What do you get if you cross a Border Collie with a Blue Heeler dog? The Border Heeler
A Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is a medium-sized, mixed-breed herding dog. It’s a crossbreed from two of the best purebred herding dog breeds in the world; the purebred Border Collie and the purebred Australian Cattle Dog (ACD); the Blue Heeler.
Sometimes it’s referred to as an:
- Australian Cattle Dog (ACD),
- Australian Cattledog,
- Australian Heeler,
- Aussie Herder,
- Australian Shepherd,
- Border Collie Heeler mix,
- Blue Heeler Border Collie mix,
- Border Heeler,
- Collie Heeler Cross,
- Collie Heeler,
- Queensland Heeler mix,
- Queensland Heeler Collie mix,
- Hall’s Heeler,
- or an Australian Heeler Collie
A Blue HeelerBorder Collie mix blends the best of both of the parent breeds; intelligence, loyalty, and working dog instincts. It’s strong and alert with a high energy level and would make a great companion or family dog, but best with an active family. It can be fun-loving and caring when socialized properly.
The Border Collie mix puppy is happy and energetic.
A brief history of this mixed breed dog
The Border Collie Blue Heeler mix is not one of the best known mixed breed dogs.
When two different dog breeds, such as a purebred Border Collie and a purebred Australian Cattle Dog (the Blue Heeler), are intentionally mixed the resulting crossbreed dog is often referred to as a ‘designer dog’ or a ‘hybrid dog’.
FACT: The Border Collie Blue Heeler is a hybrid dog; it is not a purebred dog breed, as a hybrid dog is not a ‘dog breed’.
Therefore, as a cross-breed the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Designer dogs, or ‘Boutique dogs’, come in a variety of colors and coat types, depending on the inherited parent breeds’ genes.
They are sometimes called ‘Frankenstein dogs’; as some dog breeders believe it is not natural, or correct, to deliberately cross pure breeds and dilute any purebred lineage further. Any cross-breed dog will also inherit its characteristics from both parent breeds but the result will not be known until the puppy is born and observed as it grows up.
Meet the parents: The parents’ breed history:
Parent 1: A brief history of the Border Collie parent breed- a purebred dog
The Border Collie is ranked the 33rd most popular purebred dog in the United States by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The Border Collie is one of the best dogs for working on farmlands. It has a strong herding instinct and originated as a working sheepdog in the early farming communities in the borders area of England and Scotland, United Kingdom.
FACT: Did you know that the word Collie means ‘sheepdog’ in the Scottish Gaelic language?
The Border Collie is a cute black and white sheepdog that’s intelligent and easy to train. The prize for the smartest dog breed is always awarded to the Border Collie.
It is agile, smart, and loves challenges and makes a good working dog and a loyal family dog. However, this is one of the best dogs for herding and is very active, so it should be supervised around young children as it may get over-excited and be tempted to give them a nip and try to herd them up!.
It will be playful, want to be your best friend and is lots of fun around those it knows. It is one of the best dogs for an active family that can meet its high energy demands, but can be wary of strangers and will bark (a lot!). The Border Collie is a barking breed with acute senses and will bark at virtually anything that moves around it.
Parent 2: A brief history of the Blue Heeler parent breed – a purebred dog
The Blue Heeler is an Australian Cattle dog, sometimes referred to as the Queensland Heeler, after Queensland Territory, in Australia where it is common.
FACT: the work ‘Heeler’ means to herd cattle; known for nipping at the heels of the cattle to get them to move.
The Blue heeler (a Blue-Greyish colored dog) is an early Australian cattle herding dog. It’s resilient and capable of driving cattle across tough terrain and credited for its role in the development of the beef industry in Australia.
In the early 1800s, British settlers imported British herding dogs (Smithfield dogs) into Australia to work on cattle ranches; however, this dog breed couldn’t cope with the harsh terrain conditions.
In 1840, George Elliot, a dog breeder from Queensland, Australia, mixed these Smithfield herding dogs with feral Aussie Dingo Dogs, and possibly Scottish Highland Collies to produce a working dog that would survive the heat, terrain and long distances when driving cattle across Australian territories.
Breeding experiments continued in the quest to find the perfect all-terrain herding dog, possibly including a Bull terrier. Jack and Harry Bagust, then bred a Dalmatian dog into the mix introducing protective and gentle characteristics and then included a Black and Tan Kelpie sheepdog; eventually producing the Australian Cattle dog, or Blue Heeler breed.
A Blue Heeler is a sturdy and compact dog. It is very alert and ready to jump into action. It has a solid and muscular body shape that’s longer than tall, a rounded head, pointy ears, and a curved tail that hangs down. Some look like a small stocky German Shepherd dog.
The name Blue Heeler describes its prominent coat colors which can be a blue, blue mottled, or blue speckled. It could also be red speckled — both with possible dark or tan markings. The coat is weather-resistant.
In 1980, the Australian Cattle Dog (its official breed name) was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and accepted as a charter member of the AKC Herding Group when it was founded in 1983. The Blue Heeler is the 3rd most popular dog breed in Australia and one of the smartest dogs for herding.
Meet the offspring:
The hybrid offspring of the Blue Heeler and the Border Collie mix is the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix. It would be difficult to predict the exact appearance of the Border Collie Heeler puppy until it is born as both parents have different appearances and a range of coat colors.
This Blue Heeler mix is a compact, muscular and resilient herding dog that is one of the best dogs for driving cattle in the harsh terrain of inland Australia and now elsewhere in the world. It blends the best of both traits from the Border Collie and the Blue Heeler dogs to produce a loyal and sturdy, expert herding dog with a boundless energy level and sharp instincts.
It’s intelligent and at times able to outsmart its owners, and the animals in its charge. It will work hard to please its master and its hard muscles and athletic build make it strong and agile to run, chase, and herd effectively.
The Blue Heeler mix has a supple gait that enables it to maneuver in and around other moving animals. Even today this Blue Heeler mix makes an ideal running partner given its boundless energy levels and desire to please.
What are the main characteristics of a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix?
The appearance of the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is not as easy to predict at its temperament. Both parent breeds are hard-working, loyal, courageous, and trustworthy. Their Collie Heeler offspring are almost certain to inherit these positive traits.
The characteristics of the Blue Heeler Collie Mix are a combination of nature and nurture: genetics of each parent breed, the environment, and the quality, type, and amount of training and socialization.
Any mix-breed dog’s personality and appearance will vary from one dog to another.
The Border Collie Blue Heeler mix dog coat:
The Blue Heeler Border Collie mix’s coat texture will depend on whether it takes after the Border Collie’s medium length and fine coat that sheds a lot or the Blue Heeler’s short-haired, double coat that sheds less. It is likely to inherit a short-haired double coat.
The Blue Heeler mix is not hypoallergenic so therefore not suitable for people with dog hair allergies or those unable to look after a heavy shedding pooch. Possible coat colors from both parents are Blue, Blue Mottled, Blue Speckled, Red Mottled, Red Speckled, or even Merle.
Loyalty and companionship
The Border Collie Blue Heeler mix will be protective, loyal, and trusting of its owner and family. It makes the ideal companion for active families, who can give it time and attention.
The Border Collie and the Blue Heeler are both smart, active, and keen herding dogs. They have a strong work ethic and will be nimble on their feet and used to following instructions.
They are not known to be aggressive but they can be aloof and wary of strangers. They are used to nipping at the heels of cattle as they drove them across the country so this instinct may be hard to break around small children and smaller animals. They should be supervised around children at all times.
They are energetic and have a wanderlust habit so they will need lots of fenced space to run around in and leash trained early. This Border Collie mix will have tons of energy and need to be kept occupied or it will become mischievous and destructive.
The Border Collie ranks the 33rd most popular dog in the United States and the Australian Cattle Dog, the 55th according to the American Kennel Club list (AKC).
This mixed-breed is not a very well-known hybrid dog but it is growing in popularity,
The Collie Heeler is highly intelligent and easy to train. As an energetic herding dog, it will need socialization and obedience training early in the puppy years.
Positive reinforcement, firm but gentle commands, and varied activities will work best with this puppy. Small food-based treats will also work well with this eager to please dog.
It will enjoy and need working challenges incorporating mental and physical stimulation as this Blue Heeler mix will get bored easily and find its own action.
A Border Collie mixed with a Blue Heeler will be courageous, agile, and want to keep active. It will inherit herding and protective instincts and may not accept all strangers or new situations.
It, therefore, needs as much exposure to as many different situations and people as possible when a puppy to get them used to the exciting ‘non-herding’ world around it.
Early socialization and discipline are strongly recommended for any crossbreed dog that is strong, energetic with a wanderlust drive. It will want to play and charge about but should be supervised around small children as it may get over-excited and give them a nip!
As an athletic, outdoor herding dog, the Blue Heeler and Border Collie mix will appreciate life with an active family. It will be loyal and obedient when trained and want to be a protective family pet.
It will enjoy having tasks and challenges to complete.
As a highly intelligent dog mix, it will have a mind of its own and might be stubborn and strong-willed, therefore it will benefit from obedience training early. It may bark or chew things when bored or lonely.
It loves to run and chase or go jogging with you and as long as it is active it will behave. However, don’t leave it alone for long times or let it get bored or it will get up to mischief or try to herd something.
It will need early leash training as it needs to learn to control its exuberance.
Physical Characteristics of the Border Collie Blue Heeler mix
Bred for endurance and survival in the tough terrain of inland Australia, the Collie Heeler is tough, athletic and a delicate prowler.
- Size: Medium-sized breed
- Height: Average 18-20” (46-51cm) for Male, 17-19” (43-48cm) for Female
- Weight: Up To 35-50 lb (16-23kg)
- Lifespan: 13-17 years
Eyes: Dark brown to hazel, or blue
Ears: Large, triangular and erect, set high on its head
Coat: Depends on parent mix, but likely to be a short, double-coat with moderate shed and not hypoallergenic.
Color: The coat color is likely to be Blue, Blue speckled or Blue Mottled
Temperament: A Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is not known to be aggressive. With proper socialization, it will be sociable and make an affectionate family dog.
How should you train a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix?
A Blue Heeler and Border Collie crossbreed is a highly intelligent and self-assured, energetic dog. It will be strong-willed and at times stubborn. It will bore easily so training will need to combine both physical and mental challenges; possibly in short sessions.
Positive reinforcement, patience, and reward-based training work best but not harsh treatment as this smart dog may just refuse to cooperate further. Types of training required: obedience, discipline, agility, and socialization.
So, if you are not going to use a professional dog trainer:
1) Develop your basic command words: Find keywords such as Stop, Sit, Down, etc. and be consistent each time you use them
2) Crate – Buy a crate and practice going into it and sleeping in it. You will have to lock the cage in the early days so it knows it can sleep there and be transported in it.
3) Potty training – hit and miss for any new puppy that gets easily excited and lacks control, however products are available, such as mats and odor sprays to attract puppy go to the same spot each time. Eventually, the puppy with your help will learn where and where not to go.
4) Walking on a leash – this puppy has a high energy level and can walk long distances. Therefore, practice voice commands and road safety awareness for this active puppy.
Health problems and health issues
Crossbreed dogs, like the Collie Heeler, are no more likely to inherit health problems than purebred dogs; in fact, it is believed they may actually be stronger
What hereditary problems and health issues can a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix suffer from?
Hip Dysplasia – a degenerative growth abnormality common in both parent breeds. Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the joint, where the ball at the top of the limb does not fit properly into the socket and the ligaments attaching it are weak. This allows excess movement of the fitting causing eventual stiffness and pain.
Elbow Dysplasia – also degenerative, abnormal growth and development, causing malformation and weakening in the joint; can lead to arthritis or breakage.
There is no cure; pain management and anti-inflammatories may be prescribed by the Vet.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – this is a genetic condition where the retina in the eye degenerates and it can lead to vision loss if not diagnosed and treated early.
Collie Eye Anomaly – where the choroid is underdeveloped and can even lead to retinal detachment; very common in Border Collies and Border Collie mixes.
Ear infections and hearing problems – some untreated ear problems can lead to deafness.
How do you care for a Collie Heeler?
It’s full of energy, clever, and bores easily. Dog training needs to start early.
It will need to build up to at least 60 minutes of daily exercise and playtime; such as chase, fetch, with Frisbees and other throwing toys, swimming, or even chasing other furry friends in animal-friendly parks.
Feed as a medium-sized dog with a big appetite and a high activity level. Split portions to prevent bloat (gas), average 2-2.5 cups of kibble, dry formulated food per day.
The Blue Heeler and Border collie both have double coats that shed moderately so the Border Collie Blue Heeler mix puppy will require grooming twice a week.
Only be bathed when required; otherwise, the natural oils in their coat would be stripped through washing. Certain dog formulated shampoos have a double effect of cleaning while protecting its coat against fleas and insect bites.
Cleaning teeth, nails, and ears
Teeth need to be cleaned regularly to prevent a build-up of plaque. Chewing breaks down plaque, so use approved doggie chew-toys, bare-bones and soft toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Nails grow quickly and need to be trimmed regularly, say once a month, and its ears checked for debris that could cause infection.
What’s life like for a Blue Heeler Border Collie mix breed?
The more active and energetic the better! This dog will love to run and play or jog with you. It loves having company and will make a trustworthy family dog. It will offer loyalty and companionship in return.
It is not a dog for an inactive person or someone away from home for long periods of time. Would not suit apartment living as it needs a fenced area to run around.
Positives and Negatives of owning a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix
- A Loyal and fun companion for active families
- One of the smartest dog mixes, easy to train
- Child and dog friendly
- Not aggressive, but alert
- Eager to please and adaptable
- Very high energy level demand
- Has a wanderlust
- Likes company, destructive if lonely
- Bores easily, will bark and chew things
- Needs space (fenced) to release energy
- Not hypoallergenic
Commonly Asked Questions:
Q. How much does a Border Collie Blue Heeler puppy cost?
A. Buying from a reputable hybrid dealer costs around $500 – $800.
Be careful of fake breeders offering bargain puppies, do your research, search Google for details, as they could come from puppy mills!
An alternative is to adopt from a rescue center – puppy or adult. The cost is much less, but if adopting research the history, circumstances, etc.
Q. What other costs should you expect?
Food costs around $30-$50 per month but factor in Vets fees, accessories, and toys from retailers like Amazon.
A. A good quality dry dog food, Kibble, Vet’s fees, regular vaccinations, medications and accessories and toys, collar, leash, grooming equipment, training fees.