Dec. 24.2021 | Updated: December 28, 2021

What Is a Red Heeler Dog Breed: Origin, Personality, Health & Care

Coat type
Activity level
Barking level
Friendliness to other animals
Red Heeler dog breed

There are not many Red Heeler’s facts but those that are famous may pleasantly surprise you. If you want a dog that will not bark every few hours for any reason, then carefully study the characteristics of this breed. Even if they meet a stranger without a visible threat, you should not be afraid that your pet will turn on the “dog siren”. However, one should not forget about the important role of early socialization. Then all the features described below would correspond to your pet, and it would be easier for you to understand what it likes or what worries it in any situation. Therefore, let’s find out more about this breed!

Red Heeler: Information

Red Heeler size
  • Origin: Australia;
  • Height: 17 – 20.5 inches;
  • Weight: 32 – 45 pounds;
  • Coat: medium length with blue, blue with black or brown spots;
  • Temperament: intelligent and brave;
  • Breed for: guard;
  • Lifespan: 11-15 years.

Red Heeler: Info about History

how long do Red Heelers live

This breed was developed in Australia because of the need for a hardy and intelligent dog with a muscular build and the ability to provide reliable support in various situations. Their main task was initially to protect the herd, and later on the farms in general. Today’s breed standard is the result of many years of selection and crossbreeding, which began in the 19th century. Australia has a rather unusual climate, but the Red Heeler breed was able to adapt there and breeders are working to improve breeding every year. The NSW Kennel Club approved the breed standard in 1903. It has had the right to participate in the Working Group since September 1980. The breed was transferred to the herding group in January 1983.

Red Heeler: Characteristics

how big do Red Heelers get

If you are looking for a guard, a nanny, or a cheerful companion with a spectacular appearance, which you will be proud of, then this is only the Australian Heeler. Compact medium size and no excessive salivation. The coat does not require any special care. It is also a fairly hardy breed with high intelligence. However, let’s take a closer look at Red Heeler’s temperament and its other features.

What Does a Heeler Dog Look Like?

These are large dogs, with broad, powerful breasts and muscular physiques. They have muzzle squares and standing ears. They also have medium length, proportional and muscular, tail medium, and hair length. The color can be blue, blue with black, or with brown spots.

How Big do Red Heelers Get?

They are medium-sized dogs, compact and muscular. Muscles in the neck, shoulders, and legs are in good condition, which allows dogs to spend long days on farms and pastures. In adulthood, they are usually 17 to 20.5 inches (43 to 50 cm) tall. Red Heeler’s weight is 35 to 45 pounds (14 to 20 kg). Also, males are usually slightly larger than females.

How Long do Red Heelers Live?

Your dog’s lifespan depends on several factors – genetics and your contribution. Each breed has a predisposition to some kind of disease, but we will discuss them a little later. However, if the owner takes all necessary measures to maintain the immunity of the Red Heeler, the life expectancy will be about 11-15 years.

Red Heeler: Personality

The dog breed Red Heeler ​​is a bit stubborn and independent, but at the same time very open and friendly to the owner. It is a very intelligent pet, and it always draws its own conclusions, understands people perfectly, and is known for its remarkable ingenuity. In addition, almost all such dogs are very cold-hardy and can live in different climates and without any internal discomfort.

Endurance is also reflected in the attitude towards pain. At first, dogs were trained and raised so that they could carry out assigned tasks, even if they were injured, or bitten, etc. Are Red Heelers good family dogs? They are in close contact with humans, and this quality of the breed continues to this day. The dog is very attached to its owner, ready to follow it anywhere, even to the ends of the world.

Dogs would survive everywhere and help their owners to survive because you are the leader of their packs. Naturally, the hunting instinct is also very strong. All small animals are potential prey, including puppies, cats, squirrels, and all rodents. However, if you do this from childhood, they can be taught to live with cats. But hamsters, guinea pigs, parrots – you don’t even need to try here because the chance is too small.

What does a Red Heeler dog look like during its watch? According to its appearance, this dog may not look like an excellent guard, but if you take into account its other characteristics, it can pleasantly surprise you. It copes with the function of a watchdog, responsibly and selflessly protecting its territory from any encroachment, be it a man or a stray dog. The same goes for protecting the owner.

The energy level of this breed is very high and if you want to lie on the couch the whole day, your pet will never like it. Laziness, lack of vitality, and useful functions can lead to depression and discouragement in this breed, so the character can become destructive. Then your furniture, door frames, curtains, shoes, etc. would be the first to suffer.

What Is a Red Heeler: Relations with Children

Children are considered good, but they feel a responsibility to them, as well as to a group of people, because this is a shepherd dog, so sometimes they can try to drive them into the nursery or even slightly bite the heel. But you can get out of it. By the way, the biting instinct in these dogs is usually very strong, so the toy should always be near it because it is very important to direct this instinct in the right direction. After all, there is no point in weaning the dog. Most likely, you would not succeed, because of walking, running, etc. for animals – it’s all-natural behavior.

Red Heeler: Health Issues

Red Heeler temperament

Health directly depends on Red Heeler’s lifespan. This breed has excellent health, but there is still a tendency to certain diseases:

  • Dysplasia of the elbow joint;
  • Von Willebrand disease;
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Progressive retinal atrophy;
  • Thrombopathy;
  • Deafness.

Red Heeler: Care

Red Heeler lifespan

Is Red Heeler shedding? Yes, it is, and it needs to be brushed about twice a week. You also need to bathe your pet once a week or more often. The ears should be cleaned two to three times a week, the eyes daily, or as needed. The nails are trimmed three times a month.

How to Train a Red Heeler?

dog breed Red Heeler

Stubbornness and a desire to behave in their own way are the hallmarks of this breed, although it is possible to work with it. If your dog admits that you are a leader and loves you, it will obey. Therefore, first, you need to put yourself in the role of a leader and teach the animals the basic commands and strictly follow them, even if there is interference.

In addition, in this case, not only minor sounds and smells can be a distraction, but also just a sunny day, when the dog wants to keep within all subsequent adventures. Red Heeler’s medium size would not create any problems. You need to train consistently, actively, and variably, be patient, kind, very positive, and be a strict master when necessary.

If the dog is at fault, it won’t get the toy. If it receives tasty food or toys, then only after it fulfills an order, for example, “sit down” or “lie down”. To maintain Red Heeler’s average weight, you need to monitor your pet’s diet. If you choose an unbalanced diet, it can lead to obesity or other serious illness. Therefore, this issue should be taken seriously, and sometimes it is better to consult a veterinarian. The price of a puppy of this breed depends on its pedigree and breeder. On average, it ranges from $ 250 to $ 2,500. You can also call the nearest shelters and find out if they have a representative of this breed in their care. Having a dog is a crucial step, so you must be sure that it is not just a child’s dream come true, but a conscious choice.

A dog is a living creature, and it cannot be brought into your house, and then kicked out, because you did not get along, so try to establish contact between you right away. What facts about Red Heelers surprised you the most? Share in the comments!


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