Blue Heelers are quintessential herding dogs. They’re hardworking, energetic, and intelligent enough to outsmart even their owners. They do their job with pride and without complaints, throwing their whole heart and soul into everything they do.
But hardworking nature aside, are Blue Heelers good dogs?
The answer to this question is a big yes, Blue Heelers are great dogs! They positively respond to active play and structured training, making them great companions for active families.
Here are some reasons why Blue Heelers are such wonderful pets:
7 Reasons Why Blue Heelers are Awesome Pets
Blue Heelers—also known as Australian Cattle Dogs—are one of the best dog breeds an active family can have. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you should get one for your family:
1. Extremely Intelligent
Blue Heelers are one of the smartest dog breeds alive. In fact, their intelligence rivals that of German Shepherds and Poodles!
Blue Heelers are the 10th smartest dog breed in terms of command trainability according to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. They can take on new skills and commands without you having to constantly repeat yourself.
2. Super High Energy
If you love going out on long runs, Blue Heelers make fantastic companions.
Blue Heelers are high-energy dogs. They can play all day and night as long as they have a playing partner, making them the perfect breed for active pet parents that love spending time outside.
It’s important to note that high-energy dogs like Blue Heelers must be exercised at least once a day to satisfy their high-energy requirements.
And since their minds are just as active as their physical bodies, they require a lot of mental exercises too, like chasing toys or playing with puzzles.
If they don’t get sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, they might partake in destructive behavior (i.e., loud barking, chewing, digging, etc.).
So if you’re one to live a more sedentary lifestyle, or are often busy or tired after work, Blue Heelers might not be a good match for you.
3. Great Around Older Children
Though active, Blue Heelers are mild-mannered—especially when they’ve undergone comprehensive socialization at a young age. This makes them an excellent choice for families with older children (age 10 and above).
They aren’t the best fit for children ages 8 and below though, as young kids can be erratic, loud, and unpredictable. They tolerate small children but only to a certain degree, so they shouldn’t be left alone with young kids—as with any other medium-to-large dogs.
Blue Heelers can be extremely protective of the people they love, children included. They can be wary around other people when they’re not home. If an unfamiliar child approaches a Blue Heeler, the dog might react negatively if they think the stranger is a threat.
4. Fiercely Loyal and Protective
Most dog breeds are loyal, but Blue Heelers stand out in the loyalty department. They’re extremely protective of their family, and won’t hesitate to attack if their loved ones are threatened.
They’re not as affectionate as, say, Golden Retrievers and Corgis, but they’ll do everything in their power to protect you and your family. This is why Blue Heelers make awesome guard dogs; under that mild-mannered persona, they can be fierce and brave when necessary!
5. Responsible and Hard Working
Alongside Border Collies and Australian Shepherd, Blue Heelers are a farmhand’s favorite.
Cattle herding is basically embedded in their DNA, so they’re capable of taking direction and working independently when given a task. If you’re to give them a job, they’ll stop at nothing to achieve it—even if it’s something simple like completing puzzles.
That said, Blue Heelers shine brightest in a field full of livestock. They’re fast and agile, keen on helping ranchers control, move, and guard a herd. They aren’t intimidated by animals twice or even thrice as large as them.
In fact, they do best with larger animals because their herding techniques can be a bit aggressive with smaller animals (like chickens and ducks).
6. Just the Right Size
Blue Heelers are medium-sized dogs. They stand anywhere between 17 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 35 to 50 pounds.
This means that they’re not as “fragile” as small dogs; they’re not easily injured during accidents and can handle a bit of rough play with older kids.
They’re also easier to feed, bathe, and transport, and generally require less room than large dogs.
This makes them a great choice for people with small apartments or strict landlords—just make sure you take them out every day!
7. Minimal Grooming Needs
Blue Heelers are low-maintenance breeds. They’re easy to groom; simply brush their coat once in a while and they’ll be happy campers!
They don’t even need to be bathed all that often—once every four to six weeks is more than sufficient.
Their short coats are designed to resist water and dirt, so you won’t have to concern yourself with baths are much as other herding dogs (unless your pup has a tendency to roll around the mud!).
They do shed, but not as much as Huskies or German Shepherds. Brushing them once a week lessens their shedding significantly.
How long do Blue Heelers live?
Blue Heelers have a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years, but some can live way past that age. In fact, the official holder of the “World’s Oldest Dog” title is held by a lively Blue Heeler named Bluey. Bluey lived up to age 29 before he succumbed to old age.
Are Blue Heelers hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no; Blue Heelers aren’t a hypoallergenic breed. Because of this, they don’t do well with people suffering from allergic reactions and asthma.
Are Blue Heelers prone to disease?
Blue Heelers are tough dogs; they’re bred to herd cattle all day, every day, without complaint. They’re also extremely energetic and would jump at the chance to do something fun with you. They’re a healthy, hardy breed with little health concerns.
Still, they’re not entirely immune to health issues. Potential health conditions include eye defects, hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and orthopedic issues.
Blue Heelers are wonderful family dogs. They’re the very picture of strength and loyalty; they’re great around older children, love to play, and are hard-working to boot. And since they’re so intelligent, they’re easy to train!
If you can handle high-energy dogs, Blue Heelers are a breed you should consider getting for your family.