Red Heeler Dog Characteristics

by Naomi Millburn
    "Please give me something to do."

    "Please give me something to do."

    Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Australian cattle dogs are often called red heeler or blue heeler dogs. These cattle herding pooches first came into existence Down Under during the 1800s, a result of breeding together blue merle collies, Australian kelpies and dalmatians.

    Size and Physique

    Mature red heeler dogs usually grow to between 17 and 20 inches at the withers. Female red heelers tend to be slightly shorter than the males. For both genders, average weight is between 35 and 45 pounds. Red heelers have sturdy, strong and sinewy physiques. Their length exceeds their height.

    Coat

    Individuals of this breed possess soft double coats. Red heelers exist in a couple of different coat color schemes, which are spotted blue and spotted red. At birth, red heelers are white, a genetic throwback to their Dalmatian ancestors. Their heads also frequently display hints of other colors, which are beige, blue and black. The fur that surrounds their necks not only is not as thin as on the rest of their bodies, it also is lengthier.

    Other Physical Characteristics

    Other prominent physical traits of red heeler dogs are black noses, low tails, wide chests, deep brown eyes, black noses, sharply angled ears, powerful necks, midsize ears and circular feet.

    Temperament

    Red heeler behavior and temperament can be described in many ways. These canines are gallant, lively, vigilant, spirited and clever animals who thrive on having things to do -- herding, for example. Red heelers are smart creatures that usually possess persistent can-do attitudes. Tedium is a major issue for red heelers, which is why their minds and bodies need tasks to focus on. These usually faithful dogs are extremely cautious by nature and because of that are often meek and reserved around new people. Red heelers are extremely family-oriented animals. They tend to develop extremely tight connections with their owners, according to the American Kennel Club. However, owners must make it understood that they are in charge of their red heelers, and not vice versa. Letting the dog dominate will likely raise obedience issues. These doggies are adept when it comes to figuring out dilemmas, the Westminster Kennel Club notes.

    Fitness

    Some breeds of dogs do just fine on daily outdoor strolls, but red heelers require a lot more fitness than that. Whether through vigorous playtime sessions or extended outdoor jogs, red heelers have to keep their bodies moving. If you lead a sporty lifestyle and go hiking and biking a lot, for example, an adult red heeler can make an ideal companion. Dogs of this breed cannot manage in cramped areas and therefore are not appropriate for apartment or condominium life. They always need plenty of room to run around and burn off steam.

    Photo Credits

    • Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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