If you’re looking for a dedicated working dog for yourself or your family, the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix may be the pup for you.
This adorable mix is a cross between two different breeds that are known for their talents as working and herding dogs. Aside from that, these dogs are also affectionate and energetic pets that will love to play all day!
This article has everything you need to know about the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler, from size and temperament to health issues and expenses. Keep reading, and you will find out just how captivating this mixed breed is.
|Height:||16 – 22 inches|
|Weight:||25 – 50 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Coat Colors:||Black, red, red merle, blue merle, red speckled, red mottled|
|Temperament:||Hardworking, intelligent, outgoing, playful, friendly|
|Suitable for:||Active families, experienced dog owners, farmers and cattle owners|
What Is an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix?
The Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Red Heeler. This designer breed is a highly-intelligent, energetic, and hardworking dog that will thrive on a consistent daily routine that keeps it busy and well-exercised.
Some may understandably confuse this hybrid for the Australian Shepherd Blue Heeler mix. In reality, both are technically the same mixed breed – the only difference lies in the color of their Heeler parent.
Both the Red Heeler and the Blue Heeler are simply variations of the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD). Red Heelers usually sport shades of orange and brown, while Blue Heelers have darker, blue-black coats.
Regardless of color, these mixes are often referred to as the Texas Heeler after their supposed state of origin.
However, the lovable demeanor and infectious energy of the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix are slowly growing popular across all states.
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Origin and History
As a mixed breed dog, not much is known about the origins of the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix. Still, another way to get an idea of the lineage of this mixed breed is to trace the history of its two parent breeds.
Australian Shepherds do not originate from Australia but from Spain. This breed’s ancestors were herding dogs to Spanish sheep farmers.
These Spanish herding dogs accompanied exported sheep, sending them to different places in the world. When these herding dogs reached Australia, they were crossed with Border Collies and other working dogs.
Once in the United States, American ranchers mistook these herding dogs as native to Australia – thus, naming them Australian Shepherds. These pups were further developed and refined into the breed it is today.
The Red Heeler is a variation of the Australian Cattle Dog, which does come from Australia and was first bred in the 1800s.
A cattle station owner named George Elliot was having problems with keeping his cattle in line. To find a solution to this, his son decided to cross domesticated dingoes with English drover dogs.
The resulting mix became what is now known as the Australian Cattle Dog, which came to the United States in the 1940s and was given full breed recognition by the American Kennel Club by 1980.
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Appearance
Generally speaking, the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix has a stocky, athletic build similar to its parent breeds. They are born with floppy ears that gradually perk up and straighten as they grow older.
This mixed breed is double-coated, which regulates its temperature in both hot and cold weather. Depending on the genetics of the parent dogs, this mix can have varied coat types.
Some would inherit the straight to wavy medium-length hair of the Australian Shepherd unless bred with a short-haired Australian Shepherd. In that case, it will also have a short coat similar to the Red Heeler.
This is also the case when it comes to coat colors. A Red Heeler Aussie mix may be any shade or combination of its parents’ colors, like black, red, white, red merle, blue merle, red speckled, and red mottled.
This mixed breed is also typically born with a bobbed tail. However, this is not considered a defining trait because there is also a significant number of Aussie Red Heelers born with long tails.
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Size and Weight
Both the Australian Shepherd and the Red Heeler are medium-sized dogs, so it is no surprise that the combination of the two is also a medium-sized mix.
The Australian Shepherd Red Heeler can weigh anywhere between 25 and 50 pounds once it is fully grown, which is around 18 to 24 months old. Like most dogs, males are heavier and larger than their female counterparts.
When it comes to size, the Red Heeler Aussie ranges from 16 to 22 inches. On average, male Texas Heelers are around 18 to 23 inches tall, while females range from 17 to 21 inches.
However, if a toy Australian Shepherd was used for breeding this pup, it could be significantly smaller in size and weight. It is also normal for a Red Heeler Aussie to grow larger than both parent breeds due to hybrid vigor.
Check out this article on the growth curve and weight of the Australian Shepherd to get a glimpse of what you can also expect from this mixed pup.
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Temperament and Personality
For the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler, work is just as fun as play. The most dominant personality traits of this mixed breed are its seemingly never-ending energy and high intelligence.
These are why they are regarded as superb working dogs. These mixes will love being given a job or a task, especially if it allows them to act upon their natural herding instincts.
Aside from that, Red Heeler Aussies typically have outgoing, friendly, affectionate personalities. They are sometimes called ‘velcro dogs’ because of how much they attach themselves to their owners.
Their warmth, devotion, and unbridled energy make them perfect companions for families with children.
However, the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix may have some issues when it comes to controlling its herding instincts. Both Red Heelers and Australian Shepherds bite or nip at others when in “herding mode.”
Aside from proper socialization to reduce this unwanted behavior, owners should also supervise this dog’s interactions with others.
This need for constant observation is a reason why this mix is not the best fit for inexperienced owners. You can learn more about this in this article on whether or not Australian Shepherds are good for first-time owners.
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Lifespan and Health Issues
An Australian Shepherd Red Heeler’s lifespan is around 12 to 15 years. Coming from two lines of working dogs, it is no surprise that this is a very robust breed.
As a mixed breed, however, it can be likely to inherit some of the conditions that its two parent breeds are prone to.
Here are some of the most common health issues an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mixed dog can develop:
- Hyperthermia: More commonly referred to as overheating, this occurs when an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler’s body temperature rises above 103º F (39.4º C). This may occur when the dog plays, runs, or works too much in hot weather. Symptoms include dehydration, seizures, spontaneous bleeding, and extreme lethargy.
- Eye problems: Just like its parent breeds, the Red Heeler Aussie mix is prone to eye issues like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). If left unchecked, these conditions can lead to a significant deterioration of vision and even eventual blindness.
- Hip Dysplasia: Canine hip dysplasia is caused by an abnormality in the growth of an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler’s hip joint, typically occurring in its development stage as a puppy. A dog with hip dysplasia may exhibit pain or weakness in its hind legs and difficulty walking or getting up.
Since the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler is such an energetic dog, it may also get injured from playing, working, or even running. The Australian Shepherd is a fast runner, and a Texas Heeler will inherit that skill.
Thus, supervising high-energy activities for this dog is a must. Aside from that, regular visits to the veterinarian will significantly increase the chances of detecting and treating any developing diseases or issues.
How to Take Care of Your Red Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix
A Red Heeler Aussie mix is by no means a low-maintenance dog. It is suited for experienced owners with more knowledge of caring for highly active breeds.
Food and Diet
Sustaining the nutritional needs of the energetic Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix means that a proper, well-balanced diet should be a top priority.
Depending on their size, weight, and activity levels, an adult Red Heeler Aussie should eat at least 1.5 to 3 cups of dog food each day, ideally divided into two meals to prevent bloat and unnecessary weight gain.
The kibble should contain around 30 to 35% protein and a high-fat content of upwards of 20%. Carbohydrate-rich food like sweet potatoes should also be incorporated into their diet as an energy source.
Luckily, both the Red Heeler and the Australian Shepherd are not picky eaters.
Cleaning and Grooming
Although the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix is double-coated, it is only a moderate shedder. Brushing once a week can remove dead hairs and skin cells and prevent tangled or matted fur.
Regular ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming should also be a part of your Red Heeler Aussie mix’s grooming routine at least once or twice per month. Baths should also be given once a month or as needed.
Training and Exercise
The high energy levels of the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler make it a high-maintenance breed when it comes to exercise. A consistent exercise routine of around 1 to 2 hours per day should be the standard.
This mix also requires mental stimulation to keep the mind sharp. Puzzles and toys are great ways to alleviate boredom indoors.
If it does not receive enough stimulation, the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix may direct its unspent energy toward more destructive or aggressive behaviors.
If this occurs, this guide on calming down and Australian Shepherds can be applied to the Red Heeler Aussie mix.
Although they are naturally intelligent and eager to please, these pups can be stubborn at times. Therefore, trainers should establish firm and consistent training routines using positive reinforcement.
Check out this video of a Red Heeler Aussie performing simple tricks and commands:
How Much Does a Red Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
For those looking to purchase an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix from a breeder, the average cost is typically around $400 to $600. Some may even charge up to $1,000 for a well-bred pup.
However, the expenses do not stop there. Before taking any dog home, it is best to be prepared with necessities to ensure the pup’s welfare.
Be guided by the table below on the initial expenses of caring for the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$70 – $110|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$30 – $60|
|Beds||$40 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$50 – $370|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $160|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$505 – $2,710|
Aside from these, an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix can benefit from professional training sessions. Potential dog owners should also set aside funds in case of medical emergencies.
Taking care of this high-maintenance designer breed may be costly, but the love, companionship, and service it can give are worth every penny.
Places to Find Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Since this mixed breed is popular within farming and ranching communities, finding a quality Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix will not be a problem.
Check out this list of credible Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix breeders where you can find a puppy for sale:
- AKC Marketplace – The American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace is the most trusted site for buying puppies online. AKC only accepts listings from reputable and passionate breeders that are sure to produce quality litters. To find an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix here, use the website’s search filters to find breeders of its parents that may have this mix as well.
- Town & Country Texas Heelers (TCTH) – Located in Texas, this family-run business raises Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mixes in a spacious ranch that allows their pups to run, play, and explore freely. Because the health of their dogs is their top priority, all puppies are vaccinated, de-wormed, and genetically tested.
- Silver Bitch Stables (SBS) – These breeders are known for their selective breeding process that produces the finest Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mixes in Central California. Their Australian Shepherds are all registered with the American Kennel Club, so rest assured that these are all quality pups.
If you want another option that helps you save money and help a dog in need, plenty of organizations are dedicated to rehoming abandoned and unwanted dogs of this breed.
Here is a list of rescue organizations where you can adopt an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix:
- Rescue Me! – This online directory is connected to thousands of animal rescue organizations and wildlife rehabilitators across 150 countries. Their website interface allows users to search and visit specific pages dedicated to each breed available to adopt, including Australian Cattle Dog mixes like the Red Heeler Aussie.
- Aussie Rescue SoCal Inc. (ARSI) – This non-profit rescue organization in California works with various rescues and shelters to rehabilitate and rehome Australian Shepherds and their mixes, including the Aussie Red Heeler. Although strict, their adoption process ensures that both owner and pup are the right fit for one another.
- Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA) – Founded in 2002, this organization is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned or unwanted Australian Cattle Dogs and their mixes. Its volunteers work with foster homes, animal control groups, and shelters where you can likely find an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler.
Buying from a breeder or adopting from a rescue are not the only ways to find an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix. In fact, you can get a free puppy just by driving around your community.
Pros and Cons of Owning an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mix
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mixes are wonderful companions – but they also have some flaws to look out for. This section identifies some notable pros and cons for this mixed breed.
Here is the list of pros of owning an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix:
- Excellent working dogs: Given that its two parent breeds were bred to be shepherds and working dogs, Red Heeler Aussies make superb companions, especially farmers and cattle owners. They are natural laborers that will be more than happy to help wherever possible.
- Great with children: The affectionate and protective nature of the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler is certainly an advantage when it comes to families with children. Their energy levels can certainly keep up with children of any age, making them perfect playmates.
- Do not require much grooming: The Australian Shepherd Red Heeler may be a moderate shedder, but this should not be a problem with weekly brushings. Other grooming essentials are typically done only once or twice a month.
Here is the list of the cons of owning an Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mix:
- Hyperactive: The highly-active Red Shepherd Aussie needs lots of exercises to expel pent-up energy; otherwise, they may exhibit destructive behaviors like furniture-scratching and aggressiveness. These may be a handful for those who are not able to keep up with its hyperactive tendencies.
- Cannot live well in small homes: The Texas Heeler requires a big, spacious environment to satisfy its stimulation needs, just like its Red Heeler and Australian Shepherd parents. Unfortunately, this means that living in small spaces like apartments negatively affects the development and well-being of this dog.
- Tendency to ‘herd’ unruly animals: Herding is a significant part of its genetic origins, which means that they cannot help but keep other creatures in line by nipping, biting, and intimidating. This behavior can only be tamed through proper and consistent training.
Different breeds have their advantages and disadvantages as pets.
Weighing their pros and cons is one of the most sure-fire ways to ensure that a certain breed is a right fit for you and your lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mixes Good Dogs?
Australian Shepherd Red Heelers are great dogs, especially for families with children, those with active lifestyles, and those part of farming and cattle herding communities.
However, the nature of this mixed breed is more suited for experienced dog owners.
Do Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mixes Shed?
The Red Heeler Aussie mix is a moderate shedder, just like its parent breeds. Although they usually have short coats, it is also double-layered.
These dogs are likely to shed great amounts of fur, especially during certain times of the year. Thus, regular brushing should be practiced.
Are Australian Shepherd Red Heeler Mixes Hypoallergenic?
Australian Shepherd Red Heeler mixes are not considered hypoallergenic. As moderate shedders, they are likely to spread loose fur and dander across your home.
These can cause a wide range of allergic reactions in people with sensitive and allergy-prone bodily systems.
The Red Heeler Australian Shepherd mix is a bundle of joy, energy, and affection wrapped into a compact, medium-sized dog. Both practical and lovable, this mix excels as a working dog and all-around companion.
Although the Australian Shepherd Red Heeler can be a handful sometimes, it will thrive best with those who can handle its energy and infectious zest for life. You will never have a dull day with this magnificent mix!
After everything you have learned in this article, do you think the Red Heeler Australian Shepherd mix will be a good fit for you and your lifestyle? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.