How to Train a Blue Heeler Puppy? Raising an Australian Cattle Dog

Last Updated on November, 2021

Before all else, congratulations on getting yourself a blue heeler puppy! The dog will prove to be a great friend for you and a lovely addition to the family. Yet, before any of that is possible, it’s essential to train the little guy.

People often talk about how such a thing takes time and can be pretty tedious. But, all you need to know is that with proper guidance and care, any dog lover can train their dog. That’s what we aim to help with through this article.

We’ve done an extensive research to prepare a complete guide for training blue heeler puppies. By the end, you’ll know all there is to know about how to train a blue heeler puppy and make sure the dog behaves.

What You Need to Get Started?

Blue Heeler puppies

You’ll need to know about a few things before you start training a blue heeler puppy. That said, a few key things to remember and have close to you are:

  • Make sure to grab some treats. Rewarding the dog for doing good is very important. There’s no better reward for dogs than some love and a nice treat!
  • You’ll need a proper schedule. Being consistent with all the things you and your blue heeler dog do together is essential.
  • Get some other pets and their owners to help you out. Making friends is very important for dog breeds as loving as this. There’s no better way to do that than to work with other dogs.
  • Get lots of toys and balls. Dogs are super energetic! Herding dogs need some way to get rid of all the energy. Sports and outdoor activities are a great way to deal with that.
  • Prepare some backup plans. Of course, every dog has its preferences, and some things might not sit well with yours. In that case, always have a plan B ready.
  • LOTS OF PATIENCE! Don’t forget that Australian cattle dogs, like your Blue Heelers, are very energetic and proud creatures. Don’t get angry or frustrated if they don’t follow orders straight away. Instead, take things slow and be patient. This is because everything will work out once you follow the proper steps.

A Step by Step Guide for Training Your Blue Heeler Puppy

Introduce Them to the World

Blue Heeler Puppy 101

The very first step of training blue heeler puppies is to make sure they don’t develop any fears. This means making sure they’re familiar with the outside world as well as the world inside their home.

If there are any other people in your home, get them to interact with the blue heeler. Play with them and show them some love. That’ll get rid of his fear of people and help the little guy fit in much easier.

Once that’s taken care of, the next step is taking them outside to meet others. They’ll likely stop feeling fear at the sight of other humans once everyone at home shows them some love. But, they still have to learn to work with other dogs to prevent future messes.

That’s where other animals come in. Other dogs and their owners will be able to interact with your Australian cattle dog. This particular process is called early socialization

It’ll help him make friends not only with other dogs but with other animals in general. All these things are vital for your dogs’ growth, so make sure to work on your dogs’ early socialization.

Work on Basic Commands

Blue Heeler puppy training

Once the blue heeler starts to get rid of the fear of other people and animals, work on basic commands. While training a blue heeler, there’s no reason to worry about their age. You can start training Blue Heeler puppies any time you get it once they’re more comfortable around you.

The first thing that comes to mind is potty training. Training a Blue Heeler to potty train is easy enough as long as you are patient. However, other commands might not be as simple. 

Things like “sit,” “stand,” “follow,” and “drop it,” along with others, are significant. But, the Australian cattle dog tends to be too energetic and proud of itself to learn them immediately.

Keep in mind that Blue Heeler puppies and the Australian Cattle Dog breed, in general, are aggressive under new owners. This results in a lot of biting, which can end up hurting a lot. So make sure to train them to avoid any severe damage.

An excellent way to stop Australian Cattle dog puppies from biting you would be to get them a chewing toy. Then, whenever they try to chew on anything other than a said toy, reprimand them. Use facial expressions to show your disapproval. That’ll get them to stop biting in no time!

He’ll be stubborn, and some might even be aggressive during the initial phases. But as time goes on, Blue Heelers start to learn. 

Remember to be patient and show them lots of love. So much more than prideful, Australian Cattle dogs are affectionate. Showing dogs attention and care should be enough to win them over!

A great way to show this is through treats and affections, pats, or rubs. Give them encouraging words as well after they do something nice. Wet dog food is a great option. The Blue Heeler puppy will start to realize which things are good and which are bad much quicker.

As for the specifics of training them, a great way to handle that is through reprimanding them. Whenever they do not listen, try to show them that what they’re doing is wrong. 

For example, when teaching them how to sit, give them a treat when they listen. Speak in a disapproving tone when they do not. Of course, you should never scream at your dog or harm them in any way. 

Ignoring them, using facial expressions, or showing them you’re disappointed should be more than enough to do the trick. Australian cattle dogs are extremely intelligent creatures! Like we humans can pick up on hints, so can they.

Use Positive Reinforcement Training

Girl & a Blue Heeler dog

Imagine if someone was trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do. You’d decline, wouldn’t you, and try to avoid the task for as long as possible. The same goes for dogs.

But now, think of that same someone trying to get you to do something while also offering you something you want. Seems a lot more tempting now. Once again, the same goes for dogs.

Positive reinforcement training is precisely that! Use treats and other tempting things to get dogs to do what you want. Make them learn basic commands. Then, give them some rubs, pettings, treats, or anything else they love.

The Blue Heeler is a very enthusiastic dog, and training this way is a great way to get it to do what you want. When you use positive reinforcement training and reward them with little things for what they do, these little guys will start to realize what they’re doing is good. 

They’ll do it whenever you ask them to while avoiding the things that stop them from getting their little treats. It’s an effective training method for training any dog, including the Blue Heeler. That’s why we recommend you to try it out too!

Remember to Learn How Blue Heeler Works

Australian Cattle Dog puppies

Take a break from everything in this next step and focus on the Blue Heeler puppy and its needs. Understanding blue heelers is very critical. Keep in mind that you aren’t working with some machine for your entertainment. These adorable little guys are living beings too. They think of you as friends, so treat them as such.

Don’t keep on training your Blue Heeler to be how you want him to be. There are tons of dog breeds in the world. Every dog is unique, and some of them might not be comfortable doing certain things that other pups enjoy doing. 

Instead, spend some time with them and carefully examine what kind of things that they like.

Build your bond with blue heelers according to this information. See what things scare them and which ones make them go crazy with excitement. What kind of actions make them feel loved, and which ones make them aggressive or even sad. 

As a dog lover and owner, it is your responsibility to learn these things. Give them firm positive reinforcement along with all this. Doing so will help with many things, like the next step we’re about to mention!

Establish a Suitable and Healthy Diet

blue heeler puppy eating food

During the first few days, giving a new dog a variety of things is expected and acceptable. However, as time passes on, you have to establish a consistent, healthy, and balanced diet. 

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any room for delicacies. But it would be best if you still cut back on it for the dog’s sake. Healthy diet will help you raise a healthy dog.

Since the little guy you’re working with is still just a Blue Heeler pup, make sure to feed it at least three times a day. Adult dogs are fine with even a single meal per day, but it’s essential to feed small blue heelers three times a day.

Get them used to dog food straight from the start. Feeding them too much meat and other things will turn out to be bad for both of you.

Dog food, on the other hand, will be great. It’s both healthy and affordable. On top of that, it tastes great in most cases. However, make sure not to start feeding them any other dog food you can find. Everyone wants a decent meal that they’ll like, don’t they?

Dogs are no different than us in that regard. So, you’ll have to carefully examine your Blue Heeler’s interests and get him a suitable option. One excellent option that most Australian cattle dogs tend to enjoy a lot, including this one, is the Pacific Stream dog food by Taste of the Wild.

Not only do most Blue Heeler dogs find this delicious, but it’s also great for their needs. It comes with 15 percent of fat, which is great for puppies as active blue heelers. 

Not only does that sort out their energy, but it also makes sure that they stay fit. There’s also salmon and ocean fish meal inside of it, which provides 25% of protein.

There are other flavors and variations from Taste of the Wild available as well. However, we recommend getting this one over the rest. It is perfect for the type of Australian cattle dog and will help your own Blue Heeler puppy a lot.

As for the occasional treat and meat, these aren’t that big of a problem as long as they’re regulated. If they do something good and make you proud, don’t hesitate to reward them with a treat or two. They won’t be too harmful to them unless you overdo it and they become spoiled.

Check this video for further information about feeding your blue heeler puppy:

Moving Towards More Advanced Skills and Tricks

If you’ve finally reached this part, you’ll be happy to know that the essential tips have been taken care of. Now what matters is moving towards the more advanced stages of training your Blue Heeler dog. So the first thing to do is teach them somewhat more advanced skills.

This includes things such as training a blue heeler to clean up after themselves and not make huge messes. 

While that sounds easy enough at first, creatures like Australian cattle dogs are too excited and energetic to care at first. So you have to show them that making messes is wrong.

Blue Heeler puppy

As mentioned in the initial steps, the best way to do so is by lightly reprimanding them. Please don’t go too far and don’t straight up punish them. 

Instead, show them in the most loving way possible that what they’re doing is bad. Then, ignore them for a bit of while or talk in a sadder, stricter tone. 

Make sure that this doesn’t turn into shouting, though, as that’d be very bad for the little guys. Instead, always keep the environment as safe and secure for them as possible. This includes making sure that you never get frustrated and remain patient with them. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Blue Heelers won’t turn into the most obedient creatures ever in a day either. Dog obedience training takes time. 

Take things slow and keep them on reward-based training. Blue heeler is smart enough to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong with the help of a few words and a little treat.

Keep in mind that Australian cattle dog is a very social dog breed. This is a huge part of dog obedience training. That means their advanced training should also include some work on how to behave around other dogs.

Insinuate that fighting is very wrong, along with barking and other unnecessary behavior. 

Work with other pets and teach them how to remain civil. This won’t be easy at first due to how excited or perhaps even aggressive that your Blue Heeler puppy might get. But, once you follow our tip to teach them what they’re doing is wrong, they’ll stop sooner rather than later.

Remember to maintain a consistent schedule and never tire your furry friend out. Only train your Blue Heeler one behavior or skill at a time. Make sure that training sessions only last for about 15-20 minutes, because they’ll get tired and lose interest after this time.

You can have multiple short training sessions each day. But, never try to do everything all at once. As already mentioned a few times, remaining patient and keeping things slow is very important for both you and your new Blue Heeler puppy.

Set Some Safe Boundaries for the Dog

Blue heeler puppy sitting in grass

Unless you’re really fit and energetic, it’ll be impossible for you to keep up with Blue Heeler puppies every single day. Blue Heeler dogs love to get around because of their herding instincts and as a result, they’ve developed the energy and stamina for it.

They tend to walk several miles in a single day. Crazy. That’s not something most people can manage, whether it’s because of a lack of time, a lack of stamina, or even both. Because of that, most people train their Blue Heeler dog to walk itself after a certain point.

Just remember to keep an eye on them. Make sure they don’t get too far or get themselves hurt as they walk without a leash.

If you think that you won’t be able to keep up with yours either, we recommend training him to do the same. But, a vital thing to remember is that the little guy will almost definitely run off too far if you don’t train him to avoid that.

There are many ways to teach Blue Heelers about boundaries. One of the best ways would be to walk with them to the point where you wish they wouldn’t walk past. Then, once you’re there, use the basic training skills your Blue Heeler puppy should’ve learned by now to make him wait.

Keep your dog sat there even if you go beyond that point. This will make them feel as if they aren’t allowed beyond that specific area. That’s something that will stick with them forever until you teach them otherwise.

Teaching blue heelers patience in itself is a great way to take care of this. Then, when they’ve developed a sense of respect as well as tolerance, they will not go against anything you have to say. This includes not stepping out of any boundaries that you might have set for your dog..

This doesn’t only apply to the dog and his actions outside the home, though. Maybe there are some rooms inside of the house where you don’t want the dog going. For example, if you have a small kitchen and believe that Blue Heeler puppies could make a big mess there.

Teaching the dog about these boundaries, in particular, is much easier. Get a flag or something else of the sort and use it to train them. 

Place this outside of the room you want the dog to avoid. Whenever your dog tries to enter the room, they shouldn’t, grab them and put them outside the door. Show your dog the flag and then cross it. Once that’s done, make sure that the dog doesn’t try to follow you. 

Tell them to stay and go inside themselves. Once the dog experiences this a few times, it’ll get the idea that it can’t go inside there. 

The flag or other object you used will become a “stop sign” of sorts for him, preventing the dog from entering.

Engage in Games and Activities

blue heeler puppy playing

About all the most important aspects of training your Blue Heeler are taken care of. Now, all that’s left is engaging in some fun activities as the last main step of its training. There are many reasons why sports are good for an Australian cattle dog.

Blue heelers love being shown affection, and they love getting rid of all the energy that they have. So when they’re out there playing games with their owner, dogs get both those things at once. (1)

You can grab a football or a tennis ball and throw it around. Dribble it and have some fun yourself while your dog tries to steal it off your feet. Encourage exercise. Playing fetch and engaging in some training drills with puppies is also an option.

These are great for both dogs and dog owners alike, given that they keep both of them fit and happy. A wholesome bonus of it all is that the bond between you and your Blue Heeler will become stronger because of these things.

Unlike all the other steps here, this isn’t something that you can put a limit on. Sports and other fun activities with your dog are there to try with them forever. They’ll be happy playing with you whenever, never showing any sign of boredom. Aren’t dogs amazing?

Conclusion

There’s a lot to know about what to do and what to avoid when it comes to training Blue Heelers. This guide has covered all the most important things you’ll need to know about training a blue heeler dog. 

If you’ve read through it with care, by now, you should know a lot about how to train Blue Heelers. This list covers all the essential tips and tricks that helped us train Blue Heeler puppies, and they can do the same for you! 

Still, no information is ever enough when it comes to caring for your furry little buddies. 

If you’re a worried dog owner who still wants to learn more, please let us know! Please leave your comments below to let us know what you think. Additionally, ask us anything you’d like about the topic if your queries are a bit more specific. 

If you liked the guide, consider sharing it with others on social media to help other new Blue Heeler puppy owners and us out!

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.purina.com/articles/puppy/activities/games-to-play-with-your-puppy
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