Texas Heeler: Your One-of-A-Kind Designer Farm Dog

Known for his intelligence and brilliant personality, the Texas Heeler is considered a very versatile hybrid while also being a herding dog through and through. A cross between the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd, this dog is a combination of the two well-known herding dogs.

To add to its vibrant personality, the Texas Heeler has an appealing appearance that just adds to its charm – with its wobbly butt to its adorable looks, this puppy will surely melt your heart.

Ideal for families with active owners and those that have older children, this dog is a reliable breed and would make the perfect companion for anyone who can properly care for it.

What is a Texas Heeler?

The Texas Heeler is a very unique hybrid that’s not very popular worldwide, yet a very interesting mix in its own right. Referred to as “heelers” for a reason, these dogs are extremely affectionate and will stay by your side as a loyal pal for life.

Although this is a mixed breed, they are classified as herding dogs and were originally bred to help farmers tend to their livestock. Back in the day, these dogs were also used as service and guard dogs as well. Similar to that of a Cattle dog, the Texas Heeler comes with almost the same appearance and is a very intelligent breed in general.

Eager to please, they’re always ready to perform and are at their happiest when given a task to complete. Easy to train and take care of, these adorable pooches would fit into almost any kind of household. If you want to know whether they would fit into yours keep reading and we will provide you with all the information you need.

Texas Heeler Dog Breed

Appearance

When it comes to the appearance of a Texas Heeler, there are no particular breed standards, however, they do come with a few distinctive features. These include that the dog should have the body structure of the Australian Cattle Dog and the facial structure of the Australian Shepherd.

As we know the parent breeds are used for herding purposes, thus they possess muscular legs that are lean and powerful enough to get them across lengths and lengths of farmland in no time. They also have pointy snouts and ears that stand upright when they get older but are usually droopy when they’re pups.

Height & Weight

The Texas Heeler is considered a medium-sized hybrid with both males and females almost the same size. That said, the males can sometimes grow faster than the females with proper nutrition.

As for the weight, know that this dog weighs around 25 to 50 lbs when fully grown and stands between 17 to 22 inches high.

Coat & Colors

One of the most significant attributes of the Texas Heeler is the breed’s wide range of coat colors. Featuring a unique combination of black and brown shades from its parent breeds, this dog comes with patchy and mottled patterns with distinct speckles all across their face and snout.

You may even find a Texas Heeler with a blue merle pattern if you are lucky enough to get a hybrid that comes from a blue merle Australian Shepherd.

Texas Heeler Dog

Coming to their coats, they are generally short in length, smooth, and are single layered with a dense fur. However, they can also inherit the fur of the Australian Shepherd which is usually longer.

Texas Heeler Personality & Temperament

Being bred as a herding dog, the Texas Heeler is, in general, a very hard working and active breed. Born with natural herding instincts, these dogs, although affectionate towards their family members are somewhat wary of strangers.

Bear in mind that this is quite a friendly breed but that these dogs require proper socialization from an early age. They do get along with children but do not do so well around other dogs and pets. So you need to keep that in mind if you have other pets at home.

Behavior

One important aspect that you must remember about the Texas Heeler is that they are working dogs to the core. They come with the instinct to complete every task given to them with full focus.

Unlike other dogs, these pooches are not the cuddly and loving kind and you might just find them distracted especially when given a job to do. They prefer being on their feet and are quite energetic even when indoors, so if you are the laid back type then this isn’t the right breed for you.

Texas Heelers respond well to active owners that engage them throughout the day. This leads to a respectful relationship between the owner and the dog. To keep them focused and happy you would need to partake in activities that would keep them lively and help them burn their excessive energy.

Trust me, you would not want a bored and anxious Texas Heeler – aggressive behavior might be uncommon but you can expect your dog to get a little defensive and stressed out if left bored and alone.

Texas Heeler Running

Temperament

As compared to other working breed dogs, the Texas Heeler is known to be very calm and quiet. Yes, they do bark but only if something alarms them.

They’re not the friendly type of pet so you might have a few problems with socialization. But if dealt with proper care and socialized from the very start you can help your pooch adapt to new people and experiences better.

When introducing a Texas Heeler to any other animal, you must be extra careful as their herding instincts tend to show straight away. They see other animals as livestock that need to be herded.

Is A Texas Heeler A Good Family Dog?

The Texas Heeler does make a good family companion, but only if they are the only pet in the household. Being as loyal and devoted as they are, they will go all out to please you and win your hearts.

Similar to their descendants, a Texas Heeler is a very pack oriented pooch and therefore see its family members as a part of the pack. So that makes them protective of their family – which is a good thing.

Caring for A Texas Heeler

In comparison to most herding breeds, which are often high maintenance dogs, the Texas Heeler does not demand too much of your time and attention and is quite easy to take care of. A great option for first-time dog owners with little or no experience, these dogs would make the perfect pet.

For those who live in spacious homes or houses with large gardens and backyards, this dog would be the best choice. They are also exceptional therapy animals and work well with old and disabled folk. However, they do need their daily walks, and thanks to their obedient and devoted nature, managing them isn’t hard at all.

Texas Heelers

Exercise

As discussed earlier, Texas Heelers are quite an energetic breed and therefore need all the space they can get to run and play. They need at least 90 minutes of exercise daily which would include at least 2 walks and playtime.

Keep in mind these dogs were bred for herding and are born to run wild keeping up with the livestock, so they must have enough space to bring out their wild side. It is also necessary to know that these dogs do not do well if walked off-leash, always keep them on a leash while walking as they tend to run after other people and pets.

They love swimming and that could be another great way for them to exercise. Although bred for herding, these dogs also enjoy a game of catch and fetch and that could also be added into their exercise and training sessions.

Grooming & Shedding

Texas Heelers are versatile dogs that come with short coats and some with slightly longer coats. They require brushing at least once a week to keep their fur neat and tidy. They are not known to shed too much and are not that much of a hassle in comparison to their flea and tick problems.

Those of you with the adventurous type of Heeler – you might just find some of the outdoors brought back with them after playing outside – so you must check for flees and ticks whenever they’re back indoors.

Other aspects of grooming include ear cleaning, brushing of teeth, and nail clipping although active Heelers often wear down their nails while running and playing.

Feeding & Diet

As we all know, active and energetic breeds require more food than others. High energy dogs need a healthy diet packed with fats and proteins that help in the development of their muscles.

Bear in mind that many special formulas are crafted just for working dog breeds, so you can check with your local vet for the best food type for your dog to figure out your pup’s diet long-term.

They require at least 3 cups of high-quality kibble in a day which should be divided into three meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cute Texas Heeler Puppy

Known Health Problems

Just like most mixed breeds, the Texas Heeler is quite a healthy dog but there are some common diseases that they are prone to. These include:

  • Distichia – which is an eye problem that can be inherited from the parent breeds. In severe cases, corrective surgery is required.
  • Epilepsy – just like humans, dogs too can suffer from epilepsy which usually takes place between the age of 1 and 5 years.

How to Train A Texas Heeler

As we already know, the Texas Heeler is a highly intelligent pooch, therefore training them is easy. You will notice that your Heeler is at its happiest when being trained or asked to complete tasks. They’re quick at picking up new things and love a good reward at the end of it all – so keep some healthy treats ready.

However, even though training this dog is a breeze, socializing them could be quite daunting. These dogs do not possess the natural social abilities that other dogs have. It is best to start socializing your pet in and around your neighborhood with you by their side, from an early age.

It is also important to know that these dogs are always on the move so you must ensure you have something to keep them focused and entertained throughout the day. Purchase a few interactive toys and games to keep them busy. Also when it comes to giving them space to run outdoors – make sure the area is properly fenced in, to prevent them from running out and chasing people and anything they see move.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Information
Size 17 to 22 inches
Weight 25 to 50 lbs
Lifespan 13 to 15 years
Color black, brown, grey and blue merle
Coat short coat, single layer
Shedding & Grooming Occasional shedders. Moderate grooming needs.
Temperament Devoted, playful, hardworking, focused
With Other Pets Does not do well around other pets, needs socialization
People Skills Good with family members, wary of outsiders
With Children fairly good with children – preferably older
Exercise Needs High energy, therefore, needs a lot of exercise
Food 3 cups of high-quality kibble packed with healthy fats and proteins
Known Health Problems Health Problems: Distichia and epilepsy

All Things Considered

Suitable for all types of households, the Texas Heeler would make an excellent family pet for those with just one pet. If you have a spacious home with a lot of room to run around and play, then you can sit back and watch your Heeler thrive.

Although this breed might not be the most friendliest and loving pet, they would shower you with enough attention and appreciation to make you feel just as loved.

If given the right amount of care and attention, the right amount of space, and the proper outlet to help them burn their energy and stay focused, then you will have yourself a happy and healthy family companion.

Caroline Jones

Caroline has been a dog lover since she was only 6 years old, when her parents got her a rescue Boxer. Since then her love for dogs has lead her to study Dog Behavior & Welfare. She now educates people on how to properly raise and care for dogs, through her online site, Bark Friend. Now, she's a proud owner of a beautiful German Shepherd.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *