Breed Specific: The beautiful and intelligent Australian shepherdSeptember 13, 2023
Breed Specific: Rottweilers, a True Family DogNovember 10, 2023
Always ready for action, the ACD or Heeler will keep you and your family in line (and any other critters you have around.)
Personality and General Features: Muscular and intelligent, these dogs were bred to herd and think independently, therby making great watchdogs. They are dedicated to their families, but can outwit an unsuspecting owner. Strong and agile, Heelers need a lot of exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They make excellent running partners, but also excel given regular work to do in canine sports and training exercises. If not regularly challenged with “jobs” you want them to do, they can get into mischief.
Males Height: 18-20 inches Weight: 35-50 pounds
Females Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 35-50 pounds
Feeding/Treats/Weight: Discuss an appropriate high-quality diet with your veterinarian. Athletic Heelers need good nutrition that meets their energy output. Learn which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Grooming: The Heelers’ smooth double-layer coat protects them from the elements. A quick brushing once a week and the occasional bath should keep them in good shape most of the year. When they shed, twice a year, a thorough brushing every few days with a short-bristle brush or comb is advised. Heeler’s nails should be kept trimmed to help avoid foot and leg issues.
Exercise: These dogs must be kept active and stimulated, and are best if given a job to do. On a working farm, there will probably not be an issue. In a more urban environment, a daily run with their owner or regular training and participation in dog sports such as obedience and agility will channel their abundant energy in positive ways.
Training: Heelers must be socialized and participate in obedience training from an early age. They are extremely intelligent and energetic, really only happy when working. It is highly recommended to continue training and canine sports such as agility, herding and obedience through their lifetime. You must commit to the time it takes to work with your Heeler, but the rewards of the bond you create will make it fun for both of you. Boredom equals destruction and Heelers are easily bored.
Thank you to the AKC’s page on Heelers/Australian Cattle Dogs and Every Dog by Nancy Hajeski for this information.
BASIC FACTS: Over the Heeler’s 12-16 expected years, you and your vet will create a health plan to evaluate and catch any conditions that may arise.
- Hip and Elbow Issues
- Eye Issues
- Hearing Loss
Pikes Peak Vet has the goal of healthy longevity for your Heeler/ACD.
Wellness Exams and Vaccinations
- Every 6-12 months, as advised by your veterinarian,until age 6, including a full physical exam and routine bloodwork
- Pets age faster than us and tend to hide symptoms. At age 6, we recommend routine exams and bloodwork every 6 months to catch anything unexpected before it gets too firm a hold.
Other Exams and Screenings
- Joint x-rays
- Regular eye exams and related testing:
- PRA Optigen DNA test: http://www.optigen.com/opt9_rcd4PRA.html
- PLL DNA test: www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/PLL.php
- BAER testing for ears
- Routine dentistry as needed
Reach out for more information by phone or text at 719-475-1747, or through our Pikes Peak Vet app!