Blue Heeler Training: How to Make it Easier

Pet Type


March 29, 2023

Also called an Australian cattle dog, the blue heeler dog is attractive, sturdy, and dependable. If you are interested in training your blue heeler, you’ll likely find it easier than you think.

In fact, effective blue heeler training involves a lot of steps that are similar to training other breeds, so there’s no need to be intimidated by the process. Once you learn a few basic tips, your blue heeler dog will be well-trained in no time.

Blue Heeler Training: How to Do it

One of the first things to learn about the blue heeler dog is that this is one breed that is eager to please their owners. They are also tough and obedient, so training them is relatively simple, especially if you follow these simple tips:

1.  Get to Know Your Dog First

While blue heelers have good temperaments, each dog is still going to be a little different than the next one. Before you start any serious training, you should spend some time with your dog and get to know their temperament and disposition.

Be prepared to “meet” a dog that is very energetic, happiest when being active and productive, and very protective of their family. The more you feel as though you know your pet, the easier it will be to train them.

2.  Make Sure to Socialize Your Blue Heeler

Just as with most other breeds, your blue heeler must be socialized in order for your training to be effective. These dogs can be rather hesitant and even shy around other dogs and people, so the more you allow them to get near both people and other animals, the better they’ll react to the training you offer them. Socialization is important for a lot of different reasons, and this includes for training purposes.

3.  Use the Right Type of Reinforcement

All training is much more effective when you use positive reinforcement, including praise, treats, and their favorite toys. If you yell at a dog or use any type of punishment, the training may not be as effective; in fact, it may not work at all. Have patience and make sure that you use positive reinforcement with every training session.

4.  Do Not Let the Puppy Break the Rules

Your boundaries should be set before you begin training the dog, and they need to be made aware whenever they break the rules. Once the rules become clear, this is much easier to do. One of the ways to make this easier is to never be timid or show any hesitation around the animal.

Make sure that you stand firm when training them so they don’t back down, and this includes showing them that you’re the boss.

5.  Make Sure That Your Blue Heeler Stays Busy

Never forget that blue heelers need constant activity because they get bored easily. Let’s face it; they are bred to chase after cattle all day and to stay busy nearly all day long. They can get in trouble if they’re not busy enough, and they can even resist the training you’re trying to accomplish. Regular exercise and lots of play time can help keep them busy so their training is more effective.

The more you get to know your beloved heeler, the easier it is to decide what method will work best to train them. In the end, it isn’t all that difficult.

Blue Heeler Training Commands

For the most part, blue heelers need to know the same commands that other dogs need to know. These include the following commands:

  • This command is one of the most important ones because it protects the dog from danger. It’s also fairly easy for them to learn.
  • Unlike what some people think, all dogs need to know this command — even dogs that are not jumpers by nature.
  • Drop it. This one is good when your dog suddenly scoops up a child’s favorite toy with their mouth. It’s good for them to know how to drop the toy so you can have it back.
  • Leave it. This tells the dog they need to leave an item alone and not touch it in the first place. It’s a fairly easy one to teach.
  • Potty outside. Using a crate and a potty pad together is the best way to potty-train your puppy so they always go outside and not in your house.
  • Settle down. This isn’t necessary if your dog is mellow, but for blue heelers, it’s a good command for them to learn!
  • This is another basic command that all dogs should know. It’s usually one of the first commands that pet parents teach their dogs.
  • The “stay” command will let the dog know that they need to come back to you immediately and sit next to you for a while.
  • If you use this one with the right hand signal, it’ll help the dog realize that they need to stop what they’re doing and put their action on hold, at least temporarily.
  • Walk nice (heel). Some dogs, including blue heelers, find this command a little more challenging to learn than others, but it’s a good one for them to know.

It should be no surprise to anyone that without knowledge of the most basic dog commands, active dogs such as the blue heeler likely won’t be able to learn other commands. If you feel as if you’re having trouble teaching your blue heeler some commands, just be consistent and patient until it happens.

If you feel frustrated or you feel as though it isn’t working, you can always hire a professional trainer. There’s no shame in that, and they are usually a lot less expensive than many people think.

How to Train a Blue Heeler Not to Bite?

Blue heelers are known to occasionally nip or bite their owners and even other people, but there are things that you can do to train them not to do this. These dogs are used to herd cattle and other animals using force, so nipping and even biting are often part of the process.

The thing is that their bite can be brutal, so it’s a good idea to stop the behavior as soon as possible, which means when they’re very young.

Movements and different types of sounds can get the dog excited, so you have to train them not to bite without doing things such as acting as if you’re hurt. One of the things you can do is take your forefinger and thumb and roll the dog’s lip underneath their teeth so they stop biting you and start biting their lip instead. Then say “no” in a very firm (but not loud) voice.

The dog will likely whimper at first because there is mild pain, but eventually the dog will learn that biting is not acceptable behavior. You should also know that many blue heeler puppies stop biting at six to seven months, but they are more likely to stop a little earlier when you’re consistent with your efforts to teach them to stop biting.


Training your blue heeler can be a challenge, mainly because they are filled with energy and need to be doing something practically every moment of the day.

Nevertheless, it’s a job that can be made much easier if you’re patient, start early enough, and always use positive reinforcement. Getting to know your pet is the first step to being successful with the training.