Every breed of dog is different; they each have their own personality traits, breed history and different exercise and grooming requirements. The Blue Heeler, also known as the Australian Heeler or the Australian Cattle Dog, is no exception.
Exercise and Training
The Blue Heeler is a herding breed; they are naturally hard working and active. According to the American Kennel Club, Blue Heeler puppies are prized for their intelligence and drive. Because of their energy level they need activities and lots of room to run and play. They will constantly urge you to take them outside and play with them. When your puppy does this, it is an opportune time to train her and turn backyard fun into a lesson on sit, stay and come. It is important to begin training at a young age; Blue Heelers are a strong and independent breed and become more difficult to train once they have reached adulthood.
The Blue Heeler is traditionally bred to herd cattle and might occasionally try to "herd" members of the household including small children. This may lead to light nipping, which is instinctual in a herding breed and should not be taken as aggression. Avoid herding behavior by exercising your puppy regularly and keeping a variety of toys around the house. Each puppy's toy preference may vary but most Blue Heelers enjoy bones and chew toys. Be sure to avoid rawhide chew toys as your puppy can swallow large chunks of them which can cause serious intestinal problems.
A good grooming regimen will form a stronger bond between you and your Blue Heeler puppy. The Blue Heeler requires weekly brushing to keep a coat healthy; this is best done with a firm bristle brush. The coat will need extra attention during their seasonal shedding, which varies by region. Introduce bathing at a young age and be sure to bathe your puppy monthly. Bath time should be special for your puppy to avoid fear of water later on in life; you can involve treats and toys to provide positive reinforcement. Your puppy's nails will need care as well, so ask your vet to show you how to clip them appropriately.