Have you ever heard of the Texas Heeler? It is a mixed breed dog–a cross between the Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd dog breeds. They are intelligent, hard-working, and energetic, these herding pups have some of the best qualities from both of their parent breeds. Obviously, because this is a mixed breed, they are not accepted by the American Kennel Club.
You can probably guess where they get their name from? Yes, you are right, it’s Texas. Texas Heelers get their name from the state where you’re most likely to find them–Texas–combined with the “Heeler” nickname of their Australian Cattle Dog parent breed (also called the Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler). You can find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and breed-specific rescues, so remember to always adopt! Don’t shop!
This lovely and adorable pup is a working dog but also makes a great family dog. They tend to thrive in a larger home setting, like a farm or house with a backyard since it’s a place where they feel the best.
But this active mixed breed does well in urban environments, too, provided that their owners give them plenty of exercise and playtime. Also be aware that early socialization is a must, just like with any other dog. If you want an intelligent, trainable pooch for your family or a working companion, the Texas Heeler might be the best option for you!
While you’re here, read about other amazing crossbreeds:
- Pitbull Chihuahua Mix: The family dog
- Texas Heeler: Complete Breed Guide
- Agouti Husky: The Wolf Like Husky
- Lycan Shepherd: A mix of three breeds
- Corgi Husky Mix: The adorable and smart Horgi
- Doberman Pitbull Mix: Best Of Both Worlds?
- Peekapoo: The not so popular designer dog
- Bordoodle: Intelligent And Energetic
- Fawn French Bulldog: The classic beauty
History of the Texas Heeler
Let’s quickly jump back into history. Texas Heelers have likely existed naturally over the years, but it wasn’t until sometime in the 1970s that breeders started crossing the Australian Cattle Dog with the Australian Shepherd as we mentioned already.
It’s believed breeders in Texas originated the breed, and enthusiasts say that Lucy Guynes was the first to register a Texas Heeler in 1970. Breeders combined the dogs to create a smart working dog. They continued to create Texas Heelers as demand for the mixed breed dogs climbed.
But, even though the Texas Heeler breed got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you and avoid buying not this but any dog.
Check your local shelters, look up Texas Heeler rescues, or check with breed-specific Australian Cattle Dog or Australian Shepherd rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs and find homes for them. This is a perfect way to have a pup for your cozy home. Let the adventure begin!
Size and Personality
The size of mixed breeds can vary. As the Texas Heeler is a newer mixed breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. But, you can expect Texas Heelers to be medium-sized dogs.
Generally speaking, they weigh between 25 to 50 pounds and are 16 to 22 inches tall from the shoulder. But, they can be smaller or larger than that.
Many Texas Heeler lovers describe these dogs’ personalities as very spirited and hard-working. Yes, there are times they love to snuggle with their favorite human, but more often than not, the Texas Heeler is happiest when they are working in some capacity. The Texas Heeler’s aim to please and work is also what makes them such excellent service dogs. One of the key segments of their personality, that’s why they are a perfect fit for herding.
Like the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog, the Texas Heeler can become somewhat protective of their favorite human. If you are looking for an energetic dog who will keep you active, the Texas Heeler may be the right dog for you! But since they are energetic, don’t keep them passive!
There are many other crossbreeds worth getting to know:
- Doberman Rottweiler Mix: Breed Info
- Corgi Beagle Mix: The always happy Beagi
- Colorado Bulldog: What You Have To Know
- Bully Pitbull Mix: The dog that is not for everyone
- Black Pitbull: Elegant And Fierce
- Newfypoo: The Adorable Hybrid
- Panda German Shepherd: Breed Guide
- Harlequin Great Dane: The breathtaking canine
- Saint Berdoodle: The gentle giant and family dog
But, since the Texas Heeler has two herding breeds as parents, it’s safe to assume that Texas Heelers love to herd as well. They might even nip at heels and try to herd you or your guests, which is why it’s important to curb any unwanted herding behavior early on.
Because they are very intelligent all of this can be learned quickly. They are highly trainable, intelligent dogs, so with consistency and patience, you can curb these habits or form new, positive ones.
Like the other breeds, this one has some health issues that you should keep eye on. The Texas Heeler puppies are predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Australian Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog also face.
In general they are healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it’s important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups. Please don’t avoid going to the vet if you notice that something is wrong with your pup.
Find listed some of the more common health problems that Texas Heelers have:
- Eye anomalies
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
A part of a dog’s health is making sure they have a balanced diet that will provide them with all the needed nutrients. Because we love to give our dogs human food, you should also know which human food is safe and which is not.
You can learn more about human foods in our “Food category” or check out the following articles:
- What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
- Can dogs eat honey? How safe is it really?
- Can dogs eat lettuce and should they even eat it?
- What fruits can dogs eat and which are toxic?
- Can dogs eat seaweed? Read before you feed
- Can dogs eat pancakes? The surprising truth
- Which Food Is Good Or Bad For Dogs?
Coat Color And Grooming
Since this is a mix, also, it can have a really mixed coat coloring. Texas Heeler coats are often a mix of their Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of Texas Heelers are black, blue merle, and blue ticked with white or fawn. Sometimes their coats are solid, but more often than not they have a mix of colors.
You would probably notice that their coats may look fluffy, but they are usually shorter less-dense coats. They are moderate shedders, which might not make them a good choice for allergy sufferers. Fortunately, the Texas Heeler’s coat is easy to groom. A good brushing every few days should do. Be sure to bathe your Texas Heeler regularly as well, especially if they are working outdoors. Your pup will be very thankful!
Since they tend to have less dense coats, Texas Heelers aren’t particularly suited for extreme weather. Ensure your pup has some kind of cover. This means that you’ll likely need a coat in the winter for your dog. Besides that, you’ll need to apply dog sunscreen to the ears, nose, and areas where they have less fur.
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