Blue Heelers, sometimes called Australian Cattle Dogs, can be wonderful pets for your family. These dogs are full of energy, intelligent, and friendly, but they have extremely particular needs. Blue Heelers were first bred as working dogs, and they are still used on many farms and ranches. Heelers often maintain their herding sense and desire to work, so owners need to give their dogs a chance to be active.
If you are considering adding a Blue Heeler to your family, you will need to understand how to deal with the temperament of a Blue Heeler. All dogs are not created equal, and the Heeler’s training and exercise needs usually label it as a dog for experienced owners only, and for someone with room to run.
If you love dogs that are smart and active, then the Blue Heeler may be a great dog for you. Even though Blue Heelers are ideal for many pet owners, some people are not fully equipped to handle the aggression level present in some of these dogs.
Blue Heelers are famous for their ability to herd livestock, including difficult and intelligent creatures such as pigs. Blue Heelers retain the urge to chase and herd other animals (or people), and they are often bold-natured. Dogs that run away or get out of the yard may chase cars or cyclists. Herding is a specially-channeled hunting instinct, so it’s important to understand the potential dangers to children and other pets.
Australian Cattle Dogs are perfect for families who are energetic and prepared deal with an equally energetic pet. This breed of dog loves to work, so keep this in mind as you are making the decision whether or not to adopt or purchase a Blue Heeler. These dogs need to be stimulated physically and mentally. You must be able to provide consistent exercise for your Blue Heeler, such as canine sports, swimming, or running with a bicycle. A bored dog may develop problems such as digging or chewing. If the dog is left alone for hours on end, or doesn’t get out for regular exercise outside of its own yard, the dog may tear your house apart just to assuage its boredom.
The Best Environment for a Blue Heeler
You needn’t live on a farm to own a Blue Heeler, but you still should take some environmental elements into consideration. You need to have plenty of space for your Blue Heeler to investigate and express their need to exercise. Blue Heelers probably won’t do well in an apartment unless the dog is out doing things with you for most of the day. In most cases, shelters and rescues will only adopt out Heelers to homes with a large yard due to the huge exercise commitment.
Clever dogs become bored easily, so you must ensure your dog is properly mentally stimulated. Owners who don’t have a lot of time to play with their pet should not choose this breed. New toys, new places to explore and new physical activities will help keep your dog healthy, happy, and out of trouble.
Don’t let your dog fall into bad habits, since these are very difficult to break once established.Before getting a Heeler, you should have a good understanding of alpha training, and maintain your leadership status at all times. Such innocuous things as allowing your dog to sleep on your bed or sit on the couch with you can result in serious training problems. Just like a small child, the Heeler is very intelligent and will push until it knows where the firm boundaries lie.
It is true that owning a Blue Heeler can be difficult, but for many people the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. If you choose this special breed, you will definitely have a great pet for your family. For an active, athletic home that wants a dog who will go anywhere and do anything, it doesn’t get much better than a Heeler.