The Blue Spaniel: A Complete Guide

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The Blue Spaniel, sometimes referred to as the Cocker Heeler Spaniel is a crossbreed combination of the Australian Cattle Dog and Cocker Spaniel breeds.

The Blue Spaniel inherits traits from both of its parent breeds and can vary a little in appearance depending on which of its parents the individual takes after more respectively.

Further complicating things, Cocker Spaniels vary in size depending on their origin: English Cocker Spaniel’s are larger than their American variants but have a shorter, less luscious coat.

Generally, the Blue Spaniel resembles a Cattle Dog’s physique with the softer Cocker Spaniel features and a propensity for growing longer coats than it’s Cattle Dog parent.

There is a fair amount of confusion and debate over the standards of the Blue Spaniel, it is a relatively new breed and has yet to be officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Blue Spaniel Puppies – Before You Buy…

Blue Spaniel laying in yard
The Blue Spaniel is generally healthy, very friendly, and extremely active.

Choosing a new dog can be overwhelming and difficult as there are some emotional and financial decisions to consider, it’s never as simple as you imagine it might be.

In times of confusion refer to this guide, and hopefully, it will clarify the process for you.

This guide is intended to help alleviate some of the stress involved in finding a new dog, and perhaps the Blue Spaniel is the perfect dog for you!

What Price are Blue Spaniel Puppies?

The Blue Spaniel typically sells for between $700 and $900, making it a reasonably priced breed.

The Blue Spaniel may vary significantly in price depending on its size and appearance.

Where to Find Reputable Blue Spaniel Breeders?

Finding a good, reputable breeder is the very first step toward welcoming your new dog into your family, it is also a very important decision to make and can be extremely difficult.

Finding a good breeder is important to ensure your Blue Spaniel is healthy and happy and gets the best possible start in its life.

Your Blue Spaniel breeder should be able to meet the following criteria:

  • A good breeder will carry themselves with a sense of professionalism. They will respect your decision-making process, not pressuring you or trying to persuade you of anything. A good breeder will hear your concerns and provide you with helpful and informative. Buying a dog is a huge financial, personal decision and if they are true professionals, they will respect your decision-making process and give you the time and information you need to make a smart decision.
  • All great dog breeders are animal lovers. They should be dog fanatics will undoubtedly know a great deal about the Blue Spaniel and should be more than happy to discuss the breed with you and tell you anything you need to know, including how to care for them and their behaviors, etc. Feel free to ask any questions you have; if they are a good breeder they will be excited to answer them, this is an easy way of determining the breeder’s expertise.
  • Often overlooked is the breeding facilities themselves. If the breeder cares for its animals it will care for their facilities, they will keep clean and hygienic, spacious, and well-maintained housing for the animals and they should not be cagey, or unwilling to give you a tour of the facility.

Finding a good breeder can be stressful, follow your instincts and don’t compromise on quality. Finding the right breeder is an important ethical process wherein no shortcuts should be taken.

3 Little-Known Facts About Blue Spaniel Puppies

  1. The Australian Cattle Dog, a parent of the Blue Spaniel, was conceived by interbreeding the wild Australian canine the Dingo with Collies and eventually Dalmatians (which may be the cause of the spotty coat of the Australian Cattle Dog).
  2. The Cocker Spaniel is considered one of the smartest small dog breeds; it is, in fact, one of the few small dogs which gain significant plaudits for its intelligence. The Blue Spaniel doesn’t fall far from the tree, with most owners reporting it to be keenly clever and insightful.
  3. The Australian Cattle Dog has a reputation as a biter, in reality, it is just misunderstood and mismanaged. The Blue Spaniel thankfully has no known tendencies to bite.

Physical Traits of the Blue Spaniel

Blue Spaniel by waterfall
The Blue Spaniel is perfect for those people who lead active lives.

The Blue Spaniel generally resembles the Australian Cattle Dog with some Cocker Spaniel features, however as previously mentioned, the Blue Spaniel’s appearance is greatly determined by its genetic dominance.

There is a large variation in the Blue Spaniel’s size, coat, and even behaviors depending on their parents. This inconsistency is part to blame for the AKC’s ongoing snubbing of the breed.

The Blue Spaniel typically carries a very dense and wavy coat typical of its Cocker Spaniel heritage; this coat can be more pronounced if the Blue Spaniel bears American Cocker Spaniel genetics rather than a British Cocker Spaniel parent.

The Blue Spaniel’s name is not in reference to its coat; it gets its name from the Australian Cattle Dog (also known as the Blue Heeler).

However, the Blue Spaniel can appear as blue but is more commonly a combination of black and white.

How Big is a Full-Grown Blue Spaniel?

As mentioned, the Blue Spaniel’s size varies depending on its genetic makeup, however on average the male Blue Spaniel ranges in height between 16 and 20 inches, and between 28 and 45 pounds in weight.

The female Blue Spaniel can range between 15 and 19 inches tall and between 26 and 40 pounds in weight.

What is the Blue Spaniel’s Life Expectancy?

The Blue Spaniel is expected to live between 12 and 15 years in age, making it a fairly hardy dog for its size and roughly on par with the life expectancy of both the Cocker Spaniel and the Australian Cattle Dog.

Intelligence, Temperament, and Personality Traits of The Blue Spaniel

The Blue Spaniel is quite an intelligent breed, it is smarter than the majority of small dogs thanks to its parent the Cocker Spaniel, and it also adopts that parent’s sociable demeanor and general affability, it’s a highly social dog which adores its family.

The Blue Spaniel is highly trainable, it responds well to early training and socializing and can become an extremely obedient breed.

It likely takes this trainability from its parents; the Cocker Spaniel is intelligent while the Australian Cattle Dog is a born follower, being a great working dog for generations.

The Blue Spaniel’s Diet

Blue Spaniel laying in garden
The Blue Spaniel typically has a very dense and wavy coat.

The Blue Spaniel is a ravenous eater, and it may even eat significantly more than dogs twice its size.

The Blue Spaniel should receive up to 3 cups of high quality, protein-packed dog food per day to ensure it has enough energy to remain healthy and happy.

How Much Exercise Does the Blue Spaniel Need?

The Blue Spaniel is an energetic and active breed; it needs to be if it wants to burn off the not insignificant amount of food it consumes.

It is recommended that the Blue Spaniel should receive roughly 90 minutes of physical activity per day and up to 9 miles of walking per week.

The Blue Spaniel is a fantastic family dog but also requires a family able to accommodate its constant, seemingly boundless energy.

If you lead an active, outdoor lifestyle, then the Blue Spaniel will be more than happy to accompany you throughout your day and will not slow you down.

A nice big yard will do wonders for the mental and physical well being of a Blue Spaniel, giving it plenty of space to stretch its legs and follow its nose to interesting discoveries.

Blue Spaniel Health and Conditions

Most of the Blue Spaniel’s health ailments involve it’s muscles, bones, and eyes. Thankfully most of its issues are not fatal, but it still faces a few serious conditions.

Serious Issues:

  • Hip dysplasia affects some Blue Spaniels and is considered a serious threat to this breed due to their high energy levels and the tendency to make the condition worse. Hip dysplasia causes the hip bone to dislocate easily and can be very sore and uncomfortable for the dog, and a veterinarian must be consulted who may consider muscular therapy or surgical treatment if the condition is severe and debilitating.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy affects some Blue Spaniels; it is a condition that causes a deterioration of the retinas and leads to eventual blindness in both eyes. The Blue Spaniel’s eyes should be vigorously inspected each time it visits a veterinarian for a check-up.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans is a disorder of the joints which makes the dog’s cartilage grow strangely or deteriorate. Its symptoms are similar to arthritis, and like hip dysplasia, the Blue Spaniel can exacerbate this issue with its desire to run and excitability.

Minor Issues:

  • Deafness and cataracts affect most Blue Spaniels throughout their lives, generally in their old age.

My Final Thoughts on the Blue SpanielBlue Spaniel guide

The Blue Spaniel is a fine dog breed, its relative obscurity makes it a unique choice, but for those who are considering a Cocker Spaniel mix, the Blue Spaniel could be a perfect choice.

It is generally healthy, very friendly, and extremely active.

If you lead an active lifestyle, you will love the companionship of this breed as it accompanies you on your adventures.

The Blue Spaniel is an attractive and loving breed, perfect for most families.

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