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Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

blue heeler german shepherd mix

Height: 20 – 25 inches
Weight: 45 – 80 pounds
Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Colors: Black, fawn, blue merle, blue ticked with white
Suitable for: Active families or those looking for a working dog with lots of energy
Temperament: Energetic, loyal, brave, obedient

There is something satisfying about taking two individual dogs with amazing qualities and breeding them into an even greater dog. The Heeler German Shepherd mix combines cattle dogs with German Shepherds and gives owners a breed that is intelligent, loyal, and loving all in one. Based on the histories of these two breeds, this hybrid mix creates a dog that is ideal for families who aren’t afraid to give their pets a job.

Cattle Shepherd mixes thrive when they are given a task to perform. The fact that they would do anything to make their owners happy is what draws so many people to want them. Of course, their cute looks don’t hurt. If you have been seeking a dog that is all about devotion and can keep up with your active family, a Blue Heeler German Shepherd mix could be calling your name.

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Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix Puppy


In terms of energy and trainability, this breed is one of the best that you could bring home. They have a fairly average health and lifespan rating, so you won’t have to worry about taking them to the vet’s office all the time.

The one area that a hybrid breed like the Red Heeler German Shepherd mix lacks is sociability rating. Both parent breeds are strong-willed and protective. If they aren’t socialized with humans and other animals from a young age, then this is where most of your problems will occur.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix

1. Their German Shepherd Side Has a Notorious History of Working

You often see German Shepherds alongside police officers and military members. There is a good reason for that. This breed was originally bred to protect flocks of herding sheep from predators. They were servants for farmers and not considered companions. However, as humans grew closer to these animals, they still thrived in a work environment.

2. Their Australian Cattle Side Is Still Used for Herding Cattle

Australian Cattle dogs were bred and raised to nip at the ankles of cattle and keep them moving. These dogs are still one of the most popular farm dogs today, so you know that you’re getting a dog with a good work ethic.

3. They still Have Some Dingo DNA

Blue Heelers have some pretty wild ancestors. These dogs contain the same blood as Dingo dogs. Dingoes are free, wild dogs that are native to Australia. It is extremely rare to find a domesticated Dingo. They prefer to live wild, free lives, which is why Heelers have a bit of a wild look to them as well.

The parent breeds of Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix
The parent breeds of Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix: Left – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash) | Right – Australian Cattle Dog (Best dog photo, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix🧠

The Cattle Shepherd mix tends to have an extremely loyal temperament. They’ve got a lot of energy and do well with highly active families with older children. These dogs are very intelligent and catch onto training fairly quickly, but only with owners who are persistent enough to handle their strong-willed nature. Poor socialization could lead to issues with children, strangers, or other pets. They do tend to bark a lot, and obedience classes could do this breed some good.

These dogs are not suitable for cities or apartment living. The amount of energy they have pairs best with families who own a good chunk of land that allows them to run around and patrol the property. Unless you are willing to take them out for several hours of exercise every day, don’t bring them home to a tiny apartment with no room to move freely.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

Because of the high energy and protective personalities of this hybrid mix, we don’t recommend having these dogs around small children. However, not all dogs are the same. Puppies who grow up with the kids and are around other pets and animals a lot tend to adapt just fine to those around them.

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Things to Know When Owning an Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix:

Keeping your dog in good health is crucial, especially when you have one with as much energy as an Australian Cattle German Shepherd mix.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

These dogs enjoy spending most of their time in the outdoors. It is recommended to give active dogs of this size about 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality kibble per day. Divide this amount into two separate meals so that they eat both in the morning and at night. If you’re unsure about dry food brands, ask your vet to give you some food recommendations.

Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix Exercise 🐕

Working dogs require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Cattle Shepherd mixes are happiest when they are given a specific job to do. The bare minimum amount of exercise they require is 1 hour, but they do a lot better when they have at least 2 hours of vigorous exercise every day. This level of activity is much easier to achieve when they have lots of land to explore. In other words, they are not suitable for apartment living.

Australian Cattle Dog German Shepherd Mix Training 🦮

This breed is very intelligent, and the training is mostly simple. The biggest issue that owners face when training a Cattle Shepherd mix is breaking through their willpower. If you remain persistent and don’t give in to their demands, they pick up on training and commands with ease.

Grooming ✂️

Australian Cattle Shepherds are considered to be low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming demands. Brush through their medium-length hair once per week to remove any loose strands. They also benefit from a bath once every week or two since they spend a lot of their time outside. Brush the dog’s teeth at least twice a week to avoid any dental problems. Keep the nails trimmed by using a sharp clipper. If you start the grooming routine when they are young puppies, then they are cooperative as adults.

Health and Conditions  ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Deafness
  • Flea Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Every dog you own is prone to some sort of health condition. Thankfully, this breed is relatively healthy and doesn’t have a lot of major health conditions. Some of the biggest concerns tend to be hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Hip dysplasia in dogs is more common in larger breeds but happens to dogs of all sizes. This is when the hip joint doesn’t fit properly and grinds together instead of sliding smoothly. Progressive retinal atrophy is a type of degenerative disease in dogs that affects the photoreceptor cells within the retina. Over time, this eventually leads to blindness in all dogs who are diagnosed with it.

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Male vs Female

There aren’t a whole lot of differences between the male and female Australian Cattle Shepherd Mixes. The female dogs are a little smaller in size, though their bodies are usually a little bit more muscular. In regards to temperament, the females are only slightly calmer than the males. This breed is high-energy in general. It takes about 7 or 8 years for them to start slowing down a bit, and it becomes easier for you to calm them at this point.

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Final Thoughts

Getting a hybrid mix is gaining popularity because you truly get the best of two different breeds. The Australian Cattle Shepherd Mix took two dogs that are similar in temperament and were bred to become even better at the things that they already do well. They are excellent protectors, and they devote their lives to keeping you and their home safe. They are eager to please while still being affectionate and lovable. If you ask us, there is a whole lot to love about this mixed breed.

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Featured Image Credit: demibombe, Shutterstock

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