Dog Knowledge

Red Heeler: Everything You Need to Know About the Red Australian Cattle Dog

red heeler puppy

Are you interested in bringing a new puppy home to your family? Do you think the Red Heeler breed is an adorable choice and want to learn more about this extraordinary breed? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Here, we detail everything you should know about the Red Heeler. That will range from the dog’s coat and looks to its origins, behavioral issues, and health problems. You’ll also learn about all the benefits that come from owning a Red Heeler. 

Are you ready to learn more? Then, let’s get started! 

Where Does the Breed Come From? 

The Red Heeler was first bred in the 1800s to herd cattle in Australia. During the 19th Century, Australians needed a dog that could withstand the high temperatures while herding and protecting sheep and other livestock. These working dogs became a symbol of Australia.

The Red Heeler dog was also bred for managing difficult terrains and running for a long time. Australian Thomas Hall was the original person who bred the Red Heeler by crossing the Collie breed with the Australian Dingo canine. The new dog breed was called the Halls Heeler and is an ancestor of the Australian Cattle Dog due to its similar looks.

How Active is the Red Heeler Breed?

Are you looking for a friendly and energetic pup? Then, the Red Heeler is a good choice. These dogs are great at running for long distances. They also make great family pets because they’re relatively playful and enjoy having fun outings with their owners.

These dogs enjoy spending time with humans and playing with children. They have lots of energy and love to run around. 

When Did the Red Australian Cattle Dog Make Its Way to the United States?

In the 1940s, Alan McNiven, a veterinarian from Sydney, Australia, was the first to export the Red Australian Cattle Dog to the United States. A veterinarian from California by the name of Jack Woolsey bought these dogs and began breeding them. 

Woolsey registered the breed with the National Stock Dog Registry of Butler, Indiana. By 1980, the American Kennel Club had given this breed full recognition.

How Much Do Red Heeler Dogs Shed?

Red Heeler dogs won’t shed all the time. They do shed plenty twice per year. The rest of the time, the shedding is relatively minimal. That helps to make the Red Australian Cattle Dog a low-maintenance dog. You won’t need to worry too much about grooming the Red Heeler.

The Red Heeler’s Coat

The Red Heeler has a double coat, including a straight overcoat with some stiffness. The undercoat of the Red Heeler canine is relatively thick and heavily packed with hair and fur.

The coat also has a speckled pattern and red marks. Essentially, red hairs are interspersed with white fur. That gives the dog’s coat almost a golden color along with white patches.

What Kind of Behavior Can I Expect From a Red Heeler?

The Red Heeler is a sweet dog that likes to cuddle and spend time with people. Sometimes, they can become quieter and disinterested. The Red Heeler is also a reliable guard dog since it aims to protect owners.

They tend to bark if they feel threatened. These dogs like to run and chase after everything in their sight. Given that, you’ll want to ensure your Red Heeler stays active and occupied. Otherwise, they could become bored and restless. That can lead the pup to showcase more destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, nipping, and barking.

Does the Red Australian Cattle Dog Bark Too Much?

The Red Australian Cattle Dog is much more likely to bark when they’re guarding or protecting you. Whenever they feel threatened, Red Heelers tend to bark. 

However, the Red Australian Cattle Dog generally does not bark too much. They may bark more when they’re outside playing fetch or chasing a ball. That is a great benefit for your family. These dogs won’t bother your loved ones or the neighbors next door with too much barking.

Possible Behavioral Problems of the Red Heeler Breed

While this breed of dog is very devoted, loyal, and has a playful nature, the Red Heeler canine can have some behavioral problems. For example, the pup can find it difficult to play and get along with other dogs, especially if they are unfamiliar with them.

The Red Heeler may become more aggressive with other dogs. Also, the dog is more prone to nipping at your heels, as he was bred to nip at cattle that are too slow-moving. 

You can remove these behavioral issues by teaching your dog proper socialization with other pups and by using bite inhibition strategies.

Potential Health Problems of the Red Australian Cattle Dog

Generally, the Red Australian Cattle Dog is relatively healthy and has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Yet, the Red Heeler is vulnerable to suffering from several genetic conditions, such as:

  • Retinal atrophy
  • Rod-cone degeneration
  • Blindness
  • Arthritis
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Skin problems and allergies

The Biggest Advantages of the Red Heeler Breed

The Red Heeler has plenty of benefits. Some of the biggest advantages of the breed include:

  • Minimal barking
  • Little shedding except for twice per year
  • Few grooming requirements
  • Relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan
  • Friendly and playful nature

Should You Get a Red Heeler Puppy?

The Red Heeler can be a great family pet. They are comfortable with children while being affectionate and curious. Yet, they also make an excellent guard dog. You won’t need to worry about grooming much and you’ll only need to trim their nails once per month. These dogs are also intelligent and easy to train.

Before You Go

Now you know about all of the great benefits of owning a Red Heeler. They are playful, loyal, attentive, and energetic. If those qualities sound perfect, you’re not alone. Many have found the Red Heeler to be a devoted companion, ideal for families! So long as you can meet their needs for lots of activity, you’ll find the Red Heeler to be a wonderful buddy to have.

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