Training a Blue Heeler?

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Brute 23
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Brute 23 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:30 am

BK9954 wrote:She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?


Just to be honest you are starting behind the curve, not even at zero. I suspect there is more to the story on that dog than what they told you. The fact that it will go after some things but not others is sketchy and leads me to beieve some thing happened to it as a pup and you may never fix that. It's hard to teach hunt, or bark, or trail, or cow in to dogs... that should be genetics.

I am with cross on this... I have never seen a good healer work although I'm sure they exist. Most did more harm than good.

Forget about using it for hog hunting. Most of the dogs used like curr dogs are head dogs because you are trying to stop the hog. Healer are heal dogs... thats counter-productive. They nip and bite and will push a hog for miles. I refuse to hunt with a healer on the ground no matter what the owner claims.

Start with obedience and go from there. If all else fails you will have a good dog around the house. Be careful, cattle that are not use to dogs and/ or untrained dogs can get you or some one else hurt real fast.
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby BK9954 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:40 am

Brute 23 wrote:
BK9954 wrote:She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?


Just to be honest you are starting behind the curve, not even at zero. I suspect there is more to the story on that dog than what they told you. The fact that it will go after some things but not others is sketchy and leads me to beieve some thing happened to it as a pup and you may never fix that. It's hard to teach hunt, or bark, or trail, or cow in to dogs... that should be genetics.

I am with cross on this... I have never seen a good healer work although I'm sure they exist. Most did more harm than good.

Forget about using it for hog hunting. Most of the dogs used like curr dogs are head dogs because you are trying to stop the hog. Healer are heal dogs... thats counter-productive. They nip and bite and will push a hog for miles. I refuse to hunt with a healer on the ground no matter what the owner claims.

Start with obedience and go from there. If all else fails you will have a good dog around the house. Be careful, cattle that are not use to dogs and/ or untrained dogs can get you or some one else hurt real fast.

She does have the instinct to herd. Heck when walking her in a leash she tries to herd me. There are some videos on youtube of some pretty good heelers herding cattle. She has been great as far as loyal, hasn't run of, sits quietly while we take her to feed the hogs. Pretty darn tough, she got but by a copperhead in the neck last week. Acted like nothing even happened. Showed no signs of pain. She is just very jealious. She won't let my other dog get close when we are with her.
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:42 pm

BK, it sounds like you could make a pretty good dog out of that pup. Heelers are tough and loyal, so its good to hear yours has that too. They do get to be "one person dogs" and get jealous/protective. Just keep working on obedience and don't be afraid to show her some tough love to get the point across occasionally. I have bred, raised and trained ACDs for nearly 30 years. I have had no trouble with getting them to work stock well and effectively. They are the only breed I will ever own anymore...
Here's some pics of my current ones. The mottle female in the first pic and sitting in the third is a direct descendant of a female I imported when I was a kid and my first male.
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BK9954
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby BK9954 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:09 am

This is her. First day on the ride home.
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby cow pollinater » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:23 pm

I love heelers and will probably have one floating around until the day I die but they are not my choice for cow work. They will help you push cows around and if you really get one trained they might gather a little with you helping but I've seen very few that will go do the work for you the way gathering breeds will.
The best use for a heeler is as your guardian angel. When you have something penned up that wants to kill you there is no other dog that you want standing next to you. Both of mine are retired and then some but you wouldn't know it when the snot starts blowing.
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Cross-7 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:34 pm

That's the thing most people don't understand.
They're are pushing/driving dogs and gathering dogs.
Both can be trained but instinct is hard to overcome.
Figure out what you want from a dog and get one that fits your needs
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Silver » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:05 pm

I'm not a real dog trainer, but I agree that before it works cows it need to have a rock solid "down" and "back", as well as "heel". I have had the best luck with this by always keeping the dog on a long line at least 50 feet) with a choke collar. That way they can't get away from you and you can correct instantly.
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Stocker Steve » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:09 pm

Cross-7 wrote:Personally I'd get a better dog.
I'm s firm believer in cattle bred border collies

I tried a sheep bred border collie. He was wired up really tight and scared of cattle... Would try to gather but mostly just barked at them... He did bring in a rouge steer on his own, but that was because he ran back to me with the steer in close pursuit. :nod:

What about Australian Shepherds?
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Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Postby Lazy M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:33 pm

cow pollinater wrote:I love heelers and will probably have one floating around until the day I die but they are not my choice for cow work. They will help you push cows around and if you really get one trained they might gather a little with you helping but I've seen very few that will go do the work for you the way gathering breeds will.
The best use for a heeler is as your guardian angel. When you have something penned up that wants to kill you there is no other dog that you want standing next to you. Both of mine are retired and then some but you wouldn't know it when the snot starts blowing.

Great post. Never heard of or seen a herding heeler. Their place is up close with you keeping the cows moving in the right direction. Until they understand that you're the boss they may decide that they know the "right" direction better than you. You'll probably have to put a few knots in her head before she realizes that you're in charge.
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