Blue Heeler History And Origins:
The history of the blue heeler started in 1887 with a British man named Robert Blyth. Blyth was born in England and immigrated to America in 1885. His first wife died during their marriage so he married a local woman called Mary Ann Dolan.
They had two children together but they divorced after only one year of marriage. Blyth then remarried again in 1889 and lived with her until 1896. During this time he worked as a clerk at the New York Stock Exchange where he met another woman called Elizabeth Wiggin. After their divorce, Blyth moved back to England where he continued working as a stockbroker there until 1903 when he returned to America and settled in Texas. He bought a farm near Fort Worth, Texas and began breeding cattle.
In 1905, Blyth’s daughter Frances married John Henry Hays. Their son William was born in 1907 and died in 1911. The following year the couple had another child named George who died shortly after birth too.
In 1912, Blyth’s second daughter Margaret became pregnant again and she gave birth to a boy named Charles Edward Hartwell who died soon after birth too. The following year Blyth’s third daughter Elizabeth had a son named William who also died soon after. The same year his fourth daughter Jane had a son and named him Robert Digby but he too died after only a few months. After a series of tragic deaths, Blyth’s son George Robert was born in 1915 and he grew up to marry Ruby Olive Hays in the 1920s. The couple had two sons called Charles Edward (1928) and George Robert Jr (1930). In 1932, Blyth’s wife Elizabeth died. George Robert died in 1935 and in 1938 Blyth gave all his remaining cattle to his son Charles.
In the early twentieth century, Australian farmers needed new herding dogs so they turned to England for help. A man called Joseph Ainsworth chose three dogs called Hoobs, Truganini and Trump from the north of England. He crossed the dogs and after several generations he created a new herding dog called the Australian Heeler.
These dogs were very smart so Ainsworth began breeding them to be exclusively smart and quick. The breed became very popular all over Australia because they were so good at herding cattle. Some of these dogs were imported to America around 1931 where some of them eventually became part of the Robert Blyth’s herd of cattle. This is how the Australian Heeler or Blue Heeler first became part of the American herd of cattle.
The Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent herding dog because it is smart, active, strong and very persistent. If a cow tries to run away the Blue Heeler will follow it until it returns to the herd. The Blue Heeler shows great alertness and is always watching the herd.
It keeps the herd together and protects it from predators such as coyotes and wolves. It has strong jaws and is absolutely fearless when it comes to cattle or any other dangerous animal nearby. It is a tough dog that can handle extreme conditions and it can handle being in a herd of sometimes hostile animals without becoming a victim itself. It is also a very loyal dog that is good with children and it sometimes forms close bonds with them. It makes a great all purpose farm dog and it has been used for many different jobs including rescuing avalanche victims, leading the blind, search and rescue missions and even acting in the movies. These dogs are sometimes bred for fighting but Australia has strict laws about such things nowadays. The Blue Heeler is a working dog and should have plenty of space to run around. If it does not get enough exercise it can become very hyperactive. It needs plenty of time to run around each day. If you do not give it enough activity it can become destructive as a way of releasing its energy. These dogs are medium sized and sturdy with strong bodies and powerful legs. They have strong jaws with teeth that can grip onto something with a strong hold. They have a distinctive blue-grey coloring with a hint of black in it. The eyes are usually brown or blue. The ears are erect and pointed and the tail is usually straight and rigid. These dogs average between two and a half feet and four feet high and weigh between 20 and 50 pounds although some can be bigger or smaller than this.
The Blue Heeler has become a very popular dog in the United States, especially in Texas where it is the official state dog. It is also sometimes known as the Queensland Heeler in honor of its origins. The ears are pricked and alert.
The tail is usually curled over the back.
The Blue Heeler first appeared in the 1920s in Australia. This dog was bred from English and Scottish herding dogs with some Dalmatians and a Bull Terrier to give it a little extra toughness when dealing with unruly cattle. These dogs are sometimes known as Australian Cattle Dogs or Queensland Heelers.
In the United States they are sometimes called the Blue Heeler, Red Heeler or Green Heeler depending on their coloring although they can also be other colors too. These dogs are sometimes mistaken for a German Shepherd Dog but they have smaller heads in proportion to their bodies and broader skulls with more powerful jaws, and their ears are pricked rather than floppy.
The Blue Heeler is a very active dog that needs a lot of exercise and room to run around every day. It should have a large yard to play in and at the very least regular long walks. If you do not give it enough exercise it will become restless and even destructive.
It also needs to feel as if it is part of the family so leaving it outside all day while you are at work is not going to work out well for any of you. This is a smart dog that can learn tricks and even understand simple commands but it does not usually respond well to harsh handling. It also does not like to be left alone for long periods of time and if it does not feel bonded to its owner it can become destructive as a way of letting out frustration and getting attention.
This is a hardy dog that is a little easier to care for than some of the other large working breeds. The coat is smooth and short so it is easy to brush and keep clean. The ears should be checked regularly for infection and wiped clean at the very least.
The teeth should also be looked at regularly and cleaned if they start to build up tartar. The nails should be kept clipped too. The Blue Heeler is a very healthy dog but is susceptible to certain health problems such as cataracts, thyroid problems, seizures, cancer, gastric dilatation volvulus (bloating), allergies and hip dysplasia. This breed also tends to live between 10 and 15 years.
Sources & references used in this article:
Vaginal leiomyoma in a dog by TB Kang, DL Holmberg – The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1983 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Power without glory by FJ Hardy, P Hosking – 1950 – self.gutenberg.org
Canine Primary Ocular Osteosarcomas and Chondrosarcomas by F Duke, R Dubielzig – Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual …, 2013 – iovs.arvojournals.org
The identity of the dingo II.* Hybridization with domestic dogs in captivity and in the wild by AE Newsome, LK Corbett – Australian Journal of Zoology, 1982 – CSIRO
The Origins and History of” Victorian Periodicals Review”, 1954-84 by NM Distad – Victorian Periodicals Review, 1985 – JSTOR