Pyrenean Shepherd vs Blue Healer - Breed Comparison

Pyrenean Shepherd vs Blue Healer - Breed ComparisonPyrenean Shepherd is originated from Spain but Blue Healer is originated from Australia. Both Pyrenean Shepherd and Blue Healer are having almost same height. Both Pyrenean Shepherd and Blue Healer are having almost same weight. Both Pyrenean Shepherd and Blue Healer has same life span. Pyrenean Shepherd may have less litter size than Blue Healer. Pyrenean Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance. But Blue Healer requires Low maintenance


pyrenean shepherd - historyThe Pyrenean Shepherd hails from Spain where he has always been used to herd sheep. Some people believe he is a descendant of the French Catalan Sheepdog while others say from the Briard. Nobody is too sure.

He is actually the smallest of the French herding breeds. It is interesting to note that he still does this herding job today. It was in the 19th century that a few of these dogs left for America with shepherds who found work herding flocks in the American West.

These dogs were also used in World War 1 as messenger dogs.

It was during the 1970's and 1980's that breeding programs were started for the dog and The Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America was formed in 1987. The dog was also recognized in 2009 by the American Kennel Club.

blue healer - historyIt 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.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
38 - 50 cm
14 - 20 inches
46 - 51 cm
18 - 21 inches
Height Female:
38 - 50 cm
14 - 20 inches
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 20 kg
30 - 45 pounds
15 - 22 kg
33 - 49 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 20 kg
30 - 45 pounds
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 4
1 - 7
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Pyr Shep
ACD, Cattle Dog, Red Heeler, Queensland Heeler
Colors Available:
grey, black overlay occasionally, Fawn, some white - solid colors or tri-colored
Blue mottled, Red mottled
Long or short haired - soft or wiry
short and dense
Minimal, Seasonal
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


pyrenean shepherd puppy - descriptionThe Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-sized dog standing at between 38 and 50cm in height and weighing between 14 and 20kg.

His head is fairly small with large, bright, expressive eyes. The ears are semi-erect. The tail has always traditionally been docked but often left long these days.

He comes with two different coat types – rough and smooth with sometimes both types being in the same litter. The dog is a regular shedder. The coat can be medium length or long and slightly wavy with a harsh texture. The coat can be of the shorter type with finer, softer hair. The coat is available in different colors and patterns, and can be a fawn color or grey and you will find a black overlay occasionally with some white. The coat can be tri-colored or he can be in solid colors such as cream or white.


Your feisty Pyrenean Shepherd is a dog with plenty of personality. He is also full of energy and will love to live with a outdoorsy-type family who are always on the go, because he’s in on everything.

He is distrustful of strangers and this together with the fact that he is so alert, makes him a splendid watchdog too.

He will need to be trained and socialized as he can be overly robust. He becomes obedient and well mannered, being totally dedicated to his owner. It isn’t easy for him to be separated from his beloved human owner.

blue healer puppy - descriptionBlue 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.


pyrenean shepherd dog - characteristicsThe Pyrenean Shepherd is essentially a one-person dog, becoming totally attached to one particular person in the family.

He is known as a dog who becomes totally loyal to his human family, getting on well with children as well as with other pets in the home.

He is aloof and wary of strangers. Training and socialization is important so as to avoid aggression and fear. This is one dog that requires being diligently exercised every day.

He is a great watchdog, and when you add up all his fantastic qualities, you get to realize what a splendid companion and pet this wonderful dog makes.

blue healer dog - characteristicsTraining 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.

Health Problems

pyrenean shepherd puppies - health problemsThe Pyrenean Shepherd is such a jovial little dog that you just can’t imagine him ever being sick. When he is lethargic, you'll know there is something seriously wrong with him because he is always as bright as a button.

He can however get sick, and there are a few dog illnesses such as epilepsy, eye problems and hip dysplasia that can be very painful ad debilitating for such an energetic dog. You don’t have to be too concerned though, as he is a dog known to have minimal health issues.

blue healer puppies - health problemsAustralian 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.

Caring The Pet


pyrenean shepherd dogs - caringThis will depend on the coat type. Both coat types will essentially require you brushing him twice a week.


The Pyr Shep’s activity levels are very high and this dog will require living with people who love outdoor activities. He’s the perfect companion for those camping trips or hikes. He is always ready to join you on your walks and will be ready and waiting to jump right in when he sees you with a ball or frisbee.


For all that energy, your Pyrenean Shepherd will be needing the best dog food there is. Food full of preservatives and colorants can be bad for your pet, detrimental to his health.

Good food full of vitamins and minerals will ensure your pet stands a good chance of living a long, healthy life. If you feed him commercially manufactured dog food, ensure its the best there is, with labeling on the packaging that tells you its for his age, his size and energy levels.

Consistency and simplicity is what your Pyrenean Shepherd wants, and home-made food can enhance his dry kibble. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots all chopped up and mixed into the dry kibble once or twice a week will ensure your pet’s eyes are continuously bright and alert and his tail constantly wagging.

Some raw meat added in occasionally will also go towards ensuring his good health. Always make sure he has access to fresh, cool water.

Provide Plenty of Exercise

blue healer dogs - caringRemember 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.


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.


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.

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