Red Heeler vs Australian Collie - Breed Comparison

Red Heeler vs Australian Collie - Breed ComparisonBoth Red Heeler and Australian Collie are originated from Australia. Red Heeler may grow 11 cm / 5 inches higher than Australian Collie. Red Heeler may weigh 9 kg / 19 pounds lesser than Australian Collie. Red Heeler may live 3 years less than Australian Collie. Both Red Heeler and Australian Collie has almost same litter size. Red Heeler requires Low maintenance. But Australian Collie requires Moderate maintenance


red heeler - historyKnown also as the Australian Cattle Dog, the Red Heeler is also known as the Blue Heeler. This is a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia.

These dogs are known for their stamina and resilience with driving cattle over long distances in hot weather and across rough terrain.

It was George Eliott who developed the Red Heeler – crossing native Dingoes with Collies and other herding dogs.

In America, the breed was fully recognised in September 1980.

australian collie - historyThe Koolie, as a breed we know today, originates from Australia. But, before they were breed and imported, they were the mix made of Britain smooth coated blue merle Collie and the Black and Tan Collie from the Highlands of Scotland. The Koolie came to Australia to work as a kennel dog since they are known as the working, farm dog that can adapt to any weather condition. They were bred to be agile and non-aggressive quiet herding dogs, and they have kept most of those good characteristics until today.


red heeler puppy - descriptionThe Red Heeler is a medium-sized dog standing at between 43 to 51 cm in height and weighing in the region of 14 – 16 kg.

He is muscular, with a sturdy build. The coat of this robust dog is shortish and thick and quite often you’ll find a white star marking on he forehead. The coat is a blue-grey color or reddish. The tail of this dog is long and the ears are erect.


The Red Heeler has always been a working dog so he is energetic and lively, being independent and strong-willed.

He is super intelligent too and can be easily trained and socialized. He is a dog that simply loves the outdoors and if you don’t live on a farm, he is going to need lots of exercise.

He gets on well with kids and other pets, but children should be taught to respect him and be kind towards him, otherwise he might not tolerate them. He is a loyal, protective dog, wanting to ensure the safety of his human family.

australian collie puppy - descriptionKoolie is a medium bred. Their head is small, with a pointy jaw. Ears are pricked, semi-dropped or dropped. Their coat can be smooth or rough, short or medium length, always with the undercoat. The colours can be Red or Blue Merle, solid Red or Black, sometimes with minimal white or cream speckles. They are usually two-coloured or tricoloured, but some of them are actually one-coloured.

Some Koolie have one or two blue, green or yellow eyes. Eye colour is, of course, affected by the gene that creates the coat pattern and eye colour as well.

They are athletic dogs, with fine bone structure but great stamina. Actually, they were breed to be like that – to work hard, be noticeable among the sheep, eat little and be loyal to one person.


red heeler dog - characteristicsWhen you bring a Red Heeler into your home, you must know that you’re never going to have a dull moment. They’re not content to lie around with nothing to do. These popular dogs literally coax you to come out and to be active.

Red Heelers need lots of activities and lots of room, so they aren’t particularly suited to life in the city. Large properties and plenty to do is what they ask for.

Your Red Heeler is going to make a splendid pet, loyal and devoted, the perfect example of man’s best friend.

Around children

australian collie dog - characteristicsKoolie is naturally energetic, playful and affectionate so they are naturally very good to raise with children.

Special talents

They are known as great obedience dog. They are very famous as the tracking dogs.

Some of them are successful as the rescue dogs, therapy dogs or educators for school children.


This is not a type of dog that will be alone in the house, wait for you and then be quiet while you rest. They need a great deal of activity and they are not such great choice for indoor life anyways. The best thing for them would be the large yard, with somebody home most of the time. They are great if raised in a family, with children and active owners. They will be great for a loner at the farm as well since that is in their blood. They need enough place to run, chase, play, rest on the sun and be active as they please. They get affectionate towards their families, but they will be accepting their new home when they are older just fine.

Learning ability

They are very good at learning. Intelligent, yes, but yet very silly and playful to do what is told all the time. They will surprise you with how quickly they will pick up the new trick but not feeling like doing it every time you would like them to. Everything is a play for them, so it would be best if you know how to play, be affectionate and friendly to become a good owner of this breed.

Health Problems

red heeler puppies - health problemsYour Red Heeler can live to be 15 years of age with good care. Every dog however, can fall prey to some of the many common dog diseases there are, some of which can be -

Musculosceletal Problems:

There are quite a lot of congenital and inherited musculoskeletal disorders in dogs, with some of the more common ones being hip dysplasia and muscular dystrophy for instance.

There are some of these musculosceletal problems which can be fatal. Some of the typical symptoms you’ll see with these problems are difficulty climbing stairs or jumping, loss of muscle mass in the hind limbs, arthritis and lameness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

The retina of the eye is that light-sensitive part and which is part of the central nervous system. With retinal degeneration, the cells decline, leading to impaired vision and sometimes even blindness.

Some symptoms to look out for include dilated pupils, night blindness and the inability to see clearly in bright light. The disease worsens over times with sudden blindness being quite common with older dogs. Your vet will want a thorough history of your dog’s health.

Other dog diseases to be very aware of are cancer, obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

australian collie puppies - health problemsIf you are careful enough, you will choose your Koolie form patiently chosen breeders, after checking the health history of the pup and the pup’s family. Advisable is to do these things in person and never to buy a Koolie from a pet shop.

Sometimes, pups can be born blind or deaf pups. They have the great chance of joint problems because of their extreme activity. Their need to run, jump and play all the time may result in damage to cartilage and ligaments, especially since they are not aware of their age most of the time.

There is a chance that pup has skin allergies or immune system issues if they are growing on a farm near the chemicals used for plants, so be careful what kind of herbicide you use if you have a Collie.

In some rare cases, they suffer from seizers. If untreated, they can cause death. If you decide to take him to a regular vet check, you will have a happy and playful life together.

Caring The Pet


red heeler dogs - caringThe Red Heeler is an active dog, and apart from walks which will give him the chance to sniff around, he will need lots of other forms of exercise. Rope pulling games he’ll love and running after a ball will please him because it takes him back to days when he used to run around and herd livestock.

If you’re an outdoorsy type of person who loves hiking in the wilds and swimming in rivers, you can count this dog in.


You can look at the Red Heeler as a low maintenance dog. He does shed, but a good brush of the coat twice a week will be excellent for him. If he doesn’t wear his nails down naturally, you will need to trim them. Also, while you are brushing him, check his ears and eyes and inside his mouth to make sure he is clear of all infections.


Red Heelers rely on good food for their resilience and stamina, and for convenience it is good to have commercially manufactured dog food as a backup. The best is home-made food which is easy to prepare and totally uncomplicated.

Simply add into one big pot chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. This food can all be chopped up, refrigerated and added warmed up and in small portions to your pet's dry kibble once or twice a week. Simple and tasty, your Red Heeler will love it and thrive on it too.

Ensure there is always a bowl of fresh, cool water within his reach.

Feeding the puppy and adult

australian collie dogs - caringWhether you choose canned food or dry food, treats as biscuits or left-overs, the quantity is the safest way of keeping the balanced diet for your Collie. They like raw meat and raw bones. Make sure not to feed them with cooked bones because they can do more harm than good.


Since Koolie coat can be very short with the undercoat or a bit longer with undercoat, bristle brushing every 3 or 4 days will be enough for them. Some of them like the water and some of them don’t and that is perfectly fine since there is no need for a regular bath.

Points for Good Health

Lots of activities and lots of love. They express their love all the time and you can learn a lot from them actually. They like raw bones and from-the-table delicious treats but make sure not to overfeed them.

The best type of activity

Games that need them to be fast and think quickly. Running with them, driving a bike with them (but not on the leash!) would be a great fun for them. Why not leash? They are so playful and happy and they tend to jump and run to the side to chase a butterfly or catch the falling leaf.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
36 - 40 cm
14 - 16 inches
Height Female:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
36 - 40 cm
14 - 16 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
15 - 25 kg
33 - 56 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
15 - 25 kg
33 - 56 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
12 - 18 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
4 - 6
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Australian Cattle Dog, ACD
Australian Koolie, German Koolie, German Coolie
Colors Available:
Reddish, Blue-grey
red or blue patterned merle; some of them are born as one colored, usually red/chocolate or black. When they have two colors, they are red and white, black and white, black and tan, red and tan. Tricolor Collie is merle, with tan points and a white chest.
Shortish and dense
smooth and short or short and rough; double coated or single coated. Some of them have longer coat their legs or without.
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Social
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

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