Texas Heeler: A Complete Guide

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Finding the right dog isn’t a matter of getting lucky with your pick like some might assume.

A lot of thought needs to go into purchasing a dog, and many people wonder why they experience issues with their pets after making a hasty purchase without any prior research.

Today, I’ll be covering the Texas Heeler in complete detail.

The Texas Heeler is an interesting dog breed that hails from Texas, as you might have guessed from the name.

This breed comes from a cross between two Australian breeds, which is ironic when you consider the name of the Texas Heeler; the two dogs are the Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog.

While this breed is primarily a herding dog, nothing is stopping you from bringing one of them into your home, and they can make excellent companions.

Before I get into the details of this dog breed, I want to take a look at them when they are puppies so that you know what to expect from the start.

Texas Heeler Puppies – Before You Buy…

Texas Heeler sitting on grass looking upwards
The Texas Heeler is entirely optimized for herding.

There are things that you should know about any dog breed before you make your purchase, and the Texas Heeler is no exception.

While the puppy phase may be a short one, it may give you a taste of what is to come. On the other hand, some dogs undergo a complete mental shift at the end of the puppy phase.

What Price are Texas Heeler Puppies?

The first thing that you will likely want to know is how much money you can expect to spend on a Texas Heeler, as that will determine whether or not it is within the range of your budget.

The Texas Heeler is a relatively common dog breed, especially in its namesake state, so you’ll likely get one for a reasonable price.

Most of these dogs sell for between 200 and 400 dollars, though the price can go higher for larger dogs or ones that have all of their papers to prove their lineage.

If you are looking for a dog that you can be sure is loyal and will sell for a low price, the Texas Heeler is an excellent option.

Where to Find Reputable Texas Heeler Breeders?

Of course, when it comes to less expensive dogs, the risk of dealing with puppy mills increases, and you will want to avoid giving those terrible places any of your money.

The best way to ensure that you have a dealer that you can trust is by paying several visits to their home as you get to know their pups.

Over the course of multiple visits, it should become more and more clear whether or not your breeders care for their dogs in the right way.

You may also wish to do some searching online to see if you can find any customer reviews of your chosen breeder or other info that can tip you off.

3 Little-Known Facts About Texas Heeler Puppies

  1. Texas Heeler puppies are one of the more unusual mixes in that they can consist of a cross between more than two breeds and still be considered Texas Heelers. The Australian Cattle Dog parent will always need to be present, but the Australian Shepherd can be replaced with a Border Collie, and the dog will still be a legitimate Texas Heeler.
  2. These puppies were initially bred to herd cattle in Texas, a task that required a dog that was both strong and agile. Though the breed’s herding days are mostly over, Texas Heelers are finding renewed purpose in agility competitions that are befitting of their physical prowess.
  3. Even from a young age, these dogs will exhibit herding characteristics, which may sound funny but it can cause trouble with younger children, especially those that are easily scared. With proper guidance, you can acclimatize the Texas Heeler to a home with children in it.

Physical Traits of the Texas Heeler

A white and black Texas Heeler
The Texas Heeler is a dog that is very easy to train.

The Texas Heeler has a vast range of possible physical traits, and it makes sense when you consider that the dog can have two out of three parents.

Most Texas Heelers are of distinctly average size which helps them be more agile than most larger dogs without having to expend as much energy.

If you take a close look at the physical characteristics of the Texas Heeler, then you will notice that it is a dog that is entirely optimized for herding.

These dogs can have a tail that varies between straight and bobbed, though the latter variety is more common and recognizable in this dog breed.

Blue merle and blue ticked are the two most common color variations in this dog’s coat.

Texas Heeler is not a breed with thick fur, as befits a dog that is bred to run around in the semi-arid climate of Texas. While the coat may not be dense, it is of medium length, and it is quite soft.

How Big is a Full-Grown Texas Heeler?

The Texas Heeler is a dog that doesn’t have much variation when it comes to its size.

Unlike many other hybrid dogs, you will find that the Texas Heeler has more variety when it comes to height than weight.

You can expect most Texas Heelers to weigh somewhere between 45 and 50 pounds.

These dogs can get surprisingly tall, even though they aren’t that bulky, and that is mainly due to their long legs that are relatively powerful.

The Texas Heeler will often have a height that ranges between 17 and 22 inches. These dogs usually need plenty of room to play and run around, even though they are not necessarily large.

What is the Texas Heeler’s Life Expectancy?

Knowing how long you can expect a breed to live can save you a lot of trouble and heartache further down the line.

As with any dog breed, the Texas Heeler’s life expectancy is linked to a range of factors that are both genetic and environmental, so its determination is never an exact science.

Since this is a medium dog breed, you can expect the Texas Heeler to live for an average amount of time for a canine.

Most examples of this breed will have a lifespan that is somewhere between 12 and 15 years, and they typically make it closer to the end of that range than the start.

Intelligence, Temperament, and Personality Traits of the Texas Heeler

A Texas Heeler in snow
The Texas Heeler doesn’t need much food.

Knowing how you can expect a dog to behave is one of the most important things when you are purchasing a new pet.

Being a herding dog, intelligence was an essential characteristic that the initial breeders were looking for so the Texas Heeler will make for a much smarter dog than many other breeds.

Of course, these pets will always have the herder’s mindset so they may try to chase you around the house, but they will never try to intentionally harm you.

Most of the time, these dogs can recognize their masters and refrain from herding them, but they may do it to smaller children.

The Texas Heeler is a dog that is very easy to train due to its intelligence.

It is recommended that you engage in a training regimen that is at least minimal to ensure that your experience with this breed goes smoothly.

You should also keep in mind that this breed is moderately suspicious of strangers.

The Texas Heeler’s Diet

Knowing how much you can expect to feed your dog before you buy it is a good idea. Some pets will cost you upwards of 100 dollars per month in food costs.

Luckily, the Texas Heeler is a moderately-sized dog that does not need too much food every day.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a dog bred with a high degree of energy, so you can expect it to need more food than a breed that is comparably sized.

You will find yourself paying around 30 to 50 dollars a month to keep a Texas Heeler fed with appropriate, high-quality dog food.

How Much Exercise Does the Texas Heeler Need?

One of the most critical parts of being a good Texas Heeler owner is making sure that your pet gets all of the exercise that it needs.

The Texas Heeler will require around 14 miles of exercise per week, making it one of the most energetic breeds that you will ever come across.

Of course, immense energy reserves are a necessity for herding dogs, and the Texas Heeler is no exception to this rule.

Texas Heeler Health and Conditions

Texas Heelers are relatively healthy dogs, but when something does go wrong, it can often be a vast range of conditions.

While the following lists may seem a little longer than average, keep in mind that diseases for these dogs aren’t all that common of an occurrence.

Serious Issues:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bone Conditions
  • Eye anomalies
  • Distichiasis

Minor Issues

  • Deafness

What are the best types of toys?

Hailing from a herding background, the Texas Heeler will excel at games involving catching or fetching.

Keeping that in mind, it will be a smart and fruitful idea to involve your pet in activities where it can chase after moving toys.

For starters, playtime with a tennis ball or frisbee will be highly appreciated by your Texas Heeler.

To ensure optimum satisfaction of your pet after an invigorating session of playing and games, you should ideally allow it to run about in large open areas.

Open spaces where it can roam about freely will be preferred over enclosed areas so make sure your pet has ample area to chase after its favorite ball or other toys.

Being such an active and energetic breed, the Texas Heeler will show a particular fondness towards tug toys or chew toys.

The best type of toy that you can get for your pet should be durable but safe.

You should never compromise on the quality of the toy that you purchase for your pet, regardless of its price.

It is better to spend some extra bucks and guarantee the safety of your pet rather than getting a cheap toy that is made with hazardous material that could put your pet at risk.

Durability is one of the first qualities you should seek in a toy for your Texas Heeler because there will be a lot of chewing and tugging, owing to the nature of your pet.

Additionally, the Texas Heeler will also keenly partake in activities where it is urged to exercise its mind.

Puzzle toys are excellent to bring out the best in your Texas Heeler, especially ones where it is encouraged to solve a certain puzzle to win a reward.

Grooming Advice

Grooming is a good way of checking in on the overall health and well being of your dog – the state of the fur, the eyes, the claws, the ears, and the teeth all do just as much to show how your dog is faring as the wetness of the nose.

The Texas Heeler is a sporty and outdoorsy breed of dog, and while his or her fur coat is only ever short to medium length – depending on the season and the breeding parents – all that running around in the sunshine can attract dust, dirt and grass stains.

A weekly regimen of grooming is a good way of establishing some nice pet and owner time, and the actual process of brushing and grooming this animal shouldn’t take you too long – maybe a half-hour at the most.

Because of the laid back ways of this breed, and their fur coat, you only need a regular comb and brush to do the work.

The challenge, particularly in the early days, might be in having your Texas Heeler sit still long enough to be groomed fully – these dogs get a little antsy.

There’s always the option of a professional grooming salon to consider too if you want to really treat your pooch for his or her birthday or similar.

However, such an establishment won’t have much to work with in terms of a finicky coat of fur or styling it – it’ll just be plain old pooch pampering all the way, which is still wonderful for your Texas Heeler to enjoy.

Special Treats

The Texas Heeler is massively motivated by tasty rewards. However, care should be taken that these special treats ought to be handed over more sparingly, to avoid overfeeding your animal.

While regular dog treats certainly work wonders, you can push the boat out a little by offering your dog some frozen cubes of melon, slices of banana or a couple of unsalted almonds or pistachios.

Healthier treats like these are fantastic for the ever peckish Texas Heeler, because they not only taste good, and come with just enough natural fiber to keep your dog’s systems working hard, but they also pack in the vitamins.

Staying away from salty, fatty or sugary treats is always smart, and these vitamins will help give your dog a shiny coat and a spring in his or her step.

Many dog owners turn to simple staple foods, like steamed or boiled rice or freshly made, sugar-free, salt-free popcorn.

These provide a satisfying texture for your pet, and you can overcome the plain flavor of these foods by adding a secret ingredient – honey.

Honey is very sweet and delicious, but still much better as a sweetener than sugar or often toxic artificial sweeteners.

It still shouldn’t be overindulged, but it has the benefit of having lots of vitamins and good chemicals within it too, making it a far healthier treat for your Texas Heeler

My Final Thoughts on the Texas HeelerA Texas Heeler laying down

If you have the time and space to ensure that your Texas Heeler gets as much exercise as it needs, then you will be an excellent owner.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comprehensive guide about the Texas Heeler.

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