Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix is an early name in the evolution of breeds, developed over the last three decades by the renowned, health-centric hybrid breeding program.
This hybrid dog breed features numerous unique advantages, such as improved temperaments or limited possibilities of genetic disorders, which explain its increasing reputation.
1. There are many interesting facts about this exotic animal. (Source: Pixabay)
We strongly recommend you invest time in studying this outstanding breed if you’re a severe hobbyist breeder.
And, of course, we’re glad to help with your research by including everything about it in this guidepost, namely its background, lifespan, personality traits, physical characteristics, health issues, and care requirements.
Shall we take a look?
Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix
What will you expect and welcome after deciding to let this do breed be part of your life? Here’s all!
In the 1800s, Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German breeder, gave birth to the original German Shepherd, one of the best German herding dogs.
Then, he spent 35 years analyzing and refining the variety while establishing the first club of this breed and promoting it.
When commercial husbandry started to dominate and the demand for herding pooches dropped, German Shepherds retained the role of working dogs.
They quickly became many law enforcement businesses’ go-to choices, who treasured the variety’s agility, intelligence, and fierce loyalty.
On the other hand, dog masters initially bred the Blue Heeler to herd cows, buffalo, or bison (cattle in general) in Australia. That’s why people call it the Australian Cattle dog.
Initially, this breed was a complex combination of different breeds, including Tan and Black Kelpie, Dalmatian, Collie, and Dingo (a feral variety).
In short, both parent varieties have a background of herding dogs. The mix is not something you see widely today, but it’s undoubtedly gaining popularity.
Your dog can expect an 11- to 14-year lifespan with a nice blend of robust genes.
The beauty is that they don’t usually face as many health problems and complications as other regular and mixed breeds.
Still, there are some to be aware of, which we’ll refer to in the below section.
Besides keeping an eye on the health concerns, the master will also prepare to engage with their temperaments to extend their longevity.
- The parent German Shepherd is pretty tall and heavy. (Source: Pixabay)
Since each puppy descends from two different genres, it’ll be arduous to imagine how their physical characteristics will be.
Height & Weight
The German-rooted dog typically stands at the height of 22-26 inches (shoulder tops to paw pads) and weighs 50-90 pounds.
Meanwhile, an average Australian Cattle dog will be as tall as 17-20 inches and weigh 35-50 pounds. So, the weight range you may expect to see is between 35 and 90 pounds, depending on the generation your puppy descends from.
Regarding height, look to see a range of 17-26 inches, which is pretty wide.
The animal’s gait feels tireless and easy, showing a firm forward thrust. Its powerful move stands to reason.
Both parent varieties are herders capable of vast speed bursts (for example, heading off a roaring cow or sheep).
Thus, the next generation will also have robust stability to facilitate the herding job between its foot and hock.
Coat Color, Thickness, & Length
A Cattle Shepherd puppy can have various coat colors. While the Heeler variety adds a blue-based, either speckled or mottled, color, the latter contributes tan and black shades.
Red, white, sable, and gray can also pop up. This mixed breed will usually have body markings and a face mask.
Its distinct characteristics are the double coat with water resistance, the dense outer coat, and a softer undercoat.
It has shorter hair on its paws, legs, fore-face, and head than body and neck. Also, you may see a mild waviness over some puppies’ legs.
- Australian blue Heelers are energetic and brilliant. (Source: Public Domain Pictures)
The dominant personalities we can feel strongly about both canines are exceptionally active and smart. The same likely goes for the next generation.
Stubborn & Intelligent
An Australian cattle German Shepherd mix can learn new things and commands within five repetitions, obeying the first command most of the time.
Note that it often shows an independent, stubborn trait and prefers making decisions itself. Therefore, you need to train it immediately and regularly in different short sessions.
Also, combine mental stimulation with physical activities and utilize positive reinforcement.
Obedient & Loyal
Dogs are always loyal to the family and masters, and so is this mixed variety. It inherits this streak from either of its parents (GSD and ACD), well-known for solid loyalty.
You’ll be a happy master with highly obedient and loyal companion canines by your side with proper training.
Excellent Guard Dog and Watchdog
Shepherds are skilled guard dogs, whereas Heelers are watchful, alert, and capable of guarding, too.
The primary working purposes of their following descendants are watching and guarding. It does a great job in being cautious of strangers and protecting families with a rapid prey drive.
Another cool characteristic of most Shepherd Blue Heeler mixed dogs is determination. They’re confident and strong-willed, requiring the owner to have adequate experience.
Otherwise, they might successfully take over the leadership and show aggressive attitudes toward others.
Hate Being Alone
Despite being distrustful of guests, strangers, strong-willed, and independent, the canine would form a close-knit bond with the master over time and consider him part of its family.
Thus, it will feel miserable as separated from this person for an extended period.
Kid-Friendly with Caution
Cattle Shepherds are active, energetic, and keen on playing with children during the early stage of life. Yet, that’s not always safe to take lightly.
Remember never to leave children with a canine without supervision. Sometimes, this mix can be sensitive to sounds, and naughty children might irritate it.
Only For Dominant Leaders
As said, without proper dominance since the first day, Cattle Shepherds could take over leadership.
Thus, the owner should be a consistent master who can forcefully train these canines to follow commands.
- The master should be aware of his dog’s common health issues. (Source: Hiphopdx)
A considerable topic related to today’s hybrid breeding programs is the concern about the breed’s health.
Large pets like GS usually have problems with the elbows or hips of their legs, where the bone and joint don’t connect correctly.
This issue could result in muscle mass loss, pains in affected joints, and stiff movements and deteriorate as the pet ages, just like arthritis.
Both parent breeds share this problem in common. Over time, the eye’s film begins to darken, affecting vision either entirely or partially.
To prevent it from getting worse, you’ll have to consult your vet or a dog expert about surgery – the only method to ward off the disorder.
Allergies are commonly present in rashes and hives on dogs. Notably, the GS can be allergic to certain elements in their treats and foods.
Ensure to consistently keep an eye on any potential allergic signs in your puppy, as lack of timely medication can pose severe concerns.
It’s no surprise large dogs have to face spinal issues. Therefore, this mix inherits that from the parent GS genre and is prone to degeneration and compressed vertebrae.
There might be paralysis, difficulty moving, and pain. Spinal disorders are usually congenital and severe.
- Exercises are essential in the daily routine of raising this active animal. (Source: Store norske leksikon)
Before deciding to let a Cattle Shepherd enter your family, ensure you’re ready to provide it with proper care as per their needs.
Undoubtedly, mental stimulation plays a vital role in raising an animal, yet it’s particularly crucial for this variety.
The combo of high energy levels + intelligence seems always to move, and process and rarely stays still.
It’ll start getting destructive if it has nothing to process or do. That’s not because it’s upset or angry, but it needs something occupying it.
You can consider applying multiple mental stimulation methods, including doggy daycare, puzzle mats, and tugs of war toys.
Cattle Shepherds are extraordinarily dynamic and energetic. They can play, do exercises, and remain active all day long.
You’ll need to take your pet out for a walk twice a day minimum. Apart from that, ensure to give it a generous space to play and run around, releasing its seemingly unlimited energy.
Though these canines carry a thick, double coat, they require minimal grooming. However, such a thick coat is susceptible to heavy shedding, causing undercoat reduction.
During this period, it’s advisable to brush them every day to keep their coat healthy. As their skin is pretty sensitive, ensure to use bristle brushes.
Bathing is necessary only when he is extremely dirty. Too frequent washing might cause dry skin.
Socialization and Training
Socialization is remarkably essential since a friendly dog would not immediately attack someone coming by, such as neighbors, kids, and pets.
To train and dominate this mixed animal, you need to express your stubbornness and strong streak directly to it.
Weak-willed owners shouldn’t attempt to raise it since there might be a high chance the pet goes beyond control.
Experts recommend feeding the canine high-grade dry food of 1.5-3 cups a day, split into two small meals. You may have to adjust the nutrition based on its activity level, age, and size.
Yet, ensure that protein accounts for 18% of the daily diet so the pup can grow and maintain its muscles’ health. Meat is a common protein source for this mix.
Pros & Cons
- Is this exotic breed the right pet for you? (Source: Max Pixel)
- Excellent watchdogs
- Exceptionally intelligent, strong-willed, and loyal
- Friendly once you’re close enough
- Dare to take up anything – a perfect adventure peer!
- Aggressive and stubborn without proper socialization and training
- Need supervision when around kids
- Some health concerns may get severe.
- Relatively high grooming needs
- Always full of energy
Why Should You Get a Blue Heeler Mix?
A prominent advantage of having a Cattle Shepherd is that it will be a special security guard for your house. Regarding family, this animal is always protective and loyal.
It doesn’t take much time to train a fast learner, provided you have robust leadership, reinforcement training skills, and experience to raise an alpha.
An energetic, adventurous, and alert dog, who is always ready for things, can be a reliable companion for those pursuing an active, dynamic lifestyle.
Why Shouldn’t You Get a Blue Heeler Mix?
When getting overly excited, the alpha tends to turn destructive and neurotic. It can’t stand boredom and always needs mental and physical exercises to release energy.
What’s more, hybrids generally require frequent grooming, particularly if they inherit the GS’s propensity for spring shedding.
More importantly, there must be close supervision when they’re playing with other pets and children. Indeed, Blue Heelers don’t have a good reputation regarding small kids.
How Much Does A Blue Heeler Cost?
Compared to other alpha varieties, this one is not too expensive but still costs you a small fortune. The price point is increasing, reaching $3,000 or higher.
We advise you to consult a reputable vet who can bring years of experience in choosing and buying breeds (especially the Heeler) to the table.
They’ll know where to buy a well-bred one at an affordable price.
How To Have A Blue Heeler Mix Puppy?
Finding a quality, refined designer Cattle Shepherd today is a real challenge because it’s a hard-to-create variety. Any wrongdoing will result in a harsh, unruly reality.
The best idea is to reach out to some reputable German Shepherds and Blue Heelers shelters and see if there’s one waiting for a beloved master and new life.
A Blue Mix is a loyal, enthusiastic, diligent, easygoing, beautiful dog to have.
Individuals or families who desire to enjoy an energetic lifestyle and adventures with a puppy by their side will treasure this fabulous companion.
Before welcoming it as a family member, ensure you can give it attention and love as well as the mental and physical care it calls for.
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