Blue heeler question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    A blue heeler showed up here last night and spent hours sitting at my front gate staring at my front door.

    I've seen similar behaviors from heelers before --- I had a friend with a red heeler who would sit at a patio door staring at me like he was trying to *inject* thoughts into my mind and will me to his bidding. :haha:

    I fed the heeler, but couldn't do much else, as I already have two dogs (which are much larger than the heeler, but which the heeler could easily whoop :D ) and am committing to a young hound doggie here pretty quick.

    In any case, throughout the night, I got up to check on the heeler and each and every time, he was sitting at the front gate staring at the front door trying to will me to open it, adopt him and make him the center of my universe.

    I do wish I could, but I can't. :( I think, however, a fellow down the road has taken him in. :)

    In any case, I'm very curious about this heeler staring behavior. It's really quite extraordinary. Can anyone here with heelers explain this a bit more?
     
  2. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I sure wish you lived closer!! I would come and get him. Heelers are super smart and loyal. He had to have been dumped off or he would not be sitting there staring at your door. He knows a "mark" when he sees one!!! :haha: He knows you are the alpha and is waiting for your lead. Sad
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    He definitely spotted a mark! :haha: I literally walked out about 10-11 last night --- he was right across the road checking out the horses, took one look at me, took off right for me, set himself up at the front gate and STARED, trying to will me to make him my one and only.

    I fed him and set him up in a little bed out there --- it really broke my heart but I just couldn't take him in permanently. :( Although I told him he was welcome to stay out front til he got a new home. Which I hope he understood.

    In any case, I've done a little reading and apparently, they're just EXTREMELY --- let me rephrase that --- EXTREMELY attached to their people. Which seems to explain the staring.

    I do think the fellow down the road took him. Fingers crossed, I'll go check later.

    The staring is intense! Really something else!
     
  4. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Firstly, just to keep things correct. This breed is not called the "Blue Heeler" anymore. Or, Red Heeler, or whatever. They are Australian Cattle Dogs, they are born white and turn either red or blue. ;) It is a fascinating thing to watch.

    Secondly..a good stock dog is very strong on FOCUS. Anyone who owns a good Border Collie or 'Cattle Dog will recognize this behavior right off the bat! LOL They have the "EYE" and the stare is necessary to cowing the cattle or sheep.

    So, this is a bred-in trait. all good cattle herders have it.

    I wish I were near you too..I'd be glad to take the dog until I could find it a good home...or, who knows..I have two of them already and have room for three! LOL I think it is very nice of you to feed it but if someone is looking for the dog the place they will look is at Animal Control.

    LQ
     
  5. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    We've got two female Aust. Cattle Dogs. I've never been around them but boy are they loyal and smart! Very smart! Since it's just dh and I, they really have not had the opportunity to be socialized much. It's taken them over 2 years to adjust to a friend who comes for overnight visits about every 4-6 weeks or so. They ARE good girls. Very protective but very, very loyal. (did I say that already!!??)
     
  6. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup, the good ones do the psychic stare and countrygrrl, as proven here, it works well for them. I've woken up in the night and there are these two eyes, just peering at me, just letting me know that he's watching over me.
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    He! Well, thanks, guys. Were any of you closer, I would have scooped the little fellow right up and delivered him to you. :D

    I really suspect, though, that a guy down the road took him in, although I haven't yet checked. Which is good. This really isn't the household for a heeler --- my pups generally tend to be more like the Keystone Cops or Three Stooges (although my late beloved hound :waa: was exactly like the Sheik of Araby) and I kind of like them that way. :haha: I suspect we would drive a heeler crazy!
     
  8. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got two Border Collies and a Border Collie/Aust. Cattle Dog mix and they all do the stare. The mix is much more intense with her staring though. We love to watch them in action. Our poor Black Lab is as bumfuzzled about it as you were!
     
  9. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    We currently have 4 adults and 7 pups, the best pups started thinking (staring) at or before 3 weeks of age.
    The pups that haven't will be fixed as soon as age permits, they are not high enough quailty for me to use for breeding.

    They need that instinct, (which training brings to a high skill) to figure out how to control the stock they work, My stud knows difference between one kind of animal and another, I can go out at night in pitch black and say to him "where are the horses?" and 8 out of 10 times he leads strait to them, when the goats and pigs got into the orchard, he can drive them out as I call the names,

    I have learned to stare back, and ask questions, they can "talk" with those eyes, mine ask for things, and answer simple questions.

    The stare is how they fingure 'IT' out, what ever it happens to be. they watch and learn how the household runs, who is boss, and how to get away with things. How to know what to do next when learning.

    If you let them they will train you.
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Yes, that was exactly my sense with this little fellow. When I first saw him, he really alarmed me because he came running toward me staring, then stopped cold in his tracks staring at me and completely ignoring my dogs, although my dogs were going nuts --- so I thought he might be a dog who likes to fight and I scurried my other dogs (the Abbott & Costello of the doggie world :haha: ) inside.

    Then I spent most of the evening and half of the night having what sure seemed to me to be a conversation with him. Really amazing. I'd say are you lost? and his head would raise a bit, I'd say are you hungry? and his tail would start wagging furiously. Do you need some water? and it was like he was nodding his head yes. Really, really amazing.

    Just as interesting to me is that, once I got my dogs inside and they were able to observe him through the windows, they calmed right down and just watched him. This is unusual for them because, although they tolerate the horses in the side pastures, they absolutely WILL not tolerate other animals in the front or in the yard.

    I'm really impressed --- pretty amazing doggies! :)
     
  11. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I 'talk' with mine just like that, 'yes' from them is a quick nod, or a really big YES!!! PLEASE !!! is a very alert head twist, almost 90º some times, there are all kinds of disgruntal 'remarks' and they will ignore me with a roll of the eyes and a turning way of the face,....like some kind of a cross between a teenager and a cat.
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Thumper, that's just so amazing. My pups now (a lab/ridgeback and a German Shepherd) talk to me, too, and hounds can be VERY chatty :haha: , lots of very entertaining and informative grunts and groans and chirps and whistles out of them (not to mention, snorting).

    But I just kind of couldn't believe what was going on with this heeler. He really did seem to understand what I was saying. And although my pups now seem to, as well, this was very very different. Very intense. Smart, smart, smart, smart critters, that's for sure.

    If I had real live livestock, I would definitely have me a heeler. :D