Blue-Tzu Heeler

11-20 lbs
United States
Australian Cattle Dog
Shih Tzu
Cattle Tzu

Blue Tzu Heelers are a mix between Australian Cattle Dogs and Shih Tzus. They are bred to be companion dogs and are known to be friendly, spirited, and affectionate – though occasionally obstinate. They need moderate amounts of exercise and lots of human attention. They have an average lifespan of between 10 to 14 years, height of 11 to 18 inches, and weight of 16 to 35 pounds. Blue Tzu Heelers look like shaggy Cattle Dogs with some Shih Tzu features. Because this is a relatively new breed, its standards are not stabilized and it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, though can be found on the list of hybrids of the Designer Breed Registry.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Australian Cattle Dog, Shih Tzu

Blue-Tzu Heeler Health

Average Size
Male Blue-Tzu Heeler size stats
Height: 11-18 inches Weight: 16-35 lbs
Female Blue-Tzu Heeler size stats
Height: 11-15 inches Weight: 11-20 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Eye Problems
  • Bleeding Disorder
  • Hernia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Entropion
  • Cataracts
  • vonWillebrand’s Disease
  • Renal Cortical Hypoplasia
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
  • Liver Shunts
  • Lens Luxation
  • Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM)
Occasional Tests
  • Ear Examination
  • Biopsy
  • Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)
  • Internal Imaging (x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc.)
  • Blood And Urine Analysis
  • Buccal Mucosal Screening
  • Ocular Tests
  • Orthopedic Exam

Blue-Tzu Heeler Breed History

The name Blue Tzu Heeler is a nod to the breed’s color and names of its two parent breeds: the Australian Cattle Dog, which is also known as a Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler, or Hall's Heeler, and the Shih Tzu, a companion dog that dates back to 17th century Tibet. The Australian Cattle Dog, a descendant of Collie varieties and Dingoes, was bred in Australia in the mid-1800s to herd cattle. Eventually, the mixed breed known for its endurance and work ethic, was mixed with a Dalmatian and Sheepdog. It was recognized by the AKC in 1980. The Shih Tzu is thought to be a Tibetan Mountain Dog bred with a Pekingese. It was known as a “holy dog” and royal families owned and bred Shih Tzus during the Ming and Manchu Dynasties. As a show dog in China during the 1930s, it was called a Lhassa Terrier or Tibetan Poodle. Later, it became known as a Lhassa Lion Dog. In the mid-1900s, Shih Tzus were given as gifts from China. As a result, the breed made its way to Europe and North America, where it was recognized by the AKC in 1969.

Blue-Tzu Heeler Breed Appearance

Blue Tzu Heelers typically look like small Australian Cattle Dogs with a shaggy coat and some Shih Tzu features, like round, close-set eyes. Generally, they are small medium-sized dogs. The average weight is 11 to 35 pounds and the average height is 11 to 18 inches tall. Their medium-length coat is wavy and parts in the middle of their head and down their snout, creating a Terrier look. They are typically blue (mottled or speckled) or black and white with tan markings. Their medium length tail is covered in their wavy coat. Blue Tzu Heelers have high-set triangular – sometime pendent – ears, a short, square muzzle with a black nose, and an alert, playful expression.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Blue-Tzu Heeler eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Blue-Tzu Heeler nose
Coat Color Possibilities
blue Blue-Tzu Heeler coat
black Blue-Tzu Heeler coat
white Blue-Tzu Heeler coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Blue-Tzu Heeler wiry coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Blue-Tzu Heeler Breed Maintenance

Blue Tzu Heelers are not completely hypoallergenic, but produce less allergens due to their hair-like coat that they inherit from their Shih Tzu parent breed. Owners can reduce shedding and matting by brushing weekly and giving their Blue Tzu Heelers monthly baths. Owners should pay special attention to inspecting their pets’ ears and eyes when they are washed. Like all dog breeds, Blue Tzu Heelers should have their teeth brushed daily and nails clipped 1 to 2 times a month. Because Blue Tzu Heelers have a medium-length, wavy coat, clipping around the head, ears, tail and feet is suggested for convenience, although some owners opt for regular professional grooming.

Brushes for Blue-Tzu Heeler
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Blue-Tzu Heeler requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Blue-Tzu Heeler Temperament

Blue Tzu Heelers are known to be very friendly and eager to please older children and familiar adults. They are not great with other dogs or small children, who might tease or taunt them. Additionally, the Blue Tzu Heeler gets stubbornness from both of its parent breeds, so it is not the easiest dog to train. Still, these dogs are true companion pets and love “their” people fiercely and loyally. Blue Tzu Heelers are spirited, sometimes silly, animals that enjoy moderate exercise and playing games with their owners. If they do not receive enough attention, they might get mouthy, overly excitable, or try to “talk” by barking or whining. Overall, Blue Tzu Heelers thrive in social and affectionate households, where they are disciplined at a young age. This breed could very well adapt to urban life, and would be fine in an apartment if they receive enough people time and moderate – but regular – exercise.

Blue-Tzu Heeler Activity Requirements

The Blue Tzu Heeler requires an only moderate amount of exercise. They should have at least one short walk a day, paired with games with their owner and other family members. Blue Tzu Heelers do well in any type of climate and would be very happy in a social home with space for energetic playtime. Both the Blue Tzu Heeler’s parent breeds have high impulses to hunt and wander, so this breed must be closely monitored if they are off-leash. Though Blue Tzu Heelers enjoy being outdoors, they are primarily indoor animals who are content when they are socializing and snuggling with “their” people.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes
activity minutes

Blue-Tzu Heeler Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Blue-Tzu Heeler Owner Experiences

Pepper Potts
4 Years
3 People
House & Yard
We adopted Miss Potts in 2015 from an animal rescue where she had been taken after being tied to a bench and abandoned in a city park. She was 1 1/2 years old. She was thought to be a Border Terrier, and we didn't know she actually is a Blue Tzu Heeler until we did a Wisdom Panel DNA test. She took about a year to warm up to and trust us, but given her history, She didn't know how to play or walk very well on leash. we weren't surprised. She's now affectionate, clever, loves her people and her toys. She is extremely smart.
3 years, 8 months ago
7 Months
4 People
House & Yard
She is super friendly but protective. She likes to herd small children around the house, has zoomies all the time and her energy is pretty high. She is affectionate but independent. Very stubborn and took a little bit for her to learn commands.
4 months, 1 week ago
8 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Riley is truly the best companion my husband and I could ever ask for. She is incredibly smart, intuitive, and very sensitive. She responds well to routine and trained extremely easily. Even at 8 years old she is still impressing us with her eagerness to learn and desire to please. She can be over-protective, and small children make her uncomfortable. I wouldn’t recommend this breed to anyone with small children unless introduced as a puppy. Her grooming needs tend to be more than this site suggests, I feel as if she looks mostly like a Heeler, but her coat continuously grows so it requires bimonthly grooming sessions at the very least. If you love the intelligence of a cattle dog mixed with the snuggability of a Shih tzu, this is definitely a breed I would highly recommend.
1 year, 9 months ago
2 Years
2 People
Playing chase
Sophie is a rescue of unknown breeds. Her DNA test came back as a Blue Tzu. She is about 2 years old and very energetic and intelligent. She also exhibits herding behavior and loves water. Her favorite activity is to play in the sprinkler. She can be very protective on the leash around other dogs. She loves children. She has a long outer Shih Tzu coat and a Blue Heeler undercoat. We get her groomed about every 6 weeks. .
1 year, 3 months ago
2 Years
5 People
House & Yard
she has been pretty good but she lays droppings all over the floor
11 months, 3 weeks ago
3 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Long walks
Our Blue-Tzu Heeler is a rescue dog. She has ben very well socialised with dogs and cats but is very wary of other people. She is a delightful companion and loves being patted and cuddled. We have owned her from September 2020 (as at April 2021). We live in Lauderdale, Tasmania, Australia.
6 months, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd