The Blue Heeler is also known as Australian Cattle dog (ACD), Australian Heeler, Hall's Heeler and Blue Heeler. It is a typical herding dog that was developed in 19th century in Australia when an Australian farmer crossed two herding dog breeds to produce Hall's Heelers. The dogs were made available for public and were subsequently developed into two modern breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
The Blue Heeler is a medium sized working dog with great endurance and stamina. It is known to be able to work alone all day long without any aid in droving the sheep.
The dog appears to be compact, strong and symmetrically built. The head is strong, proportioned to body with a broad skull. The muzzle is medium length with black nose. Oval shape dark brown eyes are medium size and pricked ears are moderately small and broad at the base. The neck and shoulders are strong and muscular; the forelegs are straight and parallel and the feet is round and arched. The breed sports a double coat that is water-resistant and comes in two primary colors; the blue and the red speckle. The dog stands between 17 to 20 inches and weighs between 44- 60 pounds respectively.
The Blue Heeler is recognized by major kennel clubs including AKC, FCI, CKC, UKC, DRA and many others.
Primary colors for the Blue Heeler are blue and red speckle although cream and chocolate do occur.
Blue dog displays blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without black, blue or tan markings on the head.
Red color should be evenly speckled all over with or without darker red markings on the head.
The puppies are born white and blue or red coloration appears as they grow old.
The Blue Heeler displays a double coat that is medium size and smooth from outer with dense and short undercoat.
Loyal, courageous and hardworking, the Blue Heeler is a typical herding dog. It is friendly and loving to its master but wary and suspicious of strangers. Strong protective instincts make the dog a self-appointing guardian of the owner, property and possessions. These dogs can attach themselves more to one member of the family, usually its master but will be docile and friendly with all other members of the family. Having an independent nature, the dog would love to be praised but does not require much in the way of cuddling or affection. It is one of the most intelligent dog breeds around.
The Blue Heeler dog is playful and gentle when with family. It gets along well with other dogs as long as the dogs do not show authority over it. This dog has herding instincts and may try to herd family members out of boredom or if it wants something. Older children are more suitable for this dog as young children will run and squeal.
It is a very good watch and guard dog. Though generally silent, the Blue Heeler will signal alarm if it senses anything unusual around it. It can be a great family dog with proper socialization and training.
The Blue Heeler requires minimal grooming and is known as wash and wear dog. Brushing the coat once a week is enough to keep the coat clean and odor-free. Wiping the coat once in a while will keep it shiny.
Nails, ears and teeth should be checked regularly to avoid health problems.
Very intelligent and responsive, the Blue Heeler can be trained easily with positive training techniques.
The Blue Heeler has high demands for activities. The dog does not like to sit idle all day long and will be happiest when given a task to do. With a fertile and active mind, the dog will invent its own activities if not given ample working opportunities. The dog can take part in dog agility, obedience competition, weight pulling, flyball and schutzhund. It makes an excellent hiking companion. It can adapt to city or apartment life if provided with ample exercise opportunities. These dogs are also used in drug detection and police work as well as therapy dogs.