Blue Heelers, also known as Australian Cattle Dogs, are meant to herd cattle in the dry fields of the Land Down Under. If you plan on raising a Blue Heeler puppy in your home instead of the Outback, be prepared to handle one restless and energetic ball of fur.
Here are some tips for training a Blue Heeler puppy. Read on.
- Teach him to sit. Sitting is useful when feeding a dog or just prevent him from leaping at you as a greeting. Place one hand under his head, another hand on his rump then coax him into a sitting position while clearly saying, “Sit.” Reward him with a treat and praise when he maintains this position on his own.
- Engage him with a set of chew toys. This will allow him to practice his jaws on things besides your furniture and possessions. You can also purchase for him a bag of rawhide chew bones.
- Include him in playtime with other dogs. This will familiarize him with them and avoid any awkwardness or aggression towards them. Schedule a play date with other dog owners or just let a bunch of leashed dogs sniff each other in the park or other public areas.
- Teach him some games. Games will not only distract your Blue Heeler from turning wild on your furniture, it will also allow his energies to be channeled in a safe and productive way. Engage in a game of fetch or take him for a run around the streets. Keep your dog on a leash when taking him outdoors as the breed is known to be aggressive and may snap at strangers.
- Dissuade children from running around your Blue Heeler during training. A Blue Heeler will instinctively nip at the heels of creatures in the act of herding them (they do this for cattle) and may pursue running kids and nip them on their heels. You should also familiarize them with children so he will be warm towards them.
- Avoid forcing or abusing the dog during training. Not only is this cruel, but the naturally aggressive Blue Heeler may fight back and bite if pushed too far, so be careful not to abuse them during trainings.
- Consider enrolling your Blue Heeler in obedience school. A large part of the guesswork in instructing a dog can be solved by going to an accredited obedience school. Effective training techniques and the guiding hands of experts will not only teach your dog, but you as a master, as well. Teach him a lot of tricks that you pick up from the instructors and fellow owners, as your dog is smart and will require plenty of mental stimulation. Consult your dog-owning friends to obedience schools they recommend then research their curriculum, fees and effectiveness online.
Blue Heeler puppies can be a handful, but with proper training, you can let him loose once in a while knowing he will behave himself. If your own Blue Heeler is showing resistance to training, put on your best alpha dog attitude and show him who’s the master.