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Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix: Meet The Border Heeler (2023 Updated)

Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix | The Blueprint

​The Border Heeler hybrid combines two of the hardest working dog breeds in the world: the Border Collie and the Blue Heeler (also known as the Australian Cattle Dog).

Sara Ochoa

Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

Sara is PuppyDogger’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here

Did you know?

This combination has become somewhat popular in various dog sports lately, sparking some interest among dog enthusiasts. Here at PuppyDogger, we want you to have reliable information so you can know what you are in store for with this Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix cross breed.

We will start with a review of some details on what you might expect from the Border Heeler, followed by some information on the parent breeds so that you have the full picture to understand this hybrid. Finally, we will look at the kinds of lifestyle most suited for this particular mix.

Stay tuned to find out if this is a good choice for your next dog!

The Border Heeler hybrid combines two of the hardest working dog breeds in the world: the Border Collie and the Blue Heeler (also known as the Australian Cattle Dog). This combination has become somewhat popular in various dog sports lately, sparking some interest among dog enthusiasts. Here at WileyPup, we want you to have reliable information so you can know what you are in store for with this cross breed. We will start with a review of some details on what you might expect from the Border Heeler, followed by some information on the parent breeds so that you have the full picture to understand this hybrid. Finally, we will look at the kinds of lifestyle most suited for this particular mix. Stay tuned to find out if this is a good choice for your next dog

Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix | The Border Heeler

Border Heeler


Blue Heeler Border Collie Mi

Quick Fact:

The Australian Cattle Dog and Border Collie are both considered extremely intelligent canines.

It is not surprising since both have a history of working in close concert with humans to perform complex tasks in a fast paced and dangerous environment. To put it a little more bluntly, stupid herding dogs just don’t last very long.

As a result, Border Heelers are also extremely intelligent.

They don’t just want to please, they NEED to be mentally and physically challenged regularly or they can become destructive, depressed or anxious. Since both of the parent breeds are prone to becoming neurotic if under stimulated, you can expect the same from this cross breed.

Both of the parent breeds are good with kids and other dogs, as long as they are socialized early and often. ​

Your best bet with this mix is to get them as puppies and take them with you everywhere so they can develop confidence with new experiences. Otherwise, these can be nervous dogs with strangers and other dogs.

Border Heelers are extremely trainable. They are very well suited for just about any athletic dog sport. They need consistent, positive training with firm boundaries that are enforced.

They can be a bit stubborn, especially if they are not regularly challenged by learning new things.


Expect a stocky, medium sized dog between 17-21” when fully grown, with females being slightly smaller at adulthood than males.

It is likely that the musculature of the mix will fall between the two parent breeds with the Blue Heeler being stocky and dense, while the Border Collie tends towards long, lean and wiry muscles.

​Coat and Appearance

Whenever you mix two dog breeds, the result can vary widely in terms of appearance.

In this case, since both parent breeds are so similar in terms of temperament, it is the appearance that is the least predictable trait.

Both parents have a double coat, however, the top coat of the ACD is short and dense, while most BCs have a smooth, fine, and medium length top coat.

The colors black and red are endemic to both breeds, although it is the short coat of the ACD that makes the white undercoat visible, giving that characteristic red or blue look.

Mottle red or black is likely the most common color of this combination of dogs, but puppies may come in any of the colors for the parent breeds including merle, red speckled, blue speckled, tri color, black and white.

​Health and Life Expectancy

Both of the parent breeds have a similar life expectancy, with the Blue Heeler slightly outperforming the Border Collie. 12-15 years is a good predictor here.

As far as health problems, deafness and congenital eye diseases are the most common ailments in both of the parent breeds.

Make sure you talk to the breeder of your dog about the health of the bloodline, particularly how well they aged beyond prime studding years.

This can help decrease the odds of a hereditary disease popping up in your Border Heeler.


  • The Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix is extremely intelligent and easy to train. This is going to be a given with any Border Heeler so get ready for some clicker training and plenty of off outdoor fun. Extremely intelligent and easy to train. This is going to be a given with any Border Heeler so get ready for some clicker training and plenty of off outdoor fun.
  • ​Excellent athletes – another given of this mix. Expect a dog that will excel at sports like flyball, agility, herding trials, and obedience.Excellent athletes – another given of this mix. Expect a dog that will excel at sports like flyball, agility, herding trials, and obedience.
  • ​Good with children and other dogs. This is not always the case, but it will be the case with most Border Heelers that are adequately socialized as puppies and young dogs.Good with children and other dogs. This is not always the case, but it will be the case with most Border Heelers that are adequately socialized as puppies and young dogs.
  • ​Neither of the parent breeds are heavy barkers, so expect a dog that only barks when there is a reason. Neither of the parent breeds are heavy barkers, so expect a dog that only barks when there is a reason.
  • ​Not suitable for apartment living unless you have lots of time to get these dogs off leash for 5-10 hours of hard running and playing per week. Walks just won’t make a dent in the exercise needs of this breed.Not suitable for apartment living unless you have lots of time to get these dogs off leash for 5-10 hours of hard running and playing per week. Walks just won’t make a dent in the exercise needs of this breed.
  • ​If not properly stimulated with mental and physical challenges, this breed can become neurotic, anxious and destructive.If not properly stimulated with mental and physical challenges, this breed can become neurotic, anxious and destructive.
  • ​This is not a cross breed that is good to leave alone for extended periods of time on a regular basis.This is not a cross breed that is good to leave alone for extended periods of time on a regular basis.
  • ​This is an intelligent breed, but they can get pushy with boundaries if not handled by someone with some dog experience. This is not a great choice for a first dog.This is an intelligent breed, but they can get pushy with boundaries if not handled by someone with some dog experience. This is not a great choice for a first dog.

For more Blue Heeler & Border Collie Mixes check out these articles:

Blue Heeler | Parent Breed Profile

Cattle Dog

 One half of the Heeler/Collie mix is the Blue Heeler,  a member of the Herding Group.

It is also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, ACD, Queensland Heeler, Red Heeler, or in some cases just Cattle Dog.

Let’s take a look at the history and characteristics of this breed.


Like many dog breeds, there is some mystery as to the origins of the Australian Cattle Dog.

We do know that the original cattle herding dogs were brought to Australia from the British Isles, and were known as “Smithfields.” Although these canines were well suited for herding in milder weather and over shorter distances, the rugged and expansive Australian Outback proved to be a challenge for them.

The native Dingo breed was introduced to this herding stock to try to improve their resilience to the harsh climate. Early efforts turned out dogs that tended to be far too rough with the cattle, in some cases killing calves.

In 1940, Thomas Hall began crossing the Blue Smooth Highland Collie with Dingos to a better result, and his dogs are widely recognized as the ancestors of the breed we know today.

Over the years, and before the standard was fixed, there were some other additions to the line including Bull Terriers (which added some tenacity), Black and Tan Kelpie (for their strong work ethic) and Dalmatians (to increase love of horses and faithfulness to handlers).

The breed standard was drawn up by Robert Kaleski, a life-long lover of the breed, in 1902.

The standard was championed in the United states by Esther Ekman and Christina Smith-Risk in the 1960’s. The AKC finally acknowledged the breed in 1980.


Because of the purpose of this breed, you can expect a dog that is extremely intelligent, tenacious, alert, courageous and trustworthy.

They are very trainable, and in fact, often do not do well unless both mentally and physically stimulated regularly.

They have a strong desire to please, but can also be stubborn…What else would you expect from a 35 lb. dog who was bred to face down a 2,400 lb. steer?

As long as this dog knows what they should be doing, they will. However, if you are not clear about boundaries and rules, then expect the lines to be crossed.

Because this breed’s herding style includes nipping at the heels of cattle, it is not unusual for them to sometimes nip at the heels of children when playing. Keep an eye out for this behavior and train it out early on if you plan on keeping this breed as a family pet.

An additional word of caution here is that this breed can also become very possessive over its people and sometimes over other resources such as toys.

Making sure this little guy gets socialization with other people, dogs, and a variety of environments early and often is critical to warding off potentially problematic defensive guarding behaviors.


The breed standard for the Australian Cattle Dog is 18-21” for males and 17-19” for females.

This may sound like a small dog, but keep in mind that this breed tends to be very densely built, particularly in contrast to other herding dogs like the Border Collie.

Weight tends to hover between 33-49 lbs.

Coat and Appearance

There are two color variations accepted for the breed standard – “blue” which is a combination of black hairs over a white coat, and “red” which is created by brown hairs over a white coat.

Both color variations also include black, blue or tan markings on the head, forelegs, chest and chin. A preference is given to those with even markings.

This is a double coated breed, which means that there should be a course outer coat made of stiff, short hairs. The undercoat will be thicker in fall and winter, with a major molt in the springtime. The undercoat is white, and has a softer and fluffier texture than the over coat.

The grooming requirements for the Queensland Heeler are minimal with the exception of a heavy molt in the spring.

Brushing once a week outside will help keep fur and dander down in the house the rest of the year.

Health and Life Expectancy

This is a very robust and healthy breed overall. The life expectancy is 12-14 years.

The most common health problems are deafness and progressive blindness. Both of these conditions are hereditary.

Be sure your breeder has health histories of their bloodlines to try to minimize the chance of these congenital problems.


  • Very intelligent, strong desire to please, easy to train.
  • This is a dog that only really barks if there is cause.
  • Can be trained to be very reliable off leash making these dogs a great choice for outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping.
  • Great health and life expectancy, this is a very durable breed.
  • Great for dog sports like flyball, agility and herding!
  • As with other herding dogs, this intelligent and intense breed has high exercise and mental stimulation requirements. They do best with a “job” and can easily become neurotic and unhappy in less active households.
  • Can become possessive and hyper-vigilant guarders if not socialized with other people, dogs and environments early and often.
  • Cannot tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. This is not a great breed for workaholics.

Border Collie | Parent Breed Profile

Sheep Dog

The other half of the Collie Heeler hybrid is the Border Collie. A very popular breed of dog in almost all dog sports, particularly sheep herding and agility.

They are extrememly intelligent, strikingly beautiful, and they can make great family pets for the active family.

Let’s take a closer look at this breed:


Like the original dogs bred to hunt alongside humans, the origins of herding dogs go so far back in history that most of the specifics have been lost to time.

What we do know about this breed is that they were developed to thrive herding sheep in the highlands on the border of Scotland, England and Wales. It is their geographic origins that likely gained them their name.

Over the course of centuries, these dogs were not bred for appearance, but rather their ability to handle sheep and work well with their human handlers over extraordinary distances.

It is widely believed that modern Border Collies can all be traced to a single such ancestor considered to have perfected the breed standard: Old Hemp.

There are two general standards used to judge this breed, and both have semi-divergent bloodlines. Fans of the breed are well aware of the differences in the dogs.

The International Sheepdog Society (ISDS) named the Border Collie around 1915, when they began a registry to preserve the working qualities of the breed. The ISDS continues to make sure the best working dogs are selected for breeding through a series of sheep herding trials.

In more recent times, Border Collies have been bred for the show ring, some say to the detriment of their herding instincts. Although technically the same breed, these so called “Barbie Collies” differ significantly in temperament and appearance to the trained eye.

If you are looking for a family pet (for the active family) then go for the show strain that tends to be a little more gentle, less high strung, and a touch more adaptable to active modern lifestyles.

If you want a never-quit athlete for participation in dog sports, go for the herding strain for a performance ready collie.

“Did you say BALL?”


Another herding dog, the Border Collie has a fairly intense personality.

They are alert, responsive and incredibly intelligent. They have a strong desire to please and need to be exercised regularly or they can become quite destructive out of boredom and/or anxiety.

These are not great apartment dogs unless you have plenty of time to get them outdoors for some serious off-leash running and playing on a regular basis.

No matter how long you walk them daily, it will never be enough for this working breed.


The breed standard specifies that males should be between 19-22” for males and 18-21” for females when measured at the withers.

They tend to be quite lightweight for their height, with a lean and graceful build best suited for endurance over long distances.

Coat and Appearance

Both smooth and rough double coat varieties are permissible. The smooth coat variety is more popular, particularly in the United States. This coat is longer and silky with a shorter and softer undercoat that undergoes a significant shed in the summer time.

The color of the breed is variable, and the standard is not picky about color. However, most of these dogs tend to be black and white, red and white, tricolor, or merle.

Sometimes the eyes are different colors, although it is not as common in this breed as other types such as the Husky.

The longer hair of this breed does require some weekly brushing if you want to make sure they are not shedding too much in the house.

Want to know more about Border Collie shedding. We’ve got you covered:Do Border Collies Shed? If You Own One You Know The Answer.

Health and Life Expectancy

Border Collies have a life expectancy of 10-14 years.

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hearing loss, and Collie eye anomaly (CEA) are not uncommon enough with the breed.

It is imperative that if you choose this breed that you make sure to use a reliable and trusted breeder with full access to the health records of the parents and grandparents.


  • Extremely easy to train, this is a great dog for almost any dog sport.
  • If well socialized, they are good with children and other dogs.
  • These dogs can be trained to be reliable off-leash, making them great companions for those that love to enjoy the outdoors.
  • A lot of personality in a medium sized package, this is one of the most personable breeds among herding types.
  • This is an active dog with very high exercise and training requirements. Without regular running and playing off-leash, this dog is almost sure to become neurotic, depressed, anxious and/or destructive.
  • Be careful about the breeder if you decide on this breed. They are very popular and as a result market forces have caused a high demand, and it is sometimes bred irresponsibly.
  • These are not good dogs for the workaholic. They do not tolerate long periods of time alone, and can become destructive if left for too long.
  • If not well socialized when young, this breed has a tendency to become nervous, untrusting of strangers and tense in unfamiliar environments.

Border Heeler: Is this the right dog for you?

Now that we have looked at the Border Heeler as well as both parent breeds in some depth, we wanted to close with a helpful guide to help you decide if this is a good hybrid breed for you.

This is a great dog for:

  • Do you spend your weekends hiking, camping or biking? If you are looking for a partner for outdoor adventure, few breeds will be better suited than this winning combination.
  • Are you enjoying country living? This is a nice choice for a farm ready dog that is rugged enough to tolerate a wide range of conditions, while being biddable enough to want to stay near their family.
  • If you love participating in competitive dog sports, you may find the Border Heeler is a great choice for a dog that has all of the endurance and intelligence of the Border Collie, with just a bit more power to tap into.
  • Active families with children old enough to enforce boundaries and provide mental and physical stimulation for this intelligent and hardworking hybrid. 

This is poor choice as a dog for:

  • Busy workaholic types looking for a dog well suited for long days alone.
  • Inexperienced owners that are not versed in basic training principles.
  • Inactive people looking for a fellow couch potato.

The Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix is not for everyone, but they may be the perfect hybrid for you. We hope this guide has given you the information you need to decide.

If you happen to have a Border Heeler, we would love to hear from you in the comments below!


Do Border Heelers shed a lot?

The coat of the Blue Heeler is usually quite short, while Border Collies have longer and finer hairs. However, both of these breeds have a double coat. When it comes to the mix of the two, the coat can vary a little bit in length, but you can expect a fair amount of shedding in any case. Border Heelers are not the worst shedders in the world, but they do need regular brushing sessions.

Are Border Heelers high maintenance?

We wouldn’t call a Border Heeler a high maintenance dog. By this we don’t mean you should completely ignore your dog, of course. They need regular attention and grooming sessions. They also might shed quite a bit of hair from their undercoat during shedding season. However, these dogs are usually very healthy and self-sufficient. They don’t need haircuts or any special treatments if they are healthy.

Are Border Heelers good family dogs?

In general, it can be said that Border Heelers are good family dogs. However, this will actually depend a lot on the lifestyle of the family in question. Border heelers are very intelligent and loyal, so there is no problem there. However, they are active dogs who enjoy activities throughout the day. If you have an active family and can provide enough outdoor space for a Border Heeler, then they are great family dogs.

Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) – Professional Dog Trainer

Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.For more info on Sharon click here

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  1. I have had a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix for 17 years who was the best dog ever. Smart, loyal, easily trained, a great companion. Everyone who met Buddy loved him. He was a big and important part of our family. This is a great mix that makes an excellent family dog.

    1. Thanks Larry, they’re great dogs aren’t they! I’ve got a 2.5 yrs rescue Blue Heeler x Kelpie. Definitely not a breed for the faint hearted but has all those traits that you’ve mentioned! All dogs are amazing but I definitely have a soft spot for the working breeds.

    2. i have a border heeler and he is almost 2 and very aptly named BUDDY also. the best dog ever. smart as hell, loves to be with me always, loves to run and play, loves other doggies, great with people but doesnt need there attention, trains easily but usually doesnt need to be trained cuz he figures it out himself or by watching me, almost always happy unless i havent taken him to play with other dogs or out to run around in woods, fields, or outdoors anywhere enough lately (so he eyeballs me and sighs or grumbles until we go), he is my buddy and friend.

  2. I had a Border Collie/ Aussie that was my best dog ever and jogged off leash with me for 1000’s of miles. My current BC/ Heeler has been great though my activity level is much much less and he is home by himself a lot. So I love this mix but worry whether I’ll be up the task of providing enough stimulation. Of course I’ll have to decide that, but wonder if a different breed/ mix, 30-35lbs and intelligent, might be better for us both. (Petey goes to the neurologist this week. Very concerned he has a brain tumor.)

    1. Hi Les,

      First up I hope Petey’s all good and the visit to the neurologist goes well.
      The mix definitely needs a fair bit of exercise but mental stimulation goes a long way too. If you’re able to provide that to them then I think the should be a pretty happy dog. They’re tough things!!!

    1. Hi Doug,

      You’ll need to do a bit of research, there wouldn’t be many breeders specifically breeding BC& ACD’s but time to time they should pop up.
      Also check with shelters, especially those that take in lots of working dogs.

  3. I have a one year old border collie/blue heeler. He is one of the best dogs I’ve ever owned! He is a great comfort to my kids. 2 of them are special needs and he has a strong bond with them both. Very smart, loving and playful. Tho he got bored one night and decided to pull the cushions off my swing into the yard to lay on them. 🙂 he was very easy to train and gets along great with our cats and our other dog.

  4. 2 puppies adopted me ?. They were in horrible condition at the time. Our vet said he thinks they are a border collie/blue heeled mix. I live in the country, so activity is always available. They are now about 15 weeks old and already over 12” y’all at the withers. House training is going so-so. Any tips?

    1. Glad they found you then.

      In regards to house training first thing to do would be to:
      – remove any odors that makes them want to pee inside (usually there’s a favorite rug etc that they cant resist)
      – take them out first thing in the morning and before bed
      – always reward heavily when they go outside, make it seem like the best thing in the world
      – watch them closely when you think they might be about to go inside and intercept them haha
      – if they do have a favorite rug, consider sacrificing it and leaving it outside.

  5. Hi there, we have a 8 week old BC/Heeler and shes the sweetest. She didn’t need to be potty trained, she seemed to figure it out herself so that’s great. I’m worried that she seems to hate walking with her collar and a leash on, any tips? She’s still really small so I’m wondering if its because the collar is too loose or the hook on the leash is too heavy? Lastly, got any tips on how to train her to play fetch? haha

    1. Hi Holly,

      She sounds great. Re leash training lots of positive reinforcement and look up loose leash walking and begin implementing that (builds a foundation for impulse control etc too).

      With fetch use a long bit of rope as a lead (10 feet or so). Throw her the ball, when she runs after it and has it in her mouth call her back, if she comes reward with high value treats, if she doesn’t come back pull her gently on the rope until she’s back to you and again reward. This will show she has no other option (also a good technique to build solid recall).


  6. Adopted a 1 year old blue heeler/collie mix 2 weeks ago, he’s been great but not socialized very well and walking him is a tug of war, any advice I’ve had dogs in the past but this breed is new to me

    1. Hi Steve,

      Much harder if they haven’t been socialized from an early age. Best to develop foundation skills like loose leash walking, impulse control (through place training etc), and solid recall (using a long rope). All these tie into one another and help build their confidence if executed right. Make sure you reward generously when done correctly.

      Might be best to book and appointment with a dog behaviourist that has great reviews. They can show you how to perform the above tasks best, it’ll be the best money you’ll ever spend.


  7. I had a 3/4 Border-1/4 Heeler from working parents. Extremely obedient and easy to train, have to watch the heel nipping, though, especially if, like me, you are using them to herd horses, as well as cows. Also be very careful not to confuse the dog, as they get super worried if they are not sure of a command. Be very consistent. It’s also easy to teach them stuff by accident, and then difficult to correct. That requires some lateral thinking on the trainer’s part. I had so many compliments from people on this bitch’s behaviour, though.

  8. I have a 1 year old border healer. He really hates cars and gets all worked up when one drives down the street. He sometimes will bark at the car/truck in defense I think. He really hates big loud cars and trucks. What do you think I should do with him to chill him out with cars?

    1. Hi George,

      My advice would be to see a professional who can meet your dog and see the issue first hand. My general advice would be to desensitize and counter condition. By that I mean go somewhere that cars/trucks are visibly and audibly driving past but you at a distance that your dog doesnt care (eg a quiet park with a road in the distance), spend an hour there going through commands (this is the desensitize part) , every time they notice the sound of a car or watch a car treat them liberally with high value treats (this is the counter condition part). The next day do the same thing 10 meters closer, the next day the same thing etc etc. Always make sure you’re at a distance that your dog doesn’t become agitated. Once they’re comfortable with that spot try and different spot etc.

      There’s no quick fix, could be a 6 month program.

      Can he be in a car driving?

  9. I had hoped to NOT fall in love with the dog(border collie/heeler mix) that has come into our life. I had said “no more furry beasts” in our house, but this dog is like the reincarnation of our beloved cat. He is a charmer. He is sensitive, hasn’t chewed up stuff or made messes in the house. This breed, in my opinion, needs to be in a social setting, by that I mean a family with kids who are age 10 and above who are big enough to deal with a dog that likes to jump and run, and there are several people who will be around to play with him and give him exercise.
    Because we have the dog, the squirrels are not all over the patio, they are keeping a distance, and I don’t mind that.

  10. I have a border collie Queensland heeler named Bubba who just turned 11. I have had him since he was 8 weeks old and is definitely the best dog I ever had. He is black and white and brown and all of his markings are identical on both sides. Very, very smart and a great personality.

  11. My blue collie working dog Maisy is 4.5 months old now, but that picture up there looks just like her at about 2 months. I’ve been trying to read her the best I can, but she changes so fast! Lots of good changes, like loving to walk with a leash, being fine with going for car rides, and barking less up at ‘the squirrel tree’, haha. I’m trusting her recall on whistle enough to be up to 3-4 hours off-leash at parks/ballfields weekly, and am pretty confident that she will need no leash even on city sidewalks before a year old. But my goodness, she just loves attacking my feet! I mean full on from the front, not some backside heel biting, thankfully. We’ve worked on toy diversion forever, but a toy isn’t always at hand. That unfortunately makes for a degree of inconsistency, but the past couple of weeks she has started sometimes seeking out a toy when I start up with the ‘leave it’, so she is still managing to learn.
    I’m not a dog trainer, and considering that I feel she is doing wonderful for her age. She is really starting to come into her own lately, and I’m really going to have to start stepping up her mental game now.
    Any leads or ideas are appreciated, thanks!

    1. Hi There,

      She sounds great. What you’re currently doing sounds pretty on point, and don’t beat yourself up about not always having the toy on you. If you consistently do what you’re doing then the feet issue should reduce and then stop (especially as she matures into adult hood). Are there any working dog puppy classes close to where you live (or trainers exp with working breeds)?

  12. How bad does the border collie/blue heeler mix shed? I’m looking to get another puppy to be a buddy for my dog I have now, and I’m very interested in this breed, but I’m looking for a breed that doesn’t shed too bad. My dog, Allie, is a blue heeler/lab mix and she is a moderate shedder..

  13. My puppy is either a cattle dog border collie or cattle dog Australian Shepard (we think cattle dog border collie) and is almost 6months old and we were wondering when the best time to neuter him would be we’re hearing many mixed reviews? Thank you for the input!

    1. Hi Amanda,

      I bet he’s a sweety! There’s pros and cons to both but as long as you are neutering him is the main thing :). Find a vet that you like that can be his regular vet and go with their opinion.

    2. I’ve never neutered any of my dogs. Never had any problems with them and they live a good long while 17 and 23 years the last two currently have an eight yr old blue heeler and 2.6 yr old border collie blue Merle about to have pups. We gave the male heeler an injection to stop pregnancies one to two litters only. If they age they become mature and settle. Great frisbee dogs and competitions herding etc. keep a few treats hidden in some tricky places and rotate a range of toys regular walks and free runs a must. In return you get some warm friends and great guardians. Socialise but do not be nervous as they will pick it up from you. More quality food more quality dog. 🙂 females need to be separated and a bit messy for a day or two when menstruating and kept separate if not using blocker injections. They last 1-2 years cost between $100-200 dollars

  14. My Smudge has been gone for four years now yet I ahead tears for him this morning. I grew up with lots of different dogs, mostly little ones, and adored them. When I went to the humane society that day and saw this beautiful merel boy, I thought I knew what I was doing. After all, all you have to do is live your puppy, right??? Wrong!!! He was well behaved for 24 hours and then??? OMG! I had no idea what to do! He pulled at me and wouldn’t let me tie my shoes and when I would pull him away from hanging on my shirt, he would grab my arm instead with those needle puppy teeth and shake it.

    It was only play but it was the roughest play you can imagine! Fortunately, I got to a class with an instructor who loved these herding breeds. She tested him out and told me if I could just stick it out, he will be the best dog you ever have had. She taught me that there was more to training Smudge than just loving him. She gave me many helpful techniques and did an arm check on me every week to see if he had chewed on my fleas a little less!

    She was right, Smudge was the smartest, most loyal, best dog I ever had. Yes, they must be physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day and then they are good sleepers. Be ready with an unending supply of tennis balls and hang in there. The truth is, they want to be corrected–humanely, of course! They want to be told what to do next. “What is my next job?” If you use certain humane techniques from someone who knows and then if you are up to staring down into those intense, beautiful eyes, time and time and time and time…again, THEN you will have the best dog you have ever been privileged to share your life with. Somewhere around their first birthday you can start coming back up for air. Then all you have to do is , care for, play with and be dazzled by this mixes genius and creativity. I went into this blind but stuck it out. If you don’t think you can put in the time to turn this mix into the best dog you will ever have, then I actually do implore you not to do it. Get a Beautiful Golden instead. Great dogs too. I can’t get my picture to paste but just think beautiful because he heard it everywhere he went! Tri, black merle, pricked ears, beautiful long tail. White tips and chest. RIP my love.

  15. I have a 10 month old Queensland Heeler and Border Collie mix, her name is Blu she is so beautiful and wise. She loves my 7 year old German Shepard and 3 month old kitten, can’t say the same for my shepard lol!

    We do have to take them out every day to the dog park and on the weekends we go on adventures, otherwise she gets antsy and decides to destroy carpet or whatever she feels like. We do crate train her and she actually does not mind it at all, we have a strict routine that we never break and she never breaks. Overall I would suggest this Breed to owners who will have the time and energy it takes to keep them happy and stimulated, for instance Blu loves swimming so we take her to the lake and she could swim for hours! I had to make her take breaks so she could breathe.

    One thing that is hard to break is her jealousy of me paying attention to other animals or my boyfriend even haha.. She will run over to the animal and push them out of the way while biting their face.. I am working on it but it seems impossible. Any Tips?

    like whyyyyyy haha.

  16. My husband (who still works full time mainly at home) and I am retired home most of the time, (68) we have had Shelties all our lives and am having trouble finding one in a rescue we are looking at an 8 year old border/heeler mix that needs a home, we have seen her and she still has a lot of energy .She is smart,friendly.My husband and I don’t hike etc. but can walk her, take her to large parks to run, we have a large fenced back yard and I have no problem taking her for training if needed.When we are out of the house it is usually for only a couple of hours,we very familiar with herding dogs. Any input

    1. Hi Anita,

      First of all it’s fantastic you’re looking at shelters first :).

      It’s hard to say without meeting her but from what you’ve written it sounds like you and your husband would be great owners and she would love to have you adopt her. Sure working dogs need exercise but a couple of walks a day and the mental stimulation of you and your husband being home all day would be adequate, I would think, for an 8 yr old border/heeler.

      I say go for it, she would appreciate it (so would I :))

  17. We rescued a border collie X Australian cattle dog here in Australia. He is now 4 months old. Apart from a slight tendancy to bite that quickly eased with training, he has been great so far. Very smart, loves to play, ready to train all day…He rarely barks which we appreciate. We are lucky enough to live in an acerage at the moment so that’s perfect for him. We have 2 teenagers and they’re involved in his training which is great. I hope he’ll get into some dog sport with my older son who has autism so they can bond and my son can learn to focus on someone else.

  18. I just brought home a beautiful 4 mo old Blue Heeler/Border Collie mix. I am now nervous as it has been some time since I have owned a dog and my first dog as an adult. He is super loving. Any advice on obedience training and thinks to keep him active? I definitely plan on taking him to the dog park. The lady I got him from said he was crate trained, so I got a crate from PetSmart. They recommended a large crate and it’s huge! 😳 I don’t know that he’s going to get big enough for it, but at least it has a divider. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  19. My wife and I are considering adopting a 3-4 month old Heeler/Collie mix, but both work standard hours (7:30AM-4:00PM). I am reading that this breed doesn’t like to be left home alone for long periods of time! Is this something we should second guess the adoption over?

    1. Hi Mark,

      They are a breed that need a lot of mental and physical stimulation, but that doesnt mean that they can’t live a happy life with parents that work standard hours. What I recommend is looking into professional dog walkers, maybe some neighbors have dogs that your pup could stay with during the day and vice versa, there are plenty of interactive toys out there too.

      Explore the different options and make an educated decision. In an ideal world they would be working during the day and constantly stimulated, however for most people that isnt possible, but that doesn’t stop them from providing a happy and loving home for their pup.

  20. We recently adopted a blue heeler border collie mix that had been an Amish farm dog for the first few years of his life. I’d known him since he was a puppy (I buy eggs at the farm) and knew how sweet he was. When he started to run away from the farm for days at a time, the family had begun to tie him up, and wanted to find him a better home. He’s adjusted amazingly well to life inside our house, our five year old retriever mix, and a large, fenced back yard. We walk @ an hour in the morning and a shorter walk in the afternoon, as well as some play time in the yard. When he gets too excited, though, it’s like a switch has flipped. He’ll leap all the way to my chin to greet me if I’m gone longer than usual (my husband & I both work part-time at home) and he sometimes “herds” and bites the hinds legs of our retriever mix when they play. A squirt of bitter apple spray on her hind legs has actually helped with that. And after a couple months, he has learned to respond to the sound of the clicker & a few cheerios rather than lunging at cars when we walk on leash.
    But, he has also started to bark at unfamiliar people & other dogs when we are walking on leash. And he barks ferociously when someone comes to the front porch or door. Any suggestions?
    Thanks! We love our boy ~

    1. Hi Christine,

      It sounds like he likely wasnt socialized enough as a puppy so isn’t confident around strangers. I think you should get a dog behaviourist in to help you put a plan in place to help with the issues you’re having, it should help a lot.

  21. I got a Border Heeler without even knowing what I was really getting into but I wouldn’t trade my 7 year old Border Heeler that I got off of Craigslist for anything. She’s been so much fun and a challenge at the same time. Especially since I live in a one bedroom apartment. Thank heavens she’s not super demanding all the time. Although she does sometimes drive my crazy with all the barking she does to get me to throw a ball in the house at night after she’s already done it outside for 3 and a half hours I still laugh about it at night when everyone is settled and sleeping. This dog is a blast to have if your active enough and have a whole lot of time to devote to it. The breeds a wonderful companion. I hope to get another one, only this time a puppy.

  22. I have had two Border Heelers over the years. Best dogs I have ever owned. They were both very good guard dogs as well as being super intelligent. Both dogs seemed understand what I wanted without any specific training. Very caring dogs with the ability to think for themselves. I am on 100 acres so they had plenty to do. My last treasured friend died July this year aged 17yrs. I am wondering where I can get hold of another one. I have been looking for a while now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  23. Hello, I have two beautiful Heeler/Collie mix 5 yr old litter mates that showed up with 4 others & mom starving. Mom dragging a chain. Attempted to keep all over night then find homes. They all got out of kennel except 2 which we decided to keep. 6 weeks later Mom showed back up with 2 pups & cable chewed off & starving. We found homes for them at that time. The male & female we have are so very intelligent!! Female (Molly) is stocky, brown,grey & red merle. Very vocal, loves to herd everything, loyal to the max.(spoiled too) Has learned to stay outside her heated/cooled kennel so I will feel sorry for her & bring her in the house. She is a great guard dog; allows no one or thing on the property & will not run off to far with the others dogs. She comes back immediately. ( We live deep in the country near Wild Life Refuge, so they have all the exercise they want chasing things 🙂 The male; Jake is Tri color white, grey speckled, red & black. Has blue spots in his eyes.Beautiful dog. Built slim & wirey like a Collie. Very agile & hyper. Herds our German Shepard/ Rotti mix & very jealous of him. He is Alfa!! They were very easy to house break. Easy to train to fetch, play frisby etc… I am totally in love with these pups. I highly recommend for the active person or family or if you live in the country for farm guardians. This breed I will try to always have. Love Love Love them.
    P.S. The German/Shepard mix is also a VERY good, sweet, loyal guardian. Weighs about 95 lbs & a big lap baby. Guards the place, the family well along side his pushy herding siblings. LOL

  24. I’ve had a Border/ACD for almost 9 years and she is wonderful. Probably the smartest dog I’ve ever met, she was extremely easy to train and seems to just understand what’s being asked of her. Also has excellent recall – we homestead in a rural area so she gets to run around. She used to herd sheep and that took minimal effort to teach.
    She did go completely blind when she was 7, but it wasn’t retinal detachment or atrophy. She actually got an infection that caused swelling in the optic nerve and damaged it beyond healing. However, she is such a smart and tough cookie, she has adapted to total blindness and does all the things she always did before, except jumping fences. I easily trained her to some new verbal commands for her safety (stop, careful).
    She is very active but also loves to cuddle and chill out. Basically she’s up for whatever I want to do!
    Highly recommend these dogs!

  25. 3/4/2019
    We have had our border collie/heeler for 3-months, and he is 5-months old. He was at a rescue organization. Maverick has lots of energy, how can I find out how much exercise he can have at his age. I read 5-min. per month and others said let them play fetch as much as you want. I walk him around our block and we play fetch a lot. I have signed up for obedience classes.

  26. We have a Red Heeler/Border Collie Mix named Tango. He is the smartest, so easy to train, and super loyal. With tons of energy! My husband and I took Tango sheep herding and honestly, he failed the instinct test! He wasn’t at all interested in the sheep. But what we figured out that day is that he loves the tennis ball! So we do fly ball, fetch, and obstacle course with him on our ranch. Tango is a joy… even with that wet, sloppy, slimy ball he carries with him all day and night!

  27. hi I have a blue heeler/border collie name Bella three years old she is a wonderful dog a great traveler in the car loves tennis balls the other day when was watching tv she placed a tennis ball in my hand then to my surprise the continued until I had 36 tennis balls as she had raided my bucket full of balls as I’m a tennis player I have plenty of balls so she knows where I put home to my surprise very easy to train and very obedient dog
    regards ron

  28. We obtained a female border wheeler 2 mos ago. She was 10 wks at the time and she has been a joy for my wife and I. So smart,so cute and so energetic! She loves to run and knows the fenceless boundaries of our yard. Wouldn’t trade Annie for anything. Highly recommend.

  29. We recently rescued a 4 month old BC / heeler mix from a family who had younger kids and couldn’t deal with the nipping. Riley is 5 months old, and is hands down the smartest dog I’ve ever had or known. She’s fortunate to attend a reputable doggie day care 3 days a week and we live on a 2.5 acre farm in a rural area. I started using hand commands outside when we play fetch. I definitely recommend you have 2 objects of what ever you are playing with..her anticipation of what’s to come is so fun and she is so focused on the task! I am considering an automatic tennis ball shooter for the spring. What a fun addition to our family.

  30. I got my girl as a puppy when I was actually looking for an Aussie pup. My Blue girl is my life. Together we introduce ourselves to new activities and particapte in as many fur friendly events that we can. Whe she was a pup, we discovered that she was a frisbee addict, we joined a local club and participate in seasonal toss & fetch league. She is an avid kayaker in the summer…prefers to be in the boat or water where she can reach the bottom. Next week, we start a Barn Hunt 101 class. And now that she is over 18 mnths, we will work on freestyle frisbee, flyball, and groundwork for agility this winter. There is no limit to how much activity and learning you put this breed through. They seem to enjoy any and all jobs that they are introduced to. I will never own another “lap” dog or any other breed than this. I am hooked.

  31. i have a border heeler that is almost 2 years old, BUDDY is his name and he is my best buddy. everything they say about these dogs is exactly how mine is, he isnt really destructive if i dont take him out to play with other doggies or out to run and play with me ( unleashed) enough everyday or so. he will just give me the eye and sigh or grumble until i do my daddy duty and take him out. sweet, smart, fun, playful, and the best dog ive ever had. i live in traverse city, michigan and wish i could find more people around my area with heeler collie mixes to visit and play with.

  32. I rescued a Border Heeler (our best guess) last year from the county animal shelter. He was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. He definitely resembles the dog photos on this site. He was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. We named him Watson, he is about 2 years old now. He has a lot of love to give and very loyal until he is off lead then he is off like a shot and finally returns 30 minutes to an hour from his reckless runaways with tongue hanging to the ground. I’d I sigh with relief that he didn’t meet his fate on the road. thankful we live in the country and traffic is usually very light, but still can’t help but be terrified the few times he has gotten loose. Still working on recall, and not very successful. Sadly. So fences and leads are his only time he can run outside. He has a very strong prey drive and had a love to chase trucks. I have put a lot of work in him. First I had to build his confidence as he was fearful of many things and loud gruff men. It’s hard to tell how he was treated in his early life, I fear it was not a very good beginning.. He is smart as a whip, loves belly rubs, couch time or my lap. Watson loves to test the rules, but quickly concedes when he realizes that momma is not going to let up. I plan to work with him for agility and once I feel he is more focused on lead taking long bike rides to wear him out. He is very much a part of our family and can’t imagine a day without him.

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