Let’s know about Texas Heeler. a mixed dog that is the result of breeding the Australian Shepherd Dog with the Australian Cattle Dog. He is a medium cross breed with a life span of 12 to 15 years that enjoys participating in dog sports such as agility, Frisbee, rally and obedience. He is a natural at shepherding (healing) and is both a working dog and a family dog. She can be very hardworking, but is also strong-willed and hard-headed at times! She is also sometimes called the Australian Shepherd Heeler, Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler.
|Here’s a Texas Healer at a Glance
|17 to 22 inches
|25 to 50 pounds
|Smooth, Small to Medium, Water Repellent
|low to medium
|every other day
|get angry quickly
|Tolerant of solitude?
|good to medium
|rare to seldom
|good to very good
|Good Family Pet?
|good with kids?
|moderate to good with socialization
|Good with other dogs?
|good to very good with socialization
|Good with other pets?
|moderate to good with socialization
|A wanderer or a wanderer?
|A good apartment dweller?
|A good pet for a new owner?
|Easy to train but must be effective
|tendency to be fat
|major health concerns
|epilepsy, deafness, OCD, eye problems, hypothyroidism, drug sensitivity, cancer,
|other health concerns
|Combined Dysplasia, Allergies, Collie Nose
|12 to 15 years
|Average New Puppy Price
|$150 to $850
|Average Annual Medical Expenses
|$460 to $580
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expenses
|$400 to $500
Where does the Texas Heeler come from?
The Texas Heeler is technically a designer dog, usually a dog created by breeding two pure breeds together. Although this dog is a little different from other designer dogs, we do know a little about who registered him with the Animal Research Foundation and why he was bred. Lucy Gaines registered him in May 1970, although in all likelihood the mix was a while before that. After this the dog’s popularity grew as a working dog for farms and ranches, especially in Texas. He was bred to be another hardworking dog who excelled at shepherding. While he is now often taken into homes as a family dog rather than a working dog, he is still more popular in his home state. To know what’s going on inside him, take a look at his parents.
australian cattle dog
Australian settlers working on large farms in the 1800s bred the Australian Cattle Dog because they needed a working dog to help herd cattle. They wanted a dog that was hardy and could handle the harsh climate in Australia as the people brought from England were not prepared for it. Many different breeds with different local dogs eventually led to the ancestors of what we see today. Since blue was the most popular color, he was also called the Blue Heeler. He was eventually accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1980.
It is still a dog today that requires a lot of physical and mental activity. Otherwise he becomes bored and destructive. He is still used as a working dog, but some are also kept as family dogs and will need to be kept busy if so. He is territorial and protective of what he sees as his own and will act to defend it, he tends to standoffish with strangers but is very loyal to his owner and family and can bond very closely. As a result he doesn’t like being away from you at all. While he is clever he is independent and can be stubborn.
australian shepherd dog
You might understand that this is a dog from Australia, but it is actually a purebred of American origin, first developed as a farm and rearing dog to raise livestock. The Australian part comes from the fact that many Australians worked on those farms and probably used Australian dogs like collies and shepherds in breeding dogs. In the nineteenth century breeders sought to create an intelligent, hardworking and adaptable dog with excellent herding abilities. The breed also became more popular with increasing interest in Western and cowboy shows and rodeos but was not recognized by the AKC until 1993.
Today the Australian Shepherd is still intelligent, energetic, protective and dominant if you let it be. That’s why he needs early socialization and training, along with a firm but fair demeanor. He is loyal but wary of strangers. He still makes a great working dog, but is also a good family dog.
The Texas Heeler is intelligent and can actually learn the meaning of over 200 words. He is hardworking and makes a great working farm dog but with socialization and training he can also be a good family dog. She has a lot of energy and is very driven but sometimes very tough. She likes some rough play, and has a very strong herding instinct. He is affectionate towards his owner but aloof from strangers.
What does a Texas Heeler look like?
He is a medium-sized dog that weighs 25 to 50 pounds and stands between 17 and 22 inches tall. His coat can vary depending on which dog he is more after, it can be short, smooth or medium and water-repellent and colors include blue, tan, merle, black and white. Its ears may be pricked or folded and it may have a long tail or a beak. Its head is round and it often has white markings.
How active should a Texas healer be?
He is a very active dog. If used as a working dog he will get all the physical and mental activity he needs, but as a family dog he needs to be given lots of opportunities to work off his energy. Some owners even say that as active as they are, it can be difficult to give them what they need. Long vigorous walks at least twice a day, hiking, running or jogging with you, dog park trips are all something that he will love. He must have access to some land or a large yard to play in. She loves to be outside and she is definitely not the best fit for apartment living. Play frisbee with him, go tug of war, fetch him and give him some time to walk.
Does she train early?
The Texas Heeler needs an owner who is impressive and the pack leader. She will probably test that dominance every day, so be prepared to be very firm, fair and consistent. If you maintain dominance she will find training moderately easy. Early socialization and training are very important to help with her behavior and how she interacts with others and deals with different situations. Keeping training interesting and at times challenging will help keep his mind active and also ward off boredom. While she has strong herding instincts, she also trains well in dog sports and at other events you might want to show her off.
Living With a Texas Healer
How much grooming is needed?
His coat is easy to groom and will require brushing every other day. She’ll shed a moderate amount so there’s hair to clean and vacuum. Over-bathing will affect her skin’s natural oils but you can sometimes dry out the shampoo. Check his ears and clean them once a week and brush his teeth at least three times a week. When it comes to his nails they will need clipping if they are too long, but this is something you may want to leave to a groomer or vet. There are nerves and blood vessels on the underside of a dog’s nails so biting too short can cause bleeding and pain.
How is she with children and other animals?
The Texas Heeler can get along well with children, other animals and dogs with early socialization and training. She certainly isn’t natural with them so will need help, being raised with them is another way to improve the conversation. Maybe he’s in the habit of trying to raise them too!
He is a good watchdog and will bark if an intruder is entering the property. Otherwise she doesn’t bark often. She does well in most climates and should be fed 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups high quality dry dog food a day, divided into at least two meals.
Her parents are prone to some health problems and they can be passed on to her. They include epilepsy, deafness, OCD, eye problems, hypothyroidism, drug sensitivity, cancer, joint dysplasia, allergies and collie nose. By only buying from breeders who will allow you to visit the puppy and see the conditions and show you health clearances for the parents, you can improve your odds on a healthy dog.
Costs Involved in Owning a Texas Heeler
A Texas Heeler puppy will cost between $150 to $850. Other costs include a crate, carrier, collar, leash, spaying, micro-chipping, blood tests, deworming and vaccinations that come in between $455 to $500. For example medical costs range from $460 to $580 each year for just the basics for check ups, shots, pet insurance and flea prevention. Non-medical costs range between $400 and $500 each year for things like food, treats, toys, licenses, and training.
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The Texas Heeler is not an easy dog to pick up as a family companion. He will need early socialization and training and will need a lot of physical and mental activity. He also needs bosses who can be effective and meet his challenges. But she is extremely loyal, bonds very closely and can be something special with the right owner. As a working dog, while he may be under stern leadership, no dog beats him for his work ethic, his intelligence, and his stamina and skill.