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Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix: Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Australian Shepherd & Blue Heeler Mix

Height: 17 – 20 inches
Weight: 35 – 50 pounds
Lifespan: 13 – 15 years
Colors: Many
Suitable for: Active families without children
Temperament: Active, intelligent, workaholic

As the name suggests, this canine is a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Blue Heeler. They are also commonly referred to as Texas Heelers, though there isn’t any evidence that they were explicitly bred in Texas.

Unlike other mixed breeds, this one has a bit of a long history. They were started in the 1970s in the United States, likely around Texas. However, their popularity never took off, and they remain a bit rare today.

The Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix is mainly utilized for herding or companionship. They are quite intelligent and can also be used for seeing-eye and search-and-rescue work. However, they are less common and therefore less likely to be used in these fields.

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Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Puppies


These canines are not technically purebreds. While this mixed breed has been around for quite a while, they aren’t established. Therefore, few breeders specialize in them — if you can even find one at all!

If you do manage to find one, they typically aren’t too expensive. After all, the demand is relatively low, so breeders often can’t price their dogs that high.

Due to the low availability, the price can vary quite a bit. Breeders don’t always have anyone to compare their prices to. However, these dogs often require a bit more work than others to breed due to their larger size and hyperactivity.

Purchasing from a backyard breeder will likely cost less, but we don’t recommend this. Often, the puppies cost less because they have had less money put into them. They often don’t receive the proper vet care or genetic testing.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix

1. These dogs are highly active.

This mixed breed is hyperactive. They tend to require quite a bit of exercise. Most do best if they have a farm to work on or some other job to do. Both their parents are pure working dogs, and this mixed breed is no different.

2. This mixed breed has been around for a while.

Most mixed breeds are relatively new. However, this one has been bred since about the 1970s. They aren’t popular, though. This lack of popularity has led to them still being rare today. Most of the time, people purchase one of their purebred parents instead.

3. Finding them is difficult.

While they are a cross between two relatively popular breeds, that doesn’t make this mixed breed easy to find! Few breeders specialize in them, and most do not produce regular puppies. For this reason, it is often somewhat difficult to find this breed.

The parent breeds of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix
The parent breeds of Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix: Left – Australian Shepherd (Maud Slaats, Unsplash) | Right – Blue Heeler (Daniel Lincoln, Unsplash)

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Temperament and Intelligence of the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix 🧠

This mixed breed is brilliant and active. They were made to be working dogs and herd animals of all sorts. Therefore, their intelligence is quite high – similar to other herding breeds.

This trait allows them to be trained efficiently, though it also means they’ll need plenty of mental stimulation. This breed can’t be left alone at home for much of the day. They require regular interaction, training, and mental stimulation.

The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix is an extremely hard worker. Most are happiest when they have a job to do, even if it just involves catching a frisbee.

Due to their herding instincts, these dogs may attempt to herd just about anything, including children, cats, and cars. It isn’t unheard of for them to jump out in front of a car in an attempt to herd it, which sadly doesn’t end well for the dog.

They may be a bit aloof with strangers, though this likely isn’t going to result in significant aggression or territorial behaviors. Socialization is essential to make them accepting of strangers, however.

Many people may utilize this canine as a watchdog. This job isn’t the primary purpose that they were bred, but their aloof nature can make them suitable.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

They can be. However, we don’t recommend them for homes with small children. Often, children look and act in a way that will excite this mixed breed’s herding instincts. It isn’t odd for them to try to herd children.

Often, this behavior scares the child, who runs away from the dog. This reaction excites the dog even more and may prompt them to snap and bite at the child’s ankles, which is one of the ways that these canines herd cattle. This may work with cattle, but it isn’t a good idea for children.

You can’t train out herding instincts. They are innate in every Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler, and there isn’t anything the dog or anyone else can do to control them.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Socialization is essential to ensure that this dog can get along with other dogs. They often aren’t aggressive or territorial, but some level of basic socialization is still required. Otherwise, they can be a bit unsure of new dogs.

While this breed can get along with dogs, they are not recommended for homes with cats and similar small animals. These canines will often try to herd these smaller animals, which isn’t much fun for them!

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Things to Know When Owning an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Compared to other dogs, the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix does not have any particular dietary needs. They often do just fine on a commercial diet designed for their life stage.

You must feed puppies a food designed for puppies. You do not need to feed them food specifically designed for large breed dogs because this breed often fits into the medium category.

However, you should take care only to feed them the required amount. Overfeeding can result in too-fast growth, which can lead to health problems later on.

Due to their active nature, many Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mixes respond best to a food designed to meet their high-activity needs. Extra protein and even more calories are necessary in most cases. For working dogs, you’ll likely need to feed them more than what’s listed on the back of the bag.

Exercise 🐕

Meeting the exercise needs of this breed can be challenging. They are often highly active, as they were initially bred to spend all their day in the field herding cattle. That takes a great deal of energy!

Even when they are kept as companions, these dogs will still have this high level of activity. It isn’t like their body knows that they aren’t working dogs.

We only recommend this breed for high-activity families. If you’re looking for a dog that will run miles a day with you, this mixed breed likely fits the bill. If you don’t do anything active daily, you should probably plan on looking elsewhere for a dog.

It can be challenging to meet their exercise needs with walks alone, unless you’re hiking miles a day.

Training 🦮

Due to their high intelligence, this mixed breed takes well to the training of all sorts. They are eager to please and quickly understand what you’re asking them. Most of the time, these traits make them easy to train.

However, they do need training. Otherwise, they can become bored and listless. A bored dog is often not a well-behaved dog.

When left to their own devices, they will often attempt to make their own fun. Often, this behavior results in destructive behaviors, such as digging, eating things, and excessive chewing.

For this reason, these dogs are often described as more destructive than most. But it is simply that it is challenging to meet their mental stimulation need, which causes destructive behaviors to occur more often.

Luckily, training is an excellent way to keep their mind tired. Usually, you’ll need to do multiple sessions a day. Fifteen minutes is often all that you need per session. You’ll need to work on something new and challenging, of course. Usually, the problem with training these dogs is often finding new things to train them on.

You can also use puzzle toys and canine sports to keep these dogs entertained. Preferably, you should do a mixture of everything to provide your dog with a bit of variety.

Grooming ✂️

These canines require considerable grooming. They shed profusely and often need to be brushed daily to keep it under control, sometimes even more so.

Luckily, these brushing sessions can be quick. It only takes about 15 minutes to brush these dogs thoroughly; you’ll just need to do it often.

Beyond that, they don’t require significant amounts of grooming. You should never trim an Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler Mix, as this can mess with their double-layered coat.

The bottom layer of their coat is designed to keep them warm, while the top layer is waterproof and weather resistant. It keeps the bottom layer dry and stable so it can do its job. If you trim their fur down, their undercoat will start to show through their upper coat. This situation can make the upper coat unable to do its job.

You shouldn’t bathe these canines that often either. If they get dirty, then a bath may be required. However, regular brushing will remove much of the dirt and debris from their coat.

Too much bathing can lead to skin irritation and similar issues, so it should be avoided.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Since this is a mixed breed, they are often healthier than purebred dogs. They are inheriting from a larger gene pool, which reduces the chance of genetic conditions. Furthermore, both their parent breeds are bred as working animals, and these breeders usually prioritize health. Companion breeds are often less healthy because appearance is focused on.

However, that doesn’t mean these dogs aren’t prone to any genetic problems. Like all breeds, they are likely to develop certain conditions.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are both relatively common in this mixed breed. This condition develops while the puppy is growing. The joint does not line up correctly for one reason or another, causing wear and tear. Eventually, this leads to arthritis-like symptoms before the dog is 4 years old. As a progressive disease, this condition only gets worse as the dog ages. Often, medication and supplementation are necessary. Some dogs require surgery in extreme cases.

Eye conditions are common in each parent breed, so it makes sense that they would also be common in this mixed breed. These conditions can include progressive retinal atrophy, which can eventually cause blindness. Collie eye is somewhat common but unlikely in this mixed breed. They don’t have enough Collie genetics to inherit this condition regularly.

Often, these eye conditions are genetic and not tied to aging. While many dogs do experience eye conditions later in life, genetic conditions often appear earlier.

Inherited deafness is possible from the Australian Shepherd parent. This breed has a high occurrence of genetic deafness, which can be passed onto their puppies.

Purchasing puppies from qualified breeders can prevent many of these conditions. However, many do not have genetic tests, so even the best breeder cannot avoid all possible genetic conditions.

If you’re looking to purchase the healthiest puppy, we highly recommend purchasing from a breeder if possible. This can be difficult with this mixed breed, given that breeders produce puppies so rarely. But if you want a healthy puppy, you can’t get much better than a breeder.

Minor Conditions
  • Skin irritation
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Deafness
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Collie eye

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Male vs. Female

Males are often larger than females, though only by a minimal amount. Usually, it isn’t enough to be noticed.

Furthermore, genetic differences vary more from dog to dog because this is a mixed breed. Their height and weight can vary even within the same litter. It depends on the traits that they inherit from their parents.

Therefore, size differences are more likely to be tied to differences in genetics, not sex.

Temperament differences are not significant between the two sexes. For the most part, they are equally as likely to be aggressive or territorial if unsocialized. Neither sex is more likely to bite than the other.

For the most part, which sex you want to adopt depends mainly on your personal preference. Of course, we don’t recommend setting your eye on a particular sex, given the rarity of this breed. It is usually challenging to find a single puppy, never mind one of a specific sex.

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Final Thoughts

The Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mixed breed is a handful, but they can make the perfect breed for the right family. If you’re active and are looking for a dog that can keep up with you, this breed is perfect. They have high activity needs and are extremely intelligent.

They are excellent working dogs, especially since both parent breeds were designed to do just that! If you need anything to be herded, you can count on these dogs to provide assistance.

This mixed breed can easily be trained to perform most tasks. Due to their high endurance and intelligence, they’re great options for anyone planning on participating in canine sports.

However, these dogs also require a great deal of care. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, or they can become destructive. Meeting these needs requires a great deal of time and work on the owner’s part. If you’re already planning on doing canine sports or similar activities, then you’ll likely be just fine.

They also need regular brushing, even daily, in some instances. These dogs shed profusely, so don’t adopt one if you’re looking to avoid dog hair on your clothes. With this breed, there is no way to escape the ever-consuming onslaught of hair.

This breed isn’t suitable for those who “just want to own a dog,” though. They are working animals and do best when given a job to do.

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Featured Image Credit: Allison Gamble, Shutterstock

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