The Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is a cross between two herding dogs known for their combination of fierce intelligence and boundless energy. Not an ideal dog for apartment dwellers this mix can be a great breed for active families. A generally healthy hybrid, this medium sized dog is blessed with good looks and a confident personality!
We’ll look at the health and exercise needs of the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix, alternatively known as the Border Heeler. And at what you can expect in terms of height and weight, from you new puppy once full grown. We’ll also give you some tips for avoiding the destructive behaviors, such as barking and digging, that can be a problem if these dogs get bored.
Where Does The Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Come From?
The Blue Heeler Border Collie mix is not all that well known, so unlike some other mixed breeds which have been around for years, we don’t know all that much about the history of this breed.
Both hard working parent breeds are popular though, so let’s start by taking a look at both the Blue Heeler and the Border Collie to learn a little bit more about the potential characteristics of this mixed breed.
Origin of Blue Heelers
Blue Heelers are also known as Australian Cattle Dogs, or sometimes the Queensland Heeler.
Their history is a chequered one, and you can read more about it in our article on the history and origins of this breed.
In short. The ‘heeler’ part of their name refers to their ability to herd cattle, and this breed has been a huge part of the early development of the Australian beef industry.
The British dogs originally imported to Australia in the 1800s to herd cattle were unable to cope with the harsh conditions in Australia.
As a result, the process to breed a more suitable cattle dog began.
Those original cattle dogs, a breed known as Smithfields, were crossed with the feral Dingoes of Australia, as well as other breeds including Dalmatians, Kelpies, and Collies.
These mixes resulted in the Blue Heeler, which was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1980.
Origins of Border Collies
The history of the Border Collie is linked to the area which gives them their name: the Scottish borders.
It’s thought that their origins lie in a cross between heavy herding dogs used since the Roman times, and smaller Viking Spitz breeds.
All Border Collies today are descendants of Old Hemp, a particularly talented and smart herding collie.
The Border Collie excels at herding sheep, and dominates competitive sheepdog trials, and agility competitions.
If you’re considering buying or rescuing a Blue Heeler Border Collie mix dog, it’s worth thinking through the discussion around purebred dogs versus mixed breeds.
Supporters of pedigree dogs believe it’s important that purebred dogs are only bred amongst themselves, to retain the characteristics of the breed.
On the other hand, many people now support the idea that the creation of mixed breeds can help improve the health of dogs.
Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Appearance
It’s difficult to predict exactly what your Blue Heeler Border Collie mix puppy may grow up to look like.
But, you can find some clues in the appearance of each parent breed.
Blue Heelers are medium sized, usually measuring between 17 – 20 inches high.
They tend to weigh between 35 – 50 pounds and have a life expectancy of 12 – 16 years.
As a member of the herding group, they are muscular and agile.
They have a smooth double coat, featuring characteristic mottling, which is sometimes combined with patches of a darker, solid color.
You’ll see a variety of coat colors, including:
- Red mottled
- Blue mottled
- Red speckled, and
- Blue speckled.
Border Collies are a similar size and weight, usually 18 – 22 inches high, and weighing 30 – 55 pounds. Their life expectancy is 12 – 15 years.
Another member of the herding group, collies are intelligent workaholics who love being busy.
Those with Border Collies will be familiar with their “herding eye” – an intense stare intended for sheep but often used on humans as well!
Border Collies are either smooth coated or rough coated. Rough coated collies have longer coats which require more maintenance.
While the most common color seen is a combination of black and white, Border Collies come in a huge range of shades, including blue merle, gold, brindle, red, and many more.
Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Temperament
Blue Heelers are alert, intelligent and loyal. They are also physically tough, capable of herding cattle in high temperatures for hours on end.
Border Collies are clever, athletic and are incredibly quick. We mean this both in the sense of learning, and when running!
It can be difficult to predict whether or not your mixed breed pup will inherit certain characteristics from the parent dogs.
There’s a higher likelihood of this happening for characteristics that both parent dogs display.
There are many similarities between the Blue Heeler and the Border Collie, including their intelligence, stamina, and work ethic. It’s likely that your mixed breed pup will inherit these traits.
Both breeds also display a relatively high level of suspicion of strangers.
Both Blue Heelers and Border Collies can become bored if not given enough mental or physical exercise. This can sometimes lead to them creating mischief.
While they make fabulous dogs for an active family, puppy socialization is important, as is managing your expectations of having a dog which wants to be friends with every human it meets.
Training Your Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix
Any puppy born to Blue Heeler and Border Collie parents is likely to be intelligent and eager to learn.
Puppy training classes are an excellent idea, as this mixed breed may well test your training skills as they pick up new ideas with ease.
Positive reinforcement training is an excellent choice for this mix.
Blue Heelers can be a touch stubborn, so need firm and consistent boundaries.
Border Collies are keen to please but will soon get bored if your training is not enough of a challenge for them.
Many fans of dog agility, fly ball and other canine sports are now finding the Blue Heeler Border Collie is an excellent mix for these sports.
While your puppy is bound to be full of beans, don’t be tempted to push them too hard, too soon.
A dog’s skeleton isn’t fully developed until at least two years of age, so don’t attempt any agility or excessive exercise until they’re a bit older.
Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Health
The best way to make yourself aware of potential health issues in your mixed breed dog is to consider the health issues that can affect the parent breeds.
Blue Heelers are strong and robust dogs, but the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America do recommend a range of health tests which include:
- Elbow evaluation
- Hip evaluation
- Ophthalmologist evaluation
- BAER testing (for deafness)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Optigen DNA test
- Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) DNA test
You can find out more about these tests in the health statement of the club.
Border Collies are on the whole, a very healthy breed.
They can be prone to a number of conditions though. These include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Collie eye anomaly, progressive renal atrophy, and deafness.
The Border Collie Society of America suggest that breeders screen for inherited eye problems and hip dysplasia as standard.
Do Blue Heeler Border Collie Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
As a general rule, they certainly should.
Both Blue Heelers and Border Collies have an extremely strong herding instinct. So you can be sure that any mixed breed puppy will likely inherit this trait.
This can lead to dogs attempting to herd young members of the family, so this mixed breed might be better suited to families with slightly older children.
Teenagers with an interest in canine agility (and plenty of energy to burn off themselves!) would be a great match for this mixed breed.
Your puppy might also be wary around strangers, so take the time to carefully introduce them to family friends.
Rescuing a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix
Rescuing a dog or puppy is a fabulous way to find a wonderful family pet.
If you think you’d like to rescue a Blue Heeler Border Collie mix, we suggest you register with your local animal shelters.
Ask them to get in touch if they bring in a dog which fits your description.
Finding a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Puppy
If you find a breeder of Blue Heeler Border Collie mix puppies, make sure you do your research before bringing home your new puppy.
Make sure to avoid puppy mills or pet stores, where the health and welfare of both puppies and parent dogs is rarely the first priority.
We recommend looking for a reputable breeder, who will let you meet both parent dogs, and is willing to explain any health tests the puppies may have had.
Mixed breeds are a popular choice due to their combination of health and positive characteristics.
Try our Puppy Search Guide to help find your perfect puppy.
Raising a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Puppy
Any puppy takes time and dedication.
There’s no doubt that a Blue Heeler Border Collie puppy will likely be fiercely intelligent and enjoy every aspect of training.
In fact, if you don’t put in the time to train your puppy, they may well become bored and develop a few bad habits as a result!
Some methods, such as positive reinforcement, work extremely well with intelligent mixes such as the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix.
Take a read of our guide to Puppy Training and Puppy Care Guide in preparation for bringing your new puppy home.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix
If you like the sound of this mix, but want to know both the good and the bad, here are some positives and negatives to consider.
While there’s no guarantee what the temperament of your puppy will be, we can look at the parent breed for some reasonably accurate possibilities.
As a plus, they’re very obedient once trained, so if you enjoy long walks off leash, you can guarantee they’ll be ready and waiting to obey.
Border Collies are faithful to their families, and love going on adventures with them. They don’t bark much, unless they have a real reason to do so.
Blue Heelers do not enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. They can become overly possessive if not exposed to enough socialization at an early age.
A disadvantage of Border Collies is that they can get bored quickly. This can sometimes lead to destructive behavior, including chewing furniture.
Their overwhelming desire to herd can cause problems with small children and other pets. While Border Collies are loving with their families, they can be wary and standoffish with strangers.
Both Blue Heelers and Border Collies need an extremely good amount of exercise every day, both mental and physical.
This, of course, can be considered a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for in your new dog.
Similar Blue Heeler Border Collie Mixes and Breeds
Other similar mixed breeds include the Poodle Border Collie mix, or the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix.
Purebred dogs to consider are, naturally, the Border Collie, and the Australian Shepherd.
Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Rescues
While some mixed breeds have rescues dedicated to them, we haven’t yet found any for this mix.
There are a number for each parent breed though, which are worth contacting in case they have a mixed breed dog requiring a home.
Blue Heelers bond very strongly with their owners, so adolescent or mixed breed dogs may take a little more time to settle into a new home.
If you’re aware of other rescue organizations, please let us know in the comments section.
The Border Collie Trust in the UK is a great place to start.
Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue specialize in herding breeds and mixes.
Is a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Right for Me?
If you’re looking for an intelligent, local, and active companion, then the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix might just be perfect for you.
Both Blue Heelers and Border Collies are working dogs at heart, so enjoy plenty of activity and time with their owners.
You’ll never be able to predict exactly how your mixed breed rescue dog or puppy will turn out.
But by providing them with exercise, training, and affection you can help your dog grow into your perfect partner.
Did you choose a Border Collie mix to be your companion? Let us know in the comments below!
References and Resources
Lewis et al., 2013, Comparative analyses of genetic trends and prospects for selection against hop and elbow dysplasia in 15 UK dog breeds. BMC Genetics.
Schwartz. Australian Cattle Dog.
Arden and Adams, 2016, A general intelligence factor in dogs. Intelligence.
BCSA Health Statement, Border Collie Society of America.
Australian Cattle Dog Health Testing, Australian Cattle Dog Club of America.
Hampson and McGowan, 2007, Physiological responses of the Australian cattle dog to mustering exercise. Equine and Comparative Physiology.
Jeannette Zanoni says
I have a 5 and a half month old heeler collie mix I have been trying to see how much is to much exercise for her.. a 20 minute walk does nothing, 2-3 miles she is tired for about an hour then ready to go again.. she is growing so quickly she gained 10lbs in 3 weeks she is now almost 30lbs. is it OK to exercise until they are tired??
Just 3 days ago I was given a blue heeler and border collie mixed puppy he’s 6 months old and very lovable he was beaten by his original owners so he’s shy sometimes aggressive but he loves my other male dog who is a Jack Russell mix I couldn’t ask for 2 of the best boys I’ve ever been given
ROBERT J Smith says
Love my border collie blue healer mix, Max is very smart, building a great relationship, had one before smartest and best loving and protective dog.
Giselle Taminez says
I’m so happy I found this thread. We just adopted Willow 3 weeks ago in TX. She is a Heeler Collie mix and she has been wonderful. She is about 1.5 years old and super smart. I don’t know much about her history but she is well trained and doesn’t have any bad behaviors EXCEPT nipping children…and we have a 5 & 7 yr old girls. We started working with a trainer and she has gotten much better. She is also a cuddle bug so the entire family is smitten. We do our best to keep her active and will do hiking once the weather permits. For now she gets a daily 2.5 mile walk and daily dog park visits. I can tell she gets anxious if she is not active enough. No one can outrun this girl at the park. I’m very happy we found her!
I have a heeler border collie mix. I got him from a farm when he was 9 months old. Shiloh is his name. He is the best, smartest dog I have ever had. Shiloh takes a little bit to warm up to strangers. If they put their closed hand in front of him to sniff and I show its okay. He will give the person a lick and they’re accepted. Shiloh also needs plenty of toys and bones to keep him occupied while im at work. He loves walks
If i say the word, he gets all wiggly and runs to the door. As far as the herding, he does herd my two cats. It’s all in good fun and everybody gets exercise.love him to bits!!!
John G says
My dog trained easily, tinkled in the house once when he was a puppy and never again, he is very playful and full of energy, these dogs require daily activities, so if you work all day and don’t get home till late count on the house being destroyed when you get home… If they do not have toys and play time they will reap havoc… Daily walks 1-2 miles per day, hikes on the weekends… they need to be out and about…If you can take your dog to work this breed is highly recommended.. and they are very protective of their owners… a prowler does not have a chance. If your an active person and you like to take your dog on adventures… perfect dog… If you want a home body dog get a different breed..
I’ve had a red heeler in the past and he was an amazing dog so when he passed away we got a blue heeler collie cross…. does anyone know if it’s common for this bred to be aggressive as a puppy she is only 3 1/2 months old and keeps attacking me and I don’t mean playing I mean she full blown attacks me in an aggressive manner barking snarling snapping and biting me, sometimes it’s while I’m trying to feed her I’ll be putting the bowl down for her and it’s like as soon as she smells the food she just attacks me and other times I will just sit down outside and that’s enough to set her off or she will take something that doesn’t belong to her and I’ll try to take it off her. I have never hit or shown her aggression in any way, she gets walked fed and loved so I don’t understand where this behaviour is coming from or how to stop it… I have a 5 year old child and am worried the dog might attack her.
That is unusual and unacceptable behavior. I see you posted this a month ago- so hope you have addressed it by now but if not I would get some professional training to address this quickly. If unchecked both you and the puppy will be unhappy!.
Mine was just like that for 12 years until he passed. Feeding was always an adventure and not always he would snip at my shoe and sometimes it would hurt. It was just his his masters he did that to. The other dog we had could could come by and no issues. We tried everything and nothing worked.
That was the only negative issue.
We live on 1.5 acres and they love to be run hard and he was a master at catching frisbee’s and loved the water. Loved to travel. But when we had to feed him in the motel room it sounded like we had burglars coming in the window. It was ridiculous. But we loved him to the very end and he loved us too. Would do it all over again. Lol. 🙂
We just picked up our Border Collie/Heeler mix yesterday. So excited!! She is very sweet! My daughters (12 & 13) are eager to train her to help herd our ducks, and do other tricks. We live in the country, so she’ll be a good fit for us, I’m sure. I’m also hoping that her presence will deter the foxes that have been hanging around. Thanks for the info. I’ve always loved Border Collies, and this mixed breed has a short coat which is better for us.
Cindy Dalton says
I rescued Rosie, a two year old Blue Heeler/Border Collie mix a year and a half she-she will be four in December. The previous owner surrendered her because he couldn’t handle her. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I fell in love with her when I saw her face. We have been training since I rescued her. She does everything with her whole heart, she’s very sensitive to sounds and movement, wants to chase anything that moves, including cars so I have to distract and redirect her. She is wonderful with people, even strangers, but reacts to dogs and that’s the hardest issue we”re dealing now, especially with when we go on walks. So we continue to train with professional trainers and I’m committed, but it is exhausting. If we don’t make a breakthrough with our current classes I’m considering a behaviorist, but they are pricey. sigh
I have a male( Bernese/Heeler..mother..Black Lab/Border Collie..father) .Just turned 1 yr old..was 14 wks old when I got him..Black with some white chest fur..is now 76 lbs..has pointy nose & floppy ears..VERY SMART..FAST..QUICK & ATHLETICLY AGILE !!!
Sherrie shoenfelt says
I am looking at 3 week old healer/border collie mix puppies now. I have had collie pups in the past and am quite familiar with the collie breed. My daughter has a border collie/Australian mix pup that is 8 months old. I love the collie traits I have seen in my daughters female pup. They are quite similar. I trained all of the collies that I have had in the past and find that collies are quite easy to train and they remember what you have taught them. Border collies seem to have the energy of a regular collie and the loving nature of a collie also.
Darryl Stewart Jr says
where was this at? Where did you find the puppies? I am looking to get one myself and would love to see if they have anymore
I had been looking for a Service dog, one that I can train to me, and was given a BH /BC puppy just a couple of days ago. I named her Storm. I decided to look up the mix, and I am ecstatic at what I am finding. I’m used to toy companion dogs, I’m not used to a working dog. I am just beyond stoked to train with her and have her certified as a Service Dog. It is exciting to me to know that this girl is gonna be ready too. I can’t get over how lucky I am to have her.
Richard Davies says
We’ve had Jake for 8 years and have never had a smarter dog in our life. That may not be saying much as all of our others have been stubborn/hard headed little dachshunds.
He picked up on almost all training aspects in a matter of hours and is eager to please.
I take him running with me and as others have said, he has no problem doing 8 miles eve in the Houston, TX heat. I never have to keep him on a leash and just make him heel when we go by others with their dogs. Get constant compliments on his behavior and looks as he is a handsome dog.
He does have the bad tendency of wanting to nip kids though. Not bite, but little nips that tend to surprise them more than anything else. For that reason we keep him away from kids. When we got him our daughter was already in high school so he is not really used to little ones. One of our neighbors had small kids and though he nipped at each of them once he never did it again and gladly run up to greet them now.
The only flaw is shedding. We cannot brush him enough and had to get a Roomba to keep up with the hair.
Darryl Stewart Jr says
Where did you find him? I am looking for this exact breed. Thank you this would be so helpful as I am looking for a service dog.
Darryl Stewart Jr says
Also the reason I ask you is because I am im Houston myself.
Chris A. E. says
Any luck finding out where to find one? I’m in Houston, too.
Thank you for all of this information! We got our Collie/Heeler mix at a farm in TX 8 years ago after our dog of 14 years passed. Scooter has been the best dog! I am a runner and had no idea how great his breed was for this. He can easily go 8 to 10 miles with me and due to his “herding instinct” he can run along side with me without a leash and will never run off seeing another dog or anything. He is a great companion to run with and is protective as well. I have no fear leaving to run in the dark early mornings. My son is 10 and he will also take him on walks. The only downside is explained, he can be destructive if left alone and has torn up plenty of fences and is a escape artist. We had got a regular kennel for him and he learned to pop the bottom off to get out. We had to get a heavy duty steel kennel for him. I am lucky that I work from home though and it is rare that he is left at home and he will sit in my office all day with me and hang out. I wish we could post pictures too. I get complimented all the time on what a beautiful dog he is. Best dog breed ever 🙂
John G says
I have one too… I agree 1000% best dog I have ever owned… super intelligent, loyal and protective… It is the oddest thing he dont trust some people and he nips at them pretty good, and then others he is completely playful… He really is not scared of any dog..
Dave Molnar says
We are on our third H/C.
The first, Molly, a rescue, was a gentle lady who was perfectly wonderful with our children and was sorely missed. 11yrs
Our second, Bella, was much more rambunctious but, while very friendly, not cuddly. Very smart and loved swimming. We miss her. 11yrs
Now, Abby, an adorable 12 week old, is showing her cuddly streak as well as her intellect. Training is going very well except for the kennel.
I absolutely love this mix.
I have a blue heeler / border collie mix named Kenai. She is extremely energetic and needs quite a bit of stimulation. At 8 months old, we just started obedience/dog manners class which is going well. She likes to herd my two older terriers around and is a bit Leary of strangers but with more exposure to people coming and going she is doing much better, I love the intelligence of the breed and can see they do well with training loads of activity. The hardest thing to teach her will be recall / come when she’s called. She is very strong willed like my daughter.
Karen T says
The ONLY breed we have had for the past 20 years, would not have any other type of dog! Such an amazing breed.
That said, we are looking for a Border Heeler male puppy with color, 12 weeks or younger. We are in So Calif.
DENISE STIEFEL says
I have my beautiful Border Collie /Australian Cattle Dog Mix. He is now 6 years old and he loves car rides, walks and we even did some agility. He has some fur siblings that he love to herd but they have his number and he is put in his place right away. He is an amazing dog with spunk, affection and always with a toy in his mouth. He was a rescue at 9 weeks old. I would definitely rescue this mix again. Totally agree with the training. He was our first board trained and it was amazing. I would totally do it again. He has been a wonderful addition to our family.
Lester and Robyn Dumm says
Some wonderful and beautiful comments. We are looking into our first BC/Heeler cross. We lost our BC to cancer 4 years ago and have always liked Heelers. Seems like a no brainier to me.
“Petey” is my 4 year old Border Heeler. I have given up on curtains, carpets…furniture. He sees strangers in the yard, and goes on a rampage. I’m willing to put up with all this, he is the love of my life.
We say he is smart enough to spell words with childrens’ blocks. Seriously, you can’t spell “P_A_R_K” in front of him.
Think twice before adopting a border heeler. He needs a job and he needs plenty of mental stimulation.
I have a border collie – healer mix named Apollo. He’s is nearly 10 months old now and is the best dog I have ever had. He knows countless tricks and commands and absolutely loves hiking with me. He crushes 8mile+ hikes with energy to spare. We’ve also done our fair share of backpacking which is his favorite. I plan on taking him snow shoeing / snowboarding this winter and am very excited about that! I highly highly recommend getting this breed if you’re looking for a companion dog.
David March says
I can’t believe the amount of energy that comes from my BH/BC mix. Loving, playful, etc..
My only issue are “some” strangers. I would describe Baci as cautious with some anxiety. He isn’t the best with strangers entering his world.
I have heard the same from other folk. So if you’re getting a puppy be sure to introduce your dog to as many strangers as possible in all scenarios (i.e. entering home).
Love this breed however it’s been a huge learning curve in dog training for us. 🙂
Pamela Harris says
We are getting our blue heeler/ border collie tomorrow and I am so excited to have her in our family! We are getting her from a family member.
looking for a blue healer mix adult dog, less than 5 yrs old, black in colour, blue/white markings
I have a border/heeled mix that is 2 1/2 years old now. She’s been with me since she was about 8 weeks old. Her best friend is a 9 yr old Toy Fox Terrier, with whom she is so gentle, I can hardly believe it! She also loves children – will speed up to them then stop a foot in front and roll onto her side for a pet. Don’t know where that came from, I have no children in my home. She also finds sticks for them to throw for her. So, so intelligent and loving, these dogs! I will always have one!!
Christine Brown says
I also have a blue heeler border collie. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old. Allie is my life. She goes everywhere with me. She loves to say “Hi” to others. This breed is the best of all. I would give up the world for her!
Is she good with little children?
I’m looking to adopt/rescue a Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix puppy (preferably 2-3 months old). Will travel and come to you for pick-up (so distance is not a concern). Planning on board training him/her (professionally), so can’t be too old. Please contact me if you can help.
DENISE STIEFEL says
Have you checked rescues in your area? Many do have this mix and you would be doing a great service by offering a puppy your home. I rescued mine from Wright Way Rescue in Morton Grove and I know on their website they do have several Australian Cattle Dog mixes.
I rescued my border collie/ blue heeler from an abandoned home, left inside, got in touch with owner, he gave her to me. The 1st time i loked into her eyes it was as though i could see her soul. Have teenagers they work with her outside, she wears them out!!! Couldnt ask for a better, faihful, loyal companion named her Harley Rose, we love her and she loves us
My border heeler, Kellogg, was the last of his litter to be adopted from the local spca. I brought him home at 9 weeks old and we have the same birthday. He’s my soul mate, my husband’s lil buddy, my son’s playmate, and my senior heeler’s protege. He’s perfect and incredibly happy.
Helping Herders rescue in SoCal. My girlfriend and I are looking to adopt from a collie cattle dog mix from them at this very moment!
Clint wilson says
I am looking for young mix blue heeler pup male if possible 6. Months or yougher .
DENISE STIEFEL says
I have a rescue Border Collie /Australian Cattle Dog mix. He is wonderful full of energy and love to herd his four legged family. Actually it is not very hard to find this mix in shelters. Strongly suggest dog training classes. Either you board train or take the dog to hands on classes and make sure the whole family is involved with the training.
Colleen Thomson says
Another rescue group for these types of dogs is Western Australian Shepherd rescue