Whether you call them Blue Heelers, Red Heelers, Queensland Heelers, Australian Heelers, or Australian Cattle Dogs, these unique-looking dogs are known for the gorgeous coat colours, their intelligence, and their go-all-day-every-day energetic nature.
Think your dog may be part heeler? A dog DNA test can tell you for sure.
1. Heelers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds around
Meet Skidboot, an incredibly intelligent and well-trained dog. A happy heeler requires hours (yes, we mean plural) of exercise and mental stimulation every day, or expect a life of nuisance barking, chewing, and escapes. It’s a good thing our fantastic dog sitters on Rover.com offer dog boarding—they love nothing more than spending quality time with your dog when you aren’t able to!
2. Heelers have a dense double coat that sheds twice a year
3. Heelers are descended from dingoes
English sheepdog breeds didn’t have the oomph to work long days under the hot Australian sun moving cattle hundreds of miles, so they were crossed with native dingoes. Later, the Heelers were cross-bred with Dalmatians, collies, and kelpies, to lock in desired traits.
4. Heeler pups are born white
This trait most likely comes from their Dalmatian heritage. Puppies start getting colourful quickly and you can see their pattern strongly by six weeks.
5. Heelers have a lot of aliases
Also known as Australian cattle dogs, blue heelers, red heelers, Queensland heelers, and Australian Heelers. Whatever you call them, they’re gorgeous!
6. Heelers are bred to work with cattle specifically
The name ‘heeler’ comes from the job of driving cattle by nipping at their heels. Cattle are more ornery and so much larger than sheep, it takes a special kind of dog to get their attention— and respect.
7. Heelers were accepted into the AKC in 1980
8. The Guinness Record for the oldest dog is held by a heeler