Border Heeler

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30-45 lbs
Heeler Collie

The Border Heeler is a hybrid which is the result of breeding a Border Collie with an Australian Cattle Dog (a.k.a. Blue Heeler).  This is a hybrid whose energy levels are high as contributed from both breed parents.  They are also very intelligent, alert, loyal and protective.  Since they have so much energy to expend, it is not a good idea to submit them to apartment life. If this hybrid doesn’t get sufficient exercise and challenge (both mental and physical), boredom can become a problem, with unacceptable behaviors like barking, digging, destructive habits and even chasing cars developing.  Each of the parent breeds was developed for herding and hard work and, as a result of the attributes contributed to the gene pool by each breed, they’re well-suited for those tasks.  They produce an amazingly intelligent canine who can learn at an astonishing rate -- so be prepared to keep him challenged, both physically as well as mentally.  Both parent breeds require some grooming maintenance, though the Australian Cattle Dog breed parent contributes less need than the Border Collie breed parent.  The Australian Cattle Dog can be traced back to the early 1800’s when Australian ranchers began to mix various Collie-type breeds with the native dingo in an attempt to get a breed of dog with a no nonsense approach to herding and protecting their livestock.  The Border Collie breed can be traced back to the first century, when the invading Romans brought their larger shepherd breeds into England which were later bred with the spitz-type breeds brought by the Vikings. 

Companion, Herding
Date of Origin
Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler)

Border Heeler Health

Average Size
Height: 18-23 inches Weight: 30-45 lbs
Height: 18-23 inches Weight: 30-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
Occasional Tests
  • Hearing
  • Hip And Eyes
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Border Heeler Breed History

Your Border Heeler comes from a rich history of herding and working dog ancestry.  The Border Collie parent breed can be traced back to the first century when England was invaded by the Romans, who brought their own larger shepherding breeds into the country.  These breeds functioned as herding and working partners with the highland farmers from Scotland, England and Wales.  Later, when the Vikings came to pillage, they, too, brought their own herding dogs.  They bred their spitz-like breeds to the shepherding breeds already in place in the United Kingdom and began producing the work-a-holic breed we know today as the Border Collie.  This breed brings high energy and focused alertness into the bio gene pool as well as a dense coat which protects them from the colder weather in those highland areas.  The Australian Cattle Dog can be traced back to the early 1800’s in Australia when the ranchers and farmers were using a variety of collie-type breeds to manage their herds.  In an effort to develop a breed which would be focused and “no nonsense” in their work ethic, they began to breed those collie-type breeds with their natural dingo.  What resulted is a highly energetic, extremely alert and focused dog who is both intelligent and loyal.  This breed, too, boasts a coat which is both water and weather resistant.  These two highly energetic, intelligent and focused breeds are combined in the Border Heeler, making an extremely hard-working, responsive and protective canine companion who is good with kids and other animals (yes, cats, too).   

Border Heeler Breed Appearance

The appearance of the Border Heeler can reflect the traits contributed to the bio gene pool from either or both of the parent breeds.  Most seem to inherit the speckling or mottling in blue or red from the Australian Cattle Dog parent and a combination type of coat from the Border Collie parent.   Both parent breeds have strong, sturdy and compact bodies which are slightly longer than they are tall and both are of approximately the same height and weight.  Skulls are strong and in proportion to the rest of the body. The eyes are oval, of moderate size and brown or any color and both eyes may vary in color with an alert expression. The ears can be of moderate size, broad at the base, pricked and pointed or medium-sized held erect or semi-erect with tips falling forward or outward to the side.  Snout and muzzle will be strong and of medium length with tight lips and scissors bite with powerful, well-developed jaws.  Feet can be round with short toes, well arched and close together with hard, deep pads and short, strong nails or may be compact, oval in shape with strong, deep pads and moderately arched toes which are close together and have moderately long strong nails. Your Border Heeler’s tail could be low set and have a slight curl.  He can have a double coat with short dense undercoat with the outer coat being short or medium length with straight or slightly wavy hair with weather resistance.  Your Border Heeler could be virtually any color with blue or red speckling or mottling and any color markings.

Border Heeler Breed Maintenance

The Border Heeler will require some grooming maintenance and this will range from low to moderate, depending upon which parent breed has the most influence in the gene pool. He will require brushing once or twice a week to reduce the natural shedding which takes place with both parent breeds but he will not require bathing and shampooing unless necessary.  Frequent bathing will reduce the oil in the coat which contributes to the weather resistance of the coat.  As with most canine breeds, attention to proper examination and cleaning of the ears to prevent ear infections and regular eye examinations to assess and monitor the variety of eye problems which afflicts the parent breeds.  Most canine breeds require regular and routine dental examinations and teeth cleaning to prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. 

Border Heeler Temperament

Your Border Heeler is a hybrid created from the breeding of the Border Collie and the Australian Cattle Dog and, as such, can take on the temperament of either or both parent breeds.  So your pet could be aggressive, alert, energetic, intelligent, loyal, protective and responsive.  He will be sensitive and his barking tendencies could range from occasional to frequent.  He could be in a moderate to considerable range of mouthiness (nips when playing) with a moderate hunting drive and tendency to wander.  Your Border Heeler will be good with kids and relatively good with strangers and other dogs and cats. The intelligence level which is contributed by both parent breeds is nothing short of amazing and, having said that, it is important to note that this hybrid will need to be kept mentally as well as physically challenged to prevent boredom and the unacceptable behaviors which can accompany that condition.  He is a high energy canine which has been bred to work hard and help his masters, so it would be a good idea to allow him to help you in your daily activities as much as possible.  Don’t be surprised if he “herds” the kids, other animals in your household or even in the neighborhood.  Owners of this hybrid have described the ease of training to be similar to that of giving directions to a child. 

Border Heeler Activity Requirements

Your Border Heeler is a hybrid created from the Border Collie and the Australian Cattle Dog.  Both of these parent breeds are high energy canine breeds which were bred for herding and hard work.  They will need to be kept active and challenged, both mentally and physically, to prevent boredom and the unacceptable destructive behaviors which can accompany boredom.  This is not a dog who can be submitted to the confines of apartment living.  He will do much better in a family home with a fenced yard and plenty of opportunity for exercise and physical and mental challenge.  Daily walks of 1 to 2 hour duration, games of fetch, frisbee or football will help to keep him occupied so he doesn’t start herding dogs, cats, kids and people.  He will do well in either urban or rural environments as long as there is ample opportunity for exercise.  The cooler climates suit him better since he’s equipped with a coat that is weather resistant and dense.

Border Heeler Owner Experiences