Blue Healer vs Australian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Blue Healer vs Australian ShepherdBlue Healer is originated from Australia but Australian Shepherd is originated from United States. Blue Healer may grow 7 cm / 2 inches shorter than Australian Shepherd. Blue Healer may weigh 10 kg / 22 pounds lesser than Australian Shepherd. Both Blue Healer and Australian Shepherd has same life span. Both Blue Healer and Australian Shepherd has almost same litter size. Blue Healer requires Low maintenance. But Australian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Origin:
Australia
United States
Height Male:
46 - 51 cm
18 - 21 inches
51 - 58 cm
20 - 23 inches
Height Female:
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
46 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
Weight Male:
15 - 22 kg
33 - 49 pounds
25 - 32 kg
55 - 71 pounds
Weight Female:
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
13 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 7
6 - 9
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
ACD, Cattle Dog, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler
Aussie
Colors Available:
Blue mottled, Red mottled
Tri-colour - blue, blue merle, black and red merle, white markings
Coat:
short and dense
thick - medium length - straight to wavy
Shedding:
Minimal, Seasonal
Constant
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

blue healerIt was in 1802 that George Hall arrived in New South Wales, establishing 2 cattle stations. He had a problem – getting his thousands of cattle to the Sydney markets. He began looking at the prospect of a droving dog and imported a number of dogs of which a blue mottled dog emerged.

The dogs were crossed with dingoes and by 1840 the Halls Heelers were used by the Halls. However with the death of one of the Halls, their cattle stations went to action and the dogs, the Halls Heelers became available.

The dogs attracted attention, and the term ‘Australian Cattle Dog’ was adopted. The name referred to those dogs coming from Thomas Hall's ‘Heelers’. There have been many arguments about the origin of the breed, but the red or blue offspring known as Hall's Heelers were proven cattle drovers, and with further breeding experiments which included the Australian Kelpie, dingoes and the Dalmation, by 1893, the tough, robust working breed known as the Blue Heeler or the Australian Cattle Dog came about.

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.

Description

blue healer puppyBlue Heelers are medium-sized, sturdy, compact dogs who are somewhat longer than tall. The female Blue Heeler measures roughly 43–48cm at the withers, while the male measures about 46–51cm. If your Blue Heeler is in tip top condition, he’ll weigh about 15 to 22 kilograms. They are muscular with pointed, erect ears, dark eyes and long tails which are mostly hanging downwards. Their dense coats are blue- or red speckled and sometimes with tan markings.

The Blue Heeler is a ball of energy and he is clever too. You won’t find him sitting around for too long, and if there is sign of a walk or a ball game, he’s in! He is an independent dog, and although he makes a wonderful family pet, he tends to attach himself to that one special person in his life. He is a natural watchdog and protector of his human family.

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.

Health Problems

blue healer dogAustralian cattle dogs are healthy and can live up to 15 years of age, but even so there are some genetic conditions that you will need to be aware of following

Eye issues which includes progressive retinal atrophy – this disease is an inherited disease of the retina of the eye where the rod cells are destined to die. Fortunately it is not painful for the dog. There are different types of inherited retinal degenerative diseases in dogs but going into detail with them is beyond the scope of this article. For more information you can chat to your vet.

Recessive piebald elleles - the Blue Heeler has recessive piebald alleles which can produce white in the skin and coat and which is linked to congenital hereditary deafness.

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.

Caring The Pet

Provide Plenty of Exercise

blue healer puppiesRemember that your Blue Heeler was once a full time cattle dog where he used to become totally and utterly exhausted from herding cattle. This is what he loved – the activity. If you have a Blue Heeler, you will need to provide him with plenty of exercise.

If you live on a farm, your Blue Heeler will be in his element because he can run, walk and swim to his heart’s content. If you keep your Blue Heeler in your back garden, you will need to provide him with ball games, rope games, long walks, running on a leash as you cycle and other activities.

Grooming

Your Blue Heeler has a short, weather-resistant double coat. He’s not a heavy shedder, but he will have his share of seasonal shedding, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of brushing him at least twice a week. This will get rid of all those loose hairs and keep his skin healthy by getting the blood flowing and distributing his natural oils.

Feeding

Giving the best dog food for your Blue Heeler will come from either your home made food or a top quality commercially manufactured dog food. He is such a high energy dog, that your veterinarian can advise you on a dog food specially designed for high energy breeds.

These foods are well balanced and are enriched with amino acids and vitamins, promoting healthy bones and joints. Remember to include some raw meat into your dog’s diet and to ensure a constant source of cool, fresh water.

General care

Ensure your Blue Heeler’s ongoing health by paying attention to ears, nails and teeth.

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.

Characteristics

blue healer dogsTraining and socializing of your Blue Heeler will ensure that your dog does what you want him to. The Blue Heeler is an intelligent, responsive dog and training can benefit him, turning him into an outstanding family pet, good with children and other pets in the home.

He is a playful, affectionate pet who doesn’t take easily to strangers, and this is what makes him such an excellent guard dog.

Your Blue Heeler is not an apartment dog as he requires a lot of exercise, and cooping him indoors for too long with nothing to do can lead to destructive behavior.

Head-strong, independent and robust, your Blue Heeler will need a firm owner who is boss. Add to the firm owner a lot of love and care, and you’ll have a devoted friend.

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.

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