Choosing the dog breed you’d like to adopt is a big decision! You want to know the ins and outs of each breed, including their lifespan, personality, and even their little quirks. So what about the Blue Heeler? What are Blue Heeler quirks you should be aware of before you bring your new baby home?
In our guide, we’ll talk about the Blue Heeler breed including some of the most fun quirks the breed usually has! Ready to learn more about the Blue Heeler before you invite one into your home? Let’s get started!
Before reading this guide, “Blue Heeler Quirks,” check out: Blue Heeler Puppies in Montana: Top 6 Breeders! (2023) and Best Blue Heeler Poodle Mix Guide! (2023).
1. Blue Heelers are Famous Cartoon Characters
If you have kids, you’ve probably seen an episode of Bluey. It’s an Australian program featuring a six-year-old Blue Heeler and her family, and if you haven’t seen it yet, we recommend you give it a watch! It’s a wholesome, funny show with just as much personality as the Blue Heelers it depicts.
Australian Cattle Dogs have been in a number of other movies, but Bluey is by far the most popular. Remember: all Blue Heelers are Australian Cattle Dogs but not all Australian Cattle Dogs are Blue Heelers.
2. A Blue Heeler Will Herd You and Your Children
A game of fetch, tag, or chase takes on a different meaning when you have a Blue Heeler in your family. That’s because these dogs will view it as a herding activity! That includes, possibly, nipping at your heels (and your kids’ heels) to try to keep you in line.
Because of this herding instinct, training your Heeler from a very early age is essential. Teach your dog that this nipping is unacceptable behavior to avoid injury. Furthermore, it’s important to teach your kids responsible handling of your dog before allowing them to play unsupervised. This is particularly true for small children.
3. Blue Heelers Don’t Always Make Good Neighbors
If you have a tendency to leave your dogs outside for prolonged periods, beware of the Blue Heeler! These dogs whine — sometimes for no apparent good reason — pretty constantly. Most neighbors won’t appreciate it.
Similarly, if you live in an apartment you’ll want to make note of Blue Heeler quirks. Even keeping your dog indoors can be a noisy practice. Thankfully, you can help mitigate this noise by enlisting the help of a dog walker or pet sitter. If your dog stays entertained, he’ll be less likely to whine and complain throughout the day.
4. Your Blue Heeler Wants Your Attention
We mentioned that the Blue Heeler loves to whine. It’s one of the most frustrating Blue Heeler quirks, for sure. But the dogs also want a lot of attention, which can be equally frustrating at times.
It’s wonderful to form a deep bond with your beloved dog. However, when that imprinting leads to shadowing, you may find yourself with a permanent little shadow. This can be especially annoying if you don’t want dog hair on your work clothes — the Blue Heeler is a moderate shedder at best.
Take turns with the puppy’s responsibilities. Feedings, walks, baths, and other tasks should be delegated to each family member. While your dog will still likely imprint, this can help make sure your dog’s shadowing doesn’t become excessive.
5. Your Dog Will Dig… Water
One of the funniest Blue Heeler quirks is his likelihood to dig around in his water bowl. It’s thought that the Dingo is an ancestor of the Blue Heeler; the wild Dingo digs to find natural sources of water.
Your dog will probably dig in his own water bowl, in puddles, in the lake, and even in the bathtub. It’s a cute quirk, sure, but it can get messy. Try to curb the habit early on simply by redirecting your dog to a different spot to dig or by providing him with a new toy to play with.
6. Blue Heeler Quirks Include Chasing
The Blue Heeler has a strong instinct to track and torment prey. Unfortunately, that “prey” may be your cats, senior dogs, or even your kids. Now, your Heeler won’t harm others on purpose if he’s been socialized from a young age. But it can be problematic, and you’ll need to keep an eye on how well your dog interacts with others.
In addition to chasing and “preying” on others, your Blue Heeler may get mouthy with you. Mouthing is when your dog uses his mouth to grab, play, or otherwise get your attention. It’s not necessarily the same as biting, but it’s certainly an undesirable behavior.
If you’ve redirected your dog and attempted to rid him of this behavior, please seek the advice of a professional trainer or your vet. While mouthing isn’t inherently dangerous, it can, in fact, lead to injury and, worse, to lawsuits.
7. Australian Cattle Dogs Need Regular Grooming
Your Blue Heeler will shed, and his longer hair will require frequent brushing. In particular, if your dog is outdoors a lot, he’ll need a good brush to remove dirt and debris and to prevent mats and tangles.
You can wash your Heeler every other week or so, but don’t let him go more than around eight weeks without a bath. Try We Love Doodles shampoo — it lathers well and is easy to rinse so you can avoid a messy, prolonged bath time with your pup!
Of course, you’ll need to bring your dog to the groomer for ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, nail trims, and more, so don’t forget to schedule those appointments.
8. Blue Heelers Have a “Type”
Some dogs will get along with just about anyone. Unfortunately, that’s not true for the Blue Heeler. These dogs also have specific needs, and if you don’t meet those requirements, you risk your pup getting into some pretty destructive behavior.
The Blue Heeler requires plenty of exercise. They don’t love other dogs, and they don’t necessarily get along with other animals in the home. They’re loud and whiny, and they can be territorial and possessive of their humans.
Don’t get us wrong — your Blue Heeler will be a very good boy or girl! But these are the most important Blue Heeler quirks to keep in mind as you decide to adopt.
Are you right for a Blue Heeler? Well, the best Australian Cattle Dog owners:
- Have no children or have older children.
- Love exercise, and are willing to bring a pup along.
- Are home for the majority of the day.
- Have a yard, not an apartment.
- Do not have other pets in the home.
- Are willing to groom their dog daily or every other day.
Does this sound like you? Great! You’re likely a great candidate for Blue Heeler parenting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about whether a Blue Heeler is right for you? Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on the matter.
Depending on where you live, there are probably reputable, responsible Blue Heeler breeders in your area. A quality breeder will take time to begin training and socialization early on so that you’re not left in possession of a temperamental dog.
With that in mind, remember that Blue Heeler quirks can be too much for some to handle. That means hundreds of these dogs are given over to the care of shelters each year. Your next new baby may be in a local animal rescue.
Check out the options available to you in your locality, then contact the shelter to see if Blue Heelers are available. Adopting a pup means that you’re saving your dog’s life — and making room for another dog that needs assistance.
Yes! They certainly can. The Blue Heeler has strong herding instincts, and your pup may be prone to bark or whine quite a bit.
Training is critical to the well-being of your Heeler, and the sooner you can begin, the better off you’ll both be. Apartment life isn’t well-suited for the dogs, as every little bump and knock on the door may set off another barking session.
As we mentioned, you’ll want to keep your Blue Heeler occupied during the day while you’re gone. Hire a dog walker or ask a neighbor to stop in and play with your dog from time to time. Doggy daycares are another option for your baby, and there are many affordable options.
Nope. The dogs shed quite a bit during shedding season, and moderately throughout the rest of the year. Some Heeler parents schedule a blowout for dogs to help keep the shedding at bay, but you can still expect a bit of dog hair around your home.
If you’re allergic to pet dander, the Blue Heeler probably isn’t the right dog breed for you. However, if you’re only mildly allergic, you may be able to lessen the amount of dander by giving your dog a bath a bit more frequently than you’d planned. (Just don’t overdo it.)
The Blue Heeler is a quirky little breed, but remember that each dog has his own individual personality! Don’t let the characteristics in this guide deter you from adopting one of your own.
The Cattle Dog you adopt may be the quietest, sweetest dog on the block! He may not bark much, may not have any interest in herding at all, and may prefer to be your oversized lap dog.
Training your dog will be critical to curbing some of the undesirable “quirks” so ask your breeder or your vet about options available in your area.
Conclusion for “Blue Heeler Quirks”
Thinking you may want to add a Blue Heeler to your home? We’ve listed the quirks you should be aware of! Remember that every dog is different, and training will be important to your pup’s well-being and manners.
If you decide to adopt from a shelter, talk to the volunteers about the unique personality of the dog you’re considering. You may have to “un-train” some undesirable behaviors in your dog but generally speaking, the shelter will have done a majority of this for you before listing the dog.
Whichever route you choose, adopting a Blue Heeler, even with all his quirks, will gain you a loyal, playful, energetic companion.
If you find this guide, “Blue Heeler Quirks” helpful, check out:
- Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Guide! (2023)
- Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Guide! (2023)
- Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix Information, Facts, and Images! (2023)
Learn more by watching “12 Things Only Blue Heeler Dog Owners Understand” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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