Texas Heeler – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Is a Texas Heeler a good family dog? Or he is more of a working dog? Read on and get your answer in this complete guide on Texas Heeler.
Dog Breed Group:
Mixed Breed Dogs
16 to 22 inches
25 to 50 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Texas Heeler is a mixed breed of unusual appearance.

This breed is a mix between the Australian cattle dog and the Australian shepherd which makes this super-smart dog even more interesting.

A mix between a shepherd and cattle dog means one thing – that this is an offspring with a lot of energy to burn.

Named after the state of origin, this cross is a medium-size dog that was bred to primarily herd cattle.

This dog comes with great intelligence and high-energy levels that should always be navigated carefully.

As a highly intelligent breed, the Texas Heeler is a true enjoyment when it comes to training. At least this is the case if you already have experience as a dog owner and have enough energy to keep up with this breed.

If you are a first time dog owner, this breed isn’t for you.

The Texas Heeler is definitely a breed for experienced dog owners. If you are serious about getting this breed, make sure that you visit your local shelter first.

You will be surprised t learn how many purebred and mixed dogs can be found in dog shelters and similar institutions.

Life happens, and many unpredicted moments lead to abandoned animals. Why not give some of the rescues a chance for a better life?

Quick Facts

Real name: Texas Heeler
Other names: Aussie Sheep Heelers, Texas Cattle dog
Origin: Texas
Breed type: Mixed Breed Dogs
Weight: 25 to 50 pounds
Height: 16 to 22 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: Around 5 puppies
Color: Usually black, or blue merle or fawn with patterns
Coat: Short coat

Texas Heeler History

Just like many designer breeds, Texas Heelers most likely have existed over the years. However, during the 1970s the world started noticing this breed. Texas Heeler was an instant hit.

Breeders started crossing the Australian Cattle Dog with the Australian Shepherd in the 1970s, with the goal of creating an ultimate smart mixed dog.

Since this breed was an instant hit, breeders continued developing the breed further, and the Texas Heeler has been one of the most popular designed dogs ever since, perfecting it even more.

Read on to see what you can expect from this breed in terms of appearance.

Texas Heeler Physical Appearance

The very first thing that you should know about designer breeds and is that their appearance is a bit like a lottery.

That is the beauty of mixed breeds, you can not know for sure what you will get in terms of appearance.

Still, some general traits are expected and often seen.

Overall, the Texas Heeler is a medium-size dog who is usually between 16 to 22 inches, and up to 50 pounds.

Males are slightly bigger than females in terms of appearance. Very often this breed will have the posture of the Australian Shepherd dog. Their coats are short to medium in length and can come in different colors.

Their coats may be black, red, white, tan, or blue merle. They come with pricked and upright ears, that are in most cases folded like the Australian Shepherd dog. They have really big eyes that only to their overall happy expression.

Fast fact: The majority of Texas Heelers are born with bobbed tails.

All in, the Texas Heeler takes the best from both parents. As result, each litter may be of a different appearance. Yet, they tend to be powerfully built, lean, and tall.

All in, they are built to work and handle being active for hours. These dogs are highly athletic, muscular, and energetic.

Their bodies are well-built to handle all of their energy. Since they are highly energetic dogs they shouldn’t gain any weight, but it’s still important to be mindful of their weight.

Texas Heeler Personality

As mentioned earlier, the Texas Heeler is an energetic breed. As such, he will thrive on outdoor activities and is an experienced dog owner.

Experienced dog owners will know how to navigate dogs with high energy levels, and provide them with needed mental and physical stimulation. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog.

When not trained or exercised right, the Texas Heeler will get bored and demonstrate some form of destructive behavior. This applies to dogs of any size and any breed.

Every dog loves when there is a job to be done, they love being busy. After all, dogs were bred to assist humans with various tasks, from hunting, over retrieving fish to pulling sleds.

If you want your Texas Heeler to stay active and happy you should provide enough mental stimulation, which may include:

  • Indoor games
  • Puzzle toys
  • Interactive games
  • Training time
  • Exercise

Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any issues with Texas Heeler temperament and personality-wise.

When socialized at an early age and trained right, the Texas Heeler will be the affectionate and well-behaved dog of medium size.

They are used to being around strangers, which means that they can be aloof around strangers.

What About Children and Other Pets?

Texas Heelers are the perfect choice for families with older children. They may be too energetic for homes with toddlers. They will usually try to nip the heels of smaller children.

After all, this is a herding breed and their genetics will kick in. This is why it’s crucial to educate children n om how to behave around dogs.

Dog and children interaction should always be supervised, and no matter how well-behaved a dog might be you should always supervise him with children. Accidents happen when you least expect them.

Children who learn early how to behave around dogs will have a great companion in Texas Heeler. When it comes to other pets, Texas Heeler prefers to be the only household animal.

They may tolerate other pets if raised together or introduced slowly and calmly. This is why the socialization period is so important.

During this period they learn how to behave around other animals and what behaviors are tolerated within the animal world.

These are herding dogs, and they will always try to herd (or at least that is the possibility) any non-dog animals. For them, this would be like herding cattle or sheep.

Yet, many Texas Heelers get along with other dogs and cats just fine. It all comes down to proper training, socialization, and the personality of the dog.

Texas Heeler Grooming

Grooming Texas Heeler won’t be time-consuming. This breed is easy to groom and maintain, mostly due to his short hair.

Brushing him once a week should be enough to keep his coat fresh and clean. Make sure that you have the proper grooming tools on hand, to make the grooming process easier and faster.

With the right tool, you can perform any task better, and achieve more satisfying results. Grooming is a big part of a dog’s ownership.

In fact, grooming is what keeps your dog healthy, and long-living. As a practice, grooming directly affects a dog’s appearance, health, and overall well-being.

A neglected coat leads to matted hair that can be annoying to your dog and can lead to even deeper disturbances.

Invest 20-minutes of your time weekly to keep Heeler’s coat mates-free and healthier.

Some benefits of regular brushing include:

  • Matts-free coat
  • Less odor
  • Better hygiene
  • Healthier skin
  • Fleas-free coat
  • Make sdog’s coat shinnier
  • Reduced ear infections

Brushing should be done in such a manner that your Texas Heeler is always mats-free. Bathe only when needed.

Dogs don’t need frequent bathing as humans do. Their skin is different and an occasional bath is more than enough to keep their coat and skin healthy.

You can always talk with your veterinarian about using bathing tissues. If you have to bathe him, make sure that you use only dog-friendly shampoo.

If the veterinarian recommends it, brush his teeth. Always use toothpaste specially created for dogs.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Clean eyes are ears
  • Learn how to clean dog’s ears and when it should be done
  • Clip hair when needed
  • If needed clean his anal sacs

Brush your Texas Heeler and groom when needed. You won’t force nail grinding every week when it’s not necessary.

If you have any worries about the dog’s hygiene and grooming practice, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

How Often Should You Groom Your Texas Heeler

There is no right answer to this question because it all depends on the dog. After all, just like humans, dogs are individual beings and they all could have different needs.

What does this mean in reality? In reality, this means that one Texas Heeler could be more prone to heastroke and more sensitive to how days, while others could easily spend long hours outside being active without feeling tired it exhausted.

As for the grooming, dogs with short coats should require less brushing and grooming opposite to dogs with logn hair, such as Bernese Mountain Dog or German Shepherd.

With this breed, you may not even have to perform regular brushing, but only use a soft grooming glove and gently go over his body. This is the main reason why grooming this dog can last from a few minutes to no longer than 15-minutes when you have experience brushing dogs.

As a general rule, dogs should be groomed as needed but brushed regularly.

If you feel like you need extra help with grooming your Texas Heeler talk to a professional dog groomer for extra tips, or contact your veterinarian.

While doing your best to keep Texas Heeler in top appearance, do not neglect his training needs.

Texas Heeler Training

Just like his parents, the Texas Heeler is a highly intelligent breed. As such, the Texas Heeler is easy to train.

As a general rule, working dog breeds are easier to train opposite to other groups. For them, herding behavior is natural and they thrive only when there is a job to be done.

Training is in general a must with every breed, but training your Texas Heeler should be imperative. Texas Heeler is an active and intelligent breed that loves being busy.

As such, the Texas Heeler will always respond well to training. Since they enjoy learning and having a job to do, they will love any space that offers to learn new tricks or commands.

They are perfect for herding, but they won’t mind excelling in dog sports such as agility and obedience.

When it comes to training, you should always focus on positive reinforcement training methods, and never use any harsh approach to train your dog.

Next to well-structured and fun training, early socialization is what makes a dog a good canine citizen. They will respond well to positive reinforcement, but make sure that you don’t overdo it with treats.

No matter how active a dog might be, if there are too many treats, the risk of obesity is higher.

Checklist for training your Texas Heeler:

  • Make training sessions consistent
  • Keep training fun
  • Always have treats on hand
  • Start socialization as soon as you bring your Texas Heeler home
  • Make sure that training sessions are well-structured

The Texas Heeler is a great addition to active families without pets and children that are older than the age of ten. This is the best way to make sure that no one is being unintentionally herded.

Texas Heeler Exercise Needs

The Texas Heeler is a high-energy breed. This is a common trait of dogs with strong herding background. They are used to begin active and they love spending hours having a job to do. As such, they will thrive when there is a job to be done.

In fact, they need a fair amount of mental and physical exercise. This can help them reduce herding behaviors. They will need a lot of physical activity to burn off that extra energy and stay happy.

Regular exercise, next to training, is what will keep them both happy and healthy.

Texas Heeler needs a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day, next to regular walks that are toilet-based.

Next to this, they may excel in dog sports, which can be a great bonding activity for both of you.

If they do not get enough exercise, they will become bored and demonstrate destructive behavior. Don’t forget – a tired dog is a good dog.

Texas Heeler Health

As a mixed breed the Texas Heeler si prone to developing some hereditary conditions from parent breeds. Overall, this is a healthy and physically strong breed that can develop certain health problems over a lifetime.

This is something that can appear in every dog, no matter how healthy they are.

If you want to be sure that your Texas Heeler is 100% healthy, you should provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Dealing with responsible breeders should be a guarantee that you’re getting a healthy puppy.

If you are adopting, animal shelter workers will inform you of the dog’s conditions. In both cases, you should be presented with medical documentation on the dog.

Some of the genetic issues that you may expect in this breed include:

  • Deafness
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Is Texas Heeler For You?

You may think that a dog with high-energy levels is for you, but if you are a first time dog owner, this isn’t the breed for you.

Herding breeds need an experienced owner, someone who will be able to provide enough care, proper training, and adequate exercise.

The Texas Heeler isn’t for you if you have long working hours, and tend to spend more than seven hours out of the house; the Texas Heeler isn’t for you if you have a small living space and no back yard; the Texas Heeler isn’t for you if you are not an outdoor person and have no time for long walks.

On the other hand, the Texas Heeler is for you if you have a yard, enough time for walks and play, and if you can afford to invest in veterinarian check-ups both financially and time-wise.

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