The Blue Heeler Pitbull is a relatively new breed. They have a striking appearance, and can look intimidating. However, beneath the tough exterior lies a wonderful canine companion with a gentle temperament.
History and Where the Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix comes from
The Blue Heeler Pitbull is a designer breed, so their exact origins aren’t known. Designer breeds are created when two pure bred dogs from different breeds mate, creating a new breed.
The term designer dog is new, and the trend has become very popular in recent years. However, the practice itself is ancient. Many of today’s pure breeds were created by mating different dog breeds.
Even though we don’t know the history of the Blue Heeler Pitbull, both parents have a rich history.
Blue Heeler History
The Blue Heeler’s technical name is the Australian Cattle Dog. In the 1820s, English cattle dogs were brought to Australia. However, these dogs were well suited to work with domesticated cattle. They were no match for the wild cattle of Australia. They also had to deal with the harsh Australian climate, which was much different than their native England.
In 1825, Thomas Hall developed a plan. He crossed an English Cur, which was blue merle, with a Dingo, which are wild dogs native to Australia. The new breed was called Hall’s Heelers, because they would drive cattle by nipping at their heels.
The Blue Heeler became extremely popular in Queensland. Today, it’s popular in many countries, including America. They are still used as herding dogs on farms, as well as pets.
The Pitbull has a bloody unfortunate history. It begins in the 1800s. English Bulldogs are used for bull baiting. The goal of bull baiting is for the Bulldog to bring down a bull due to injury or exhaustion.
This practice was outlawed in England in 1835. Instead of stopping blood sports completely, they turned to ratting. A pit was dug, and rats were placed inside with dogs. The dog who killed the most rats would win the contest. Dog fighting also began during this time.
The English Bulldog wasn’t built for ratting, so they were bred with Terriers. The result was the perfect ratting dog, the Pitbull. They were smaller, more agile, and very strong.
The Pitbull’s lovable personality led many to fall in love with the breed, making them beloved canine companions. They became farm dogs, guard dogs, and even nanny dogs. However, dog fighting still continues underground today.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Facts
The Blue Heeler Pitbull mix goes by many names. These include Pit Heeler, Bull Heeler, Bull Pit Heeler, and Cattle Pit Terrier.
They can be named by the color of the Pit parent. If they are blue or red, they can be called Red Terrier or Red Terrier. They can also go by the Queensland Pit, because the Blue Heeler is from Australia.
The Blue Heeler Pit is a new breed, but they are getting noticed. They have striking looks, thanks to the unique appearance of both parents. They are very friendly, and make loyal companions.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Appearance
Mixed breeds will inherit some characteristics from each parent. They will typically look more like one parent than the other, with a mix of traits from both.
This makes it harder to predict the appearance of a Blue Heeler Pit. However, there are some characteristics you can expect.
They have a muscular body like the Pitbull, which is longer than it is tall. Their head and neck also resemble the Pitbull. They have a strong pronounced neck, and a large round or square head. Their ears will be erect when alert.
They have medium sized eyes, which are usually brown. Their nose can be black, brown, or blue. They inherit a strong back from the Heeler. Both parent breeds have a muscular chest, so the Pit Heeler does as well.
Pit Heeler Coat and Coat Color
The Pit Heeler has a thick short coat, like their parents. You can expect the base of the coat to be gray or blue, white, or brown. They typically inherit the markings of a Blue Heeler, and have stripes or a mottled coat. These can be blue, fawn, or red.
The most common color for the Pit Heeler is a white base with black mottling. They can be mostly white, with small patches of black or black spots, or they can have very pronounced mottling.
They can inherit a brindle pattern from their Pit parent. This allows them to have the mottling of black and white, with brindle stripes as well.
Other colors and patterns are possible, but they aren’t well known because the Blue Heeler Pitbull is a new breed.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Price and Expenses
A Blue Heeler Pitbull mix costs between $800-$1200. This will vary based on the area where you live, the appearance of the puppy, and the bloodline their parents are from.
Pitbulls can’t be AKC registered, but there are several prestigious bloodlines that are more expensive. Blue Heelers can be registered, and have prestigious bloodlines as well.
If you choose to adopt a Blue Heeler Pit, you can expect to pay $100-$500 in adoption fees.
Dog Ownership Expenses
The average costs of owning a dog are $1,400 to $2,000 for the first year. Spaying or neutering can cost $200-$300. Microchipping costs about $50. You’ll also need bedding and housing for your pooch, toys, treats, and food. This can cost several hundred dollars.
After the first year, you can expect to spend about $1,000 a year. However, dog ownership can cost as much as $10,000 a year, particularly for dogs with a lot of health issues.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Rarity
Blue Heeler Pitbulls are rare, because they are such a new breed. As the breed gains popularity, they may become less rare. Today, there are few breeders who are breeding Heeler Pits.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Life Expectancy
The Blue Heeler Pitbull lives an average of 12 to 15 years. It’s lengthy lifespan is attributed ot the parent breeds. The average Pitbull lives from 8-15 years. Blue Heelers live an average of 12-15 years.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Size and weight
There’s less variation in the size and weight of Heeler Pits than most mixed breeds, because their parents are similar in size.
A Blue Heeler Pitbull will reach 17 to 21 inches in size, and weigh between 30 and 60 pounds.
Pitbulls will grow to 18-21 inches tall, and weigh 30-65 pounds. Blue Heelers are 17-20 inches tall, and 35 to 50 pounds.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Health
Both Pitbulls and Blue Heelers are healthy breeds, so your Pit Heeler should be healthy as well. However, there are a few health issues that are common in the breed, and their parent breeds.
Hip dysplasia can occur in any breed, but large or active breeds are at a higher risk. Both the Pitbull and Blue Heeler are at a high risk of the condition, which means the Pit Heeler is as well.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the ligaments around the hip are too lose. This means the hip doesn’t stay in place correctly. This leads to pain and loss of range of motion.
Genetic testing can be used to determine how likely your pooch is to develop hip dysplasia. A healthy lifestyle, including proper exercise and diet, and a healthy weight can reduce the risk of the condition.
Progressive retinal atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that causes the dog to go blind. It’s more common in Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes, including the Heeler Pit. The condition isn’t painful. The eyes are programmed to stop functioning at a certain age.
Bloat can occur in any dogs, but some breeds are at a higher risk than others. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. Bloat occurs when the body can’t release gas from the stomach.
When the body is functioning normally, the gas is released through farting or belching. As food digests, the gas and pressure build in the stomach.
This pressure causes intense pain, and can cause the stomach to twist. This can be fatal within hours of symptoms beginning. Other symptoms of bloat include retching or gagging without vomiting, and inability to pee or poop.
Both parent breeds are at a higher than average risk of deafness. The Blue Heeler Pitbull mix may also be prone to deafness.
Over half of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Just like humans, dogs who are overweight are at a higher risk of health problems.
Pitbulls have a large appetite, and will overeat if allowed. Blue Heeler Pitbulls aren’t more likely than average to become obese. However, their body type means they can be overweight without the average owner noticing.
It’s easy to think that a naturally thin or muscular dog is simply “well fed”, instead of overweight, because they don’t look very large with the extra weight.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Behavior/Characteristics/Temperament
Both parent breeds are energetic and love having a job to do. They are affectionate, despite common myths about Pitbulls.
The Blue Heeler Pit inherits all fo these characteristics from their parents. They are very loyal, affectionate, and playful.
They need plenty of exercise and attention. They don’t do well with being left alone for long periods of time. They can develop separation anxiety if they don’t get enough interaction.
Are Pitbull Blue Heelers Aggressive?
Pitbulls have a reputation for being aggressive, and Blue Heelers are nippers by nature. Is this breed aggressive, or are they good pets?
Despite their reputation, Pitbulls are not more aggressive than other breeds. They can be aggressive towards other animals, but they aren’t aggressive towards people. In fact, when they were bred for fighting, dogs who were aggressive towards people were usually eliminated.
The American Temperament Test is one way to measure a dog’s temperament. Individual dogs are tested, and the results are compiled to provide information about the breed as a whole.
86% of Pitbulls pass the test. 80% of Blue Heelers pass the test. For comparison, let’s look at a few well known breeds. Family friendly German Shepherds do pretty well, with 85% passing the test. Chihuhaus, however, only pass the test 70% of the time.
Based on these statistics, it’s safe to say that Blue Heeler Pits are no more aggressive than the average breed, and may be less aggressive than many popular breeds.
How to care for a Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix
Before you choose a Blue Heeler Pit, it’s important to know exactly how to care for them. All dogs need basic care, but some aspects will vary based on their breed.
How much exercise do Blue Heeler Pitbull Mixes need?
Blue Heeler Pitbulls have similar exercise needs as their pure bred counterparts. They will need a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day, with 1 hour a day being ideal. Walking, jogging, running, and swimming are great ways to keep them active. Keep in mind that they are very playful, and play sessions also count as exercise.
How energetic your Pit Heeler is will depend on the genes they inherited and their temperament. Some will need more physical activity than others.
In addition to physical exercise, they need plenty of mental stimulation. They are intelligent, and both parent breeds are considered working dogs. This means they need plenty to keep them occupied.
You can do this by teaching them new commands, taking them to obedience classes, or playing games with them. Puzzle toys and dog friendly tv channels are great ways to keep them occupied when you aren’t available, but they aren’t a replacement for interacting with them.
Do Blue Heeler Pitbull Mixes shed a lot?
Blue Heeler Pits don’t shed a lot, but they do shed. They will shed moderately all year round. In the spring and fall, you can expect the shedding to be heavier. However, they still aren’t heavy shedders.
Do you need to groom Blue Heeler Pitbull mixes often?
Blue Heeler Pits have a thick but short coat. They will need to be brushed once or twice a week. This will help remove shedding hair and dirt, and distribute the oils on their coat.
They will need a bath at least once a month. You shouldn’t bathe them more often than once a week, because it can irritate their skin.
Teeth should be cleaned daily if possible, and at least 2 times a week. Their ears should be cleaned weekly as well. Their nails should be trimmed when needed. How often this is depends on how active your pooch is, because this naturally wears the nails down.
Do you need to train Blue Heeler Pitbull Mixes a lot?
Blue Heeler Pits are fairly easy to train, thanks to their intelligence and temperament. However, it’s extremely important to train them properly.
Heelers are herding dogs, and have a natural instinct to nip at the heels of livestock. This often leads them to nip the heels of people as well. They may try to herd their family, particularly children who aren’t going the way they think they should.
The Heeler won’t intentionally cause any harm. In fact, they are bred not to hurt when herding. However, the experience can be irritating and unpleasant, particularly for children.
The Pit Heeler is also energetic and strong. If they aren’t trained, they can become hard to handle.
Pitbulls are highly protective, and can be aggressive towards other animals, including other dogs. Some are also aggressive or wary of strangers. Blue Heelers also have a protective streak, and are wary of strangers.
This means that the Blue Heeler Pitbull mix must be socialized well and early on in life. They’ll need to interact with strange people, and other animals. This will prevent unwanted behaviors as they get older.
The Heeler Pitbull can be strong willed. They are eager to please, which helps with training. However, they need an owner that is confident and has a sense of authority.
If they don’t have a clear alpha owner, they will attempt to dominate the family.
Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix Diet
Blue Heeler Pits do well with a high protein diet due to their energy level and muscle mass.
Heeler Pit puppies should be fed a high quality puppy food 3 times a day. Once they are 1 year old, you can switch them to an adult food twice a day.
You should base the amount you feed them on their weight. Most dog foods will have a chart that lets you know how much food to give them, based on their weight.
Choose a high quality food with at least 18% protein and 5% fat. They do best with a slightly richer diet, with 20%-30% protein.
Are Blue Heeler Pitbull Mixes good family pets?
Yes, Blue Heeler Pitbulls can make great pets. However, there are a few caveats. Some believe they aren’t a good dog for families with young children.
This is because these dogs are high energy, and can be prone to nipping. They won’t intentionally harm a young child, but they may knock them down in excitement. However, proper training can prevent these issues.
Heeler Pits are very playful, which makes them a great playmate for children.
Blue Heelers have a tendency to become highly attached to one person, while Pitbulls will fall in love with the entire family. Your pooch may inherit either of these temperaments.
How do you buy a Blue Heeler Pitbull Mix?
You have two options when it comes to buying a Blue Heeler Pitbull. You can adopt one, or purchase one from a breeder.
Adopting a Blue Heeler Pitbull
Adopting a Blue Heeler Pitbull allows you to provide a home for a pooch in need. However, they can be difficult to find in shelters.
Blue Heelers are not a common breed in the U.S., but they are very common in Australia. Their rarity means they aren’t often found in shelters.
Pitbulls, on the other hand, are unfortunately common in shelters.
Finding a Blue Heeler Pit in a shelter is difficult, but it is worth a look. You can check adoption agencies that are breed specific as well. The Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association, and Pitbull Rescue Central.
Purchasing a Blue Heeler Pitbull
The easiest way to find a Blue Heeler Pit is to purchase one from a breeder. However, you’ll need to find a reputable breeder.
One method is to check the AKC breeder registry. Pitbulls aren’t registered with the AKC. However, you can find reputable Blue Heeler breeders. You’ll need to see if they breed Heeler Pits.
The other method is to search for breeders via an internet search. However, it’s very important to ensure that you are buying from the right breeder.
Not all breeders are ethical. Unethical breeders are concerned with making a profit, with no concern for their dogs health or well being. These breeders will breed dogs with poor health or temperament.
Ethical breeders will always put the health and temperament of their dogs, and the health of the breed as a whole, before profit.
To determine if a breeder is ethical, ask how they ensure the health of their dogs. Do they do genetic testing? Do the puppies have a health certificate?
You should also visit the dogs if possible. The living conditions of the dogs will tell you a lot about the breeder and their concern for their pooches.
Choosing a breeder with AKC registered Blue Heelers is an option. However, Heeler Pits can’t be registered, so this isn’t necessary. It does give you a clue that the breeder is ethical, because the AKC has high standards.
You can also ask the breeder if they belong to any clubs. This is another indication they are ethical, because members of breed clubs typically genuinely love the breed.