Information about the breed
|Lifespan||13-15 years old|
|Height||Males: 46-51 cm|
Females: 43-48 cm
|Weight||Males: 15-16 kg|
Females: 14-16 kg
|Color||blue, blue with black or brown spots|
|Group||for children, for protection, watchdog|
|Price||500 – 900 $|
Australian Heeler History
The Australian Heeler breed was bred in Australia, as the name implies, during the period of settlement of these areas by the British. People needed a strong, hardy and intelligent dog with a large, muscular build, which could endure all the hardships in a new place and serve as a reliable support in various endeavours. And, as you can imagine, there were a lot of beginnings.
These dogs are called variously – Australian Heeler, Queensland Heeler (due to the huge popularity among farmers in the Queensland area of Australia), Blue Heeler or Halls Heeler. Officially, however, he is an Australian Cattle Dog. And the nickname “healer” came from the fact that the dogs were raised in a herd of cattle, and they grazed the cattle by biting it on the lower part of the legs.
The Australian Heeler today is the result of many years of breeding and crossbreeding, which began in 1893, and already in 1897 Robert Kaleski showed the first results of his work to the public. Robert Kaleski developed the first standard based on aboriginal dingoes, rightly believing that these animals were naturally suited to the Australian wild.
Moreover, the dogs that the first settlers from England took with them (for example, terriers) were poorly suited for the climate and semi-wild life in Australia, and all of them were later crossed and improved in order to obtain more advanced breeds.
The Australian Heeler today is very similar to the dingo dog, although it has a different coat color. It has been eligible for screening in the Working Group since September 1980. The breed moved to the herd group in January 1983. The Kennel Club of New South Wales gave its approval for the breed standard in 1903.
Australian Heeler Description
These are large dogs, with a broad, powerful chest and a muscular build. The muzzle is square, the ears are erect. The limbs are of medium length, proportional and muscular, the tail is medium, the coat is long. The colour can be blue, blue with black or brown spots.
The Australian Heeler breed has a somewhat stubborn, independent, but at the same time very open and friendly character for the owners. These are very smart dogs that always draw their own conclusions, perfectly understand a person and are distinguished by excellent resourcefulness. In addition, they are extremely hardy and can live in the most diverse climates and in general in the most diverse conditions without experiencing any internal discomfort.
Endurance is also reflected in the attitude towards pain – initially, dogs were trained and bred in such a way that they could perform the assigned tasks even in spite of physical injuries, bites, bruises, etc.
The Australian Heeler developed in close contact with humans, and to this day the breed retains this important quality. The dog is extremely attached to his master and is ready to follow him anywhere, even to the ends of the world, and it does not matter where this land is located – at the North Pole or in the hot deserts of Africa. The dog will survive everywhere and help the owner survive.
Naturally, hunting instincts are also extremely strong, and all small animals, including small dogs, cats, squirrels, any rodents, are potential prey. However, they can be trained to live with a cat if done from an early age, but keep in mind that all other cats, except for a friendly, domestic one, will still be prey. But hamsters, guinea pigs, parrots – here you don’t even have to try, since the healer, in principle, cannot perceive them otherwise than as prey.
The Australian Cattle Dog perfectly copes with the functions of a watchman, and responsibly, selflessly protects its territory from any encroachment, be it a person or a stray dog. The same is true with the protection of the hosts. The Australian Healer has a very high energy level, and does not understand how you can spend the whole day lying on the couch – and even if he had to do this, he would definitely not like it.
But if you need to go on a hike, overcome tens of kilometres, or do any assigned work, helping the owner in everything, in this case, the dog will be happy. Idleness, lack of activity and useful functions cause longing and sadness in this breed, because of which the character can become destructive. Then, the first thing that will suffer is your furniture, door frames, curtains, shoes, etc.
Children are perceived well, but they feel their responsibility for them, as for a herd, because this is a shepherd dog, and therefore sometimes they can try to drive them into the nursery, and even lightly bite on the heels. But this can be unlearned. By the way, the instinct to bite is generally quite strong in these dogs, and therefore you should always have toys since it is extremely important to direct this instinct in the right direction because it makes no sense to wean a dog from such a thing. Most likely, you simply won’t succeed, since for an animal this is as natural as walking, running, etc.
Strangers are treated neutrally, as long as they are not trespassers or aggressive towards the dog or its owners. By the way, if you live in the private sector, it is better to have a fence with a concrete foundation, since the healer may well make a dig and go on a short trip. Moreover, it will also be possible to find it in the nearest trash can – the desire to dig through the garbage, get food on your own and travel is inherent in these dogs.
Stubbornness and the desire to do things one’s own way is a hallmark of the breed, although it is quite possible to work with this. If the dog recognizes you as a leader, loves you, he will obey. Accordingly, you need to, first of all, put yourself in the role of a leader, as well as teach the animals basic commands and ensure that they are strictly followed even in the presence of distractions. Moreover, in this case, distractions can be not only extraneous sounds and smells but also simply a sunny day, in which the dog wants to plunge into all the ensuing adventures.
You need to train consistently, actively, variedly and be patient, kind, very positive and, when necessary, a strict owner. If the dog is guilty, he does not receive a toy. And if he gets a treat or a toy, then only after he executes a command, for example, “sit” or “lie down”.
The Australian Heeler dog needs to be brushed about twice a week. Hair clipping is not required. Bathe your pet once a week or more. Ears should be cleaned two to three times a week, eyes daily, or as needed. Nails are trimmed three times a month.
The Australian Heeler is prone to some diseases, although he is generally very healthy.
- hip dysplasia;
- dysplasia of the elbow joint;
- von Willebrand disease;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- deafness is a hereditary condition in the Australian Heeler but can be tested in puppies. Deafness is associated with the white color of the coat.