid blacks, tricolors, speckled, spotted, or mottled coats with white and copper highlights are all possible. Eye color varies too, but often matches the coat shade.

The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is a stunning hybrid! Next, let’s cover their substantial exercise requirements.

Exercise Needs: Lots of Activity Required!

Bred for endurance across tough environmental conditions and rugged terrain, the high-energy Aussie/Heeler thrives best with plenty of daily vigorous activity. Expect this exuberant hybrid to need 45-60+ minutes of hard exercise every day!

Effective types of exercise for a Blue Heeler/Aussie mix include activities like:

  • Long walks/runs
  • Hiking and trail adventures
  • Playing games of fetch
  • Swimming and water fun
  • Agility courses
  • Interactive dog toys

In addition to physical exercise, be sure to incorporate mental stimulation too. These intelligent crosses need both a strong body AND mind!

Fun ways to tire out their brain include:

  • Advanced obedience or trick training
  • Food puzzle toys with hidden treats
  • Hide and seek games
  • Herding drills or doggie jobs
  • New environments and socialization opportunities

Without adequate daily activity, this restless mix may resort to naughty behaviors like chewing, barking, or digging due to pent-up energy and boredom. Be sure to meet their needs!

Next, let’s explore efficient training tips for this bright hybrid breed.

Tips for Training the Smart Blue Heeler Aussie Mix

With two extremely intelligent and trainable purebred parents like the Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler, their hybrid offspring generally rank close to the top for canine IQ too.

Smart and eager to please, most Blue Heeler/Aussie crosses respond exceptionally well to training. But it’s still vital to utilize only positive reinforcement techniques for the best results. Harsh methods do NOT pair well with their sensitive nature.

Here are some key training pointers for the Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix:

Start Socialization Early

Expose your Aussie/Blue Heeler pup to new sights, sounds, people and experiences starting at 7-8 weeks old to build confidence and prevent wariness toward strangers or triggers like loud noises later in life.

Be Firm and Consistent

While sensitive, this hybrid benefits from a structured and consistent training approach. Set clear expectations and stick to them. Praise and reward desirable behaviors.

Motivate with Play, Praise and Treats

Energetic and food-driven, this mix responds exceptionally well to motivation through encouragement, playtime rewards, small treat incentives and positive praise during or after command repetition. Make sessions fun!

Focus on Basic Obedience First

Mastering basic cues like sit, stay, come, down, heel and leave it should be the cornerstone of early puppy training. A solid foundation helps advanced training stick faster later on.

Consider Advanced Dog Sports

To tap into their athleticism and high working drive, enroll clever Blue Heeler/Aussie crosses in dog sports like agility, flyball, frisbee and herding. These intensive activities challenge their body and mind.

Proper socialization, firm leadership and motivation are keys for successfully training this exceptional hybrid pup! Next, let’s go over some important health considerations.

Staying Healthy: Potential Health Issues to Know

Luckily, Australian Shepherds and Blue Heelers are generally healthy purebreds less prone to major congenital diseases. However, prospective owners should be aware of a few potential health issues that can occasionally affect this mix:

  • Hip dysplasia – Malformation of hip joints leading to osteoarthritis. Can cause lameness and discomfort. Risk is reduced if parents were OFA certified.
  • Elbow dysplasia– Degenerative joint disease resulting in osteoarthritis pain. More prevalent in fast-growing pups.
  • Eye defects – Inherited eye problems affecting vision like colobomas, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, or retinal folds. Should be screened by a vet ophthalmologist.
  • MDR1 drug sensitivity – Aussies carry a genetic mutation that makes them more reactive to certain common drugs. Alternatives should be used.
  • Hereditary deafness – Congenital deafness traced back to the Aussie lineage can affect one or both ears. BAER testing of parents helps gauge risk levels.

Reputable breeders will screen breeding stock for hip/elbow dysplasia, MDR1 status, eye issues, thyroid problems and BAER hearing tests to reduce chances of inherited conditions being passed down.

Caring for an Australian Shepherd crossed with Blue Heeler is very rewarding, but also a big responsibility. Are you up for the challenge? Let’s recap why this mix makes a great pet:

They’re Devoted and Loyal

Forming extremely close bonds with their family is natural for this breed. Shower them love and affection and they’ll happily return the favor!

They’re Fun-Loving and Cheerful

Pairing the Blue Heeler’s upbeat personality with the Aussie’s playfulness makes for a mix that enjoys making you laugh almost as much as going on adventures!

They’re Clever and Eager to Learn

Exceptional intelligence means most pick up cues quickly. But be sure to keep schooling their smart minds with continued training and tasks.

They Have Endless Energy!

Be prepared to give this high-drive hybrid LOTS of daily exercise and stimulation! Expect to be very active together.

Thanks so much for reading this guide all about the unique Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd breed mix! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below!

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