Blue Heelers, also called Australian Cattle Dogs, are a truly amazing dog breed. However, these are also dogs that have a lot of energy and require a decent amount of exercise to live healthy and happy lives.
This may make you wonder: does my Blue Heeler need a job?
Giving your Blue Heeler a “job” is great because it not only expels his energy, but it puts a dog’s mind to work as well. It is important to remember that these jobs do not need to be the traditional dog jobs that most people think about such as herding farm animals, but they can be other things too.
Here we will be explaining why it is great to give active dogs a job, and we will be providing you with 20 jobs and activities that are great to do with your Blue Heeler.
We will also be answering some commonly asked questions about Australian Cattle Dogs and their activity levels.
Do Blue Heelers Need a Job?
The Blue Heeler is a very active dog breed. This makes giving these dogs a job very helpful when it comes to giving them enough exercise. In addition, Australian Cattle Dogs are also very intelligent. As a result giving Blue Heelers a job can provide your dog with a dog amount of mental stimulation as well.
History of the Blue Heeler
The Blue Heeler was developed in Australia to be a good herding dog that can handle Australia’s harsh weather conditions.
The creation of the Australian Cattle Dog included breeding Collies with Australia’s feral dog, the Dingo. Next, they bred the Dalmatian into this combination to create the breed that we know and love today.
The Blue Heeler’s Personality
Blue Heelers are very intelligent and active dogs. As a result, they are very fun-loving and adventurous but it is suggested that you begin training and socialization when your dog is still young to promote good behavior.
Due to their energetic disposition, these dogs can appear stubborn to some. However, training and forming a strong bond with these dogs will allow them to truly shine.
Why Jobs Are Beneficial For Blue Heelers
Giving your dog a job is great for several different reasons.
The first is that it gives your dog an outlet to expel energy in a positive way.
This is particularly great for dogs who require a lot of daily exercise. In addition, providing your dog with a job allows for them to receive some mental stimulation, which is important for a dog’s health and happiness.
The next benefit to giving your Blue Heeler a job is that it increases the bond between the owner and the dog. This not only feels great for both the dog and the person involved, but it also makes training easier and more fun.
20 Jobs/Activities For Your Blue Heeler
Luckily there are many jobs and activities that are great to do with your Blue Heeler. Most of these fun activities can be done by almost anyone, and the different items on this list can be done successfully in a wide range of environments.
Here are 20 fun jobs and activities for your Blue Heeler.
The first item on this list is herding. Not only is it one of the first jobs that people think of for dogs, but it is also what the Australian Cattle Dog was originally bred for.
This job makes Blue Heelers great for those who already have a farm or a large amount of land that has enough room for some other animals.
2. Get Your Dog Farm Dog Certified
If you would like to take your Blue Heeler’s herding to the next level, you can get your dog “farm dog certified”. To get started, you will need to request the AKC handbook and your Blue Heeler should have encountered farm animals before they take the farm dog certification test.
The extra training that is required promotes a stronger dog-owner relationship, and it is also a great way to perfect your dog’s herding skills. For more information on this herding test, you can check out the AKC requirements for it here.
3. Therapy Dog Training
Blue Heelers can make great therapy dogs when they receive the right training. This is because Australian Cattle Dogs are typically very confident and are not sensitive when it comes to being pet and touched roughly.
This makes them great for being around both children and the elderly in a therapy setting when they have gone through the proper training and received official certification.
4. Agility Training for your Blue Heeler
Agility training is a dog sport that is great for both exercising and providing your Blue Heeler with some mental stimulation. This training essentially teaches your dog to go around an obstacle course.
Agility is a very fun activity for dogs and their owners, and it is also great for strengthening the dog-owner relationship. If you are interested in learning more about Agility training and Agility competitions, feel free to check out the AKC’s official page on agility here.
5. Obedience Training
Obedience training is a great way to mentaly stimulate your Australian Cattle Dog, and it can be done from virtually anywhere.
This activity promotes good manners and behavior from your dog. In addition, obedience training can be a great bonding activity for dogs and their owners.
It can also become a fun hobby, and you can even take your Blue Heeler’s obedience training further by enrolling him in some obedience competitions.
6. Trick Training for your Blue Heeler
Trick training is fairly similar to obedience training. However, trick training includes mostly fun commands, while obedience training mostly includes practical ones.
An example of trick training is teaching your Blue Heeler to jump through a hoop. Not only is this training fun for your dog, but it is also pretty cool to show off some of the tricks that your dog has learned.
7. Sniffer Training
Although Blue Heelers are not necessarily the first sniffer dog that most people think of, these dogs have an amazing sense of smell.
This training involves teaching your dog to track down concealed smells, and these smells and the smell hiding locations can increase in difficulty.
As a result, this training provides an endless amount of fun for dogs. This can be a fun training class to attend or just a fun activity to do at home.
8. Blue Heeler Flyball Training
Flyball is yet another dog sport that is great for expelling energy and providing mental stimulation. This sport begins with a race then concludes with the dog pressing a lever that releases a tennis ball. The event ends with the competing dog catching the tennis ball and running the ball back to its owner.
9. Take Your Blue Heeler on a Run
Taking your dog for a run is a great exercise for both you and your Blue Heeler. It is a great way to expel your Australian Cattle Dog’s energy and keep them healthy and happy.
10. Take Your Blue Heeler on a Hike
Like running, hiking is another great way that you and your Blue Heeler can get some quality exercise. Not only is it a great way to get your dog’s energy out, but the new smells and the sense of adventure provides your Blue Heeler with mental stimulation as well.
Swimming is a great exercise activity for Blue Heelers. You could even make this activity more fun and exciting by playing fetch in the water. In addition, swimming with a life jacket on is a great way to exercise senior dogs and dogs that have an injury.
This is because swimming provides a great outlet for expelling energy while being more gentle on joints and bones than other types of exercise like running.
12. Try “Dog Dancing”
Dog dancing is a form of advanced trick training that involves you and your dog performing a series of “dance moves” to music.
As you can probably imagine, the amount of training and practice that dog dancing requires creates an extremely strong dog-owner bond. You can just do this activity for fun, or you can perform your dog dancing in public.
You can even compete for prizes during certain events.
13. Teach Your Dog to Clean Up
This is both an impressive and a practical obedience cue that you can teach your Blue Heeler. Although this mostly provides your dog with some mental stimulation, it is also very useful for those who have a hard time bending over to pick things up.
14. Use Puzzle Toys for Mental Stimulation
Let’s face it, there are some days that people do not have the time or the energy to give their dogs that extra mental stimulation they need.
Luckily, there are many puzzle toys out there that can help with this. There are many different kinds of puzzle toys on the market for dogs. These include treat-dispensing toys, interactive treat seek and find toys and more.
15. Play Hide and Seek with your Blue Heeler
Although most people think of this as a game to play with kids, hide and seek is a great game to play with your dog as well.
This is a great way to give your Heeler some extra exercise and mental stimulation. It is also a good way to change up playtime when you need to.
16. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Fetch
Fetch is a great game to play with your Blue Heeler. This is because it provides your dog with a great outlet for both mental stimulation and exercise, and it is usually very fun for them.
As a result, you should never underestimate the power that fetch gives you as a dog owner.
17. Search and Rescue Training
For the more serious dog trainers out there, you can enroll your Blue Heeler into a search and rescue training program. This provides your dog with a rewarding job that requires a lot of training and skill.
18. Bikejoring with your Blue Heeler
Bikejoring is an exercise that involves your dog pulling you on a bike. This activity requires some training and expels a lot of energy. As a result, it is a great form of exercise for your Blue Heeler, and it gives them some mental stimulation as well.
19. Explore New Places
Walking in new places and giving your walks some variety is crucial when it comes to giving you Blue Heeler mental stimulation. The new sights, scents, and sounds will keep things interesting for both you and your dog.
20. Weight Pulling
Similar to bikejoring, weight pulling provides your Blue Heeler with some excellent exercise. It is important to practice this dog sport carefully and know your dog’s limits though. This will keep this activity fun, prevent injuries, and keep your dog healthy and happy overall.
Blue Heelers are a part of the herding group, which means they are both extremely energetic and intelligent. As a result, these dogs require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. Luckily, there are many activities and a few jobs that you can give your Australian Cattle Dog to meet their needs.
Can Blue Heelers be Inside Dogs?
Blue Heelers make a great family pet, but they also require a lot of exercise. As a result, it is best to also provide them with a yard that they can run, play, and expel some energy in.
It is also important to take these dogs for daily walks when they are acting as the average family pet.
How Do You Work a Blue Heeler?
You can put your Australian Cattle Dog to work in several different ways. The first way is to have them herd your livestock if you own a farm.
For those without farm animals for your dog to herd, you can practice some active sports such as bikejoring or agility training.
Are Blue Heelers Easy to Train?
Due to their energetic nature, Australian Cattle Dogs may not be the easiest to train for novice dog owners.
This is because they require obedience training and plenty of socialization when they are young to really set these dogs up for success.
In addition, these dogs require a lot of exercise along with consistent training in order to really see positive training results.
How Much Exercise Do Blue Heelers Need?
Blue Heelers require about two hours of exercise a day. Although this can seem a bit daunting, it is important to remember that this exercise can be spread out throughout the day.
For example, giving your dog a 30-minute walk in the morning, a 30 minute game of fetch in the afternoon, and a 1-hour walk in the evening should be enough exercise for the average Blue Heeler.