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Herding dogs such as the Texas Heeler are an exciting and interesting breed. Dogs traditionally used for herding are typically loyal and attentive. They require lots of exercise and activity and are perfect for those who love being outdoors. Owning a herding dog can be extremely rewarding. If you want to be more active, or you want a dog with unwavering loyalty, you might be considering buying a herding dog.
The Texas Heeler is a herding dog made up of two of the world’s best herders.
While Texas Heelers are primarily herding dogs, in recent years, many have welcomed them into their homes and domesticated this breed into becoming the perfect pet. This breed might not be the snuggly and cuddly pouch the pug or golden retriever is, however, herding breeds show their affection in different ways.
Typically, herding dogs show their love through how they interact and respect you. Often, this kind of distanced affection can feel more rewarding and more meaningful than a slobbery kiss and nuzzling nose. In this article, we’ll be exploring more of the Texas Heelers characteristics. We’ll be looking at what makes this pup unique, how to best care for them, and all the fun and unusual facts about this one of a kind dog breed.
By the end of this post, you’ll know all there is to know about the Texas Heeler, and you’ll be able to tell if this pup is the perfect furry companion for you.
What Is A Texas Heeler Dog Breed?
The Texas Heeler dog is a stunning breed originating from the state of Texas. This unique pooch is a mix-breed made up of the Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd. Being the product of two expert herders makes the Texas Heeler a working dog like no other. Intelligent, obedient and fiercely loyal, the Texas Heeler can make the perfect pet.
Physically, the Texas Heeler is a striking dog. Coming in an array of colors and with stand-out features, this breed is sure to be the star of any dog park.
The Texas Heeler has a rich history and impressive ancestry. Today, these dogs are used as herding dogs as well as loving family pets. Despite their ever-growing popularity, the Texas Heeler is only recognized by three kennel clubs. The kennel clubs that recognize the Texas Heeler include Animal Research Foundation, Dog Registry of America and American Canine Hybrid.
Texas Heeler Dog Breed Quick Facts
Male: 17″ – 22″ (43 to 61 cm)
Female: 17″ – 22″ (43 to 61 cm)
Male: 24 – 50 lbs (11 to 23 kg)
Female: 24 – 50 lbs (11 to 23 kg)
Average lifespan: 13-15 years
Origin: United States (Texas)
Aussie Shepherd Heeler
Texas Heeler Dog Breed Characteristics
Where Is The Texas Heeler Dog Breed From?
You won’t be surprised to know, the Texas Heeler dog breed originates from America’s beloved southern state, Texas. The most commonly seen Texas Heelers are first generations. First generations are a mix of Australian Cattle Dogs and Australian Shepherds. Second generation Texas Heelers are bred, although less common. A second generation Texas Heeler has two Texas Heeler parents.
The first Texas Heeler to be added to a dog register in America was in 1970. Since then, the Texas Heeler has gained massive popularity across the USA and around the world. Texas Heelers are particularly popular dogs in South-West America.
The name Texas Heeler is the combination of the breed’s origin (Texas) and its parent’s nickname (Heeler.) The Australian Cattle Dog earned its nickname, Heeler, due to its tendency to nip at the heels of the cattle they were herding.
Created from two expert herders means the Texas Heeler is a pro at herding.
Texas Heeler Dog Breed Physical Appearance
Texas Heelers are one of the most distinctive breeds you’ll ever come across. Two equally stunning dogs make up the Texas Heelers unique appearance. One of the most exciting things about the Texas Heeler is how diverse this beauty can be.
No two Texas Heelers will look the same. One Heeler might look more like the Australian Cattle Dog, and the other could look predominantly like the Australian Shepherd.
They can come in various colours, including black, blue merle, blue ticked, red, white, tan. Texas Heelers are usually a combination of several colors, and all of them tend to have patches or either white or tan.
Their diverse colored coats are short to medium length (around 1″ to 3″ long). All Texas Heelers have luxuriously soft fur. Their ears are usually pricked, giving the impression these pups are always alert. Their tails can be long or bobbed. The stature of the Texas Heeler is most comparable to that of the Australian Cattle Dog.
Texas Heelers have an infectious happy expression that manifests in their wide alert eyes.
Texas Heeler Dog Breed Exercise And Training
Due to being herd dogs, the Texas Heeler needs a lot of exercises. These clever pups need to be physically and mentally stimulated. If you own a Texas Heeler, you need to make sure they get enough exercise. A well-exercised Heeler can be extremely rewarding.
Texas Heelers show their love and affection through acts of service. If you’re looking for a dog that’s going to snuggle up on the sofa and be made a fuss of, the Texas Heeler isn’t the breed for you. Instead, Texas Heeler’s innate herding instincts mean they show their love through work. An example of this might be fetching your belongings. If you train your pup to collect things for you, they’ll view this as a loving act of service they can provide.
Texas Heelers hate being bored and require a minimum of one hour of exercise a day. This breed is fond of high-energy activities and loves to swim or run freely. As a Texas Heeler owner, you need to provide the facilities for your pup to exercise. If you live in an apartment or area without adequate outdoor space, you shouldn’t own a Texas Heeler.
Due to their loyal and obedient characteristics, the Texas Heeler is an ideal dog for training. Not only can you train your pup, you really should be for their benefit. The Texas Heeler is a breed that needs to be mentally stimulated. They’re naturally working dogs, and these muscles need to flex. Flex these working muscles inherent in your dog by training and teaching tricks and encouraging them to play with mentally stimulating dog toys.
Failure to engage and keep your Texas Heeler active can result in the dog becoming aggravated and potentially aggressive.
Texas Heeler Dog Breed Health
Hybrid dog breeds tend to be healthier than pure-bred dogs. Being a mixed breed means your Texas Heeler is less susceptible to the diseases that might be common in their parent breeds. It is still important to be aware of the health conditions that tend to occur in this breed and larger, more active dogs in general. These health concerns include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans
- Elbow dysplasia
If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of your Texas Heeler, you must contact a vet. As the owner of a larger and highly-active dog, you should be scheduling regular vets visits to check up on the health of your dog.
The Texas Heelers Parent Breeds
So far, we haven’t seen many mixed breeds that include the Texas Heeler. The ever-growing popularity of the Texas Heeler and its impressive origin suggests people are pretty content with the Texas Heeler alone right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did see an increase in Texas Heeler crosses in the future due to their ever-growing popularity. However, for now, we’re pretty content with basking in the glory of the Texas Heeler alone.
In previous posts, we’ve explored common mixed breeds using the dogs we’re focused on. For this post, we’re going to explore the parent breeds of the Texas Heeler.
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog originates from Australia. These working dogs were used to herd cattle across long distances and rough terrain.
Like the Texas Heeler, the Australian Cattle dog is a loyal and obedient breed focused on work and staying active. Slightly shorter tempered than the Texas Heeler and the Australian Shepherd, this breed can be a loving family pet if trained well from a young age. Otherwise, this breed thrives in its role as a worker and herder.
Australian Cattle dogs come in blue and red and have pointy ears that make them look alert and engaged.
The Australian shepherd has two elements that differ from the Australian Cattle Dog: a longer coat and a calmer temperament. These pups calmer nature makes them perfect for families or homes with young children.
Surprisingly, the Australian Shepherd dog doesn’t actually come from Australia. It is believed that this breed originated from British herding collie dogs and was first bred in the USA.
Their longer fluffy coats require more attentive grooming and can shed significantly during shedding months. Owning an Australian Shepherd requires more grooming and may require bathing your pups long fur if it gets dirty playing outdoors. Similar to the Texas Heeler, the Australian Shepherd’s coat comes in an array of colors: merle, black, red, black, blue, white.
Just like the Texas Heeler and Australian Cattle Dog, this pup requires a lot of activity and is best suited to an active owner.
Their loyal and obedient nature means the Australian Shepherd thrives in a family environment, a working role, and even as a police dog.
Summary On The Texas Heeler Dog Breed
While the Texas Heeler might not be the cuddliest pet to own, they are one of the most rewarding dog breeds to bring into your home. These one of a kind pups are not only unique in appearance, but they have a personality unlike any other.
Owning a Texas Heeler guarantees a life full of energy and activity. These pups will work tirelessly to show you how much you mean to them. In return, you can show your love to your furry friend with lots of outdoor space and fun and engaging activities.
Originating from two incredibly loyal working dogs makes the Texas Heeler an equally loyal and obedient dog. Whether you want your Texas Heeler for work or play, you’ll have no problems training them into becoming the perfect pup for your lifestyle.
The high-levels of activity the Texas Heeler engages in means it’s important to always be aware of your dog’s health and investigate any concerns you have immediately. For the most part, Texas Heelers are a robust breed with minimal reoccurring health conditions.
Texas Heelers are a beautiful breed with a rich ancestry and loveable personalities. A Texas Heeler isn’t just a pet; a Texas Heeler is a life-long companion.