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Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Facts, FAQs & More

Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix
Height:18 – 26 inches
Weight:35 – 85 pounds
Lifespan:11 – 14 years
Coat Colors:Brown, tan, black, gray
Temperament:Highly energetic, playful, intelligent, strong-willed
Suitable for:People with an active lifestyle; experienced dog owners

The Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is a combination of two beloved breeds: Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepherd. 

The physical appearance of the resulting mix between the two breeds may vary and will greatly depend on the more dominant parent breed.

In this article, we will discuss everything there is to know about the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix, including its history, temperament, and characteristics. 

We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of owning this pooch, as well as some care tips.

What Is a Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix?

The Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is a hybrid between the German Shepherd Dog and the Blue Heeler or the Australian Cattle Dog. Both the parents are known to be intelligent and loyal working dogs. Thus, you can expect this mix to also be work-oriented, active, and clever.

The Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is well-known to be a strong dog with lots of energy. Aside from that, this is a pooch that gets the job done, as it is dedicated to the work assigned to it.

Due to this crossbreed’s intelligence, the German Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is a quick learner. Either a guard dog or a livestock helper, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is truly a determined working dog.

Just like any other designer breed, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) nor other major canine clubs in the United States.

Furthermore, the hybrid is also not included in the list of the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).

Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Origin and History

The mix between Blue Heelers and German Shepherd dogs is relatively a recent crossbreed. Unfortunately, there isn’t much documentation about the history and origin of this hybrid dog.

However, we can look into the background of its parents — the Blue Heeler and the German Shepherd — to learn more about the mix.

Both the German Shepherd and the Blue Heeler share a similar history. These breeds were created to be working dogs and herd cattle on ranches.

Blue Heelers came about as a result of complex breeding between breeds like the Collie, Dalmatian, and the black and tan Kelpie. A breed of wild dogs is also included in the mix, which is known as the Dingo.

Originating from Australia, this dog breed is also called the Australian Cattle Dog due to its cattle herding reputation.

On the other side, the German Shepherd was bred by Captain Max von Stephanitz in the late 1800s to produce the best herding dog for Germany.

Eventually, the need for herding dogs declined as commercial husbandry became more prevalent. 

Fortunately, the German Shepherd kept its reputation and role as a working dog. Today, the German Shepherd is a top choice for law enforcement.

In relation to these two working dog breeds, you can check out our article about the different types of shepherd dogs to learn more about them.

With that background and origin check, you might already have a clue of what’s to expect with a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix. Let us now dive deeper and learn about the appearance of this lovable pooch.

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Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Appearance

Like most designer dogs, it is difficult to predict the appearance of the Australian Cattle Dog Shepherd mix.

Genetics plays a significant role in hybridization, and the most dominant trait will generally manifest in this crossbreed.

Contrary to the German Shepherd’s size, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix usually exhibits a more compact, albeit strong and firm body form.

Simply put, the overall appearance of this hybrid is reminiscent of that of the Australian Cattle Jack, but with the well-defined form and coat characteristics of the German Shepherd.

Speaking of coats, the mix will usually have fur that is both a bit glossy and wavy. It will depend on what your pooch inherited more from its parent breeds.

Even if it inherited the German Shepherd’s short coat, its fur will still most likely be longer than if it took after the coat of a Blue Heeler. Regardless, the hybrid’s coat is generally smoother and glossier than that of its parents.

Another thing to notice is that the German Shepherd Blue Heeler mix also features shorter hair on the face, forelegs, and paws than towards its thighs.

Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix coat color can come in brown, tan, black, and gray. 

But it can also inherit the German Shepherd’s blue, liver, sable, and panda coat colors. Similar to the GSD, their coat will also subtly change color as they age.

Here’s an adorable video to see a German Shepherd Blue Heeler mix up close:

GERMAN SHEPHERD / CATTLE DOG MIX / DOG TRAINING

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Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight

The Blue Heeler German Shepherd are medium-sized dogs that stand between 18 and 26 inches. Meanwhile, they weigh 35 to 85 pounds when fully matured. 

Of course, these sizes are not definite. You’ll see a great variation in the size of the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix if the parent German Shepherd is a dwarf or a giant.

Nonetheless, you can expect your Shepherd Blue Heeler mix pup to reach its full size at around 18 to 24 months. Although, it can still gain a bit more depending on its eating habits and level of activity.

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Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Temperament and Personality

Similar to its parent breeds, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is dedicated to work and play due to its working dog lineage.

Having that said, these energetic dogs may tend to be hyperactive and even destructive when they get bored or don’t get the chance to expend their energy.

Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes greatly appreciate the company of their owners. As a result, it is not a good idea to choose this dog as a companion if you’re a busy person who needs to leave your pet alone most of the time.

Speaking of companionship, the German Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix tends to take the position of the pack leader if the owner doesn’t assert dominance. This is mostly due to the hybrid’s parentage of strong-willed breeds.

Nevertheless, Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes are extremely loyal dogs. Given proper obedience training, this hybrid can be a complete package of a companion.

One very important thing to be aware of is their high prey drive. This can lead them to prey on smaller animals or even children. That is why you must never leave your Cattle Shepherd mix alone with other animals or your child.

Proper socialization with other pets, children, and strangers at a young age is key to promoting proper behavior in this pooch.

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Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

A Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is relatively considered healthier than its purebred counterparts due to hybrid vigor

In fact, they can reach a lifespan of 11 and 14 years if they’re properly cared for.

However, this does not mean that these pooches are invincible against diseases and health issues.

Listed below are some of the common health problems of the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix:

  • Hip Dysplasia: As with most dogs, hip dysplasia is a common disease among Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes. This genetic disease manifests when the bone doesn’t fit properly in the joints. This can bring pain to your dog and can progress to arthritis.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disease that leads to blindness. This genetic condition can cause your dog to completely go blind gradually. Unfortunately, PRA occurs not just in pure breeds but in mixed breeds like the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix as well.
  • Bloat: Bloat or gastric torsion is caused by the stomach suddenly getting filled with gas, making the organ twist and eventually cutting off blood circulation. This can pose a big threat to your dog’s life.
  • Congenital Hereditary Sensorineural Deafness: Another hereditary disease, congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness (CHSD), results in deafness in single or both ears. A good way to detect this disease early on is getting your pooch or its parents tested through the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER).

As a responsible dog owner, awareness and familiarity with these health concerns are a must if you plan to own a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixed breed dog.

Aside from that, it is also a good practice to regularly take your pet to the vet for health checkups to be constantly aware of your pooch’s health status.

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How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Cattle Dog Mix

Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes are relatively not difficult to take care of. Although, they will require a bit more maintenance than other dogs. 

Proper diet, sufficient physical activity, and regular grooming are keys to success in owning these pooches.

To learn more, here are some helpful tips that can serve as your reference when planning to get your very own Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix pup.

Food and Diet

Although not as large as the German Shepherd, Blue Heeler GSD mixes still have quite the size to them. In fact, puppies need five meals a day, as they will require ample energy during their growing stage.

However, that is not the case for adult Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes. Two to three servings of dog food a day will be enough to prevent bloating.

Aside from dry dog food, adult dogs can have protein and vegetables included in their diet through homemade meals.

Meat and eggs are good choices of protein. Meanwhile, carrots, peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes are healthy sources of vegetables.

Supplements added to dog food such as vitamins and fish oil are also beneficial for your Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix’s health.

As Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes experience a growth spurt during their younger years, it is important to observe the eating habits of your dog.

Obesity is one issue to watch out for since this can also affect their joints in the long run. Consider consulting a vet for professional advice regarding your pet’s specific feeding requirements and diet.

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Cleaning and Grooming

Despite having a double coat, German Shepherd Blue Heelers are not difficult to groom. 

However, it might be necessary to dedicate ample time to brushing your pooch, especially if it inherited the longer coat from the German Shepherd.

Setting a proper brushing routine for Shepherd Blue Heeler mixes is a must since these dogs tend to shed heavily as they lose their undercoat.

In terms of giving your pooch a bath, Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes will be fine without being bathed frequently. Wait till your dog gets really dirty before giving them one.

Be sure to use suitable products for your dog, especially since this hybrid has sensitive skin. For some dog owners, using deodorizing wipes to tidy up their dogs’ coats usually gets the job done.

Training and Exercise

As a hybrid coming from parent dogs with high energy, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is surely a very active pooch that loves to play all day.

Aside from that, these dogs are intelligent, as can be noticeable in their lineage.

Part of this hybrid’s nature is to stay active constantly, especially if it takes more of the Blue Heeler side. 

If you’re one of the prospective dog owners who’s looking for an exercise buddy, then you’re in luck with the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix.

Your Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepherd mixed breed will need a minimum of two walks a day. Because of that, it is necessary to have a spacious place where your dog can walk, play, and frolic around.

Being an intelligent dog, the Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd mix is relatively easy to train. However, it tends to be stubborn as well.

It is suggested to start training them early so they can be easy to handle as they grow. Positive reinforcement training is an effective method to use for this pooch. It is also helpful in lessening their tendency to be aggressive.

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How Much Does a Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes are generally more expensive than other breeds. Their cost usually ranges from $3,000 to $4,000, which is affected by multiple factors. One of these factors is where you get your pup from. 

We suggest getting a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix pup from a reputable breeder. These sources may give a pricier offer, but the quality and health of your pup are guaranteed.

Regardless of where you get your Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix pup from, you will need to prepare a budget to cover the initial expenses upon welcoming them into your home.

Here’s a summary of the initial expenses you have to consider for your Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix pup:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$100 – $120
Food and Water Bowls$15 – $35
Bed$50 – $200
Crate$60 – $500
Leashes and Collars$15 – $50
Toys$30 – $50
Grooming Essentials$40 – $180
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$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$650 – $2,445

Now that you have an idea of the necessities you need to cover financially, you need to know next where to actually get a Blue Heeler German Shepherd pup.

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Places to Find Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

The Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is not as popular as other designer dogs on the market. Thus, it can be quite a challenge to find this hybrid.

However, if you are eager to get one as a pet, you can refer to the following lists to find possible sources of this lovable pooch.

Listed below are platforms where you can possibly find a German Shepherd Heeler mix:

  • Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies is a website where you can browse puppies of almost any breed or hybrid for sale. There are AKC-registered pets available on this site as well. You can use multiple filters to speed up your search.
  • Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies is a platform where you can find puppies for sale from all over the United States. They also show information about each breed or hybrid they advertise. They are offering Blue Heeler mixes, so be sure to check them out.
  • PuppyFinder – Puppy Finder is a website where you can use search filters to find pets. Each puppy or litter they offer is described well through their posts. They are offering Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes from different areas of the United States.

You can try checking out our top picks of German Shepherd breeders to broaden your options when finding a German Shepherd Cattle Dog mix.

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Apart from buying from a reputable breeder, you can also adopt a rescue dog if you prefer a much cheaper option.

Here are some of the rescues and platforms where you might find a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix for adoption:

  • German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County – German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County (GSROC) is a non-profit organization located in Southern California. They are dedicated to rehabilitating and rehoming German Shepherds and GSD mixes while also ensuring that the adopted dogs are happy in their new homes.
  • Texas Cattle Dog Rescue – Texas Cattle Dog Rescue is also a non-profit animal welfare organization located in Texas. They have been rescuing Australian Cattle Dogs and their mixes for the past ten years, and they make sure that each dog is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped. 
  • Washington German Shepherd Rescue – Washington German Shepherd Rescue (WGSR) is committed to saving surrendered, abandoned, and neglected German Shepherds. They also aim to educate about the importance of sterilizing pets. You can inquire to see if they have a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix on hand.

You can also check out our top picks on German Shepherd rescues to have more choices in your search for the Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd mix.

While you’re at it, read our ultimate dog adoption guide. This guide will equip you with the ins and outs of adopting a dog.

There are also details about the requirements that adoption centers set as well as a few tips to give you a head start in applying for adoption.

READ NEXT: 10 Best German Shepherd Rescues for Adoption (2022): Our Top 10 Picks!

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd Heeler Mix

Adding the German Shepherd Heeler mix into your household can surely bring joy to your home. However, enough preparation and self-assessment should be done before bringing home one.

If you are still weighing between getting this hybrid or not, here’s a list of the hybrid’s pros and cons to help you out.

Here are the advantages of owning a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix:

  • Highly intelligent: Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes are well-known to be intelligent dogs, just like their parent breeds. Despite being stubborn at times, this highly skilled pooch is very trainable and can be obedient once disciplined. Positive reinforcement training is an excellent way to teach them.
  • Great guard dogs: Both German Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs are excellent guard dogs due to their loyalty and protectiveness. The same goes for their crossbreed. This hybrid will not hesitate to defend its owner or family.
  • Excellent workout companion: As discussed, the Heeler Shepherd mix is a very active and energetic dog compared to other pooches in the canine world. This dog is a great partner for people who have an athletic lifestyle or love outdoor activities.
  • Overall handsome appearance: The mixture of the German Shepherd dog and the Australian Cattle Dog definitely makes sense. The compact but athletic build of the Blue Heeler and the noble and stoic stance of the German Shepherd combine to create a good-looking hybrid.

Here are the disadvantages of owning a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix:

  • High grooming needs: As discussed earlier, the Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepherd mix sheds a profuse amount. Thus, this furry pooch demands regular grooming. Regular brushing is a must when keeping this hybrid.
  • Has aggressive tendencies: A hybrid of strong character, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix can show signs of aggression. But this usually only happens when the dog feels threatened. Proper training and socialization are keys to good canine behavior.
  • Can be stubborn: Despite being an intelligent pooch, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix can be quite a challenge to train if it fails to recognize you as a master. Obedience training and showing a firm hand can let this dog know its place.
  • Extremely active and energetic: As mentioned, the Heeler Shepherd mix is a dog packed with energy, all thanks to its very active parent breeds. Before owning this hybrid, you must be prepared to provide it with a regular playtime schedule and a place to frolic.

Hopefully, the list can help you in deciding whether a German Shepherd Heeler mix is the right dog for you or not. 

Do not be disheartened if it turns out that this pooch isn’t for you because there are tons of hybrids you can still check out.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mixes Shed a Lot?

The Blue Heeler and German Shepherd mix shed a lot, especially if they take on the long coat of the German Shepherd.

Regular maintenance of your dog’s coat, such as brushing daily, is a chore you must stick to in order to keep them neat and tidy.

Are Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mixes Aggressive?

As fierce as they may seem, Blue Heeler and German Shepherd mixes are usually not aggressive despite their parentage of strong-charactered breeds.

However, these highly defensive dogs can show signs of aggression when they experience threats, maltreatment, or abuse.

Are Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?

Blue Heeler German Shepherd mixes are not hypoallergenic because they are heavy shedders. 

They also produce dog dander which can be risky for people with allergies. That said, it is suggested to brush them more often than other mixed breeds.

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Final Thoughts: Is a Heeler Shepherd Mix the Right Dog for You?

If you are dedicated enough to provide care to the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix, then you should go ahead and own one.

This hybrid is also the perfect match for you if you happen to have an active lifestyle. The German Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix can be the perfect workout buddy.

Despite being highly intelligent, the strong-willed Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix tends to become the alpha of the pack. You need to be a similarly strong-willed owner in order to gain respect from this wonderful dog.

Nevertheless, the Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is well-known for its loyalty and dedication. It truly is a good candidate for a man’s best friend.