Texas Heeler Dog (Cattle Dog Australian Shepherd mix)
What is a Texas Heeler? Texas Heeler is a hybrid cross that results from crossing an Australian Shepherd with an Australian Cattle dog. Energetic, intelligent and hardworking, these herding dogs have inherited many impressive traits from both of their purebred parents. Texas Heeler gets the name from Texas State, the place where you're most likely to find them. This is combined with the Australian Cattle Dog nickname "Heeler".
Texas Heelers combine the intelligent and active traits from both of its parents. Being a hybrid dog, the Texas Heeler will exhibit different temperamental and physical traits. Nevertheless, for the most part, Texas Heelers are excellent herders with a strong work ethic. The coat colors of Texas Heelers often appear in blue merle, blue mottled, red speckled, black and fawn and more color combinations. At times, Texas Heeler dog's coat could be solid color but can also have a mix of colors more often than not. Aussie and Cattle dog mix dogs may feature shorter coat that resembles the Cattle Dog's coat, but could also feature fluffy coat, more like Aussie dogs, depending on inherited traits.
Protective, smart and highly trainable, Australian Shepherd Cattle Dog mix dogs tend to impress with their wit and character. This is actually what has made the Texas Heeler popular to most people in Texas and beyond his native Texas state. Are Texas Heeler dogs suitable as family pets? This working dog has a lot of energy and is happiest in an environment where his strong work drive can be put to a good use. For people who have a farm in the countryside and need a reliable companion, these dogs will serve the purpose. Highly trainable and exceptionally intelligent, Texas Heeler dogs are not suitable for people who work full time and are planning to leave the dog home alone for long periods of time. Texas Heelers are lively dogs that are suitable companion pets for people who have plenty of time and energy to dedicate to this dog. Texas Heelers are playful and easy to train, making them excellent candidates for obedience and agility training. Potential Texas Heeler owners need to be aware that this hybrid dog that was developed from crossing two herding breeds will require a lot of mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis.
Texas Heeler Size
Being a relatively new crossbreed, Texas Heelers may vary in size. Texas Heelers are expected to be small to medium in size with most dogs weighing between 25 and 50 pounds. Texas Heeler's height typically ranges from 17 to 22 inches when the dog is full-grown.
Texas Heeler Dog Weight: 25 lb to 50 lb (11 kg to 22 kg)
Texas Heeler Dog Height: 17" to 22" (43 cm to 55 cm)
Texas Heeler life span
How long do Texas Heeler dogs live? Texas Heelers are expected to have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. Of course, Australian Shepherd Cattle Dog mix dog's life expectancy is affected by several factors such as health and lifestyle among others. Regular veterinary check ups can help to pinpoint and take care of any health issues that may arise during Texas Heeler's lifetime.
Texas Heeler life expectancy: from 12 years to 15 years
Texas Heeler temperament
Texas Heeler is a working dog that has plenty of stamina and is very active. Australian Shepherd Cattle Dog mix dogs have a strong herding instinct. Unless Texas Heeler puppies are properly socialized at their tender age, they tend to be aloof when around strangers. To ensure your Texas Heeler pup grows to be a friendly dog, early socialization is very important. Do Texas Heeler dogs bark a lot? While Texas Heelers are not excessive barkers, they can succeed as watchdogs and will alert you whenever there's a stranger or intruder around.
Learning about the temperaments of Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle dog can help to better understand the Texas Heeler dog's character and personality because this hybrid dog inherits temperament traits from both parent breeds. See videos below that offer a generous amount of information about both of the parent dog breeds and this info will help you to better understand Texas Heeler dog's behavior and personality traits.
Australian Cattle Dog video
Enthusiasts of the Texas Heeler describe the personality of this dog as hardworking and spirited. Yes, at times Texas Heelers enjoy snuggling with those they love, but more often than not, the dog will enjoy when in a certain working capacity.
Australian Shepherd video
Just like the Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd, Texas Heelers like being protective of their owners and those they love. If you are in search of an active and energetic dog that will keep you engaged all day, the Texas Heeler could be the right choice for you. Being a descendant of two herding purebred parents, you will also expect the Texas Heeler to be a great herder. Texas Heelers may be tempted to herd your kids or by nipping at their heels. This behavior is natural to this hybrid dog and can be corrected with training. One of the positive qualities of Texas Heeler dogs is that they are very trainable and can succeed in obedience and agility.
Being an intelligent dog, the Texas Heeler is likely to test the owners' boundaries. Although Texas Heelers tend to get along well with everyone in the family, they have a tendency to select one favorite member of the family.
Texas Heeler Temperament: spirited, active, easily trainable, protective, playful.
Pros and cons of owning a Texas Heeler
Texas Heeler dogs are not for everyone. Some of the cons to owning a Texas Heeler include the dog's high energy and need for plenty of mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. This lively mix between Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd needs a very active owner who is capable of spending a lot of time outdoors with the dog. Herding dogs need a job to do during the day and keeping a Texas Heeler home alone for extended periods of time may result in different behavior problems from barking to destroying the house in creative ways. The dog is not trying to annoy you with these behaviors - Texas Heeler is a working dog and when there's no job for your busy pet to do, he will try to keep himself occupied doing other things around the home that you may not always appreciate. This is one of the drawbacks to owning a working dog breed for people who simply don't have the time or energy to keep the pet busy doing productive things during the day.
Some Texas Heelers may be very protective of their family and require a lot of socialization to prevent the dog from potentially getting aggressive towards unfamiliar people. Pros of owning a Texas Heeler dog include the dog's ability to be a good watchdog.
Pros to owing a Texas Heeler include the dog's trainability and high intelligence. Texas Heelers are smart and enjoy activities that stimulate them mentally as well as physically such as obedience training.
Strong herding instinct of Texas Heeler dogs may be a con in a situation where the dog insists on herding the kids in the family or other pets in the household. Nipping could be an issue associated with herding behavior. This herding and nipping behavior can be controlled to some degree by early training. For people who own livestock and need a dog that can help with herding, Texas Heeler makes a great choice. Tireless and eager to do the herding work, Texas Heelers learn quickly and make excellent helpers that keep an eye on livestock and actively participate in driving the cattle.
How to groom a Texas Heeler
Texas Heelers produce a significant amount of shedding and are not an ideal choice for those suffering from pet allergies. Regular brushing helps to keep the shedding under control and helps to keep your Texas Heeler's coat healthy. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog deshedding tool is a great way to remove dead hair from the dog's coat.
A good brushing twice or thrice a week may be necessary. Texas Heelers with less dense coats shouldn't be exposed to extreme weather conditions. If you live in a cold climate or weather conditions tend to get really cold during winters, having a dog coat can be a good idea to protect your pet from the elements.
Regularly check Texas Heeler's ears for pests and debris and clean them as advised by your vet. Before the dog's nails get too long ensure to trim them using dog nail clippers. As with most other dog breeds, bathe Texas Heeler dog as needed. To prevent your Texas Heeler from any dental issues, brush the dog's teeth daily using enzyme-based canine toothpaste.
Potty Training a Texas Heeler
Potty training a Texas Heeler puppy isn't a very simple task to execute. Having a "never give up" attitude and patience will help to succeed. How quickly can Texas Heeler dogs be potty trained? Potty training a puppy may take from a few weeks to 4 months. Keep in mind that a puppy needs you to be around during potty training process. Having a consistent routine helps during potty training.
Keeping an eye on the puppy during the day and noticing potty readiness signs in very important during potty training. Allocate a designated potty area where you can take your Texas Heeler puppy whenever you notice that your pet is ready for a potty break. How to know when your puppy is ready for potty? Dogs tend to need to use a potty after a meal, after a sleep, after playing and about every couple of hours or even more frequently, depending on your puppy's age. Put your puppy on a timely and regular feeding schedule. Since a puppy generally needs to relieve anywhere between 5 minutes to 30 minutes after eating, this may work more effectively. Whenever you notice certain behaviors such as pacing around in circles and sniffing the floor, take your puppy to the designated area so the dog can relieve himself or herself. Have some treats ready to reward your Texas Heeler pup for successful potty completion in the right place.
Texas Heeler health issues
While most Texas Heeler dogs tend to live a long and healthy life, there are some health conditions that may affect an Australian Shepherd Cattle Dog mix dog. These health conditions may include the following:
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia which is an inherent health condition.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
Epilepsy which is a disorder that may cause seizures and has no specific cure. However, there are various medications of anti-convulsants that control the condition without impacting on the dog's life quality.
Texas Heeler information
With little documentation available about the origin of the Texas Heeler, we can derive some information from the Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle dog parents. However, it is believed that the first Texas Heeler was first produced and registered by Lucy Guynes in 1970.
Developed by Australian settlers during the 19th century, the Australian Cattle Dog was produced for the purpose of herding cattle in ranches. Also well known as the Blue Heeler or the Queensland Heeler, it has deep origins in Australia. Blue Heeler was produced as a result of several crosses between Sheepdogs, Dingoes, Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, and Kelpies.
On the other hand, and contrary to the name they have, the Australian Shepherd breed originates from the United States. Basque Sheepherders are said to have arrived during the 1800s in the United States, having come from a long stay in Australia. They came along with their herding dogs in tow. These dogs were mistakenly thought to be an Australian breed by the American Ranchers, which is why they are called the "Australian Shepherds".
There is also the likelihood that the Australian Shepherds are descendants of the Pyrenean shepherds from the Pyrenees Region. Americans have continuously refined this breed, and they have become popular dogs of choice during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Texas Heeler Pedigree
As mentioned earlier, the Texas Heeler isn't a purebred dog. It is a crossbreed between the Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog, simply referred to as First generation offspring (F1s). They are 50/50 crosses between the two purebred parents. These can vary a lot in behavior and physical looks as a puppy are likely to favor one of the parents more than the other. This happens even among puppies in the same litter. It is not possible to predict the extent to which a Texas Heeler puppy will favor either parent as F1s are known to be full of surprises. There are Texas Heelers with greater percentages either bred in the mix. This usually results from multigenerational breeding and is relatively common among designer dogs that have been in existence for decades.
Multigenerational breeding could go beyond crossing the two purebred parents of the Texas Heeler. Depending on the traits that are intended to be more outstanding, Texas Heeler can be crossed with an unrelated Australian Shepherd or Australian Cattle dog. Besides, other breeders cross Texas Heelers among themselves to produce Second Generation Texas Heelers commonly referred to as F2s. That said, the options of developing predictable Texas Heeler puppies go beyond rolling dices with F1 hybrids.
While Texas Heeler dogs are in demand predominantly in his home state Texas, the dog has gradually stolen hearts across the United States. Being a unique mix of two well-known herding dogs, Texas Heelers are well suited as excellent working dogs. They also excel as sports dogs.
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