|Height:||17 – 23 inches|
|Weight:||35 – 65 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 16 years|
|Coat Colors:||Blue, blue merle, blue speckled, blue mottled, red, red merle, red speckled, red mottled, black|
|Temperament:||Smart, active, curious|
|Suitable for:||Families with active children; adventurous people; farmers|
What’s better than one herding dog? Two herding dogs in one of course! Meet the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix, the product of two excellent herding dogs — the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog!
It is easy to get confused between the mix and its parents because of their similar names and appearances, but as you’ll find out, this designer breed is one of a kind.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix’s health, temperament, characteristics, and more. Let’s start!
What Is an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix?
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix, also known as Texas Heeler, is a hybrid dog produced by crossing the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog. While smaller than most shepherd dogs, Aussie Blue Heeler mixes can herd cattle with ease thanks to their intelligence and hardiness.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes have been around for some time now, and their popularity may be due to the improved and combined qualities of their shepherd dog parents.
Although they are one of the most popular designer dogs around, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize them as an official breed. However, you might still see them in a lot of dog sporting activities.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Origin and History
Little is known about the origins of the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix. Its name Texas Heeler suggests that they were first bred in the Lone-star state of Texas, but there are no documents to support this.
However, the first documented Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix was in 1970 when Lucy Guynes registered her dog in the Dog Registry of America. Alternatively, it is appropriate to know the history of this dog’s parent breeds.
First is the Australian Cattle Dog, which is the result of many dog breeds crossed over many generations.
They are also known as the Blue Heeler, Queensland Heeler, and Red Heeler due to their habit of nipping at cattle heels to herd them.
The Blue Heeler was developed to bear with the continent’s unforgiving climate while being able to herd cattle with ease.
On the other hand, the Australian Shepherd also has its root in the British-occupied continent. Basques coming from Australia ventured to the cattle ranches of California, where the Australian Shepherd was refined.
The Australian Shepherd was a prime choice for the ranchers of the west due to its reliability and versatility as a working dog. In recent times, these canines can be found as drug detectors, therapy dogs, and loving companions.
While it remains a mystery in the world of dogs, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix may have resulted from a necessity — a need for the best farm dog there is.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Appearance
Simply put, an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix looks just like its name suggests — an unpredictable combination of two breeds. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this mix is its coat’s inconsistency.
The head varies from strong and muscular to long and slender, depending on which parent breed feature is dominant. Its oval eyes are attentive and intelligent, neither sunken nor bulging.
They may have short erect ears like the Blue Heeler or large and folded ears like an Aussie Shepherd. Another prominent feature is their mischievous smile, indicating their readiness for all kinds of work.
An Aussie Heeler is a medium-sized dog, varying from stocky to well-proportioned body types. Their strong and capable bodies are carried well by a set of strong and sometimes bulky legs.
A controversial characteristic of these dogs is their tail. An Aussie Heeler puppy may be born with a naturally-bobbed tail. Sometimes, owners prefer to bob the tails for aesthetic and functional purposes.
These dogs may have short hairs to medium-length hairs. Regardless, they are known to have dense coats suited for harsh climates.
Their double coats are typically blue-ticked with a mix and speckle of red, white, and black. Perhaps the most common pattern of this breed is the blue merle, similar to the blue merle Australian Shepherd.
Check out this video of an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix to see them in action!
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Size and Weight
Since both Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs are medium-sized dogs, Aussie Blue Heeler mixes are almost the same.
Male Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes are about 18 to 23 inches tall, whereas females grow up to 17 to 21 inches.
As they are quite stocky dogs, males weigh between 35 and 65 pounds while female Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes weigh from 35 to 55 pounds.
Usually, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes grow much bigger than their parents. Hybrid vigor explains why mixed breed dogs tend to grow larger than their parents.
That said, Aussie Blue Heeler mixes eventually stop growing at 18 to 24 months, the same as the Australian Cattle Dog and other Blue Heeler mixes.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Temperament and Personality
Undoubtedly, an Aussie Heeler is not only a great worker but also a great family dog. Proper socialization is extremely important for this breed, as it will become the foundation of your relationship with them.
They go quite well with children, especially older ones. However, keep in mind that any breed might show aggression if a child accidentally harms or annoys it. Hence, it’s best to supervise inexperienced children with dogs.
However, their natural herding instincts immediately tick whenever other dogs, particularly small dogs, become unruly. Early socialization of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes with other pets is a great way to avoid this.
The Australian Blue Heeler is also quite friendly towards harmless strangers. However, most of their affection will be towards its master, tailing you wherever you go like a canine shadow.
Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Lifespan and Health Issues
An average Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is expected to live for a long 12 to 16 years.
For the most part, the Australian Heeler is one of the hardiest and healthiest dog breeds, but they may be prone to develop a few health issues.
Here are some of the health conditions that commonly affect the Aussie Shepherd Blue Heeler mix:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Although this condition is not painful, progressive retinal atrophy eventually leads to complete blindness in dogs. It starts when the part of the eye responsible for detecting light and color, called the retina, loses function over time. Unfortunately, this disease has no cure and is heritable by some Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix puppies.
- Collie Eye Anomaly: Also a heritable disease of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes, Collie eye anomaly (CEA) also affects the eye’s retina. This disease is primarily characterized by the detachment of the retina from the other structures of the eye. Sadly, CEA can only be diagnosed once the dog starts to develop blindness.
- Hip Dysplasia: While hip dysplasia is commonly seen in many dogs, it is also known to affect Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes because of their parent breeds. Simply put, hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint’s anatomy is abnormal, rendering the affected joint to work abnormally. This is also commonly seen as the dog ages. Luckily, hip dysplasia may be treated through surgery, but the procedure comes at a hefty price.
While these health concerns are sure to break the bank, a good strategy other than being financially prepared is to get your pet insured.
In addition, it is wise to avoid obtaining Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix puppies from parent dogs with a known history of the mentioned congenital diseases.
How to Take Care of Your Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
While taking care of dogs takes a very general approach, there are some considerations when it comes to the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix. Most of these factors are correlated with their energetic nature.
Food and Diet
The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is one of the herding breeds, which means that it has a great deal of energy to spend.
To support all that energy, your dog will need a calorie-dense, nutritious dog food that will fuel them throughout the day.
Based on their weight, the ideal calorie intake for an Australian Heeler may range from 780 to 1241 calories.
A common problem with some high-calorie dog food is that they’re packed with carbohydrates that can lead to weight gain. It is essential for these dogs to maintain a healthy weight for them to be able to do their daily activities.
Providing them with high-protein dog food or even preparing them home-cooked meals have been proven to give the best nutritional needs for an active breed like Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes.
Cleaning and Grooming
Grooming a Blue Heeler Aussie mix does not pose much of a challenge to dog owners. As medium-size dogs with only up to a medium coat length, you wouldn’t have to spend the entire afternoon bathing them.
This breed also presents a double coat — this means that they shed more before the colder seasons. However, they only shed moderate amounts of fur on regular days.
In general, they only require weekly brushing sessions. In addition, bathing them once every 4 to 6 weeks is enough to maintain their skin and fur health.
If you plan to use your Australian Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix as a herding dog, you might want to check their ears and paws at least weekly.
Herding breeds spend most of their time outdoors, so nail trimming may not be required.
However, for indoor Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes, trimming their nails every two weeks should be done to help prevent nail overgrowth.
Unlike brachycephalic dogs, Australian blue Heeler mixes are less likely to develop tear stains. These are merely tears and debris collected around or on your dog’s eyes.
While there is no way of predicting when tear stains will occur, you should regularly check your dog’s eyes. If they occur, simply wiping your dog’s eyes gently with an eye solution ought to do the trick.
Training and Exercise
In general, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is an intelligent dog with high energy that typically responds well to training. It’s no wonder they love having a job to do, so they’re eager to learn new tricks and commands.
Herding tendencies are strong in this breed thanks to their long history with cattle ranchers. This makes them ideal for dog sports such as agility training and herding trials.
In addition to walking daily for 30 minutes, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix needs some time outside for running and playing. Dogs like this aren’t the type to stay inside a small apartment or lounge around on your lap all day.
The Aussie Blue Heeler is a generally healthy dog with high energy, bred to endure hours of work in a day. With that, the risk of overexerting them is relatively low compared to other dogs.
How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses
Despite their value in terms of reliability and utility, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix puppies are priced quite low at $500 to $700 on average. The price may vary depending on the sex, coat, and quality of the puppies.
In addition to the price of the puppy, it is also essential to consider the items an Australian Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix will need for its entire stay with you.
Here are some of the items and expenses you would have to spend for your Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$80 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Bed||$40 – $180|
|Crate||$50 – $370|
|Leash and Collar||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$30 – $40|
|Grooming Essentials||$40 – $160|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medication||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$605 – $2,240|
While this table covers almost all items and expenses, it is helpful to compare brands to get the best deal. Additionally, be wary of cheap items and services that might do more harm than good to your Aussie Blue Heeler.
Places to Find Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Compared to other mixed breed dogs, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes have been more popular through the years; hence, they are more common in the market thanks to cattle ranchers.
Here are the places where you can find an Australian Heeler puppy for sale:
- Smith & Sons Texas Heelers – Although this breeder has only started in 2013, Smith & Sons Texas Heelers surprisingly breeds Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes exclusively! They produce a wide variety of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix puppies such as merle, solid black, black and white, and tri-colored puppies.
- ALT Texas Heelers – Proudly boasting their sire, ALT Ramblin Man, this breeder has been producing quality Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes since 2007. As the top producer of the breed in Texas, their bloodline has been highly regarded throughout the country.
- Silver Bitch Stables – Located in Merced, California, this exceptional breeder produces equally-exceptional Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes despite being a small hobby family farm. While the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix itself is not recognized by the AKC, all their Blue Heelers and Australian Shepherds are certified by the American Kennel Club, The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA), and the United Kennel Club (UKC).
In addition to the list above, you can check out our list of Australian Shepherd breeders. It’s no surprise if you’ll find an Australian Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix there.
If you want to save on some cash, opting for a rescue dog is also an option. Here are some rescue centers you can check out:
- AuCaDo Rescue – Although this rescue organization primarily focuses on Australian Cattle Dogs, they also cater to Heeler mixes such as the Blue Heeler Aussie mix. Surprisingly, most of their rescues are puppies. You can opt for this rescue if you prefer younger Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes.
- Rescue Me! – This site allows access to a variety of breeders where you can easily find an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix for adoption using its convenient interface. In addition, you can easily find available rescues for each state!
- Texas Cattle Dog Rescue – Rescuing since 2009, Texas Cattle Dog Rescue has rehomed over a thousand Blue Heelers. Adoption fees vary from $100 to $300, and they occasionally rehome mixes other than Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes.
Check out our ultimate adoption guide for a smoother adoption process when you come across an Australian Heeler for adoption.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix
It may be challenging to decide on whether you should get a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix or not. It’s already a given that they are loyal guard dogs that will stay by your side, but they also have their flaws.
To help you decide once and for all, I’ve summarized some of the defining advantages and disadvantages of owning this designer dog.
First, here are the advantages of owning a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix:
- Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes are extremely hardy dogs. Unlike your average house dog, Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mixes are built for the harsh environment of the outdoors. Other than their thick coats and well-built bodies, they have developed quite a tolerance against some common harmful agents.
- They are great working dogs. Their rich history with cattle ranches makes them natural laborers for any kind of work. Although not as popular, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes can do all sorts of tasks that Labrador Retrievers perform. In fact, they may outperform other dogs due to their high energy levels.
- They’re lovable family members. Thanks to their Australian Shepherd blood, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes can be great family dogs. Despite being an intelligent breed, they aren’t quite assertive to their families, particularly children. Rather, they are extremely loyal and affectionate. While they aren’t bred to be guard dogs, you can still expect them to protect their human family.
Now that we’ve covered the good points in owning them, here are the downsides of owning a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix:
- Pent-up energy can be destructive. Given that these dogs have a lot of energy for various activities, they require more exercise than most dogs. If their exercise demands are unmet, they may end up spending all those excess energies on your furniture. You might even come home to a disaster.
- They might herd unruly pets. As an excellent herding dog, it is only natural for an Aussie Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix to herd unruly pets and even children. While it is somehow difficult to correct their instincts, a better solution is to have calmer and more disciplined pets and to watch them over when with younger children.
- They don’t do well in small homes: Other than the fact that smaller homes like apartments have less room for running around, an important part of their environment is mental stimulation. Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes that don’t get enough mental stimulation tend to create all kinds of chaos inside the house just to satisfy their boredom.
Taking into consideration these advantages and disadvantages, you can now decide if the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix will fit nicely in your home.
Always keep in mind that the dog’s welfare is more important than your convenience as an owner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes Good Dogs?
For people with enough extra time and space, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix might be the best dog for them. Their unique combination of hardiness, energy, and intelligence makes them extremely versatile.
However, Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes might be too much for some people, particularly those who cannot provide enough attention to these curious canines. It is important to know first if your way of living fits this hybrid.
Are Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes Hard to Train?
While they may seem hard-headed, it is quite easy to train Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes, especially when they are younger.
They are natural working dogs, and this is proven by their intelligence, high energy levels, and enthusiasm for tasks,
Most of the time, training will become hard if the owner’s approach is not suited to the dog’s personality. In the case of the Texas Heeler, tasks that require endurance and high mental stimulation work best.
Do Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mixes Bark a Lot?
When an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix inherits an Australian Shepherd Dog’s temperament, it can bark quite a lot. In contrast, when this cross has more of a Blue Heeler’s trait, its barking is very minimal.
Regardless, an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix won’t be as noisy as your average toy breed as long as its demands and needs are met.
Final Thoughts: Is an Aussie Heeler Mix the Right Dog for You?
To summarize, the Aussie Heeler mix is an energetic working dog with the intelligence and curiosity to match. Unlike your typical large breed dogs, this mixed breed has more than enough enthusiasm to play all day long.
However, their pent-up energy might backfire if left unused. That said, it is important to give your Aussie Heeler mix enough exercise and mental stimulation.
If you are part of an active family or if you do outdoor activities frequently, then the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is just what you’re looking for.
What are your thoughts about the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix? Let us know in the comments below!