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First, I know that's not their technical name, but I've always called them that so please forgive me :)

I have been on here before asking for advice in our search for a new member of our family. I have two boys 4 and almost 3 and a five year old Yorkie and I stay at home with all of them. We live in an older subdivision that has larger yards and we personally own a medium sized fenced in yard and about 1/2 acre of free roaming yard. We also live directly on a lake. Most of my neighbors have dogs or cats and are older. We are fairly active and spend at least one hour outside everyday playing ball, walking, throwing a frisbee, etc. My boys are getting ready to start baseball so I'm sure practicing will be lots of fun for a new dog (fetch). We were going to purchase a dog and have been searching for about two months when a neighbor told me that a friend of a friend has a 3 mo old 3/4 blue heeler 1/4 australian shepherd that they want to get rid of. It is currently on a farm with horses and cattle. We have had australian shepherds before and we loved them and they did very well in our home with my stepdaughters (they are 13 now) when they were little, but I know little about blue heelers, and I'm sure that percentage will be dominate.

I would like a dog that my boys can play with safely and that will be social or accepting of new kids that may come into our home. I would like one that will be able to play in the yard without a leash, that enjoys water and isn't afraid of everything. Also, one that is easily trained and enjoys leash walking around our neighborhood would be great. I've heard that heelers like to nip, but is it just playful or are they going to actually bite my kids? Also, is it going to chase after their bikes and crash them when they are older OR will they be able to run along side them and enjoy? I would love to rescue this dog and give it a proper home, but I want to make sure we will be happy and it will be happy.

Thanks a bunch!!
 

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The only experience with ACDs that I've had was a stray ACD mix we found and re-homed. She was pretty good with kids but wasn't very patient with them. If they were nice kids she was OK. We didn't let her run loose so I don't know if she would have knocked them over or anything. But she probably wasn't even 75% ACD, so this dog would likely be different. ACDs have a tendency to be very intense dogs, who need a job to do.
 

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I have two heelers. A blue and a red. I love the breed but sometimes I just want to strangle them. Just a figure of speech. They can be THE most bullheaded, the MOST stubborn dogs on the face of the earth if they want to be. Some can be easy to housebreak. Andy my red heeler was a breeze to housebreak. But Sparkle? oh gosh that pup just hates me it seems. She does not want to be housebroken. I got the bullheaded trait in this one. Anther thing about them is that they are highly protective of the family and they are a one family dog. Anthor thing is if she has a very friendly attitude she will be a wonderful people dog and not aloof with strangers. But if shes is kinda shy and aloof and not really wanting to be petted much then I will warn you now from experience, that she may not accept strangers. My Andy is like that, I have to watch him around strangers, I am almost positive he will bite someone if they were to try to pet him, he is extremely protective of me, he could never go into a home with anthor human it will just break him, that is how attached he is to me. Sparkle she is a tornado, she loves attention loves people, her and Andy are the same breed but totally different personalities. They are the kind of dog that are very very loyal. They can not I repeat can not be left unactive or alone for long periods of time. They are the type of dog that wants to be with you at all times at your side. On weekends when im not in school they ride with me everywhere I go, they love to ride in the car. If left for long periods, ignored, and not given enough to do then you will have a huge mess on your hands. It is crucial to have them in a set up of either frisbee, agility, working cattle dog, or anything that will occupy their mind and challenge them. If you were to do all of that then you cannot ask for a better dog. IMO. I love my two dearly, but they can be a challenging breed definely.

I have a two and half year old daughter and they are very calm and gentle around her. The pup is 3 months old and the very sooner you can get her the better. My two are very good with kids. They listen very well, and they are very easy to train. Wel some of them can be downright bullheaded.
 

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First, I know that's not their technical name, but I've always called them that so please forgive me :)

I have been on here before asking for advice in our search for a new member of our family. I have two boys 4 and almost 3 and a five year old Yorkie and I stay at home with all of them. We live in an older subdivision that has larger yards and we personally own a medium sized fenced in yard and about 1/2 acre of free roaming yard. We also live directly on a lake. Most of my neighbors have dogs or cats and are older. We are fairly active and spend at least one hour outside everyday playing ball, walking, throwing a frisbee, etc. My boys are getting ready to start baseball so I'm sure practicing will be lots of fun for a new dog (fetch). We were going to purchase a dog and have been searching for about two months when a neighbor told me that a friend of a friend has a 3 mo old 3/4 blue heeler 1/4 australian shepherd that they want to get rid of. It is currently on a farm with horses and cattle. We have had australian shepherds before and we loved them and they did very well in our home with my stepdaughters (they are 13 now) when they were little, but I know little about blue heelers, and I'm sure that percentage will be dominate.

I would like a dog that my boys can play with safely and that will be social or accepting of new kids that may come into our home. I would like one that will be able to play in the yard without a leash, that enjoys water and isn't afraid of everything. Also, one that is easily trained and enjoys leash walking around our neighborhood would be great. I've heard that heelers like to nip, but is it just playful or are they going to actually bite my kids? Also, is it going to chase after their bikes and crash them when they are older OR will they be able to run along side them and enjoy? I would love to rescue this dog and give it a proper home, but I want to make sure we will be happy and it will be happy.

Thanks a bunch!!
ACDs tend to be intense dogs. They usually have a ton of drive and like to be busy. Being a buddy to a couple of kids can be a good job for the right ACD.

ACD's herd by heeling. As you said nipping. But its really more of a pinch than a nip. It can still be painful.

The plus side is that the are very smart and you can train them to do whatever you want. You can train them what to heel and not heel. What to chase and not chase.

The downside is that they are strong willed and if you are not confident experienced they will ignore you.

My opinion is this... IF the dog does heel on of the little ones, it is going to set you off or make you scared of the dog, then you might look for another dog. Because it could happen. Depends on a lot of things. How well socialized the dog is with young children, what kind of training its had. etc


Both my current ACD and the one I owned previous to this one were great with kids of all ages. But they are/were well socialized with kids and people in general.

The other thing I find about ACDs is they will not take a lot of abuse. IF your children are rough with the dog the dog will be rough back. Not neccessarily in a mean way. ACDs seem to be on the endless hunt for the next great game. They also tend to match the intensity and even one up their playmeat. If the dog feels that a child being rough with him and he thinks its a game he will play back roughly. IF the child is rough with the dog and he perceived is as a threat he will defend himself.
 

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I also have an ACD (Blue Heeler). My Betty is pretty good in the home, but is extremely protective. They can do pretty well with kids, as long as they are properly trained. As for the nipping, it's part of their herding instinct, and may nip if the kids are running and want to round them up. And the nipping can hurt too, as heelers are an intense breed. They are made to be able to withstand a cattle kick and get right back up and continue working. My Betty is defininitely intense.

One other thing, they may not do very well with other dogs and cats as well. They do better in a one dog family, but can do well with other herding breeds. But other dogs, well, there can be issues. My 3 girls do pretty well together, but Betty can still be a bully. But for the most part she shares everything, and would prefer the other 2 eat first, then she'll eat what's left. And as for toys, etc, she shares, and loves playing tug with the other 2.

Heelers are a very protective breed. Once they start bonding to you, they tend to pick just one person to bond to and not the whole family. So it's a good idea that the whole family be on the same page with all training, etc. The dog will pick up on all weaknesses.
 

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My heeler mix is part pointer as well, so I have a sporty heeler. He is very intense, loyal, smart, funny, stubborn, obedient, crazy, energetic, and always ready to go. You do have to give them things to do. My dog loves kids, he's never tried to heel them. He only tried that with myself and my husband, but we taught him that was unacceptable. I bike with mine, I wouldn't let him off leash, bc then he would heel the bike, and he doesnt' knock me over. It's all what you teach them. I think they're great dogs, my aunt has a purebred ACD, and she's awesome. They're on my list for the next dog I pick out. ( as if I'll ever get to pick, I take on society's reject dogs).
 

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Australian Cattle Dog is one of the breeds that I ruled out while researching breeds. At an adoption event, there was a litter of Cattle dog puppies that I was quite taken with. I do not believe in any bad dog, but I do think there are differences in natural temperament that makes certain dogs better for families with young children. Based on the information I read, Cattle dogs (like several other breeds) do better with children with whom they are raised and are protective. Since my kids have friends over, I don't think it's the right breed for us.
 

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Rose's mom was a Cattle Dog/German Shepherd mix (predominantly Cattle dog) and she was a very good girl. Very active. She loved to hunt and had a definite herding instinct - she would round up our neighbor's cows and herd them to a corner of the pasture. The neighbor's didn't mind since she was gentle with them and wasn't scaring them, and it gave her an outlet.

I really like Heelers. They are much to active for my personal tastes, but I like everything else about them. They are very protective, very smart, very trainable, and they have a bit of a wild streak in them as well.

If you have had Aussies before, I would say go for it. They are like an Aussie, just more intense and protective.
 

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If you have the proper yard and time to spend with your ACD, then go for it. I have 2 ACD's (one red & one blue) and they are wonderful dogs. My blue heeler is 8 years old and didn't require much training. From day 1 when I brought him home, he never really required a leash. He stayed at our heels when we walked and still does to this day. My red heeler is 9 months old but is already showing really good qualities that could be passed down to her pups (maybe someday).

My blue ACD will "nip" at a strangers ankle when they walk by but that is just part of their instincts. They are bred to "nip" at a cattle's heels to keep them in line. They also need a large yard to run off their bursting energy or plenty of exercise. All-in-all, they are very intelligent and very loyal dogs. If you are willing to give them the exercise and attention they need, then you will be very happy with the outcome.
 

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i have 2 acds and they are my best friends. Being part aussie shepherd will help to calm this type of dog, but not always. I think cattledog.com says it best with this from their website. They are indeed quite protective and definitely a one family dog. They have pack mentality and once you are accepted in their pack it is for life.

The Australian Cattle Dog personality is often reserved with strangers and even FIERCELY protective when they perceive that their property and/or persons are being threatened. The ACD is intelligent, but can certainly often be described as hard-headed and stubborn. Once an ACD has befriended you, they are a friend for life....but that friendship must often be earned. Australian Cattle Dog are often refered to by their owners as "velcro" or "shadow" dogs...because wherever you go, there they are!!

The Australian Cattle Dog is an EXTREMELY active breed, with mental stimulation being of paramount importance. A bored Cattle Dog is a destructive Cattle Dog !! The Australian Cattle Dog is a social breed that NEEDS to be with "its people". This is NOT a breed to leave chained or penned in the back yard....such isolation will lead to SERIOUS personality problems !! Because the Australian Cattle Dog is an active breed, a firm commitment must be made to exercise. ACDs make excellent running or biking companions although care must be taken not to over exert the young dog. Because of their intelligence, ACDs make WONDERFUL obedience prospects (although their intelligence can actually be a hinderance in this ring also). Australian Cattle Dogs are also known to excell at Dog Sports such as Flyball, Agility and Frisbee competition. The sky is the limit when your companion of choice is an ACD !!
 
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