The Blue Heeler is a type of Australian Cattle Dog. They have black hair that is evenly distributed through a white coat, which gives their coat a blue appearance, while a red heeler has red hair through a white coat. Another name by which this breed is known is the Queensland Heeler.
Blue Heeler’s origins are from a cattle farmer called Thomas Hall, crossing other working dogs and dingoes in the 19th century to create Hall’s Heelers. After Hall’s death, the breed became available outside his family and was further developed to create the separate breeds of the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
It is a medium-sized breed, and the males are slightly larger than the females. Males are a maximum of 20 inches at the withers, while females are 19 inches. Blue Heelers weigh between 33 pounds and 49 pounds.
The Blue Heeler
The breed has a short double coat that is blue, blue speckled, or blue mottled. They have a medium-length muzzle, pointed ears, dark eyes, and a long tail. It is a sturdy, muscular, and compact dog that is strong and agile.
A Blue Heeler has many traits that make it ideal as a working dog, and people often use them on farms for herding. They are intelligent dogs with active minds and high energy levels. The breed is also affectionate and playful. However, they are not suited to houses with smaller pets or very young children, as their herding instinct means they may nip at the heels of anything moving.
If you like the Blue Heeler but want to consider other breeds that have a similar appearance or share some physical or personality traits, there are various options. Each has physical and personality traits that you may find appealing. So, which breeds are similar to the Blue Heeler? Here are 10 dog breeds similar to a Blue Heeler to consider.
1. The Most Similar Breed to the Blue Heeler: Australian Shepherd
The most similar breed to the Blue Heeler in terms of both physical appearance and personality traits is the Australian Shepherd. They are often used by cowboys for herding as they are intelligent, agile, and rugged. Both the United Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognize the breed.
Although they have a similar shape and facial features to the Blue Heeler, the Australian Shepherd is a larger dog in terms of both height and stockiness. Males are larger than females, measuring up to 23 inches at the withers and weighing up to 65 pounds.
Another difference between the Blue Heeler and the Australian Shepherd is their coats. While the Blue Heeler has a short double coat, the Australian Shepherd has a moderately long double coat. It comes in various colors, including blue merle, red merle, black, red, tan, or tan and white.
In terms of size and physical appearance, the Beauceron is very similar to the Blue Heeler. Male Beaucerons measure up to 27.5 inches at the withers, while females are slightly smaller at between 24 inches and 26.5 inches. Most Beaucerons weigh between 70 and 110 pounds.
Like the Blue Heeler, the Beauceron has pricked ears, a slender but muscular build, and a medium-length muzzle. One of the main differences between the two breeds is the coat. The Beauceron has a smoother coat that is bicolor. Some color combinations include black & rust, black & tan, harlequin, and gray black & tan.
The Beauceron is a spirited and smart dog with a sensitive nature. Many have working roles as herders, but they are also excellent companion dogs. As they are strong and willful dogs, they are not the best option for novice dog owners.
3. Belgian Malinois
Also known as a Belgian Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is a strong and protective dog with a territorial nature. They are used for both herding and protection roles, but they can also make a great pets if they have early training and socialization, although their intelligence means they are easy to train.
The dog’s appearance is similar to that of the German Shepherd and the Blue Heeler. They can weigh up to 80 pounds and as much as 24 inches at the withers. Coat colors include fawn, mahogany, red, red sable, and fawn sable. They have darker markings around their muzzle and ears.
Belgian Malinois have high energy levels and need lots of exercise. Therefore, if you are considering the breed, it is essential you can commit to a proper exercise regime with long walks combined with agility exercises.
4. A Playful Dog Breed Similar to the Blue Heeler: Belgian Tervuren
Another Belgian breed to consider that has many similarities to the Blue Heeler is the Belgian Tervuren. Its appearance is extremely similar to a long-haired German Shepherd, as they have the same markings and coat length. The breed measures up to 26 inches at the withers and weighs up to 75 pounds.
Belgian Tervurens were bred to herd livestock, as they are sturdy, athletic, intelligent, and hard-working. However, they also have some personality traits that make them an enjoyable companion. For example, they have a playful nature and are loyal to their family. Owners must understand that the breed needs to avoid boredom, so plenty of exercises and games are needed to keep the breed happy and healthy.
5. Border Collie
At first glance, the Blue Heeler and Border Collie are not that similar in appearance. For one thing, Border Collies are smaller than Blue Heelers, as they measure a maximum of 22 inches and weigh significantly less at between 30 and 55 pounds. Border Collies also have a longer and smoother coat and a slighter frame. They are also available in a wider range of colors.
However, the two breeds share many personality traits. Both breeds are hard workers and natural herders. They are also both intelligent and energetic dogs. Therefore, Border Collies are a good alternative for those to whom the personality of Blue Heelers appeals, but they do not necessarily favor the breed’s appearance.
In addition to being working dogs, often on farms, Border Collies are also known for their prowess in agility trials and various other dog sports. Due to their athletic and playful nature, Border Collies must exercise enough.
6. Belgian Sheepdog
Physically, the Belgian Sheepdog shares many characteristics with the Belgian Shepherd, the German Shepherd, and the Blue Heeler. Like the other breeds, the Belgian Shepherd was bred as a herding dog. They have a medium-sized muzzle, dark eyes, and pointed ears.
The Belgian Shepherd has a long coat that is either black or black and white. A distinctive feature of the breed is its bushy tail. Males are both taller and heavier than females. While males measure up to 26 inches and can weigh up to 75 pounds, females weigh up to 60 pounds and measure between 22 and 24 inches.
It is a versatile breed that is easy to train due to its intelligence. Belgian Sheepdogs are known to crave human companionship and are loyal to and affectionate with their owners. Another trait of the breed is their agility, and they benefit from a varied exercise program that combines long walks, agility exercises, and fun games.
7. Berger Picard
The frame of the Berger Picard is best described as lanky yet sturdy. Like the Blue Heeler, the breed has pointed ears and a medium-length muzzle. However, the coat differs as it is coarse, medium-long, and wavy. Coat colors include gray, fawn, blue-gray, gray-red, and brindle. Blue Heelers and Berger Picards are similar in size, as Berger Picards measure up to 25.5 inches and weigh up to 70 pounds.
The Berger Picard is one of the oldest French sheepdog breeds, and the breed is also known as the Picardy Shepherd. Although they were bred as working dogs, usually for herding sheep, they are also a fantastic option for families who want loyal and affectionate pets. They are a particularly good option for people with children, as the playful breed is fantastic with kids. Most will also get along with other dogs and even cats.
Known for its intelligence, the Berger Picard is easy to train. However, they do have a stubborn streak, so you may need perseverance and patience. Before committing to welcoming a Bwerger Picard into your home, make sure you have the time and willingness to exercise your dog daily, as they are an active breed with high energy levels.
8. A Smaller Breed Similar to the Blue Heeler: Cardigan Welsh Corgi
If you like the characteristics of the Blue Heeler but want a smaller dog, then the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a breed to consider. They are significantly shorter than Blue Heelers, measuring just 10.5 inches to 12.5 inches at the withers. They also weigh less, although the weight difference is not as notable as the difference in height, as healthy adult Cardigan Welsh Corgis weigh up to 38 pounds. Due to their smaller size, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a breed to consider for those who live in an apartment or a house with a small yard.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis share some of the same facial features, including a medium-length muzzle and pointed ears. Like Blue Heelers, they have a medium-length double coat. Most dogs of this breed are bicolor, with white as one of their colors. The other color is sable, red, black, red, brindle, and blue.
The appearance of a Corgi is misleading, as their short legs and sturdy body mean they look unsuited to physical tasks. However, they are excellent at agility trials and have outstanding herding abilities. It is also surprising that these smaller dogs can make effective guard dogs due to their protective nature. The breed’s intelligence means they are often used in working roles, but their affectionate personalities mean they are also fantastic companions. Corgis are famously the favorite breed of the late British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
9. Canaan Dog
The Canaan Dog is the national dog of Israel, and it is one of the oldest breeds registered with the American Kennel Club. It is a pariah dog breed that is found in abundance across the Middle East, and the breed is also kept as pets across the globe.
Due to the breed’s intelligence, they have been used as support dogs for the blind. They have also been used as guard dogs and for herding livestock, as they are protective and have a natural herding instinct.
They are medium-sized dogs, with males measuring between 20 and 24 inches at the withers and females measuring up to 20 inches, and most dogs weigh between 40 and 55 pounds. Canaan Dogs have a dense, coarse coat of short to medium length. Common colors include sand, red, gold, cream, black, and white. Spotting and white markings are acceptable to the breed standards.
10. A Larger Breed Similar to the Blue Heeler: German Shepherd
Another breed similar to the Blue Heeler is the German Shepherd. It is a large and agile dog measuring up to 26 inches at the withers and weighing up to 90 pounds. Therefore, it is suited to people who like the characteristics of the Blue Heeler but want a larger breed.
German Shepherds are known for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Their combination of intelligence and agility means they have been used in many working roles. These include herding, search and rescue, guarding, and police work. On the other hand, they have a gentle side and are loyal to their families, so German Shepherds can also make excellent family pets.
Like many herding dog breeds, the German Shepherd is an energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise. You should only get a German Shepherd if you have the time to commit to long walks every day. The breed also benefits from playing games and agility training, giving them mental stimulation and fulfilling their physical needs.
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