Let’s face facts: puppies are adorable. When you have a blue heeler puppy, it can be all too easy to fall in love. But don’t forget that they need proper training to ensure that they follow your commands and obey properly.
The good news is that it isn’t all that complicated. With a little bit of direction, you can ensure that your blue heeler gets the kind of training that it needs to be a great listener and the kind of companion that you can be proud of.
Are Blue Heelers Easy to Train?
The first thing to ask about training blue heeler puppies is whether or not it is an easy endeavor. The good news is that training your blue heeler is relatively easy so long as you know how to approach the situation.
Heelers are quite sociable and they have a history of being cattle dogs. This requires a particular discipline in its own right. Though they are more independent than anything else, they are very loyal to their human parents.
They can get bored easily, which can lead to potentially destructive behavior. Keeping them active and ensuring proper training can be a great way to curb that behavior. It also means the need to properly socialize them and ensure that they have the necessary interactions with not only people but other animals as well.
The sooner you start with your heeler, the better. If you can get to them as a puppy (or have the breeder train them), all the better. Their activity level also plays a role in how their training will go. If they are left to their own devices more often than not, it is going to lead to serious issues.
Develop a routine with them. Get in the habit of giving them regular commands around the same time so that they can become familiar with their schedule. Before long, they will look to you for direction before you even issue it.
When Do Blue Heelers Calm Down?
It is important to note that every blue heeler is different. They are naturally high-energy dogs and need quite a bit of attention and activity in order to placate them. If you do not give them the exercise that they need, it can lead to potentially destructive behavior.
On average, blue heelers will calm down somewhere between the ages of two and four. They still have naturally high energy levels but, should they have proper training, they will learn to better control themselves and to properly behave.
By the time most blue heelers hit the age of five, they should be well out of the puppy stage and display proper training. They should have adapted to their schedules by now and display proper socialization with both other dogs and people.
They are also more likely to be calm both indoors and at home. That doesn’t change the fact that they still require quite a bit of exercise in order to keep them from getting bored. Creating a regular schedule for their activities can help to combat the boredom that heelers can feel.
Blue Heeler Behavior Problems
Every dog breed has their own quirks. Some of these can be misconstrued as behavior problems. In a high-energy breed such as the blue heeler, there are definitely quirks that can become issues for some dog owners.
For the most part, it isn’t necessarily behavioral problems but more harking to their original purpose. They can be naturally wary when it comes to strangers. This has to do with their protective nature when it comes to their owners. They will treat anyone that they don’t know as a threat until they see a sign that this isn’t the case.
Because of their natural herding abilities, they have also been known to herd children from time to time. There is nothing necessarily dangerous about it, but it can definitely be an annoyance. For smaller children, there is the possibility that they fall down and get hurt but that is not particularly common.
They also get quite bored easily and have a need to be paid attention regularly. This again goes back to their natural herding instincts. If you aren’t the type of owner who likes a particularly active dog, another breed will need to suffice because the heeler requires regular attention.
How to Train a Blue Heeler Not to Bite?
Some dogs, particularly when they are puppies, can bite. Not every bite is of the vicious variety, but they can still be painful nonetheless. Puppies usually bite because they don’t know any better, but it can also be due to teething or getting a better idea of their surroundings.
Still, it is a good idea to train them so that they do not bite going forward. One of the best ways to do that is to recognize the signs that they are about to bite or nip and start teaching them to sit in response. Utilizing treats is a great way to do this.
All you need to do is to bring that treat down to their nose, slowly moving it back on their head. In an attempt to follow the treat, they will slowly begin to sit down. Make sure that you give them proper praise as they do this and then give them the treat.
The goal here is to redirect their behavior. They will slowly begin to recognize that when they are going to bite, they should not do that and will sit instead. With regular treats and training, it shouldn’t be long before you are able to train the biting problem out of your blue heeler puppy.
How Do Blue Heelers Show Affection?
Each type of dog, and each individual dog, shows affection in their own way. Some breeds like to be super close and cuddle with their owners. Other breeds aren’t so enthusiastic about cuddling but show their love in other ways.
The blue heeler is not big on cuddling. But that does not mean that they do not show affection to their owners altogether. Remember that they are a naturally high-energy breed. This is necessary to herd cattle in farm situations, which is what they were bred for in the first place.
Because of this, they don’t like the feeling of being constrained. That said, they show their affection to their owners by being nearby and being attentive. They are quite alert to calls and commands from their owners after proper training has been implemented.
They also tend to spend a lot of time around those that they care for. They have earned the nickname of “Velcro dogs” because they will be far more open to being nearby though not cuddling directly. So, even if your heeler isn’t so keen on getting in bed and snuggling, they will be more than willing to spend time with you.
Are Blue Heelers Aggressive?
With just about any breed of dog, potential owners will want to know if they are aggressive or dangerous. Never assume that a breed of dog is not potentially aggressive because each dog has their own background and story, so you never know.
In general, blue heelers are naturally protective and controlling. This has to do with their heritage as herders. They aren’t necessarily aggressive but can be in particular circumstances where they feel threatened or that there is something threatening their owner.
For the most part, however, they are quite intelligent and obedient. If they have been properly socialized and trained beginning in the puppy stages, those aggressive tendencies can largely be reduced and managed entirely.
In homes that have children, that training is important. Again, they are not particularly aggressive but a child does not have boundaries and can wind up getting hurt because they don’t know about the behavior of the dog.
How to Crate Train a Blue Heeler Puppy?
A preferred method of training involves the crate. A major mistake that puppy owners make is letting their pup roam, which can lead to accidents around the house. With the crate, you can ensure that they are refined to a particular area until it is time to introduce them to training.
There is some debate about the crate – some feel that it is cruel – but the crate can become like a safe space for them. When crate training is introduced, you need to make the crate feel like a safe space, it makes the process easier.
When you have the crate chosen, make sure that you take the time to properly introduce the puppy to it. From there, make sure that they are in the crate whenever you aren’t around to supervise them. Leaving them unaccounted for is the surest way to have an accident.
Make sure that you choose a designated potty spot when you do let them out. Until they have become fully established with the process of training, you can’t give them any leeway. Only let them out to show them where you want them to go potty.
Developing a cue word is also important. When you use that cue word, they know without a doubt that they are out of the crate to go potty. They may not always go, so be patient and be willing to come back around to try again in 10 or 15 minutes.
The crate method is mostly about patience and consistency. They will eventually go to the bathroom and become familiar with the whole process. Just try to be patient with them and keep on top of them. Going longer periods of time can make it more difficult to get them to go where and when they need to go.
How to Housebreak a Blue Heeler?
One of the most essential aspects of training blue heeler puppies involves potty training them. Each puppy has their own personality, so you may find that training them to go outside is proving more difficult than you imagined.
The good news is that there are a few different ways in which you can properly train a blue heeler to do their business outside. It is also important to note that the potty spot and the proper time are crucial to the training process.
One of the most common methods for training involves a crate. Giving your puppy the ability to roam can lead to a lot of accidents if you aren’t paying attention. Keep them in the crate except for when you bring them out for training.
An effective means of keeping them from having accidents is taking them out frequently. When they are younger, start by taking them out to the same potty spot every 15 minutes or so. Even if they don’t have to go, this will show them where they are supposed to go so that, when the time comes, there are no questions.
There are also potty training sprays that work well, too. Simply get the spray, choose a spot, and bring your puppy over to that spot. Let them sniff around. If your puppy doesn’t go in ten minutes or so, give it some time and try again.
Be on the lookout for signs that they have to pee. This can include pacing, circling the same spot, excessive sniffing, and more. When you are able to recognize those signs, it can make it a bit easier to get the jump on your puppy.
Like any dog, the blue heeler requires proper training in order to create the ultimate in loyalty and obedience. Without proper training and exercise, they can become bored and potentially destructive, so keep that in mind.
The good news is that you can train your blue heeler without having to jump through hoops. Starting earlier is better and will establish a pattern of behavior that will result in a good relationship between you and your heeler.