Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted July 22, 2014
Depending on your situation in life, owning an Australian Cattle Dog (aka blue heeler or red heeler) could be a Top 10 best life decision, or a complete, unmitigated disaster. As the name would suggest, these were originally bred as cattle herding dogs and, as such, are very high energy and not suited to apartment living.
• Agile mind: the Australian Cattle Dog is an incredibly smart breed. By “smart”, I don’t mean they won’t go flying into the wall chasing a ball leaving you to wonder if the dog doesn’t have a few screws loose, no, by “smart” I mean the dog is very open to obedience training and can learn basic commands without much difficulty.
• Loyalty almost to the point of clinginess: once you bring an Australian Cattle Dog into your home, it will be your buddy for life.
• Great sports dog: if you are athletic and would like a dog that can, literally, jump through hoops for you, an Australian Cattle Dog is perfect.
• High energy: this can be both a pro and a con depending on your perspective. My dog’s lively spirit definitely keeps me young, but it would probably age me greatly if I lived in an apartment or didn’t give it plenty of room to run and play.
• Nipper: As it would suggest in the name (heeler), being born to herd cattle means they would occasionally have to nip at them. I’ve never seen any of them actually bite anybody, but when playing rough, or when they are bored, they will nip. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you have small, squealing, children.
All in all, I have not regretted by choice of getting an Australian Cattle Dog, but you have to make sure it is in the right environment for it to thrive.