If you’re high energy, active household that’s looking for a capable running partner, agility companion or obedience champion, then the Texas Heeler could be the perfect partner for you.
A cross between the Australian Cattle dog (Blue Heeler) and the Australian Shepherd dog, the Texas Heeler is active, smart and friendly.
So, what makes the Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix perfect for an active family that can offer plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation?
Looking into the history of the parent breeds offers a greater understanding of what type of dog you’ll be inviting into your home.
In fact, it’s worth spending the time on this type of research so that both you and your dog can be sure that you’ll be a perfect match.
Most cross-breed or designer dogs don’t have a reliable history of their own. Although the Texas Heelers name does give us an insight into where this crossbreed is popular.
So, looking at the parent breeds is the best way to determine the likely temperament, appearance and energy levels of your mix breed dog.
Australian Cattle dog – Blue Heeler
The Australian Cattle Dog is known by various names including, Blue Heeler, Australian Heeler and Queensland Heeler.
Despite its various names, the Australian Cattle Dog has always worked as a herder. It was nicknamed the Heeler because of its technique of nipping at the heels of the animals it was herding.
Initially bred by Australian settlers to herd cattle, the Blue Heeler was developed to be robust, determined and pushy.
Ranchers favoured the blue coloured dogs that were the result of lots of cross-breeding. But the Australian Cattle dog didn’t reach its full potential until the introduction of the native Dingo into the breed.
This breeding led to a dog that was hardy, suited to the harsh climate of Australia and would work all day in challenging terrain.
The Australian Shepherd or Aussie as it’s also known was bred to herd livestock. Despite its name the Aussie originally came from America.
Although the breeds that were used to create the Aussie are not known for sure, it’s likely that Collies and Shepherd dogs make up some of its breed history.
As the breed developed dogs were chosen for their intelligence, ability to herd and their work ethic. These qualities ultimately resulted in the Australian Shepherd as we know it today.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix appearance
The Texas Heeler is a medium-sized dog ranging from seventeen to twenty inches tall and weighing thirty to fifty pounds.
Although many Texas Heelers are born with bob tails like that of their Australian Cattle dog parent, it is also possible that they will sport a full tail.
The ears of the Texas Heeler can differ too. Either pricked or folded it’s more common that your mixed breed dog will sport upright, forward facing ears.
Looking more like their Cattle dog parent, there is none the less a lot of variation in the Texas Heelers appearance.
Coat colours vary and can be black, blue merle or blue ticked with accents of white or tan. Coat length can differ too.
While some Texas Heelers will gain the short straight coat of the Blue Heeler others will inherit the medium length wavy or straight coat of the Australian Shepherd.
Both coat types have a weather resistant top coat with a dense undercoat that is ‘blown’ twice a year with the possibility of some shedding continually throughout.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix temperament
So, what can you expect from your Texas Heeler? Bred to work all day, the parent breeds of the Texas Heeler are high energy; high stamina dogs so expect your mix breed dog to be similar.
So, If you choose to share your life with a Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix be prepared to provide your dog with a lot of physical and mental activity
Not only that, but your new dog is highly intelligent and has a strong drive to herd. Easy to train and keen to learn the Texas Heeler nether the less does have a mind of its own and may think they know better than you do.
Affectionate, loyal and protective of their family, Texas Heelers can be aloof with strangers. They make excellent alert dogs as they will bark if an outsider approaches their property.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix at its best Loyal, devoted and affectionate. A true best friend that will stick with you through thick and thin
Texas Heelers can be pushy and like most herding breeds use their teeth to move their herd along. Unfortunately, your dog’s ‘herd’ can also include family members, especially children. For dog savvy children this isn’t necessarily a problem, but care is needed around children that are unfamiliar or wary of dogs.
In fact, the Texas Heeler’s prey drive may be too developed to share their home safely with other pets so caution is needed in a multi-pet household.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix at its worse Pushy, nippy and smart enough to outthink you. A high energy dog that is destructive when bored
Loyal, affectionate and devoted the Texas Heeler is a challenge for a first-time owner. But with the right family, the Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix will shine.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix exercise
It’s almost impossible to over-exercise your Texas Heeler. Your dog will be happy to be out running all day. So, if you can’t commit to at least two hours of physical exercise a day, the Texas Heeler is probably not the dog for you.
Not only that, but mental exercise is essential to keep your dog content. The Texas Heeler is a dog that is happiest with a job to do. Agility, obedience, flyball or scent work are all great sports to help keep your dog busy and mentally engaged.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix grooming
The Texas Heeler doesn’t need much to keep their weather resistant coat healthy. If your dog has inherited the short fur of its Blue Heeler parent, you only need to brush it every couple of weeks.
In fact, even if your Texas Heeler has gained the slightly longer coat of its Australian Shepherd parent it doesn’t need much more than brushing once a week.
It’s likely that your dog will blow their coat twice a year. This shedding of the dense undercoat does mean that you need to increase grooming at these times as the fluff like fur will come out in clumps.
Regular brushing will help remove the dead hair and keep it from spreading all over your home. As part of your regular grooming routine, check your dog’s ears and brush their teeth to keep them in top condition. If you walk your dog frequently, there shouldn’t be any need to trim their nails as they will get worn down naturally.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix health
Both the Blue Heeler and Australian Shepherd are robust dogs. However, there are a few potential health issues that can affect the cross-breed.
Although your dog may never experience any of these problems, it’s worth knowing what they are;
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Collie eye anomaly
- Collie nose
- Drug sensitivities
Despite the long list of potential issues, if you invite a Texas Heeler into your life you can expect to share it with them for twelve to fifteen years.
Blue Heeler Australian shepherd mix highlights
If you’re looking for an energetic, loyal and steady companion for fun, adventure and long walks in the countryside the Texas Heeler could be your perfect match.
A medium size, easy to care for dog that can be challenging and pushy, the Texas Heeler nether the less excels in the right environment. If you can offer this unique mix of dog the right home, you will be rewarded with a devoted friend for life.