Blue heeler behavior problems

Blue heeler behavior problems


As an animal behaviorist and pet expert, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of breeds. Today, I want to focus on one breed in particular, the Blue Heeler. Also known as Australian Cattle Dogs, these vibrant and energetic dogs are well-known for their intelligence and work ethic. However, like all breeds, they can also display certain behavior problems that might prove challenging for their owners. In this blog post, we will delve into common Blue Heeler behavior problems and provide guidance on how to address them.

High Energy Levels

One of the most common challenges faced by Blue Heeler owners is managing their high energy levels. Bred for herding cattle in Australia’s tough outback conditions, these dogs are naturally active and require plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

Without sufficient physical activity each day – at least an hour or two – a Blue Heeler may become restless or anxious. This could manifest as destructive behaviors such as chewing furniture or digging up your garden.

To combat this issue it’s crucial to ensure your dog gets enough exercise each day through walks, playtime or training sessions. Additionally incorporating mental stimulation activities such as puzzle toys can help keep their mind sharp and engaged.

Herding Instinct

Blue Heelers were bred specifically for herding cattle – hence the name Australian Cattle Dog! This means they have a strong instinctual desire to herd anything that moves – including children or other pets in your household!

This might seem cute at first but can quickly become problematic if not addressed correctly since it often involves nipping at heels (a technique used by these dogs when herding animals).

Appropriate training from an early age is key here; teaching commands such as ‘leave it’ can help control this instinctual behavior before it becomes problematic.

Tendency Towards Aggression

Blue Heelers can sometimes show signs of aggression, especially if they feel their territory or family is being threatened. This breed is known for its protective nature, which can be a positive trait in that your dog will always strive to keep you safe. However, it may also lead to aggressive behavior towards strangers or other animals.

Socialization from an early age is crucial in combating this issue. Expose your Blue Heeler to a variety of people, animals and environments to help them understand that not everything unfamiliar poses a threat.


Blue Heelers are incredibly intelligent dogs. While this often makes them quick learners and excellent problem solvers, it can also result in stubbornness if they don’t see the point in what you’re asking them to do.

Consistent training methods using positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed. Always reward good behavior and avoid punishment-based training as it can often backfire with these smart pups.

Separation Anxiety

Like many breeds, Blue Heelers may develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods regularly. They form strong bonds with their human families and thrive on companionship.

To combat separation anxiety, try gradually increasing the amount of time you spend away from your dog so they get used to being alone without becoming overly anxious. Providing toys or activities that keep them occupied while you’re gone can also help alleviate stress related symptoms associated with separation anxiety.


While these challenges might seem daunting at first glance remember every breed comes with its unique set of quirks and challenges – it’s part of what makes each dog special! With patience understanding and consistent training methods these common Blue Heeler behavior problems are entirely manageable making them an incredible addition to any active family home.

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