Texas heeler is a crossbred herding dog. The dog was primary used to herd, keep an eye of cattle and protect them from animals and thieves. The dog also excels in agility and obedience related sports. It is a result of cross mating of Australian Cattle Dog and an Australian Shepherd Dog. As it is a mixed breed so offspring can be of varied physical appearance and temperaments. Generally, the dog is friendly and gets along well with other animals.
This breed is known by different names like Queensland Heeler, Australian Heeler, Hall’s Heeler and Australischer Treibhund. Being a herding dog it might not be a suitable dog for families with small children. They tend to be dominant with them and try to herd them. Active families are suitable for the breed. The dog thrives well in farm or in rural areas where it can get empty space to wander and run.
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Texas Heeler Origin
It is designer breed and was developed in Texas in the mid-20th century. The dog is a hybrid of Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd Dog. Australian Cattle dog was developed by Australian to herd cattle in ranches. It was an imported breed but because of extreme environment condition it was not effective enough for its job. This breed was then cross mated with Australian dingo and the resultant breed had blue colored coat because of which it was nicknamed as blue heeler.
Contrary to the name, Australian Shepherd is America breed. Not much documents are available about this breed. According to experts, this dog is result of cross breeding of Australian Collie with native Shepherd dogs.
Texas Heeler Characteristics
- The breed belongs to Texas and is a herding dog.
- It is a hybrid between Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd Dog.
- Lifespan of the breed is 13 to 15 years.
- It is a clever, tenacious, and lively dog.
- The dog is 43–61 cm tall.
- It weighs around 11–23 kg.
- Average cost of this breed is $200 – $400 USD.
- The dog comes in blue, black, white and brown color.
- The breed is not suitable for cozy apartments and needs medium sized yard to live happily.
- It can tolerate hot and cold weather well.
- It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
- The breed has a low maintenance coat. It doesn’t require trimming or stripping.
- It is loves to work alongside humans and is moderately easy to train.
It is a medium sized breed with proportionate body feature. It skull is wedged shape and muzzle is blunt with a definite stop. Ears of the dog can either be folded like Australian Shepherd Dog or erected like Australian Cattle Dog.
Mostly the dog inherits bob tail from parents. But few dogs can have longer tail. Chest of the dog is deep and strong. The dog has a straight topline. It has an alert and keen expression on its face.
Size and Height
Ideal height of the dog is 17-22 inches. It weighs around 25-50 lbs.
Coat and Color
The dog’s coat varies in size and color. Generally, the dog sports small to medium sized coat. Coat length ranges from 1 to 3 inches in size. Its fur is soft and smooth. The dog comes in many colors but generally accepted colors are blue, black, white and brown. The dog can have white or tan spots on legs which is acceptable.
- Personality – The dog is full of life. It is highly energetic and needs lots of space to wander, romp and run freely. The dog is extremely smart and therefore it is highly trainable. The dog has natural herding instincts and in absence of animals it will herd small children and animals. The dog is also protective of its family and will not allow suspicious strangers to enter inside home. It is also territorial and possessive of its belongings. Definitely not a recommended pet for families with animals. With adult children, they are joyous and playful.
- Behavior – The dog is always alert and attentive. It makes wonderful watchdog. Barking tendency of the dog is low but it will surely bark when it comes across strangers approaching the house. As it is a working dog, so it loves to be engaged in some sort of work. Providing physical and mental stimulation to the dog is necessary to keep it even minded. The dog forms strong bond with its family and will develop separation anxiety, if left alone for long duration.
- Activities Requirement – It is a great working dog. Nothing makes the dog happier than a “job to do”. The dog loves to take responsibility and at times can act dominantly. The dog enjoys any kind of exercise which includes free running It loves to enjoy outdoor activity especially when it has got an open field to its exercise. The dog should be included in every of your family activity and trips.
- Training – The dog needs firm trainer who can establish himself as pack leader. You need to be consistent in providing it training and the result will come gradually. Keep the training interesting as well as challenging so that it doesn’t loses its interest. Apart from training your dog to herd, you can train him for dog’s sports and events.
The quantity of food depends upon his duration of physical activity and his age. But comparing to other dogs his meal intake is more because dog isn’t a couch potato. Do not keep the food on your dog’s plate every time because this can make your dog overweight.
The dog can live up to 13 to 15 years.
It is not a hypoallergenic dog. The dog is prone to similar health issues as that of its parents. Major health concern of the breed includes deafness, OCD, hypothyroidism, drug sensitivity, elbow and hip dysplasia and allergies.
Grooming and Caring
They are a low maintenance dog. Weekly brushing will remove the dead hair and mats if any. Bath only when required or when it emits foul smell from its body. Trim nails if they don’t wear it naturally.
Regular checking of ears is recommended to see irritation, allergies or wax build up if any. When the dog goes outside to play, you can wipe its coat by soaking cloth in warm water.
This breed is not for apartment dwellers. They need to be kept in an open and large space which is fenced from all around. Rural areas or farms are the best place for it. It can tolerate any kind of climate.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- It is an affectionate dog that loves its family to the moon and back.
- The dog has infrequent grooming needs.
- It is highly trainable and can herd in any kind of climate and terrain.
- Not a suitable breed for house with pets and small children.
- It is not a suitable breed for apartment dwellers.
- The dog needs firm hand in training.