Australian Shepherd vs Blue Heeler...

Mel

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Ok, I really think I want a Heeler, but I keep reading about the two and can't make up my mind.

This dog will mostly be a companion/guard dog, but I will tote him with me every weekend to either a cowboy event/chuck wagon cookoff, the barn or to a truck show/cruise in. He's gonna be my best little buddy and go everywhere with me.

But I just read a comment about a person's experience of having a Heeler at the barn and how it always chased the horses, but the Shepherd they had never bothered the horses.

I'll be around horses some, but he won't have free range because we have mules and donkeys and they'll kill a dog, but down the road, if I want to bring him along on a trail ride, I don't want him nippin horse heels trying to "herd" us along.

Is this something they learn, is it something I can train him to NOT do, or is it something that's just in their nature and I'll have to break him of it, or keep him away from the horses?

I'm just worried this dog will wind up smarter than me and I'll have trouble on my hands. All I read about is how smart they are and how you have to stay on top of things and keep training and never let them get away with stuff and all these things. I don't want to ruin the dog by not doing my part.

Is it really that involved...as far as training a really smart Heeler or Aussie Shepherd?
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#2
Without a shadow of a doubt, get the Blue Heeler. You will be able to train it to do whatever you want it to do.This breed has the love of horses bred into it. They are a tough, take care of themself type, and when a Heeler bonds to you, it will be the best companion you could ever have. No other dog bonds to a person like a Heeler does, IMO. There are dogs, but there is nothin`, like a Heeler. Feel free to PM me, if you want more info and history of the Heeler dogs.
 

Mel

Senior Member
Thread starter #3
I was hoping you would chime in, I'll PM you.
 
#4
I had a red heeler was the best dog I ever had went everywhere with me. He use to run with us while we where rideing 4 wheelers they are awesome dogs alot of energy.
 

KDarsey

Senior Member
#5
Blue Heeler, Mine would try to chase EVERYTHING, but if I was there to scold her I did and now whenever those ears perk up and I see she might be inclined I just call her name or say aiiiiiiiieeeee! She knows better.
More and more I see what Nic says about his experiences in mine.
Most of what you read about them being anti-social and mean,etc. don't believe. I think that is up to the raising of the dog. Just yesterday she met a 16 month old little boy for the first time and played ball with him just like she was raised with him.
She is protective and actually has adapted to 2 (or 3) houses quite well. Mine is only 10 months and I am sure I will see some changes but she is so smart I think those will depend on what I teach her.
She is an attention hound, so be forewarned............
 

pbyles

Senior Member
#6
I feel the same way Nicodemus does....cept I feel that way bout the Shepards...

Mine never had any "formal" training, but would wait at the door of my barn all day until I got home...Then she was on my heels...She never let the horses or other dogs get outta line...

She was stolen from my barn....sure do miss that dog~
 

Mel

Senior Member
Thread starter #7
After talking to more people, I'm kinda concerned about the aggression.

I don't want this dog biting someone and I don't want a dog I can't trust to not flip out and bite because it gets nervous.

I've about decided I'm just not ready to have a super smart dog.
 
#11
I have always had heelers, and they are great dogs. We lost my female a couple months ago, and we have been looking for the "right" pup. I came across a guy that is working Aussie/Heeler crosses, and I just got a male pup. He is super smart, I believe he will be a keeper!
 

Mel

Senior Member
Thread starter #13
Most are'nt aggressive they just want to herd everything
Yeah, I know...but I don't want him nippin at anybody or trying to herd them away because he gets scared or nervous.

Friend of mine said socialization is key, expose it to EVERYTHING as much as possible and tote him everywhere I can to expose to as many people, animals and places as possible.

I guess it can't be much different than de-sensitizing a horse and exposing it to all sorts of things so it learns that there are not horse eating monsters hiding in the bushes.
 
#14
My dad used to raise heelers and I used to raise shepherds... Used them both to herd cattle... My experience is both have a natural instinct to herd.. the heelers tend to be a little more hard headed.. Shepherds are more attentive to everything where heelers stay very focused on the task.. Both are very physically active.. They are both one man dogs so It is important to keep them socialized with people and other animals.. just my experience with the 15 or 20 we have had..
 

skiff23

Senior Member
#15
I love my healers. As far as the aggressivness... mine are only aggressive when need be. They have been the most protective companion i have ever had. Blue Heelers hands down for anything. If you get the right blood line they will do anything you want .
 

ghill4

Senior Member
#16
Australlian shepherds are a great breed and good dogs. But Blue Heeler will be the best companion dog.

Bloodlines and papers aside, no one complains about their blue heeler. My farrier comes all the time with his blue heeler, sally, and the dog is smart. With or without papers and bloodline, you wont be disapointed. They will all do bout anything you want if you work with em.

I have personal experience with australlian shepherds... I have and do have one. Great dogs. Very furry. lol
 

robertyb

Senior Member
#17
I have never owned a Blue Heeler. I did own an Australian Shepherd. She was the smartest dog I have ever owned and I have owned dozens over my lifetime. My son was 17 when he brought home a puppy that had been given to him. I started to make him get rid of her as I had a dog and did not need another. He went off to college and I was stuck with another mouth to feed. We named her Joy as she did this little tail wagging dance when you walked into a room with her.

She lived to be 17 years old before I had to have her put down. That was over 5 years ago and I still can't make myself replace her. I loved that dog with all my heart. She was aggressive when it came to protecting me or my home but she never bit anyone. She could scare you half to death but might lick you to death given a chance. My garage was robbed twice but they never got into the house. Both times there were claw marks on the door at the windows. Neighbors houses got broke into but not mine.

My vote has to go to an Australian Shepherd.
 

Bkeepr

Senior Member
#18
I lost my heeler/pit bull mix to cancer in September and he was smart and mellow, a great dog around anyone. I still have my 15 year old heeler and she was a smartie in her day. She could crawl, shake hands, high five, walk backwards, roll over, play dead, lie down, and circle clockwise or counter clockwise. Both dogs could down at a distance.

Start socializing at an early age to people dogs and horses, and beware of iron horse shoes they will crush a dog's skull!
 

Dutch

Senior Member
#19
I have 3 Aussies and they are by and far one of the smartest dog breeds you can have. They are loyal and protective of "thier" humans and home...a Aussie will bond will one member of the family and will want to be around you 24/7 if you can stand it. They are known as "velcroe dogs" for a reason...lol. Mine are highly social and love people once they get to know you...do not act overly aggresive but will raise cain when they feel or know the perimeter of thier territory has been breached.

THey are natural herders and mine give the yard cats heck trying to herd the around the yard.

Overall I have always been a Lab man, but the Aussies now will always have a spot in my home.
 
#20
I have had red heelers for a long time and have found that they have never been agressive towards people but when it comes to other animals they seem to have some problems. The best dog that i have ever had was a heeler shephard cross. She was by far my favorite. Super smart and never got out of hand. I would still have her today but she got ran down the first time she ever stepped foot in the road.
 
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