Purebred Blue Heeler

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Nitesteamer, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Nitesteamer

    Nitesteamer Member

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    I currently have a 14 year old blue heeler mix, who is the best dog I could ever expect to own. At some point.....I am going to need a new puppy. I'm thinkin that I would like to get a purebred blue heeler.

    The dog would be mainly for a companion, and would not be penned up or
    tied up. I enjoy training and giving my dogs lot's of attention. We usually stick together like glue.

    With blue heelers being active cattle herding dogs, is it fair to have one as a pet, even though there are no cattle to herd?
     
  2. hercsmama

    hercsmama Well-Known Member

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    Absolutly!!! We have one and Bandit is the best dog I have ever had!!! We did have some serious chewing issues a few months back and almost got rid of him, but some helpful advice from another board prevented that from happening and now I can honestly say he is wonderful!!! Just make sure he has a way to get plenty of excersise!!!!
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    They make great pets and companions but you probably should know that when they bond, they bond hard and can be a bit protective. They also have tons of energy but that is easily worn off with a tennis ball and a good throwing arm.
     
  4. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    They can be good dogs as pets, but frankly, I'd look for one from show lines (AKA, an AKC registered, ideally from show-titled parents Australian Cattle Dog) rather than working lines if you aren't going to actively work him- it'll make everyone's life easier.

    Cait
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    As with any dog, there are characteristics of the breed, but then there are individuals. I have one of the most laid back heelers I have ever met. She is just mellow, something that can't be used to describe most heelers.

    In every litter, there are the adventurer's, the more timid, the hyper and the more laid back ones. Some want to herd more than others. I have had some that will nip at kid's heels, etc and some that don't. The current dog I'm working with has never once tried to herd a person, but the last one did and it got really annoying for my kids.

    Jena
     
  6. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Apparently had a brainfart last night, but..

    Do you have your heart set on a PUPPY-puppy, or would a young adult (7-10 months or maybe even a bit older) be okay?

    Check petfinder.org! There aer about 3 zillion ACDs listed on there across the country. Although there *are* puppies, since you've got a specific personality you're looking for, an adult might be better, since you pretty much know what you are getting with an adult.

    Cait
     
  7. Petfinder.org is a good source as mentioned. Adopted pets can be slow a month or so to bond but when they do it is intense even more so sometimes then from puppyhood.
    If you don't herd then yes look for one that is not from someone actively herding with theirs or their breeding stock.
    Also just because you don't have something to herd doesn't mean you can't have fun and give your dog a "job". Try agility with your dog. There are clubs almost everywhere. Advanced obedience training and so on. Anything mentally challenging for your dog will satisfy its demands for a task to complete. Its not so much that it has to have animals to herd, as it needs something to do. Working dogs get stir crazy if left to the couch!
     
  8. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    My son has one (Spaz) and he is more than happy to sleep in my chair in the living room all day. He is not quite three years old. He is the sweetest dog.
     
  9. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    he would be likely to take great interest in any other critters you might have, like edible interest. Herding dogs tend to want to herd anything that moves, after a while they go ahead and grab it and torture it to death. Not all of them course, but it's common.
     
  10. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Heelers are great candidates for tricks, lots of tricks. They have a quick mind and eager to please their human so if you have no work for them you can keep them out of trouble by challenging their mind. They do come to accept the critters you have as their critters and don't seem to bother them once you set the rules but they might bother newcomers for a bit. Our male is one of the best little mothers I've seen in a long time, very intuative. If we bring a cold calf in to warm up, he likes to lay on them to share body heat (not a good idea if it's going back to a cow), he's cleaned and nurtured several batches of orphan kittens and babysits the bunny regularly.
     
  11. n2deep

    n2deep Guest

    Gooday I just wanted to give you some thoughts on the heeler ..I have run a few dogs at one time ..Kelpies and heelers my group was allways three kelpies and two heelers ..per thousand head of goat ...kelpies for the drive ...and heelers for strong round the Krall work ..I would think that maybe if you are on the look out for a good bud dog and dont have the work for the dog... you may want to look for a breeder that has non working dog strain...they are around ...it will save the distress the dog may have by not working, and your worry when he gets up to mischief as he will in the early days, if he is from strong working strain ...They are all good dogs once bonded and can be a littel snappy and protective ....but it is hard to finda stronger heart....I miss all mine ...here ten years after.
    Good Luck Mate ..
    No worries ..Cuz I'm(in2deep)
     
  12. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    Is a blue heeler the same as an Australian Cattle Dog? I recently read the an Australian Cattle Dog holds the record for longevity: 29 years! You might not need a puppy for a good long time!
     
  13. Same thing. The Australian Cattle Dog is a generic name for the blue, red and queensland healer. A fine example of a blue heeler appears in the second “Mad Max” movie. It is the small dog with the bandana that rides around with Max. The seen where the dog is “guarding” the flying man with the shotgun attached to the bone pretty much sums up the attitude of the breed.
     
  14. btg

    btg Member

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    We have a member here that breeds Cattle Dogs and does quite well with them. I believe their address is FormyACD's. Good luck acquiring a new one.
     
  15. Nitesteamer

    Nitesteamer Member

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    WIHH---- :haha:

    Corgi,
    I got Max from the pound in 1992 as an adult. It took a month or two for her to trust me AND to get over her first owner, and litter of 5 pups. Just lucked out when I choze her, cause at the time I didn't know what a blue heeler was (part dingo). I would like a puppy, but the right adult would be ok too.
    Roughly how much does an akc show line dog cost? Local heeler pups around here(WI) are usually cheap(25-50$), or their givin ' em away. I'm not afraid to pay the cost of a good dog.

    MelissaW,
    I also read somewhere about the longevity of ACD dogs. Max is in better shape than most 14 year olds, but had a close call. Don' know why... but last week, she almost died after she snuck and ate a 1 pound bag of salted roasted almonds. Doing better now, but it took a while.(she usually has a cast iron stomach)

    Thanks for all responses! Greg
     
  16. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the dog and the breeder. I'd have to ask around, but I know in TX, my friend paid $350 for his (pet quality, spay contract required) gal, and she's a doll. Champion paernts, both are OFA Excellent, total guarantee on hip and eye problems- can't beat that!

    Cait
     
  17. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    I saw show lines in our paper (Ohio) yesterday for $250, and farm bred dogs for $50. I think this is really reasonable. I payed $500 for my GSD's, and the Newfoundlands we were looking at were around $1000. My son would like to start in the 4H dog club soon. We like the herding dogs for their personality and trainablily. I think the GSD's are a lot of dog for a little guy, but an Austalian Cattle dog might be a good choice for him. Our friend has a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, though, who we all just love, so we may end up with one of those. Since this thread is full of dog people, did you all catch Westminster? I thought that there were more really good dogs than I've seen in years. Josh the Newfie took best in show. He is about as perfect as I've ever seen. The Ibizan, bloodhound, mini bull, Norfolk, and several others were all unusually good too. What a great year for dogs!
     
  18. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Just to clear up some things. Australian Cattle Dog is the name given to this breed by The Australian Cattle Dog Club of Australia and The Australian Cattle Dog Club of America. That IS the name of this breed. Another thing I'd like to toss in although I don't think it was mentioned...they do NOT have their tails docked! Many ignorant people confuse them with Australian Shepherds(you'd think if someone bred them they'd take a bit of time and do some learning! LOL)and dock the tails.

    Just for the record our older blue AuCanDo is from a working kennel of herding, agility and obedience, frisbee dogs with lots of titles both from in the breed ring(Champions) and out. Some lines of this breed are better workers with more focus than others but the dogs used in the breed ring are just as often working dogs too. So, our eight year old dog has strong herding instincts but we don't have cows. No worries mate! He is kept busy and happy with hiking, tracking, playing games, ball retrieving and other concerns. He has been taught to leave my ducks alone unless I focus on them and ask for his help.

    Our newest dog is a young red rescue female dog from Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue. We turned down three other dogs before we pursued this one. She too has strong herding instincts and is coming along nicely with lots of obedience, hiking, learning tricks and just having fun. It's taken lots of work in the few months we've had her but it's worth it.

    So, contact some good kennels and get on a waiting list for a good pup or check out the purebred dog rescue groups and be sure and do a good jog of checking out the dogs carefully.

    Strong herding instincts or no...you will do fine if you are willing to put in the time a effort that it takes for this breed. One last thing..if I interpreted your post correctly and understand that you do not have fenced property....forget getting ANY dog until you do!

    Have fun, hope all goes well for you...LQ