Asked in Animal Life
Are blueheelers good pets and what kind of temperment do they have?
September 18, 2009 7:43AM
heeler, bred to herd cattle, is a dominant, highly intelligent dog
breed that requires much time but can make a good pet if you have
the proper land and house.
Like many working dogs, Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and active minds. They need plenty of exercise and a job to do, so non-working dogs need to participate in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities that engage their body and mind. Some individuals find repetitive training frustrating and dull, so owners should aim to make training sessions varied and more exciting in order to keep their dog interested. Cattle Dogs who do not receive the appropriate exercise and entertainment will invent their own, often destructive, activities. These dogs are, by nature, wary. They are naturally cautious, and grow more so as they age. Their cautious nature towards strangers makes them perfect guard dogs, when trained for this task.
The Australian Cattle Dog ranks 10th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability.
Cattle Dogs drive cattle by nipping at their heels or tails, but they have also been known to round up other animals.
To relieve the urge to nip, the Australian Cattle Dog can be encouraged to pick up and chew a toy or stick that is thrown for them. Any toy left with the Australian Cattle Dog needs to be extremely robust if it is to last.
The Australian Cattle Dog enjoys living with other dogs with whom it is familiar, working well in combination with other Cattle Dogs, Australian Kelpies, and Border Collies. Because of their plucky nature, the establishing of a pecking order can result in a few scuffles and bites.
It is important for an owner to quickly establish a hierarchy in which they are the dog's pack leader, otherwise the young Australian Cattle Dog may bond to a senior dog, rather than to its owner. Once this hierarchy is established however, the dog will bond very closely to its owner, or leader. The bond that this breed can create with its owner is very strong and will leave the dog feeling very protective towards the owner; typically resulting in the dog never being too far from the owner's side. If put in any situation where the dog feels threatened, and/or uncomfortable, it will usually resort to aggressiveness towards other, unknown dogs.