Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Previous owner
Posted February 4, 2014
My Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler mixed breed dog was not only a great dog, he was my best friend growing up. I got him as a late birthday present one year and from day one that dog became my constant companion. He slept by my bed every night (and occasionally on it, when we thought that mom wouldn't find out!) and he was always there to protect me. This dog was the most loyal, friendly, loving animal I think I've ever met in my life. He was a great watch dog too, he would bark at strangers, but he wouldn't bite. His training was very easy aside form a few incidents as a puppy when he learned how to get food off of the counter.
The biggest downsides we had with Willie were his few medical problems. Because of the Blue Heeler breed, he had some very sensitive allergies to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. One year he got a very bad staph infection and after that summer he had to be on a mild steroid for the rest of his life. But he didn't complain because he always got his pills disguised in tasty treats! The only other big problem we had with him was a really bad incident of flies laying eggs in his skin on a hot summer day, which lead to a nasty maggot infection! If you have an Aussie, be sure to have them groomed in the summer because the thick fur attracts flies as a warm place to lay eggs! Not only did we teach Willie the typical commands of 'sit', 'stay', and 'lie down', I also taught him how to dance with me!
He never once went after our cats, birds, or turtles and he never had any aversion to children whatsoever. He was fiercely protective of me. In fact, the only two times he ever growled in someone's face were times when he thought someone was hurting me, for instance, one of my friends was teasing me on my birthday and I screamed when she threw ice at me, so he went right up to her and started growling, thinking that I was in danger.
This type of dog is an amazing family animal! I would absolutely recommend any Aussie or Aussie mix to someone who wanted a loving, loyal and protective companion who would be easy to train and who would also make a fantastic play mate for children! This was the best pet I have ever had in my life and I'm still extremely sad to say that he passed away. That's the worst part, Blue Heeler's typically have a shorter lifespan than most dogs, about 12-14 years. Willie passed at twelve years and I still miss him like it was yesterday.