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Border Heeler (Blue Heeler & Border Collie Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Blue Heeler Border Collie standing in partial snow

Height: 17 – 20 inches
Weight: 35 – 50 pounds
Lifespan: 13 – 17 years
Colors: Blue, black, white, brown, mottled, speckled
Suitable for: Very active families looking for an energetic and friendly pet
Temperament: Loyal, intelligent, alert, athletic, quick

The Blue Heeler Border Collie, sometimes referred to as the Border Heeler, is a cross of two very energetic and highly intelligent dogs. It is a medium-sized breed that is easy to train, but its high level of intelligence means that this breed can become easily bored, so you will need to provide it with a lot of mental as well as physical stimulation.

Its energy levels mean that the Heeler Border is not suited to life in an apartment, and you should be prepared to provide a lot of exercise over the curse of the day. Owners are advised to socialize and train the dog from a young age, and this is one breed that would definitely benefit from agility, frisbee, or another physical training regimen.

While the Blue Heeler Border Collie cross does require a lot of physical exercise, it does not have especially high maintenance requirements thanks to its weatherproof and mostly dirt-proof coat.

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Blue Heeler Border Collie Puppies

border heeler puppy
Image Credit: PxHere

The Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is a cross of two popular working dog breeds, but it is not considered a designer breed. There are a number of breeders that specialize in this particular breed, so take your time to find the best one around you. A quality breeder will let you visit the facilities, introduce you to the puppy’s parents or siblings, and might even screen the puppy for potential diseases.

Finding a Blue Heeler Border Collie at a dog shelter might not be impossible. This way, you’ll also be changing a dog’s life for the best. Be ready for an adventure of a lifetime when you bring home a Blue Heller Border Collie. They’ll definitely change your day-to-day due to their high energy and loving nature.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Blue Heeler Border Collie

1. Blue Heelers Nip at Cattle’s Heels

The Blue Heeler is a herding and cattle dog that is used by ranchers to keep their cattle in line. The dog gets its name from the method it uses to drove cattle: it nips at the heels of large animals, effectively forcing them in the desired direction.

This trait is still evident today, and not only in working dogs. As such, early training is important because it can help prevent your puppy from nipping at the heels of other dogs, cats, and even small children. Although the action is rarely aggressive, it should be curtailed as soon as possible.

2. The Blue Heeler Was First Bred in 1840

The Blue Heeler is considered a relatively new dog breed. Queensland dog breeder, George Elliott, created the breed when experimenting with Dingo Collie crosses and the resulting dogs were known to be excellent herding dogs.

Their abilities led to them being highly sought after by cattlemen of the time. Jack and Harry Bagust were particularly interested in the breed and bred puppies with Dalmatians and Kelpies to create a dog that was safe around horses and had a quiet but effective herding technique. The American Kennel Club recognized the dog as a separate breed in 1980, having been a part of the Miscellaneous breed category prior to this.

3. Today’s Collies Can Be Traced Back to a Single Dog

The Border Collie is another working dog breed, typically used for herding sheep in the UK. Modern Collies can trace their lineage back to a single dog, called Old Hemp, who was born in 1893. He was known for his quiet and placid herding technique that looked lazy but proved very efficient.

Breeders were so impressed by Old Hemp’s techniques that he would father 200 pups and is recognized as the natural father to all modern Collies and, therefore, Border Heelers.

The parent breeds of Border Heeler
The parent breeds of Border Heeler: Left – Blue Heeler (Daniel Lincoln, Unsplash) | Right – Border Collie (TheOtherKev, Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Blue Heeler Border Collie 🧠

Blue Heeler Border Collies are bred from two incredibly intelligent and physical breeds. Their underlying characteristic is one of boundless energy, and even the most active owner will struggle to tire their Border Heeler out. As such, they are ideal as working dogs and perfectly suited to owners that enjoy an active lifestyle and want a dog to include in their daily activities.

The breed makes a loving and caring family pet. It will usually mix well with children, enjoying the opportunity to play, and it will usually mix well with other animals. The breed has been developed to be helpful and to assist in a variety of tasks, so your puppy will want to be a part of your everyday life.

You have to be prepared to provide a lot of exercise and to mentally challenge this breed, however, so it is best avoided if you don’t want to have to take long daily walks and offer a lot of playtime.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Border Heeler is considered an excellent choice as a family pet. This dog will get along with other dogs and it should be relatively easy to introduce them to other pets and animals. They’re also good with children, relishing having a playmate, and their voracious appetite for tasks and companionship means that they will enjoy nothing more than getting out and doing tasks with all of the family members. They also have a long life expectancy, which can be important when choosing pets for children to bond with.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Heeler Border is a herding dog, showing that they at least have the capability of being around other animals without posing a threat. This is especially true of this breed, and you shouldn’t have too many difficulties introducing them to cats or other family pets.

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Things to Know When Owning a Blue Heeler Border Collie:

The Blue Heeler Border Collie cross is a fun-loving and intelligent dog, which means that they’re susceptible to training. Their high energy levels mean that they does take a lot of exercise and will eat a diet to match their energy expenditure, but their maintenance requirements are quite low. Before buying or adopting one of this breed, you should know the following:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Border Heeler has very high energy levels, which means that they also have an insatiable appetite for food. You will need to provide up to 2 cups of food a day, and if your puppy is very active, they will likely need more than this. If your Border Heeler isn’t getting a lot of exercise, be careful not to overfeed them, and consider reducing their food intake to match high energy levels.

You should feed a diet containing meat protein. Your puppy will digest and convert this protein into the energy they need, although this can be supplemented with fruit and vegetable-based protein.

Consider foods high in chondroitin and glucosamine to maintain good joint health. This is important in active dogs because they can put a lot of strain on the joints when running and jumping.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise needs to be an integral part of your Border Heeler’s day. They will require an absolute minimum of one hour exercise a day, and this should include running as well as walking. If you don’t have the room to let your puppy off its leash, you might want to consider a different breed. Although Blue Heeler Border Collies are generally considered to be well behaved and can be trained to avoid any bad habits, they can also become bored and restless, and energy-intensive exercise helps to minimize the risk of behaviors like chewing and barking.

This breed takes very well to agility and exercise classes, which can provide a convenient and manageable method of burning off their excess energy while allowing you and your puppy to bond.

Border Heeler
Image Credit: T Z, Pexels

Training 🦮

Both parent breeds of the Border Heeler are renowned for their intelligence and their willingness to learn. As such, training should not only be considered easy but extremely important. Your puppy will become bored if not properly stimulated, and this boredom can manifest itself in bad behavior habits like chewing and barking.

Training is always easiest with a young puppy, but the Border Heeler will continue to learn and adapt throughout its life. It will also have an ongoing need to keep up training to ensure good habits.

Puppy classes are a good idea for this breed because they will teach you a range of ways to keep your dog entertained, socialize them with other dogs and their owners, and can lead to additional activities like flyball or agility training.

Grooming ✂️

Depending on which breed is dominant in your dog, grooming requirements can vary from minimal to moderate. You will need to brush at least twice a week to prevent matting and knotting, but the coat should be weatherproof and resistant to most dirt. The coloring also means that staining should not be a problem, but your dog’s eagerness to run and roll in the dirt means that you should look for mites and other insects that might be collected while out in the field.

You should always monitor ears and ensure that they are kept clean. Ear infections are relatively common in all breeds and especially in those dogs that like water. Clean their ears out and ensure that they are dry after cleaning, to prevent infection.

Health and Conditions ❤️

This breed is known for being a hardy dog, as indicated by their typical lifespan. However, there are some known ailments and conditions that owners should keep an eye out for. The most common problem is that of Collie eye anomaly, which means that the choroid is underdeveloped and can even lead to retinal detachment. If your dog does suffer from this problem, it will be evident in both eyes, and it should be closely monitored by your vet to ensure that they do not require any additional treatment.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
Serious Conditions
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Deafness

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Male vs Female

Both the male and female Border Heelers tend to grow to a similar size and both sexes display the same character traits. They both require a lot of exercise and show similar levels of intelligence and a caring nature.

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The Blue Heeler Border Collie cross is a combination of two high-intensity and energetic dog breeds. The resulting cross makes an excellent working dog and a fine companion dog, but be prepared to put in a serious shift at the dog park and in agility classes because your puppy will have boundless energy and will love to use it.

The Border Heeler makes a great family dog and will form a strong familial bond with all family members. It is typically a very good dog for children, especially those that are old enough to throw a ball and entertain your Border Heeler. It will also mix well with other dogs, cats, and other pets.

Overall, the Border Heeler tends to be a healthy and happy dog, when well exercised and when trained from a young age. If you enjoy long walks, going running, or any other kind of activity, be prepared to take the dog with you because they will relish being included as one of the family and will love the distraction. Be mindful of eye problems that are common to the Collie breed and lookout for signs of dysplasia that can be common in working dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Brett Holmes, Shutterstock

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