Are Blue Heelers Really Blue?

Sort of. And "Blue Heeler" is sort of a nickname for Australian Cattle Dog. See our photos!

A Blue Heeler dog.
A 10-week-old Blue Heeler. Photography by WOLF AVNI / Shutterstock.

We were surprised to learn that a lot of people on the Internet search for “Blue Heeler,” which is actually just another name for the Australian Cattle Dog. We wondered whether those people thought they were looking for a separate breed or if they knew they could have also searched for “Australian Cattle Dog.” Then we thought, “Hey! Since so many people are looking for this, why don’t we try to set things straight?” So here are some photos and answers to questions relating to those beautiful Blue Heelers (like, are Blue Heelers really blue?). You can read more about Blue Heelers on our breed page, too!

Blue Heelers Are Working Dogs

A blue heeler dog plays with a snowball.
A blue heeler dog. Photography by BGSmith / Shutterstock.

Like most working dogs, Blue Heelers are keenly intelligent and need to feel like they have a job to do or else they begin to misbehave. You might call them the workaholics of the dog world, along with other shepherds like Border Collies.

Are Blue Heelers Really Blue?

Well, sort of. It’s more like a blackish coat with a blue tint.

What About Red Heelers?

There are also Red Heelers, who have a similarly speckled coat, which is red instead of black. They’re known for being tough, hard-working dogs out in the field, built stocky and low to the ground so they don’t get kicked in the face when nipping at the heels of cows or other herd animals.

Where Do Blue Heelers Come From?

They were developed in 1840 in Australia to herd cattle. According to breed legends, the dog gained popularity in the United States when American soldiers stationed in Australia fell in love with them and brought them home.

So now we hope we’ve set the record straight regarding the Blue Heeler (or Australian Cattle Dog)!

How many of you have Blue Heelers — a.k.a. Australian Cattle Dogs? Let us know!

Thumbnail: Photography by WOLF AVNI / Shutterstock.

Read more about Blue Heelers on

4 thoughts on “Are Blue Heelers Really Blue?”

  1. They are VERY lively dogs!!! Anybody who loves to do yoga-wanna get more enjoyment from it????? Do yoga with your Blue Heeler!!! Believe me, you will get a lot of good laughs! Whenever I do yoga with these two Blue Heelers I let out while their owner is at work, they will get underneath me when I do Downward Facing Dog Pose, and give lots of kisses!!!!!

  2. Do not, please do not bother getting a heeler unless you will be fully dedicated to this animal for 14 plus years. They are more intelligent than a lot of people who get them. Their comprehension level is way up there. They come into their own at about 2 years old and require more love and guidance. That is the age a lot of them end up in animal shelters. Again, smarter than their human. I will never own any other breed. They should never be mistreated, only loved and respected. When put on the spot, they do not hesitate to save your life. He would protect my blind mother like she was his. Very special breed.

    1. How can anyone NOT love them!!! Always look forward to visiting the Blue Heelers I let out while their owner is working!!!

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