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Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:02 pm
by BK9954
Just got a 10 month old blue Heeler female. She is sweet as pie but the guy I got her from said she didn't mess with his show steers but would go after his goat. Just his 1 goat with no horns, I saw it, the thing was about 30 pounds. The ones with horns it didnt mess with. So far she has been good around the guineas. Priced it out, cheapest around here is $750. That is alot for obedience training, then for training her to work cattle I am not sure where to start. Anyone done this before or have a direction to point me in. I would hate to spend $1000's in training.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:23 am
by dun
Start with obedience and make sure she is bullet proof with that before starting her on livestock

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:55 pm
by Farm Fence Solutions
I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:57 pm
by BK9954
Farm Fence Solutions wrote:I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.

Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:58 pm
by BK9954
dun wrote:Start with obedience and make sure she is bullet proof with that before starting her on livestock

Why bullet proof?

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:30 pm
by Boot Jack Bulls
BK9954 wrote:
dun wrote:Start with obedience and make sure she is bullet proof with that before starting her on livestock

Why bullet proof?

Because, if you are not completely in charge of the situation, they are! Having a heeler is a whole new deal for most people. If they have an instinct to work, half the equation is done. The second half is putting a handle on one. Basic obediance training gives you the tools to start working stock. They must understand "No, down, easy, come, ect." A shock collar can be useful for one that has a bit extra drive. I even put them on my older dogs for a quick tune up some times.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 pm
by Cross-7
I'll give you my two cents.
There are some good heelers out there but I'm never really seen a good one.

But as Dun said obedience is #1
A solid stop/down and a come here command absolutely a must.

10 months isn't old enough to have the confidence to really work cattle unless the cattle are already dog broke.

You need to start a young dog on young cattle and build confidence.

It takes a rock solid dog to work grown cows that aren't dog broke.

Using a young dog on grown cows that aren't dog broke cab ruin a good one before they ever have a chance to learn.

Personally I'd get a better dog.
I'm s firm believer in cattle bred border collies

Edit to add
I'll never use a shock collar. Either I need to do a better job training or a better dog.
I had one that was a big mean SOB. He and I clashed, he never accepted me as the alpha, but back in the day when I'd bring in sale barn cattle that were outlaws, he was my go to guy.
One time I couldn't call him off and I finally got a hold of him and grabbed him by the scuff of the neck and gave him a shake and scolded him to listen to me, he bit me.
He was a tough rascal but was hard on cattle and lazy and wouldn't hardly work unless it got wild and then he was all in

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:00 pm
by Farm Fence Solutions
BK9954 wrote:
Farm Fence Solutions wrote:I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.

Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.



I've had a couple, and they were both good dogs. They went everywhere I went for the first couple years, and I think it helped. They are loyal and tough, but nothing like training a Border Collie. :lol:

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:30 pm
by Boot Jack Bulls
BK9954 wrote:
Farm Fence Solutions wrote:I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.

Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.

From my experience, the less you can tie/kennel one up, the better. It will likely be some time before she isn't so hyper, and being contained doesn't help. It just means you have to spend the better part of an hour wearing them down before they will focus and training is possible.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:32 pm
by BK9954
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?

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:19 am
by Turkeybird
No but I do know that with blue healers you either have a smart crazy one or a hard headed one that can't get right

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:06 am
by True Grit Farms
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?


Jogeephus, has a unbelievable Blue Heeler send him a PM.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:01 am
by dun
Boot Jack Bulls wrote:
BK9954 wrote:
Farm Fence Solutions wrote:I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.

Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.

From my experience, the less you can tie/kennel one up, the better. It will likely be some time before she isn't so hyper, and being contained doesn't help. It just means you have to spend the better part of an hour wearing them down before they will focus and training is possible.

The problem with not restraining them some way is they will herd anything and everything constantly. I don;t know how true it is but I talked to an Ausi when I first got a heeler (1975) and asked him how they prevent the constant herding. As I said, I don;t know how true it is/was but he said they kept them chained unless they were working them.
A problem that stemmed from that was when herding the chickens, ducks, geese, guines she gripped one to get it moving. Killed th sytupid duck and from then on managed to kill about half the birds before we caught her at it.

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:58 am
by Cross-7
Depends on how often you use one.
When you use one everyday they don't get fresh and only work when given a command.
Back when my good dog was young he'd get fresh and was too aggressive and get everything stirred up, so before I used him I'd let him run for a mile or so before I took him to cattle.
Once cattle get dog broke it's very rare they have to bite.
But they all had to be kenneld or they'd sneak off and work cattle.
When I a kid on the ranches everyone had dogs and none were kenneld, but they worked all day everyday

Re: Training a Blue Heeler?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:22 pm
by Boot Jack Bulls
Cross-7 wrote:Depends on how often you use one.
When you use one everyday they don't get fresh and only work when given a command.
Back when my good dog was young he'd get fresh and was too aggressive and get everything stirred up, so before I used him I'd let him run for a mile or so before I took him to cattle.
Once cattle get dog broke it's very rare they have to bite.
But they all had to be kenneld or they'd sneak off and work cattle.
When I a kid on the ranches everyone had dogs and none were kenneld, but they worked all day everyday

We don't kennel ours very often at all. They work when needed, and hang out in the barn when they are not. When we run into one that likes to work stock when it is not supposed to, it finds a new home that will fit its personality better. With the drug problem in our area, I want a dog that can lay in the yard and keep an eye on things too. I will admit that if some of the stock is not where it is supposed to be, our heelers will be the first to let us know. They may be one the reasons that we really don't have any issues keeping our goats in!