Blue Heelers are an extremely loyal and intelligent breed that many people are eager to add to their families.
However, many people do not know what to expect when it comes to the bond they will develop with their new dog. They have the same attributes as many of the popular herding breeds.
Are Blue Heelers truly one-person dogs?
The Blue Heeler tends to be very independent, but they do form a close bond with one person in the family. Oftentimes, they choose the person who pays them the most attention and who meets their needs such as food and walks. You can strengthen your bond through training, games, and attention.
For more information on how the Blue Heeler bonds, this guide is just for you!
Do Blue Heelers Bond to One Person?
If you have been thinking about adding a Blue Heeler to your family, you may wonder how they will get along with you, your spouse, and even your kids.
These dogs are capable of forming deep relationships with the people in their life, but they are primarily one-person dogs. This is true of many of the popular herding dogs. They will select just one person out of the family to rely on and build the strongest bond.
Think about how your family members may feel toward the dog. If your spouse and kids don’t care much about them, then this may not be an issue for you.
However, it can be quite infuriating to try to interact with a Blue Heeler who is only concerned about one person.
While these dogs can sometimes earn the moniker of a Velcro dog, they also tend to be fiercely independent. They enjoy your company and love being around you, but they do not love cuddling or excess amounts of affection.
Instead, you can reward your dog with positive reinforcement like treats or a quick belly rub.
Why Do Blue Heeler’s Choose One Master?
The truth is that your Blue Heeler is likely to choose just one master that they prefer above all others.
While they may still listen and respond to other members of the family, they will often make their preferences known by following one person from room to room. They may also act faster and more enthusiastically to commands from their chosen master.
This connection stems all the way back to when the breed was first started. Australian George Elliott created several herding breeds by crossing native Dingoes with Collies and other breeds that were known for herding.
Each dog was created with the purpose of herding cattle without any direct intervention from their owners. This is how they developed their independent mindset that can sometimes make them seem aloof or wary.
When you spend a lot of time with your new pup, they will start to look to you for direction. A Blue Heeler often pays close attention to your needs and wants.
They are accustomed to having a serious job to do all day long when it comes to herding cattle. No matter what you want from them, they are always at the ready and eager to perform for you.
Keep in mind that training your Blue Heeler is absolutely essential if you want to prevent them from herding your family members. They may listen more intently to one master, but it is very important for all family members to have a role in training.
You want your Blue Heeler to be at least mostly responsive to all members of the family when they issue a command or make a request.
Check out these related posts:
How Do Blue Heeler’s Choose a Master?
If you are intent on being your Blue Heeler’s favorite person, you may be wondering just how to ensure your importance in their life. The good news is that creating a bond with your dog doesn’t have to be extremely complicated.
Your Blue Heeler is highly intelligent and pays close attention to the way you act around them and how you treat them. Small kindnesses do not go unnoticed with this breed.
In general, your Blue Heeler is likely to bond to the individual who meets most of their needs and gives them the most attention. Large families may make determining this person a bit more challenging.
Puppies quickly develop bonds while being socialized during the first six months of life. If you want to make a positive impact on your relationship with your dog, you should aim to do so during this critical period. It can be much harder to shift their alliances once they reach adulthood and have already bonded with one particular person.
However, you can ensure that your Heeler chooses you as their master in a couple of key ways.
First, the primary owner should be the one who feeds the dog at meal times. You want your dog to begin to associate you with the arrival of all good things. That means you should be the only one filling up Fido’s food dish and slipping them some tasty morsels for a snack.
You also want to ensure that you are meeting all of your dog’s needs. Take them for a walk around the block to burn off some of that excess energy.
Play a round or two of fetch with them to break up a monotonous afternoon. When they ask to go outside for a bathroom break, be sure that you are the one who leashes them up or watches over them in the backyard. Meeting their needs can be quite simple.
Of course, you also want to make sure you are spending time with your dog physically. While Blue Heelers are not very affectionate dogs, they appreciate your time and attention. Invite them on the couch to lay next to you while you watch a movie.
Train them to perform simple obedience tasks or play intense games like agility with them. The more time you can spend with your Blue Heeler, the more likely you are to become their chosen master.
Read Next: 20 Unique Jobs for your Blue Heeler
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Bond with Your Blue Heeler
If you want to ensure that you become your Blue Heeler’s favorite person, then you need to solidify the bond you have with them. This requires a time commitment from you, but it is worth it to see your dog come to trust and love you on another level. Here are a few creative ways you can strengthen your bond with your dog.
Training your Blue Heeler is essential to nip problematic behaviors like herding early on in their life. However, training your dog is about more than just achieving perfect behavior from your four-legged friend.
It also teaches your dog how to accept commands from you, and it gives them some incentive and motivation to work hard at your command. You should always use positive reinforcement when training your dog.
Do you feel unqualified to teach your dog basic obedience?
Try signing up for a group class at your local pet store to get your feet wet.
You will learn the basics of dog training, and your dog will get to socialize a bit. With the tools you learn in class, you can start to teach your dog more advanced commands than just the basic sit, stay, and lie down.
Read Next: 10 Best Companions for your Blue Heeler
Pick Up a Sport
Any kind of sport where you and your Blue Heeler are required to work as a team is a great way to strengthen your bond. Consider how much space you have in your backyard and what tools you have available to you.
Many Heelers love agility because it forces them to burn off some excess energy while engaging their minds. If you have room to set up a full course in your yard, this sport is highly recommended.
Others may prefer flyball as it requires less space and equipment. This involves your dog running down a lane filled with hurdles, releasing a ball from a box at the end, and returning back to their owner as quickly as possible.
It is also meant to be played as a team sport, so it can be great if you have multiple dogs.
A Blue Heeler may also love the lesser-known sport of treibbal. This involves “herding” several large balls into a goal. Dogs must listen to their owner’s commands to push individual balls in the general direction of the goal.
It is a great way to strengthen your dog’s listening skills, hone their herding skills, and build your bond all at the same time.
Hand Feed Your Dog
The best way to your dog’s heart is oftentimes through their stomach. Your dog is likely to love you more if you are always the person who fills up their food dish each day.
However, you can go a step further and hand feed your dog every once in a while. Try giving them an entire meal out of your hand. This ensures that they know exactly who provides them with their meal day after day.
Alternatively, you can set their meal aside and make them work for it. Scoop their meal into a training pouch and ask them to perform basic tasks in exchange for a piece of kibble or two. Keep going until they have consumed their entire meal from your hand.
Read Next: 12 Reasons Blue Heelers Make Fantastic Pets
While your Blue Heeler may not be the most affectionate dog on the planet, they can grow to love grooming sessions from their owner. These dogs tend to shed quite a bit, so routine brushing could be a great way to manage their coat as well as strengthen your bond.
If they are not used to being handled, it can take some time for them to adjust to a thorough brushing. Be sure to keep sessions short in the beginning. Give them time to inspect your brushes and other grooming tools by sniffing or licking them.
You may even want to just get your dog used to being handled at first by touching their ears, paws, and other sensitive areas that don’t see much attention. Work up to a full grooming session slowly and over time so that your dog can come to enjoy the experience.
Set Up a Routine
Like most dogs, Blue Heelers thrive when they know exactly what to expect from any given day. While surprises may keep life interesting, your dog will thrive on a consistent routine.
Try to establish a steady rhythm to your days that your dog can come to rely on. This teaches them to look to you when the next fun activity is supposed to be coming their way. Make sure you are the only one who engages them in these fun activities if you want to be their chosen master.
Feed them at the same times, take them out in the backyard for playtime at the same time, and even time your daily walks. They should get consistent bathroom breaks at scheduled intervals throughout the day as well.
Bonding with Your Blue Heeler
Most Blue Heelers are known for being one-person dogs. They love intensely despite their mostly independent nature. If you want to ensure that you are the master your dog selects, then you need to take steps to strengthen your bond with them.
Train them, play games with them, groom them, and even set up a routine so they know what to expect. All of these activities will help your dog to solidify you as their master!
Do Blue Heelers choose one person?
Blue Heelers do tend to choose one person that they listen to more intently than other members of the family. They are sometimes nicknamed as Velcro dogs because they tend to stick to one person at all times. Your Blue Heeler may follow you from room to room just to be near you.
Do Blue Heelers get jealous?
Because Blue Heelers tend to form close bonds with just one person, they do often exhibit jealous behaviors when that person gives affection to another animal or person. They may act out in an attempt to earn your attention back.
Do Blue Heelers have a favorite person?
Yes, Blue Heelers do tend to have a favorite person. They will not often shower their favorite person with affection, but they do enjoy being near them. A Blue Heeler may lay quietly at your feet or curl up beside you on the couch if you are their favorite person.