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Blue Heeler

Australian Cattle Dog: Is An American Heeler a Good Family Dog?

by Helen
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The Australian Cattle Dog: Family Dog and Smart Companion

The Australian Cattle Dog, or just Cattle Dog, is a breed herding dog initially bred in Australia for working with cattle over long distances across rough terrain. Also, known as Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler they are very common in Texas.  This breed is a medium-sized, short-coated dog that occurs in two main color forms.

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Blue Heeler

Is The Texas Heeler A Good Family Dog?

Australian Cattle Dogs, also called Blue Heelers, are incredibly alert, friendly pups with remarkable intelligence and an extreme sense of loyalty.  These devoted furry friends are not supposed to be aggressive and can be an excellent fit for families with kids.  This brings me to my next point: Kallie, my blue heeler, is a snuggle bunny who loves and protects my grandkids, and she is like a big teddy bear to my five-year-old grandson.  When he spends the night, Kallie stays by his side without budging.

Ideally, if you have young kids, you should adopt a young pup that can grow up alongside your children. Therefore you can adequately train and she will grow up with your kids.  Being a pet owner takes some work and some preparation for when your new pet comes home.  We always recommend adopting a pet from the animal shelter or rescue.  Otherwise, this breed is better suited for older children, around 9 or 10 years old.  If you should adopt an older or younger dog, you can use the information we provide to help you decide.  Australian Cattle Dogs – ACDs can be a tad nippy, which can be worrisome for smaller children; this is another reason that training your pet early on is necessary.

Kallie our Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler rescue; we adopted her when she was about a year old.  She is such a sweet girl and is fantastic with my grandkids.  She doesn't have a mean bone in her body.  She is also not a big barker and does this cute, quiet voice bark.  My Australian Blue Heeler, Kallie, loves to play fetch with her balls and toys.  She doesn't rip anything up or destroy any of our belongings.

Kallie The Blue Heeler

Below are four reasons why an Australian Cattle Dog is the best family dog:

  • An Australian Cattle Dog is highly active and energetic, making him ideal for keeping up with very active children.
  • An Australian Cattle Dog is highly loyal, and if it grows up with your kids, he will watch over them and keep them safe.
  • Australian Cattle Dogs are not known for barking a lot, which is invariably a plus if you have younger kids or children who frighten or are sensitive to loud noises. Kallie, our Blue Heeler, barks in a quiet voice. It is like a whisper voice.
  • An Australian Cattle Dog is super bright, so if you spend the time and effort, this pup will quickly learn how to behave.

Getting To Know the Australian Cattle Dog

In practice, your dog's character is essential in deciding if she is the right option for you and your family, although there are other factors to consider. Ideally, it would be best to understand the basics of any dog breed you think bringing into your home is also paramount. Different characteristics like size, training needs, health issues, and other specifics may significantly influence how well your pet adapts to its new home.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is very loving with its family but may be cautious with strangers if not socialized early on. Catahoula Leopard Dogs protect the family and will make excellent watchdogs. The Catahoula breed is not aggressive, yet it is a natural leader, similar to other herding breeds. Our third dog is a Catahoula; she doesn't like to be bothered and doesn't care for kids.

Therefore, it is best to consider all the dog's characteristics when you plan to get a new dog, no matter the breed, is always a good idea. There are other factors to take into consideration when adopting a pet. For example, has the dog ever been abused, starved, abandoned, etc.?

Thus, knowing the basics about your future pup can save you any potential uncertainty and problems. For example, you are finding out that the adorable puppy you just brought into your home to your small apartment has separation anxiety and barks all the time.

Is Royal Canin Australian Cattle Dog Good Good Quality

Royal Canin Medium Digestive Care Dry Dog Food is tailored nutrition to support your midsize dog's sensitive stomach.  This diet is specially formulated with prebiotics and fibers to support healthy digestion.  This prebiotics and a unique blend of fibers promote a balanced intestinal flora and optimal stool quality.  Mix this dry food with Royal Canin Digestive Care Wet Adult Dog Food in a can or pouch for various textures to please picky eaters, per Royal Canin.

Since my Catahoula has a sensitive stomach, the only dog food I can feed her is Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food; therefore, I feed Addie, my Aussie, Precious the Terrier, and Kallie the Blue Heeler, the same food.  It is much easier at feeding time.  I like mixing wet dog food or water with dry kibble.  I prefer the Auroth Tactical Dog Harness for large dogs when I walk my pups because sometimes they get over excited and pull until they cough.

Australian Cattle Dog

Below you will find some good-to-know facts about the intelligent and alert Australian Cattle Dog:


An Australian Cattle Dog's average height is approximately 17 and 20 inches, and its average weight is roughly 35 to 50 pounds. As is standard with most doggy breeds, the males are typically bigger than the females.


This breed typically lives 12 to 16 years, although some dogs have been known to live for 20 years. The official holder of the world's oldest dog is an Australian Cattle Dog by the name of Bluey; he died at 29 years and 5 months.


The Australian Cattle Dog's coat is a smooth, double-layer coat that only needs quick weekly brushing and an occasional bath. Nonetheless, this pup does shed its undercoat twice a year during the shedding season. Thus, you'll need to brush him every few days during shedding season to eliminate the dead hair that collects in his coat. Of course, as with all other breeds, proper dental care and regular nail trims are essential. Also, Australian Cattle dogs tend to have ear wax build-up.


A good dog breeder will screen her dogs for various health conditions, including deafness, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. We recommend you get your next pup at a local pet shelter, blue heeler rescue, or animal rescue.


ACDs – blue heelers will need much more than a short walk around the neighborhood. Therefore, this high-energy blue heeler dog needs many more options for work and playing regarding proper exercise, including walks or a good run while on a no pull dog harness on a leash if it doesn't pull. Australian Cattle Dogs have been bred to be working dogs by herding cattle, so this pup does well when it has a job to perform. Although, unless you live on a farm, you'll have to find different ways to help make your canine companion happy. Taking your pup on long runs is excellent, as is taking him to canine parks or enrolling in obedience and agility training classes.

Australian Cattle Dog

TRAINING For The Active Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler

Early socialization and basic obedience training are essential for the Australian Cattle Dog, primarily with this keen sense of intelligence. Once your pet has mastered basic obedience with you, you will need to continue and be consistent with training. Activities like agility or herding are recommended to keep this pup stimulated and engaged for a long time. When you need to leave your home for a while, be sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to exercise and has things to do, such as  Benebone Bacon Flavor Wishbone Tough Dog Chew Toy on Chewy or any other interactive toys. Leaving your dog home alone without anything to do, don't be surprised if it is mischievous.

 What are the cons of a Blue Heeler?

Pros and Cons of the Australian Cattle Dog


  • Intelligent
  • Easy to train
  • Little grooming maintenance
  • Healthy and robust


  • Require a lot of exercises
  • Sheds

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog and Kids

Regardless of the breed of dog you adopt, proper education for your children and your new pet is vital. First, ensure your children know how to treat an animal and introduce your pup to your kids as soon as possible. If your kids can, getting involved with the training process can help develop the bond between them and your new family pet.

Once you've decided to add a dog to the mix, petfinder.com is a great starting point. You can also check out The Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association if you help an animal in need. If you need more resources and tips to help you learn more about your super pets, NeaterPets has you covered! Check out the rest of our blog; you'll find tons of valuable information you can use to be a fantastic pet parent.


FAQ: Quetions and Answers About The Blue Heeler

What is an American Blue Heeler?

Blue Heelers, also known whose breed name American Cattle Dogs, are solid, sturdy, compact dogs who are alert and have are ready-to-work stance. American Heeler is slightly longer than they are tall and have a curved, hanging tail that points up. They have muscular legs with strong necks and broad heads that are smaller and rounded with pointy ears. Typically, the Australian Blue Heeler has a stumpy tail because the cattle dog's tail is chopped off when they are puppies, and my heeler still has her tail intact.

Are heelers good family dogs?
The Australian Cattle Dog: This is a fantastic family Dog and Intelligent Companion. The Australian Cattle Dogs, also called Blue Heelers, are especially alert, friendly pups with keen intelligence and extraordinary loyalty. These doggies make faithful friends, are not known to be aggressive, and can be an ideal fit for families with kids.
Are heelers attached to their owners?
For this reason, Australian Cattle Dogs tend to bond closely with their owners once the owner earns it and become incredibly loyal companions, and heeler does not like to be left alone for hours at a time. They are friendly yet very protective of their family and property.

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