A Blue Heeler Greyhound mix is a hybrid breed that combines the traits of two popular breeds – the Blue Heeler and the Greyhound. This unique combination creates a unique breed that is a perfect blend of the energetic and athletic Greyhound and the hardworking and obedient Blue Heeler.
A Bit About Blue Heelers
Blue Heelers are dogs native to Australia. Officially they are called the Australian Cattle Dog, or sometimes Red Heeler, depending on the color variation. These dogs were first bred in the 1840s from a blue-merle Border Collie and a dingo.
This breed was found to be greatly intelligent and protective, making them a perfect match for cattle herding. They are still commonly used by Australian farmers in the modern day.
Many people have found them to be great family pets too; pairing perfectly with an active family who is able to take them on frequent hikes and adventures.
A Bit About Greyhounds
Greyhounds are ancient dogs and have been around for about 3000 years. Even through countless generations of breeding, Greyhounds have remained relatively the same.
While their purpose of hunting through sight, hence the name ‘sighthound’, has been long over in many senses, these dogs are still prevalent in the homes of loving families. Their kind and gentle nature make them wonderful companions.
Blue Heeler Greyhound Mix
The Australian Cattle dog is a relatively stocky dog. They often have an intimidating demeanor due to their muscular face and strong jaw. The rest of the body matches too; a broad, deep chest with strong, muscular legs. Averaging 17-20 inches at the shoulders, they would be considered medium-sized dogs.
A Greyhound is also extremely muscular. They have large chests, extremely small waists, and almost no body fat. They have long muzzles, large eyes, and small ears that flop.
All these traits have developed over thousands of years to aid them in their working task of sight hunting.
A Blue Heeler and Greyhound’s overall builds are relatively similar, so a mix can be expected to not look too varied from either parent. They tend to be a little closer to the Greyhounds’ general height, but other than that, you have got an evenly-matched dog!
The coats of these dogs are vastly different. A Greyhound has very short fur and is single-coated. They can come in a range of colors and coat patterns such as fawn, brindle, red, black, and blue. These colors often don’t present alone and come mixed with white.
A Blue Heeler only comes in two color variations; blue or red. Unsurprisingly, the red Australian Cattle dog is also known as the Red Heeler. The patterns of color come in either a spotted or mottled variation.
Both variants come with white hair speckled throughout, and the frequency of white hair can make the base color seem lighter or darker. Commonly, they will also have a ‘face mask’ of solid color matching their base color. The Australian Cattle Dog also has a short, but thick double coat.
The majority of the time, your Blue Heeler Greyhound mix will inherit the Blue Heeler’s coat colors and patterns. However, they have an even chance of inheriting a double or single coat.
Temperament and Behavior
Greyhounds are big softies at heart. They are gentle dogs who love to spend time at home with their families. Due to their history of working in groups with other dogs, it’s extremely rare for them to show aggression with other dogs.
They are known for their friendly and quiet disposition. Though they aren’t recommended to be left in the house, at least unsupervised, with other small animals such as rabbits. While we would hate to imagine our dogs would harm another animal, Greyhounds are hunters and have a strong prey drive.
Australian Cattle Dogs are fiercely loyal and extremely intelligent dogs. They have even been known to outsmart their owners. These dogs are highly invested in working and can very easily become bored when kept at home.
So they often need complex stimulation to keep them entertained. Stemming from their loyalty and protective personalities, they tend to be wary of strangers and need careful introductions when meeting someone new.
A Greyhound and Blue Heeler mix is undoubtedly going to be an extremely loving dog and one that is constantly ready to please. They would want to stick by your side during their day-to-day life and value time spent together above all else.
The Greyhound part of them will make them a little more accepting of strangers. Blue Heelers nor Greyhounds are the type of dogs to bark, so you will have a quiet companion.
Greyhounds are often perceived to be extremely active dogs, but this isn’t usually the case. Many enjoy lounging around at home and aren’t the type of dogs to demand long and exhausting walks.
They are sprinters after all! They are built for speed and not stamina. Of course, Greyhounds still need to be walked like any other dog and it’s recommended to walk them for a total of an hour a day, both morning and night.
Blue Heelers are quite different. This breed is highly energetic, as most cattle dogs are. They need extensive walks to help them keep in shape and keep their minds happy.
It’s often recommended to work them in some way, even if you do intend to keep them solely as a pet since it can be difficult to meet their exercise needs purely by daily walks.
In a mix, the Greyhound is bound to tame down the energetic side of the Blue Heeler, though this dog would still need a moderate amount of exercise.
You can probably afford to skip a morning walk, but don’t be surprised if they get a little antsy by the time their evening walk comes!
You might think training these dogs will be a breeze, the Australian Cattle Dog is extremely intelligent after all. But it sadly won’t be so simple. They can also be a little stubborn.
Naturally, this dog will want to see itself as alpha which comes from their innate want to herd and guard cattle. Mix this in with a Greyhound’s stubbornness, and you can see where the challenge comes in.
A way to overcome this challenge is to break training sessions into smaller sessions but more frequently throughout the day. This can help them stay more engaged in each session and will help them avoid becoming bored.
Choosing a toy as a reward over a food incentive may yield better results too for this mix. As with all dogs, training them through positive reinforcement will be the most effective method.
This mix may not have the most demanding grooming needs. With both parent breeds having short coats, their offspring definitely won’t be growing fur longer than an inch or so.
It’s hard to predict whether the mix would inherit the single coat or double coat, so you will have to be a little prepared for either option.
For a single-coated dog, brushing once a week or so will be plenty, but for a double-coated dog brushing 2-3 times a week would be ideal. This will help to get rid of any stuck shed. It might be a good idea to invest in a high-quality vacuum. Blue Heelers tend to shed a lot more than most dogs.
You should wash your dog every 3 weeks or so, or whenever they are excessively dirty. Any more than this and you run the risk of drying out their skin.
As with all dogs, there are going to be some diseases or health conditions your Greyhound and Blue Heeler mix is going to be more prone to than others.
While many of these are not life-threatening, or will not ruin your dog’s quality of life, it’s still important to keep an eye out for them and make sure they can get all the professional help necessary.
Australian Cattle Dogs are slightly more prone to deafness than other dogs. A puppy would be born deaf most likely in a single ear and not both. While deafness in both ears is a potential outcome, it’s much less likely.
Deafness is most commonly due to the lack of pigment cells that would develop during gestation. Cattle Dogs with double facial masks are less likely to be deaf.
Blue Heelers are also more at risk for developing urolithiasis or urinary stones. These are most often caused by minerals, usually salt, that have clumped together in the urinary tract. Most dogs can pass these stones naturally with no intervention, but if your dog starts showing signs of discomfort, unwillingness to pee, blood in the urine, and reduced appetite, then you should consult a vet as soon as possible.
Periodontal disease is caused by periodontitis bacteria as it gathers in the gums. Greyhounds are prone to this disease because of the formation of their teeth. This disease is only visually noticeable in its later stages, and through physical symptoms in your dog; difficulty eating or refusal to eat, lethargy, and bloody saliva.
Luckily, you can greatly reduce the risk of this by brushing your dog’s teeth multiple times a week.
The Blue Heeler Greyhound mix is a unique and versatile breed that combines the energetic and athletic traits of the Greyhound with the hardworking and obedient nature of the Blue Heeler.
They are ideal for active families or individuals who enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for a loyal and affectionate companion. With proper training, exercise, and care, the Blue Heeler Greyhound mix can make a wonderful pet for many years to come.
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