Australian Shepherd vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison

Australian Shepherd vs Austrailian Blue HeelerAustralian Shepherd is originated from United States but Austrailian Blue Heeler is originated from Australia. Australian Shepherd may grow 8 cm / 4 inches higher than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Australian Shepherd may weigh 16 kg / 36 pounds more than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Both Australian Shepherd and Austrailian Blue Heeler has almost same life span. Both Australian Shepherd and Austrailian Blue Heeler has almost same litter size. Australian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance. But Austrailian Blue Heeler requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Origin:
United States
Australia
Height Male:
51 - 58 cm
20 - 23 inches
45 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
Height Female:
46 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 32 kg
55 - 71 pounds
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
12 - 14 kg
26 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
12 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 9
1 - 7
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Aussie
Queensland Heeler
Colors Available:
Tri-colour - blue, blue merle, black and red merle, white markings
blue, red
Coat:
thick - medium length - straight to wavy
blue speckled or red speckled with dark or cream marks
Shedding:
Constant
Constant
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social
Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

australian shepherdThe Australian Shepherd, known fondly as ‘Aussies’, is actually an American breed, with the first official registry being in the 1950s. Basque Shepherds from Spain settled in Australia at the end of the 19th century, later moving to the United Stated with their dogs in tow. It is from these dogs that the breed originated. In the UK too, this breed of dog has many enthusiastic followers.

For many years, the Australian Shepherd has been recognized for their wonderful abilities as stock- or herding dogs, and today in Australia they continue to work as stock dogs and often take part in herding trials.

More recently, this working dog breed has been selectively bred to develop both Toy- and Miniature Aussies, and the American Stock Dog Registry actually recognizes 3 sizes today.The Australian Shepherd Club of America was also founded in 1957 to promote the breed.

austrailian blue heelerIn 1840, George Elliott made a match with Australian Dingo and Collie and got a clever and very active dog breed – Australian Blue Heeler. Soon, he showed his good herding instincts and protective nature and got really popular among the cattlemen and ranchers. Soon, as the USA soldiers arrived in Australia, they decided that it will be a great dog to bring home.

Australian Blue Heeler has short, double coat. The coat is water resistant and helps them when the temperature is too high as well. Their coat is rough to the touch, naturally. They can be found in blue or red coat colour mix. The Blue Heeler isn’t actually blue, but their black coat has a bluish tint. Red Heelers have red fur instead of black. They have long tails, strong legs, Dingo-like heads with pointy ears and muscular necks and balanced and athletic bodies.

Description

Coat

australian shepherd puppySimilar in appearance to the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is a medium sized dog and has a medium length coat which is straight to wavy with a weather resistant undercoat. The range of coat colours is amazing, and you’ll find blue, blue merle, black and red merle and all of these are with or without tan points. The Australian Shepherd is a drop-eared breed where prick ears are sometimes seen. Some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed tails while most have full, long tails.

Different Eye Colour Combinations

There is variety in the eye colour too, and they are often heterochromatic, which means that they can have two different coloured eyes or the one eye can even be bi-coloured. Most times the eyes are brown, but they can be blue too.

austrailian blue heeler puppyThis breed is somehow designed for an outdoor life and outdoor activity. This implies that Blue Heelers have nature made of the high dose of energy. They are always ready to go anywhere you go, and they will be a loyal friend. They are actually very clever, intelligent and ready to help.

If you are a type of the person who prefers being indoors and having minimal physical activity, Blue heelers are not the type of a furry companion for you. They have a high daily need for the activity, and they love having lots of space to run and explore. Sometimes, you will realize that having a leash is a must because they will get so playful that they will forget about you!

If you start teaching them to be friendly with other dogs while they are still pups, they will accept that kind of lifestyle. But, if your Blue Heeler is raised as the only dog on the ranch, note that they won’t be very friendly toward other dogs.

Since most of the herd dogs usually respond to only one person, most of the Blue Heelers can follow this old instinct. They can be very independent, as well, and they are usually not the type of the dog that will always be around your leg waiting for a cuddle or ear scratch. But, they build the respect towards humans depending on how they treat him so they can be very lovable and friendly pets.

If you are still confused about their name, you must know that the Blue Heelers can actually lightly nip your heel for attention. They are not aggressive, but they tend to be very protective of the family, humans around them and their property.

Health Problems

australian shepherd dogAussies are a healthy breed and won’t cost you a fortune at the vet. However, like every other breed, they are also prone to certain health conditions such as cancer. When choosing a puppy, always look for a good, reputable breeder who can show you health clearances.

We look at some common health ailments to be alert about

Hip Dysplasia

This is a dog ailment that can be inherited. It is where the femur doesn't fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Also, as the dog ages, arthritis can develop.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy an hereditary disorder where the seizures your dog gets can be treated and controlled.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans, commonly known as OCD is an orthopedic condition which comes about because of improper growth of cartilage in the joints. It can cause painful stiffening of the elbow joint for instance.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA is a degenerative eye disorder that can finally lead to blindness. Reputable Aussie dog breeders have their dogs' eyes certified regularly by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Your Aussie Puppy Needs Vaccinations

Your newborn Australian Shepherd may well be strong and healthy, but he isn’t immune from life-threatening illnesses. Vaccinations are imperative for your Aussie puppy, with vets usually recommending that puppies be vaccinated for the first time from 6 to 8 weeks of age.

These vaccinations will include the 5-in-one and includes Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parainfluenza. Later on the puppy will get his first rabies shot and he will also require booster vaccinations.

Eye problems

austrailian blue heeler dogProgressive Retinal Atrophy usually causes slow and painless loss of sight. This process takes years, but there are cases where this disease took only months before the dog ended up completely blind. It is advisable to take your Blue Heeler to the vet for a test that can tell you if your dog is carrying the gene for this disease.

Lens luxation is a disease where the lens of dog’s eye separates partially or completely. Good news is that this disease can be treated.

Joint diseases

Most common is the hip or elbow dysplasia. This is the disease where hip joints do not develop properly and begin to grind. This condition can sometimes be treated with physiotherapy, but there is a chance that your Blue Heeler will need a surgery. If you have a habit of regular vet checks and keeping your dog slim and fed with quality food, you can a make a big difference.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) causes the dog to have excess cartilage and deficient bone, where cartilage does not get replaced by bone during fetal development. This disease usually requires surgery and prescribed medicines.

Deafness

Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness – CHSD is a common form of deafness.

Bilateral deafness can be identified when the dog is still a puppy, more-less at six weeks of age. A puppy with deafness in only one ear is harder to identify, but it can happen.

Portosystemic shunt means that the blood flow is getting back into the bloodstream instead of passing through the liver. That means that liver can’t clear out the toxins, and the organ itself fails to grow properly. This inherited type of shunt can be treated with surgery if the diagnose is set on time.

Caring The Pet

General Grooming

australian shepherd puppiesWith his medium length coat, the Australian Shepherd sheds. In fact this particular breed sheds his hair the entire year round, but you’ll notice that with the arrival of Spring, he sheds more as this is when he is losing his Winter coat. You will most certainly need to brush his coat at least 2x a week to get rid of all those tufts of hair and to also prevent matting.

Feeding

A puppy will need 4 bowls of vet-recommended food a day. How much your adult Australian Shepherd gets will depend on his age, size and activity levels.The quality of food you buy will make a difference as it will keep your Aussie in good shape. Remember to include raw or cooked meat into his diet once a week or so. For more on feeding your Aussie, speak to your vet. Always ensure a constant source of fresh, cool water.

Training and Socialization

The Australian Shepherd is a strong willed dog, used to playing the dominant role with the herding of livestock. He’ll need firm training and socialization if you want to make him an amicable family pet.

Like many herding dogs, Australian Shepherds are loyal to their family and don’t easily take to strangers. Aussies make awesome companions for families with kids who have been taught how to treat dogs and other pets with kindness and gentleness. Just like a dog needs socialization, a child needs to respect a sleeping, feeding dog and to leave him in peace.

Feeding the puppy

austrailian blue heeler puppiesChoose a dog food that will provide nutrients that will help in the bone developing. Since they are more likely to suffer from joint diseases, you must take this advice seriously. It would be great if you speak about this with your vet before you choose food on your own.

Feeding the adult

The best food for Blue Heeler is a high-quality food which supplies them with premium nutrition to fuel their activity.

They also drink a lot of water, so be sure that they always have a fresh water available.

Points for Good Health

Lots and lots of the outdoor activity and a quality food. You must be very cautious because this kind of dogs gets overweight easily because they just love the treats and extra food portion.

Games and Exercises

Any outdoor activity that is mentally challenging and interesting enough to keep them from running in the field trying to catch anything that moves.

Characteristics

australian shepherd dogsThe Australian Shepherd is an intelligent dog, learning quickly. As a herding dog, he also has strong guarding instincts and will make a good watch dog. The dog has a balanced, even disposition, and even though he may show some reserve, he is certainly not a shy dog and isn’t aggressive.

He Craves Human Companionship

Your Aussie is a kind, loving, and devoted pet. He loves his human family and wants to spend lots of time with them. Don’t leave him without human companionship as he craves it and forms strong bonds with his family. Provide him with good care and with lots of fun and games and you’ve got an exceptional friend for life.

Children friendliness

austrailian blue heeler dogsThey are generally good with children, but you must be aware of their inherent desire to herd. Always supervise when your Blue Heeler is around small children.

Special Talents

Ball tricks, frisbee fun, running companion, herding cattle.

Adaptability

It is best to buy a puppy. These dogs get attached to one human and to the territory.

Learning ability

They are generally quick learners. If you teach them to be playful, friendly and loving, they will learn it in no time. So be aware of the decisions that can cost you when the dog grows up.

Comparison with other breeds

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  40. Berger Picard vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison
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  44. Bohemian Shepherd vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison
  45. Croatian Sheepdog vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison
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  47. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison
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