The Catahoula Blue Heeler mix has a distinctive look and attitude. A blend of two similar breeds, this type of dog will have the best, and possibly the worst, traits of both magnified. Read on for more about the Catahoula Blue Heeler mix. Is it right for you and your family?
Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix History
Catahoula Blue Heeler dogs result from mixing a Catahoula Leopard Dog and a Blue Heeler. Looking at the two breeds gives some insight into the Catahoula Blue Heeler.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog hails from Louisiana’s Catahoula Parish. Its name originated from “Choctaw“, an Native American word that translates to “Sacred Lake.” The breed was created in the 16th century by the Spanish settling in Florida. Originally bred as a hunting dog, it soon became a herder of choice in the Southern United States.
Coats vary from merle to solid, but usually with splotches of color spread throughout. This dog is visually striking. Catahoula is all muscles with floppy ears begging for a scratch. They are moderately independent, very active, and even-tempered. They are good family dogs and highly trainable but can be mildly aggressive with unfamiliar dogs and people.
Recently, this breed became popular as a service dog.
You may know it better as the Australian Cattle Dog. It was bred in the early 20th century and developed by domesticated dogs with tamed dingoes in the outback. The result is a unique coat pattern of spots, merles, and solid colors. They have striking blue eyes.
The Blue Heeler herds cattle over long distances and is perfect for Australia. This breed is similar in temperament and behavior to the Catahoula Leopard Dog. The ability of both dogs to handle herding and be vigilant protectors of cattle prompted the melding of the two breeds into the Catahoula Blue Heeler mix.
The mix of these breeds gives the dog a stunning look marked with the best traits of both. No two Catahoula Blue Heelers look the same – a distinct part of their charm. There are a few characteristics shared across the breed.
The coat of the Catahoula Blue Heeler can be any combination of colors, patterns, and spots. They are usually short-coated. Their grooming needs are a weekly brushing and an occasional bath. Some tend toward the Heeler heritage, so they can rapidly shed their coats annually.
Size and Weight
Also known as the Catahoula Cattle Dog, it is medium to large-sized, standing 19-22 inches tall on average. Full-grown, they may weigh anywhere from 40 to 90 lbs, depending on their heritage.
One particular thing about the Catahoula Blue Heeler is their tendency to become a bit plump. Their working dog heritage gives them the instinct to eat more calories. But the downside is that if they are not active, they are not burning those calories.
High-Energy Working Dogs
Both the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Blue Heeler are energetic breeds. They are both herding canines and therefore have the speed and stamina to direct the cattle and sheep. This means that if they aren’t doing some work, they have the energy to burn – a lot of it.
This Dog Needs a Job!
The term “working dog” does not have to mean that this pup needs to have a herd of cattle to drive. The Catahoula Blue Heeler needs a predictable exercise regimen and regular mental stimulation. If the environment is not challenging, behavioral problems are likely.
This breed does well helping with household tasks, like retrieving slippers or helping get the hose when out gardening. They are bright and enjoy helping their pack. They are easy to train, so utilize that trait positively.
As mentioned before, this is a dog with excess energy to burn. It needs space to run and play. If you have a small yard and no access to parks, this mixed breed may not be the right choice for you.
Sweet, loyal, productive, and intelligent, the Catahoula Blue Heeler is a wonderful addition to any pack of people. They are fierce canines when need be. Don’t forget they are close in heritage to a wild dog; that affects their behavior. They are often independent, somewhat solitary, but still a pack member at heart.
Sometimes they nip at ankles to deter a certain path, but this is instinctual, and they mean no harm. The breed may not be the best for a family with young children. However, they do well with older children.
It is not a dog that does well alone for long periods of time. Being left on its own, particularly confined to a small space, may cause the dog stress. This often results in damaged furniture and other canine vandalism. The Catahoula Blue Heeler may also have difficulty getting along with other family pets. It can be aggressive to other canines and cats.
A Family is Just a Different Kind of Pack
These dogs are members of a pack. Whether that is a pack of dogs or humans. They are loyal and protective of said pack. They will usually become attached to a certain family member. This can be difficult due to the immense fixation they will have.
Stubborn to a Fault
The fixation on a single task is one of their personality traits. The stubbornness of this beautiful mix is on display here. Obedience training is a safe bet and will help with this trait – everyone will be happier.
They need a lot of your patience and consistency for you to become the alpha. They will push your boundaries just because they can and want to see if they can get away with it.
Catahoula Blue Heeler Lifespan
Catahoula Blue Heelers are generally healthy dogs. There are a few things to look for as they can inherit certain issues. Things like:
- Hip dysplasia
- Patellar luxation (knee dislocation)
- Obesity prone
These pups are more prone to hearing and vision issues if their coat has more white, so do regular screenings. Teeth should be brushed once or twice a week to negate any harmful effects.
A raw food diet or one with high-quality protein is the best for them and their overall health. With healthy habits and exercise, a Catahoula Blue Heeler can live 12 to 16 years on average.
Is a Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix the One For You?
Often, it is not a matter of whether or not the dog is right for the owner, but if the owner is right for the dog. Catahoula Blue Heelers are beautiful, energetic dogs with streaks of stubbornness and independence. Yet, they are loyal, protective dogs that make excellent companions.
If you are a patient, responsible dog owner with space for a dog that likes to roam free, the Catahoula Blue Heeler may be the right choice for you.