The Texas Heeler is a remarkable canine that can be a loving addition to any family.
Texas Heeler At a Glance
25 to 50 pounds and 17 to 22 inches tall
Fluffy but are shorter, less-dense coats than other dogs
Blue merle, black, and some blue marks with white or brown
12 to 15 years
Did You Know?
The Texas Heeler is not a purebred dog but a hybrid of the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd Dog. It is a 50/50 cross of both breeds, also known as an F1, or first-generation hybrid.
However, there’s vital information to know before acquiring a Texas Heeler, which may impact your decision to buy or adopt this unique dog.
This guide aims to answer questions you may have regarding the Texas Heeler. Read on to find out more about the Texas Heeler dog breed, such as cost, training, health issues, and more.
Introduction to the Texas Heeler Dog Breed
The Texas Heeler dog breed is not as popular as other breeds in the United States.
Originating from Texas, the Texas Heeler is mostly known as a herding dog, usually seen on farms. Interestingly enough, the Texas Heeler is not recommended for those who do not have an active lifestyle, as this dog requires lots of exercise, preferably outdoors.
Because this dog is a hybrid, it may come out looking like either of the other breeds, which means it can be a surprise for its color and behavior.
Some Texas Heelers may have more of one of the breeds as a result of multigenerational breeding. For example, a breeder may mix a Texas Heeler and one of either the Australian Cattle Dog or Australian Shepherd Dog.
Crossing two Texas Heelers are also common, which results in a second-generation mix.
Overall, there are other options than the first generation mix for those who may or may not want a more predictable breed. Although, a Texas Heeler’s temperament tends to be dedicated and loyal. A family or owner’s lifestyle is an essential factor, as Texas Heeler’s may have behavioral issues if it is not active enough daily, causing mental and physical distress.
What Is It Like Owning a Texas Heeler?
The Texas Heeler dog breed is one of a kind and has some characteristics that families can enjoy.
Various aspects of owning a Texas Heeler include:
- Energetic: The Texas Heeler is a natural, hardworking canine that was born to be a herder. As a result, this dog loves to work and has a higher energy level than most dogs. High-energy means more activity, whether it’s going on more walks or family-fun at the park.
- Requires More Exercise: On average, the Texas Heeler should be walking about 12 to 14 miles a week if it cannot roam freely. Texas Heelers need more exercise than other dogs due to their natural intensity to work hard, especially on a farm.
- Socialization: Texas Heelers can be affectionate towards their owners and amongst the family but can be aloof around strangers if they do not get proper socialization training at a young age. Early socialization also determines if they get along with other animals or not in the home or outdoors.
- Feeding: Due to the Texas Heeler’s high energy and mild athletic build, this dog requires calorie-dense, packed with nutrients to fulfill their dietary needs and muscle mass. About 3 cups of food a day may be enough. Dry dog food formulated for active breeds should be sufficient.
- Grooming: Texas Heelers have a short coat, meaning it may be more reasonable to maintain with a few brushes a week. Although, a dog with more of the Australian Shephard genes may have a longer coat than others. A short coat means mild shedding but also not suitable for extreme weather. Lastly, they are low maintenance beyond regular bathing.
- Watchdog: If you’re looking for a watchdog, the Texas Heeler may have the instincts to keep an eye out, especially since they’re more familiar with open-spaces and herding other animals.
- May herd other animals: The Texas Heeler is considered to be not friendly with other animals in a household, as it tends to treat other animals like cattle, sheep dogging them.
Texas Heeler Breeder Information
Texas Heeler dog breeds require different needs than other dogs, which is imperative to know before considering acquiring this active dog.
Information about their cost, if they’re apartment-friendly, common health-issues, training, colors, and size are aspects every future owner should be aware of.
Texas Heeler Cost – How Much Are Texas Heelers
Typically, Texas Heelers are around $200 to $500 as a puppy.
However, the Texas Heeler is also known as a “designer breed.” As a result, the price may be higher than usual, as this type of dog is also not as prevalent as other breeds. Higher price ranges can be $1,200 or more, depending on the area, the age, the breeder, and other factors.
Are Texas Heelers Good Apartment Dogs?
Unfortunately, Texas Heelers are not good apartment dogs, as apartments usually are too small for their activity level.
The dog may adapt to apartment living from a young age, but most apartment sizes may not be suitable for Texas Heelers because of its high-energy and need for open-spaces.
In general, the Texas Heeler requires 30 minutes of daily exercise, but an additional 30 to 60 minutes with other activities. These dogs aren’t meant to stay inside an apartment, being inactive all day. If the Texas Heeler does not get its required exercise, it may become agitated and an issue for those in the apartment and around the vicinity.
While in an apartment with children, the dog’s temperament may also be an issue if it does not get its mental and physical stimulation.
What Are Some Common Texas Heeler Health Issues
While these dogs are relatively healthy, they can still suffer from health issues. Luckily, they do not occur frequently, but here is some valuable information to consider.
Some minor conditions the Texas Heeler may suffer are:
Other major health issues Texas Heelers may suffer from are:
- Collie eye anomaly: Collie eye anomaly (CEA) is prevalent in five types of dogs, with the Australian Shepherd having this trait, passing it down to the Texas Heeler. CEA comes from a mutated gene that involves the eye’s development, resulting in inadequate support for the retina, causing it to be underdeveloped.
- Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is the abnormal formation of the hip socket, possibly resulting from the Texas Heeler’s excessive running and active lifestyle. Common signs of hip dysplasia are the unwillingness to play, frequent rests, or hopping like a rabbit. Extensive flexing of the hip may also occur to show discomfort.
- Elbow dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia occurs with stiffness and mobility issues in the front legs. Three conditions formulate the elbow dysplasia: fragmentation of medial coronoid process (FCP), ununited anconeal process (UAP), and osteochondrosis of the elbow. Only one has to be present to determine if there is elbow dysplasia or not.
- Distichiasis: One or more extra eyelashes may grow from the margins of the eyelids. While it is common, it may not be serious unless left untreated, causing pain, eye irritation, or bacterial infections.
- Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD): OCD is a cartilage disease where the cartilage separates from the underlying bone. It may affect the elbow, shoulder, hip, or knee.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: Not as common as other health issues, but progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited dog condition that involves the retina, resulting in loss of peripheral vision or blindness.
Are Texas Heelers Hard to Train?
The Texas Heeler dog breed is an active, eager, and intelligent canine that responds well to training.
Texas Heelers have a strong work ethic and are eager to learn new tricks and commands.
Strong herding instincts and the ability to play dog sports requiring athleticism allow owners to train their dogs for amazing tricks.
Early socialization when they are young is also crucial, so they do not become afraid of strangers.
Also, because the Texas Heeler is considered excellent for training, some may consider Texas Heelers as service animals or emotional support animals.
What Colors Do Texas Heelers Come in?
The Texas Heeler dog breed comes in various colors and patterns, such as:
- Blue merle
When they are born, you are never sure how they will turn out, as their coating colors widely vary.
Texas Heelers are all very different, with some being brown, blue, and white, with some being black, blue, brown, or white.
How Big Do Texas Heelers Get?
Most people consider the Texas Heeler a medium-size dog, with a weight of 25 to 50 pounds when fully grown.
At maturity, they are about 17 to 22 inches tall.
Both males and females do not differ much in size, with males having slightly more muscle mass.
Are Texas Heelers Good With Kids?
Texas Heelers are generally good with older kids because they can keep up with the dog’s high energy and activity.
However, small children are not ideal unless the dog has had numerous socialized training at a young age.
Because of their instincts, these dogs may use their herding behavior on small children. About ten years or older are more suitable for the Texas Heeler.
Texas Heelers do well in large families with large homes and open spaces to roam and play freely. If the dog does not get its required exercise or releases its energy, it may become nippy, which is not favorable around small children. In particular, Texas Heelers, like other cattle dogs, nip at the heel they’re herding to control their direction.
Around 14 weeks is when the socialization window closes for the Texas Heeler, which means training is required as young as possible to avoid any issues.
13 Fun Facts You Should Know About Texas Heelers
- Texas Heelers are amongst the most loyal dogs, as they are happiest next to their owner, especially if they are working together to herd cattle or other animals.
- Many dogs are all about fun, but the Texas Heeler likes to work and is dedicated to being a cattle dog.
- If you plan to acquire a Texas Heeler and do not want to buy the dog, you can adopt a rescue at The Texas Cattle Dog Rescue or the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association.
- Texas Heelers can be excellent watchdogs because they only bark when they feel threatened.
- They need 60 to 90 minutes of physical exercise daily, which includes swimming. Texas Heelers love to swim, as they love to run free.
- Texas Heelers’ dynamic nature requires a high-protein diet, with roughly 3 cups of high-quality food daily.
- Texas Heelers require physical and mental stimulation, or else they may exhibit undesirable behavior or become destructive.
- Their coat is low-maintenance compared to other dogs, requiring weekly brushing.
- Texas Heelers tend to be touch-sensitive, which requires early training with grooming at a young age.
- Puppies from the same litter may all look completely different because they are a hybrid breed of the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Shepherd dog.
- Texas Heelers are born with bobbed tails, which are short, stubby tails compared to other dog breeds.
- The life expectancy of a Texas Heeler is 12 to 15 years.
- Dog Registry of America (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), and the Animal Research Foundation (ARF) recognize the Texas Heeler, where the American Kennel Association does not.
The Texas Heeler dog breed is considered a loyal, dedicated, hardworking dog with instincts to herd.
This dog requires open-spaces, preferably a large family, to keep it busy, as it requires high activity daily. It is a mild athletic build, requiring a high-protein diet and dry dog food for its muscle mass, including more exercise than usual needed for dogs.
Overall, this dog can be a family-friendly, fun-loving pet, especially for those who live on farms or vast land areas.