The Queensland Heeler is a robust cattle dog. This breed shows a high level of agility and power. It is muscular with a determined attitude when working in the field.
The Queensland Heeler actually goes by many names, such as the Australian Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler, and the Australian Queensland Heeler.
Here, you will find information about the Queensland Heeler from its history, temperament, feeding requirements, etc.
History of the Queensland Heeler
The first Queensland Heelers were developed because the Old Smooth Collie and Smithfield Collie were brought to Australia from Europe and could not handle the climate.
In the 1800s, Dalmatians and Kelpies were crossbred with Dingo-blue merle Collies. Some believe that Bull Terriers may have also been included. These breeds produced the hardworking Queensland Heeler known today. The breed standard was penned in 1893 by Robert Kaleski. It was approved in Australia in 1903.
Eventually, as all dog breeds do, they move to other places around the world. Finally, the breed made its way to the United States and was accepted by the American Kennel Club in the 1980s.
This small to medium size dog breed is very muscular and strong due to its athletic abilities. Their body tends to be longer than the dog stands with a tail that is held in a lower position, usually with a subtle curve. The round front legs are straight and end with short round toes. The broadhead shows a shallow curve between the ears with a distinct stop.
Ears are set wide across the head and will remain erect when alert. With ears erect like that, it means they can get dirty easily because grass, dirt, pollen, and dust can easily fall into the ear. So make sure you are cleaning your dog’s ears during your grooming routine.
Queensland Heeler Coat
The Queensland Heeler will have a medium-length coat that is dense and straight. This breed features a double coat that keeps your dog protected from outside elements. The undercoat will shed about twice a year, and you can help control this by brushing your dog during its shedding season. Below you will learn about the colors your Queensland Heelers coat can come in.
What Colors Do They Come In?
Queensland Heeler red variations include a fiery speckled pattern, while the Queensland Heeler blue variation features a blue hue with speckles or a mottled pattern. This breed should not have black markings.
The pads of Queensland Heeler puppies will sometimes give away the dog’s adult coloration. Common coat colors you will find in this breed are:
- Red Speckled
- Blue Speckled
- Red Mottled
- Blue Mottled
- Bluish Gray
The Heeler can also have a few different eye colors, such as blue, brown, or amber. Generally, the noses of these dogs are black or brown.
Queensland Heeler temperament is desirable among working dogs. This canine is determined and relentless. They are among the most intelligent dogs in the world. They are obedient as long as they undergo extensive regular training.
This is also a high-energy breed that absolutely requires significant exercise daily. Without a proper outlet for energy and mental stimulation, the Queensland Heeler can become a handful and may display undesirable behaviors.
This breed also requires a strong alpha leader who can guide them. Weak-willed owners should not attempt to adopt this type of dog.
This type of dog is very attached to its owners. This breed is both loyal and lovable. The breed does get along with children as long as they were raised with kids at a young age. It is also important to know that this breed does act as a guard dog in a sense. This means it may feel very protective around you when it senses other people or danger.
Height & Weight
Queensland Heeler size ranges from 17 to 20 inches (43 to 51 cm) for males and 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) for females. The breed weighs between 32 and 35 pounds (15 to 16 kg) for males and 30 to 35 pounds (14 to 16 kg) for females.
Queensland Heeler Health Problems
The Queensland Heeler dog has a higher risk of PRA and hip dysplasia. Puppies with a merle pattern are also prone to being deaf. These dogs also have issues with joint pains. One way to combat this is to give your dog plenty of exercise and to keep them moving.
Hip Dysplasia – This is a widespread condition that happens to a lot of different dog breeds. Hip Dysplasia means that the hip bone doesn’t stay or fit inside of the socket and makes it come out of place. Hip scores are something breeders take very seriously.
Deafness – Most people know that deafness is the ability to lose your hearing. Unfortunately, this can be common for this dog breed.
Joint Pain – Again, many dogs can suffer from joint pain. Joint pain can be located almost anywhere on the dog’s body. It is essential to have your veterinarian help manage your dog’s pain.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This is a disease that will affect the photoreceptor cells in your dog’s eye. This can lead to vision loss and even blindness.
Ensure that you consult a health professional like a veterinarian if you are ever concerned about your dog. A vet can help your dog deal with any health ailments it may have.
Life Expectancy of a Queensland Heeler
Queensland Heelers see an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. Of course, there are some medical conditions to be aware of. Otherwise, your Queensland Heeler dog breed can live a very healthy life.
Ideal Living Conditions
The Queensland Heeler is not an ideal breed for first-time owners. Aside from being a high-energy working canine, this breed requires a strong leader. Inexperienced owners can run into serious behavior issues when trying to handle a dog of this caliber.
A Queensland Heeler is definitely not an apartment dog. The breed is a 100% working animal that requires tremendous physical activity.
Homes with a large fenced-in yard as well as dwellings in the country with wide-open spaces are best for this canine. They thrive in environments that let them utilize their working abilities.
How to Groom a Queensland Heeler
Queensland Heeler shedding problems are generally nonexistent as long as they are brushed regularly. A firm bristle brush is recommended. The dog’s coat is weather-resistant and short. Their coat generally sheds twice each year.
You can give your dog a bath with the shedding starts to help speed up the process. However, always check your dog’s ears for redness to prevent infections and brush your dog’s teeth. You will also want to check your dog’s erect ears and clean out any dirt or dust inside, as that is a possibility when the ears stick straight up.
Nails should be trimmed often if your dog isn’t naturally doing this itself when working in the field chasing livestock. You can time your dog’s nails just make sure you educate yourself on how to do this, so you don’t cut into nerves. Then, you can have your vet do this or even a groomer.
The Queensland Heeler is a very active dog. These dogs need a lot of calories because they burn a lot of calories. A high-quality, dry dog food will work great for growing dogs transitioning from puppyhood into their adult dog stage.
This breed needs around two and a half cups of high-quality dog food per day. Make sure you do not give your dog this entire amount all at once. Instead, space the meals out into multiple meals. You can do it with an automatic dog feeder or remember to give your dog a breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
Make sure you are finding a high-protein dog food for your dog. The first few ingredients should show a significant source of protein for your dog. Protein options for this type of dog would include:
Also, make sure to have whole grains and vegetables in the food ingredient list. If your dog is much older, that’s when I would introduce wet food or soaked dry dog food to make it easier for your dog to eat. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of freshwater to drink!
The Queensland Heeler breed is prone to joint pain. One way to make sure your dog doesn’t get stiff joints or pain is by keeping them moving. This breed needs to move around and exercise to keep joint pain at bay.
This dog breed also loves having a job to do, whether it is guarding livestock or guarding their own property. So give your dog a task. These dogs were bred specifically to watch over livestock and cattle.
Make sure if you do not have your dog guard livestock that you are at least taking your dog on plenty of walks and playtime throughout the day. The Queensland Heeler is an intense working dog that is very smart and possesses tremendous amounts of energy. This dog typically needs an hour of exercise a day.
Queensland Heeler Training
As I have said above, the Queensland Heeler is a very intelligent dog breed. Training should be started when your dog is a puppy. This will be the easiest time to enforce some of the obedience training.
Nipping and also biting are natural traits and instincts passed down through their ancestors. You can minimize this through training and also with a chew toy. Start training the dog not to do that to you or a family member only during work time.
Positive reinforcement always works well when training. Praise verbally or in the form of rubs is always a great option, as well as treats. Training treats can be purchased, or you can use other dog-friendly snacks.
This dog breed has been called many other names around the world. Different parts of the world know these dogs named as something else. Here are a few examples:
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Hall’s Heeler
- Australian Cattledog
- Australischer Treibhund
- Blue Heeler dog
- Australian Queensland Heeler
Queensland Heeler Puppies
The first step in acquiring a Queensland Heeler is to do your homework on the breeders in your area. Even if there are many Queensland Heelers in your area for sale, please make sure to choose a responsible breeder that has been keeping their dogs happy and healthy.
This type of breed really ranges in price. An unregistered puppy can cost around $600, and a fully registered dog with an AKC registration can cost anywhere up to $3,000. Depending on the parents of the puppy will ultimately vary the price.
If you don’t want to purchase one from a breeder, you can always get a Queensland Heeler through adoption. It may not be a puppy, but sometimes you can get an older dog.
Queensland Heeler Litter Size
Litter size will depend on the size of the parent breeds. Generally, purebred dogs have around the same estimated range of litter size unless there are pregnancy complications. For example, female Queensland Heelers have around five puppies in a litter.
Here you will find key points talked about throughout my article. You can use this as an overview or a summary of the article.
- The Queensland Heeler is a small to medium breed with stand-up ears, a muscular body, and a thick, dense coat.
- This breed is known for its ability to herd livestock, and it is a working dog breed.
- Queensland’s need a strong alpha to keep them in line and obedient dogs.
- When the breed isn’t working, it is a great family companion that is loyal to the family members.
- There are only some minor health conditions to keep an eye on with this dog breed.
- This breed needs a lot of exercise throughout the day. If your dog is not a working dog, you will need to be prepared for this.
- As well as exercise, this breed needs two and a half cups of high-quality dog food with a great protein source.
- Training your dog will take some time. You will want to start training your dog when it is a puppy.
- Get your very own Queensland Heeler puppy from a reputable breeder. Make sure you ask a variety of questions to feel comfortable with the breeder you are choosing.
Here are some common questions people and potential owners have about the Queensland Heeler dog breed.
Yes, the Queensland Heeler actually has a few nicknames. We talked about them above, but some are the blue heeler, red heeler, and the Australian cattle dog.
No, the Queensland Heeler is not a yappy dog at all. They can bark when at work or if they feel the need to be protective over their home.
Yes, the Queensland Heeler is a good family dog. You will notice that this dog breed is very work orientated, but when the breed isn’t working, it will be a loving companion. This breed should be great around children and other pets. One thing to keep an eye out for is the nipping the breed can do due to their natural herding instincts. This can happen when your dog is playing with kids but just know this isn’t happening because your dog is aggressive, just excited. You can train your dog to stop this behavior.
There are a few dog breeds that help make up the origin of the Queensland Heeler as well as very similar. Here are a few: